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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

Underdogs, how the Hawks will defy preseason rankings


We are young. We are inexperienced. We are not a bottom two team.

With the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball season opening on Nov. 5, the conference preseason rankings and predictions have been released and discussed all over social media. I have followed closely. The common theme: the Hawks will be steam-rolled by nearly every Atlantic 10 team they face.

The official A-10 preseason poll placed the Hawks finishing in 13th place. One spot above Fordham University who finished the 2018-2019 season in last place with a record of 3-15 and is projected to finish last again in the 2019-2020 season.


It is no secret that the Hawks lost key assets this season: Charlie Brown Jr., Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble, Jared Bynum, Pierfrancesco Oliva and Markell Lodge. But the 2019-2020 Hawks have true potential to make waves in the A-10 this season.

This offseason, the Hawks added six players to their roster: freshman forward Chereef Knox, red shirt sophomore forward Myles Douglas, freshman guard Cameron Brown, freshman guard Rahmir Moore, sophomore guard Greg Foster Jr. and graduate guard Dennis Ashley.

Foster is ineligible to play this season due to a lack of an NCAA waiver after his transfer from Gonzaga University. But the five eligible new additions to the Hawks roster, along with red shirt junior guard Ryan Daly who averaged 17.5 points per game at Delaware prior to transferring to St. Joe’s, allow the Hawks to have a solid roster to place on the court for their opening game against Bradley University on Nov. 5 at Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena.

Although the A-10 conference season does not begin until Jan. 2 against the University of Richmond, the early games the Hawks play will provide experience and hopefully confidence to these new players.

The wins the Hawks achieve in non-conference play will set them up for success in A-10 play.

This season, the Hawks will play six games against opponents who finished below .500 in the 2018-2019 season. Five of those six games will occur more than halfway through the season, allowing the Hawks three months of game play to get acclimated to playing together and playing at the collegiate level.

The Hawks will play nine conference games in Hagan Arena. You, the fans, have the opportunity to make a difference at the men’s basketball games this season. Are we going to finish first? Not likely. Can we finish .500? Absolutely. We need to come together as a school to support the new additions to this university.

The Hawks not only have the ability to finish this season 9-9 or better in A-10 play, but they can also finish in a better position than our 11th place finish in the 2018-2019 season.

Under Head Coach Billy Lange, the young Hawks have the ability to develop their skills and become a competitive team in the A-10.

In just a few short months of practices and training, Lange has created an environment of success within the locker room which will translate into cohesiveness on the court. The Hawks have the ability to change the way they are viewed this season.

By the end of the 2019-2020 season, the Hawks will no longer be the underdogs.

They will no longer be thought of as a bottom of the league team or as Stu Luddecke, columnist for, stated an “awful team” when he placed the Hawks in Tier 5 of the A-10 in his Oct. 22 column “A-10 Basketball: 2019-20 tiered preseason power rankings.”

The Hawks have the ability to finish the season at .500 or better and seeded in the top-10 entering the Barclay’s Center in March for the A-10 tournament.

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