Just about four months ago, as everyone on Hawk Hill awaited the forthcoming basketball season with the ever so alluring and deceptive hope that accompanies each fresh season, St. Joe’s fans (this one included) sat back and looked at a somewhat bleak outlook and told themselves, “It’s not that bad. It won’t be that bad. Right?”
Well, we were wrong. And now the possibility that hung so forebodingly in the shadows all season long has been brought to the forefront as realistic as can be: the Hawks failing to qualify for the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Now, before we go forward, let’s just make something eminently clear. This team, even if it does sneak somehow sneak into a 12-seed in the conference tournament, isn’t going anywhere. These last two games of the regular season aren’t a prelude to a miraculous run from the back of the back to the Big Dance in the homestretch. Inclusion in the top 12 of the A-10 is at best window dressing, and possibly undeservingly so, for what has been a very rough season. It may be akin to making sure all the tables in the main dining hall of the Titanic were neatly set just before hitting the iceberg, but it’s still something, albeit small, to hang their hats on. And who are we kidding, it’s a pride issue, and possibly a recruiting issue.
But even with that in mind, because we have to fill space on this blog somehow, here’s how things shake out: Continue reading
It’s no secret that St. Joe’s is floundering heading into the start of Atlantic 10 play tonight, losers of eight of their last nine. They are one of only three teams in the conference that enter the conference slate with a losing record. Here’s what the rest of the A-10 looks like with conference play starting tonight:
Charlotte (10-3): The 49ers have an ugly loss to Old Dominion on the resumé, but balance that with a quality win, and a blowout at that, at then No. 18 ranked Louisville, 87-65. Two of their three losses have been to ranked teams (at Duke and against Georgia Tech their last time out), but they have another chance for a big win against a distracted Tennessee team today to bolster their postseason hopes with a strength of schedule that ranks 277th in the nation. Boston College transfer Shamari Spears has been just as big as his 245-pound frame indicates, averaging 17.0 points per game, while guard Derrio Green has the hot hand after 31 points, including seven three-pointers, against Georgia Tech.
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Dayton (11-3): A tough early season schedule has Dayton in a strong position to start conference play. They started the season in the top 25, but consecutive losses to Villanova (then ranked sixth in the nation) and Kansas State (now ranked 10th in the nation) knocked them from the polls. They stuck close in both games, as well as a two-point loss at New Mexico, but do have a victory over Georgia Tech to their credit. The two Chris’s, Wright and Johnson, have been pacing the Flyers as their only two double-figures scorers. They’ll be tested early in the conference season, as they’ll travel to Xavier on Jan. 16 on national television (ESPN2, 11 a.m.) in the first of two battles for Ohio. Continue reading