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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

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Young Hawks ready to play big role this season

Knox+goes+for+a+dunk+against+Arcadia+University+on+Oct.+28.+PHOTO%3A+MITCHELL+SHIELDS+%E2%80%9922%2FTHE+HAWK
Knox goes for a dunk against Arcadia University on Oct. 28. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

After an eight month span that saw St. Joe’s lose their top four scorers from last season, the question was if new Head Coach Billy Lange could bring in enough talent to make up for the deficit. Now, with the Hawk’s season underway, he turns to a roster full of youth, including the three freshmen that make up his first ever recruiting class.

The three have been training with the team since June and have high hopes for the progress that have come out of their hard work. The transition from high school to college basketball will be tough, but they know the learning curve will be rewarding.

“It’s been a really big growth for us, we came in and got together around June,” guard Cameron Brown said. “We’ve been working on our games and adjusting to college ball.”

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

The higher level of competition was initially a culture shock for freshman guard Rahmir Moore.

“Coming from high school, it was very easy for me to score the ball, now that I’m playing college ball, you gotta adjust,” Moore said. “You gotta do the little things on the court to stay on the court.”

The idea of independence and owning up to one’s game was strange to freshman forward Chereef Knox.

“It was kinda hard at first,” Knox said. “There’s more accountability to it than high school, you’re really on your own.”

The freshmen said they owe their progression to their older and more experienced teammates. The upperclassmen have taken the three under their wing, knowing that putting aside the time to teach them is for the better of the team.

“They’ve been big for us, helping us come out of our corner and mentor us.” Moore said.

Brown said all of the work the team has put in during the preseason has been very educational.

“The upperclassmen have been such a big help for us,” Brown said. “We’ve all learnt so much from them.”

The biggest fundamental on the court is chemistry, and the Hawks have it, according to Brown. The freshmen came in together and have bonded non-stop since June.

“We hang out with each other outside practice and we have each others backs,” Brown said.

Moore thinks the group might be the most cohesive unit on the roster.

“Man, we probably got the best chemistry out here.” Moore said. “We pass the ball well and know what each other are thinking before they act.”

The three said they know their role as newcomers but know that when they’re on the court, it’s a team sport. Leadership is an emphasis this season, and every player knows it.

“It’s actually funny, coach Lange recruited us to be leaders and I feel we have filled those roles so far,” Brown said. “And I can see everyone on the team is working as a leader and pushing each other which is really important.”

Knox stressed that leadership is crucial to the success of the team and himself.

“I need to do what I do best,” Knox said. “And that’s going out and competing and helping my teammates.”

Moore said the leadership aspect should come naturally given his experience in high school.

“Just being myself,” Moore said. “I come from a place where I have to be loud and I have to be the guy. Going to college you can’t be the guy right away, you have to start with the little things.”

Overall, the trio has high hopes for the season and their abilities, and they have confidence that their team can succeed.

“We’re gonna be really good,” Knox said. “We’re always gonna have our doubters, but what we have is something special. We’re gonna be scary.”

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