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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: A fresh take on the freshmen: Young Hawks will take over this season


The St. Joe’s men’s basketball team began the 2019-20 season on Oct. 29 with three scholarship freshmen on the roster. Freshman forward Chereef Knox, guard Cameron Brown and guard Rahmir Moore all enter the season with the opportunity to prove their ability to be impactful playmakers to not only Head Coach Billy Lange, but the entire Hawks fanbase.

The last time the Hawks saw anything close to this amount of freshmen take the court during poignant moments of a game was the 2015-16 season which saw now graduate guard for the Louisville Cardinals Lamarr Kimble ’19, Chris Clover ’19 and Pierfrancesco Oliva ’19 alongside Markell Lodge ‘19 who was a redshirt freshman.

Do Knox, Brown and Moore have as high of a ceiling as the 2015-16 freshmen class?

I think so.

The exhibition game versus Division III Arcadia University may not have been able to tell us the level of skill our newest Hawks have because of the disparity in ability level between the two sides, but it did show us something about our newcomers. They will be critical assets to the Hawks this season.

Brown finished the game with a stat-line of 13-3-5, Knox 14-0-3 and Moore at 17-2-3. These three freshmen scored 44 of the Hawks’ 100 points. That is more than one-third of the Hawks’ total offense.

Social media accounts, podcasts focused on the Atlantic 10 conference and sports writers who have covered the Hawks that transition over the off-season have been quick to label the Hawks as an inexperienced team that is doubtful to compete this season.

Are the Hawks inexperienced? Clearly. Our roster consists of four players who saw meaningful minutes at a collegiate level last season, junior forward Taylor Funk, junior forward Anthony Longpre, junior forward Lorenzo Edwards and sophomore transfer forward Myles Douglas. Albeit, Douglas played limited minutes for the University of Central Florida Knights last season.

Cam Brown soars to the rim during the Hawks’ exhibition game against Arcadia.
PHOTO: Mitchell Shields ’22

Lange is well-versed in player development. I have no doubt that he has worked throughout the off-season to get our freshmen prepared to compete at a collegiate level. From the exhibition game, it was clear that each player recognized and embraced their role on the team.

The youth of the Hawks can play to their advantage, especially with a new head coach being thrown into the mix. Knox, Brown and Moore do not have collegiate experience. Lange has not served as head coach of a program since leaving the Midshipman of the U.S. Naval Academy in 2011. All of these individuals are being granted the opportunity to start fresh and learn together.

Knox, Brown and Moore will be critical assets to the success of the 2019-20 season for the Hawks. They will be thrust into roles typical of juniors and seniors from the start of the season. They will have the opportunity to learn and grow with each step they take on the court, each shot that leaves their hands and each rebound grabbed from the glass.

By Jan. 2, when the Hawks open A-10 conference play versus the University of Richmond, the Hawks will have played 11 Division I games. Knox, Brown and Moore have 440 minutes of basketball to become “experienced” players.

Forty of those minutes have passed. It is their time to take over.

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