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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

Winter is coming III: Looking at the first half of St. Joe’s A10 conference schedule

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GRAPHIC: CHRIS KLINE ’23/THE HAWK

Picking up with part three of the men’s basketball schedule preview, the Hawks currently sit at 8-4. Concluding their non-conference schedule with a home matchup against the College of Holy Cross, the Hawks will return from their Christmas break with an away game at University of Richmond.

 

Dec. 30 vs. Richmond

Richmond possesses one of the oldest teams in the country. They return with great experience as forward Grant Golden enters his sixth season, as well as forward Nathan Cayo and guards Nick Sherod and Jacob Gilyard, all entering their fifth years. These four players have totaled 5,525 points combined in their careers.

This Richmond team, minus Blake Francis, had expectations to make the NCAA Tournament a year ago, but they fell short, settling for an NIT appearance. Returning most of the same core, there is a lot of pressure on this team to perform and make the Tournament. Not to mention, failure to meet expectations will result in some serious questions for Coach Chris Mooney.

 

 Jan. 2 vs. George Washington

The Colonials are going through a ton of transition in their personnel. Losing Jamison Battle is a tough place to start as the forward departed for Minnesota after averaging 17.3 points last season. With the new transfer rules, George Washington University was able to add five different players for this season. New faces include Brendan Adams, Joe Bamisile, Bryan Knapp, Ira Lee and Qwanzi Samuels. The return of guard James Bishop will excite Colonial fans, as the junior is looking to improve on a sophomore campaign in which he averaged 19.1 points per game.

The Hawks should certainly be able to handle George Washington in their first home conference game. Many anticipate the Colonials to struggle greatly as they try to integrate their new transfers into the program. Expect the Hawks to be able to handle this one.

 

Jan. 5 and Feb. 9 vs. Davidson

Since Davidson College does not have a graduate school, the team was forced to lose three seniors who had to use their extra year of eligibility elsewhere. That trio is headlined by Kellan Grady, who was a 2,000 point scorer as a Wildcat. They added Michigan State University guard Foster Loyer, a former top 100 recruit who has a knack for shooting the basketball.

Hyunjung Lee and Luca Brajkovic both project to play major roles for this Davidson team. Many proclaimed Lee as a player to watch in this upcoming season, and Atlantic 10 fans certainly know Brajkovic, who enters his senior year only 86 points short of 1,000.

 

Jan. 8 and Feb. 16 vs. George Mason

If you asked someone about George Mason University on March 22, they may say the Hawks would be able to handle the Patriots quite easily this season.

Then, the Patriots hired Kim English to be their head coach. The former University of Tennessee assistant was able to convince rising star Josh Oduro to return and boasted their roster with numerous different transfers, including Morehead State University guard DeVon Cooper, Tennessee guard Davonte Gaines and University of Colorado forward D’Shawn Schwartz. Mason still projects towards the bottom of the conference, but this game will be no rollover.

 

Jan.12 and Mar. 5 vs. Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island lost a major part of their identity this offseason when senior guard Fatts Russell announced he would spend his final year of eligibility at the University of Maryland. To fill that gap, the Rams turned to Ball State University transfer Ishmael El-Amin and returning guard Jeremy Sheppard.

David Cox has put together a roster of players that, if they all play to their potential, could be a Top-6 Atlantic 10 team. Whether those players are able to play to their talent levels remains to be seen.

 

Jan. 17 and Mar. 2 vs. La Salle

Last year, the teams played two hotly contested matchups. This year, I expect more of the same as Ashley Howard has the best starting lineup he’s had in his short tenure at La Salle. That starting lineup projects to add guards Josh Nickelberry, Jack Clark and Sherif Kenney. Sophomore guard Jhamir Brickus projects to build on a  strong freshman season. 

 

Final Prediction:

Based on these conference games above, I think the Hawks find their way to compile a 6-4 record. 

 

Projected St. Joe’s Record: 14-8

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