Highly recruited 2013 guard Hakim Saintil has committed to South Alabama, he announced via his Twitter account on Sunday morning.
Saintil is a 5-foot-11 point guard hailing from Roselle Catholic High School in West Orange, NJ.
There was speculation that Saintil may do a post-graduate year and reclassify to the 2014 class, but he became very comfortable with South Alabama and the direction of the program under first-year head coach Matt Graves. Saintil told Adama Zagoria, “I felt comfortable over there. They are like a family and with the new direction of the program it was hard for me not to go there.”
Saintil was courted by a wide range of schools during his recruitment process, ranging from Cincinnati, South Carolina, and St. Louis to mid-majors such as Fairfield and Florida Gulf Coast among many others.
In March, Saintil spoke with BillikenReport.com about his recruitment by St. Louis:
Saint Louis is my style of play. They have recruited small guards in the past. They know how to develop them. I see some of myself in them…Outside the power conferences, it’s right there. It’s one of the best. SLU was probably the most underrated team in the country until people started noticing how good they were.
While Saintil is certainly right about the guard-play at St. Louis, his commitment to South Alabama demonstrates what he thinks about the direction Matt Graves will have this program headed in. Is there any doubt that Graves’ recent hiring of former Butler point guard Ronald Nored played a pivotal role in Saintil’s decision? If Saintil is looking to be developed as a point guard, there aren’t many young assistants out there that will do as good of a job as Ronald Nored.
A primary factor in Saintil’s commitment was the opportunity to play immediately, and he should be able to see early minutes for the Jaguars.
This is the second commit Matt Graves has received. In early May, Austin Karazsia committed to South Alabama.
You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11