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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

Ten takeaways from week one of St. Joe’s basketball

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Obinna had a career high, 15 rebounds against, Mount St. Mary’s. PHOTO: KELLY SHANNON ’24/THE HAWK

Men’s Review

  1. Sophomore guard/forward Jordan Hall entered this season with well-earned hype surrounding him. He showed resilience Tuesday night, getting to the basket and hitting an important three down the stretch for the Hawks to sneak out a win over a clearly inferior opponent. On Saturday, he scored just seven points and two rebounds. Hall is certainly going to have many games better than this one, and if St. Joe’s can come up with an effort like this without him on top of his game, they will be a dangerous team.
  2. Redshirt senior forward Taylor Funk can still really shoot the basketball. His game-winning three Tuesday night saved the Hawks from a disastrous opening loss. The fifth-year senior picked up right where he left off on Saturday, totaling 18 points on 4-7 shooting from the 3-point line. 
  3. It is imperative I acknowledge how enthralling it is to watch the passion that Billy Lange coaches with. He lives and dies with every possession on both sides of the ball. While Tuesday’s game wasn’t pretty, I was impressed with Lange’s baseline out-of-bounds play the Hawks ran to win it. It is entertaining to watch a coach so invested in his program and their results.
  4. There was a lot of excitement about first-year guard Erik Reynolds II this season, and it looks like he is going to play up to those high expectations. The Maryland native has displayed a knack for being able to get downhill, and he seems to be scratching the surface of his ability in transition. As he continues to grow into his role, he has the potential to be a really special player for St. Joe’s.
  5. I wanted to use this final takeaway to emphasize the pure spirit of this team. It has been infectious thus far. They root hard for each other, dive for loose balls and seem to genuinely want team successes over any individual recognition. It is hard to find this type of camaraderie in a group and hopefully the Hawks can continue it.
Brugler scored 14 points in the win over UMES. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Women’s Takeaways

  1. First-year forward Talya Brugler had a very impressive first week as a Hawk. Her first ever shot for St. Joe’s was a wide-open three she made with confidence. In an uneven week for the team, Brugler seems poised to be a really strong player on both ends for a long time on Hawk Hill. 
  2. I was impressed by fifth-year guard Katie Jekot’s shooting performance in the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (UMES) matchup. She has certainly shown her ability to knock down shots in the past, but the volume with which she did it against UMES was a little different. If she can shoot the ball the way she did against UMES, it adds a whole other dimension to this team.
  3. Graduate guard Alayna Gribble was very good on Friday night, despite the disappointing result of the game. She shot 6-8 from the field and 3-4 from the three point line. She grabbed 6 rebounds to go along with her 15 points that positioned the Hawks to be competitive down the stretch. The graduate student from the University of Pittsburgh should replicate this performance when the Hawks host Villanova University next Saturday.
  4. Another bright spot was definitely the play of junior guard Kaliah Henderson. Totaling 20 points on Friday night, the junior matched her previous career high. Without her strong interior play and Gribble’s outside shooting, the score could have been a lot worse in their game against Drexel University.
  5. On Friday night, the Hawks really struggled with the turnovers. Totaling 18 throughout the night, that number is going to be hard to overcome against strong opponents. It is still early in the season, so I do not believe this is a trend the team has to worry about yet. But, it is definitely something they must improve on as the season goes along.

 

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