St. Joe's-Xavier Gameday Preview

On Saturday evening, Saint Joseph's will look to bounce back from one of their most disappointing losses in quite some time. The 10-7 Hawks are currently 1-3 in conference play, and in desperate need of a win. They host a Xavier team that, at 4-1 in league play, is coming off its first conference loss.

On Wednesday, Saint Joseph's lost their third Atlantic 10 game of the still early season, dropping to 1-3 in league play. The Hawks fell behind 35-10 early to Saint Bonaventure, and saw a late comeback bid fall short.

The Hawks played the second half without junior captain Langston Galloway, who suffered an eye abrasion late in the first half of action. Galloway is listed as probable for today's 6 o'clock tip.

Wednesday's home loss to Saint Bonaventure did feature one small bright spot, and that was the return of junior forward Halil Kanacevic. In his first game back, after missing three due to a death in the family, Halil had 16 points. Due to a two-game suspension and this recent three-game absence, Kanacevic has missed 5 of the Hawks' 17 games this season.

One of the keys in today's contest will be the Hawks' ability to contain Xavier's freshman sensation, Semaj Christon. Christon, a strong 6'3 point guard, is averaging right around 15 points and 5 assists a game. He had 25 points in a big Xavier road win at Purdue, and also poured in 23 in a winning effort against Drexel.

Christon is not a strong three-point shooter by any stretch, with his bread-and-butter being the ability to get into the lane and finish strong around the basket. The Hawks will have their hands full with him.

Xavier's best three-point shooter is senior guard Brad Redford. In Xavier's five Atlantic 10 games, he is shooting a remarkably hot 19-33 from three.

On the Hawk side of things, they will be looking for, and desperately needing, a solid outing from senior guard Carl Jones. Jones has been inconsistent this season, and that inconsistency reared its ugly head once again on Wednesday. Tay was 2-11 from the field, 0-7 from three, in Wednesday's loss.

With Galloway likely to be back in action, the Hawks are in desperate need of a home win today to right the ship. Today's game is televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

A handful of recruits are expected tonight. Among them are 2013 Timber Creek (NJ) combo forward Dominique Reid, 2014 Pennington (NJ) guard Kaison Randolph, and 2014 Great Valley (PA) wing Mikal Bridges.

Reid is a 6'7 forward who appeared to no longer be a Hawk recruiting target. However, he will be there tonight, so there appears to still be some mutual interest. Randolph, a 6'2 combo guard, is one of four or five 2014 guards that the Saint Joseph's staff has seemed to make a priority. Bridges is a newer name. He's a 6'5 wing with great perimeter shooting ability. Those are three recruits to keep an eye on at tonight's game.

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