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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

Pair of transfers add talent to Hawk’s roster


There will be many new faces on the St. Joe’s men’s basketball roster this year, including a graduate transfer from University of Maine and a highly touted sophomore from Gonzaga University. What drew them to St. Joe’s? The consensus answer: new Head Coach Billy Lange and his style of coaching.

“Especially my relationship with him,” sophomore guard Greg Foster Jr. said. “I have known him since I was in eighth grade so I had that connection already.”

Foster’s father is an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks where two St. Joe’s alumni, DeAndre’ Bembry and Charlie Brown Jr., play. That also played into Foster’s decision to come to Hawk Hill.

“I talked to them about it [St. Joe’s basketball] before I visited and they had a lot of good things to say about the program,” Foster said.

On Lange’s offensive coaching style, Foster compared it to Mark Few’s, head coach at Gonzaga University.

“We play more of an NBA type style here as opposed to a big man oriented offense at Gonzaga,” Foster said.

Graduate transfer Dennis Ashley also said Lange was one of the main reasons for coming to St. Joe’s from University of Maine.

“He pushes me every day,” Ashley said. “I came here because of him and the way he
believes in me.”

Ashley said Lange’s system has a much higher energy than the one he was a part of at University of Maine. It may be a change, but Ashley said it was a welcome one.

“[It’s a] different concept on how we play,” Ashley said. “I feel like at Maine we played at a slow
pace. Here we play more up-tempo style and a more aggressive style on defense and offense.”

Even though he is the newest member of the team, Ashley said he does not let it stop him from taking on a leadership role.

“I definitely take on a mentor role,” Ashley said. “I go out of my way to help some of the freshmen with shooting and finishing around the rim.”

While being denied a waiver, Foster still has much to give to this young team. In part because he comes from a program that was the consensus number one in the nation for a majority of the season last year.

“Being on a team like that taught me a lot about what it takes to have a winning team.” Foster said.

Coming from a storied program such as Gonzaga University allowed Foster’s game to develop quickly and step into the spotlight his freshman year. His quick development has not gone unnoticed by teammates.

“The people he played against are definitely more athletic than those in the Atlantic 10 so that helps,” junior forward Taylor Funk said. “I can’t wait to play with him next season. I wish he got his waiver. I am excited for next season with him.”

However, Foster will not let this year on the sidelines go to waste.

“I’m going to work to get better at the little things,” Foster said. “Iron those things out. Come back ready for next year.”

One of five returning players from last season, Funk, was uncertain about the impact of having many new faces in the program.

“I thought it was going to be a problem,” Funk said. “But the guys coming in, the freshmen, transfers, [a] grad transfer, they are all mature guys. We get along really well. Locker room conversations are great. We all spend a lot of time together off the court. That makes the transition very easy.”

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