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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

A Minute with McCloskey: Kimble smart to transfer out of St. Joe’s basketball program

A+Minute+with+McCloskey%3A+Kimble+smart+to+transfer+out+of+St.+Joes+basketball+program

I did not forsee Lamarr Kimble, former St. Joe’s redshirt junior guard, leaving Hawk Hill to play for the University of Louisville, a program 672 miles away.

I expected Kimble to either remain a Hawk, be recruited by Temple University or transfer to the University of Connecticut to play under Head Coach Dan Hurley, a former Atlantic 10 Conference head coach for the University of Rhode Island.

Since Kimble’s official announcement to move to Louisville as a graduate transfer on April 11, I have taken a look at what this move means for Kimble, for the Cardinals and for the Hawks.

Kimble is joining a Cardinal roster that’s positioned to thrive next season. With a 20-14 record in the 2018-2019 season, including a sixth-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference with wins against the University of North Carolina and Virginia Tech, the Cardinals are prepared to compete next season.

The addition of Kimble provides them depth, allowing the Cardinals to make a push for the NCAA Tournament, which they have made six times since 2009, winning in 2013.

Kimble has reached the NCAA Tournament only once in his four years playing for the Hawks, which came after capturing the A-10 Championship in 2016.

Kimble wants to win, and he wants to compete. Spending his final year of eligibility with St. Joe’s, a team that is rebuilding and currently only has six current players likely  to return, would be  foolish.

Lamarr Kimble drives past a Dusquene defender PHOTOS: MITCHELL LEFF/ATLANTIC 10

Kimble, much like redshirt forward Charlie Brown, who recently entered his name to the 2019 NBA Draft, has been significantly overlooked by NBA scouts as a result of the Hawks’ poor play.

For the Cardinals, Kimble could be the last piece they need to once again be relevant in the ACC. The last two seasons were off years for Louisville, with a sixth place finish in the ACC in the 2018-2019 season and eighth place in the 2017-2018 season.

After the fallout between the NCAA and Rick Pitino, former Cardinals head coach, current Head Coach Chris Mack has taken the reins, bringing Cardinal basketball back to what it used to be a winning program.

The addition of Kimble is one of the first major moves Mack has garnered since he became the head coach in 2018. The quick recruitment and signing of Kimble shows that Mack is ready to compete.

So what does this mean for the Hawks?

They have officially lost one of the key players of the past four seasons. A three-year captain of the team, Kimble was a leader on the court, in the locker room and in the St. Joe’s community.

Since the announcement, I have heard students across campus talking about Kimble.

“Kimble has been hurt every season anyway, what’s the difference if he is here or not?” “Kimble isn’t even good.” “He isn’t even going to play at Louisville.” “Why would he transfer there?” And my favorite, “Bynum is ready to take over anyway.”

These comments made by students throughout Hawk Hill are full of ignorance and an inability to realize that there are opportunities for student-athletes outside of our campus.

While Kimble has had his fair share of injuries over the past four seasons, he has also been a key contributor to the Hawks during his time on the court.

During the 2016 A-10 Championship, he played 18.1 minutes per game off the bench and was named to the Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team.

Kimble led the Hawks in scoring in the 2016-2017 season and was second in scoring to Brown this past season. Throughout his career with the Hawks, Kimble scored 958 points and notched 258 assists. Kimble is an elite player by Hawk standards.

Kimble is likely to get significant playing time with the Cardinals and the possibility of starting. The Cardinals need a strong-minded team leader on the court with experience to act as a floor general. Kimble provides that.

The Hawks must find a way to fill the void Kimble will be leaving behind.

Head Coach Billy Lange has a tough few weeks ahead of him as he begins recruiting transfer players and unsigned high school prospects. During his search, a replacement for Kimble must be at the forefront.

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