Tuesday night practice report

On Tuesday night, in preparation for their upcoming trip to Italy, St, Joe's held practice at Hagan Arena. It was hardly a run-of-the-mill practice though, as roughly two-dozen former Hawks showed up. Jameer Nelson was just one of the many former SJU players in the house Tuesday evening.

Tasheed Carr, Garrett Williamson, Chet Stachitas, and Taylor Trevesian were four former Hawks who participated in Tuesday night's open scrimmage with the current SJU roster. In addition to those four, there were quite a few other familiar faces in attendance.

Jameer Nelson, Ahmad Nivins, Rap Curry, Pat Carroll, Dwayne Lee, Marvin O'Connor, Rodney Blake, Idris Hilliard, Lonnie McFarland, and Terrell Myers were among the others taking in the festivities.

In addition to the past and current Hawks, there were also a few St. Joe's recruiting targets in attendance, taking it all in. 2014 power forward Ben Bentil, who is coached by Terrell Myers for both high school and AAU ball, was there, as was his high school and AAU teammate Austin Tilghman. 2015 elite-level wing Derrick Jones, who plays AAU ball for We R-1 alongside Bentil and Tilghman, was also there, as was 2015 Constitution (PA) forward Ahmad Gilbert.

As for the scrimmage itself, there were a few take-aways. Most Hawk fans know what they are likely to get this year from the familiar faces. Halil Kanacevic, Ron Roberts, Langston Galloway, and Daryus Quarles have been on Hawk Hill long enough, and Hawk fans likely have enough of a read on them. Instead, I'll look at some of the newer faces.

Isaiah Miles appears to be in terrific shape. The 6'7 sophomore showed flashes during his freshman year, but played sporadically. He knocked down a handful of threes during drill work, and appeared to have a bit more explosiveness due to his new physique.

DeAndre Bembry defended at a high level and showed that he is more than just an athlete. During the scrimmage, he had a few nice assists and proved more than capable of handling the ball in the open court. In a 1-on-2 break, he had a pretty step-through that he finished with a tough lay-in. DeAndre also knocked down a deep three. It will be tough to keep him off the floor this year.

Kyle Molock unsurprisingly was playing with a knee brace on. Despite his knee injuries, and the fact that he hasn't been back for long, he was quick with the dribble. He appears decisive with the ball and dribbles with a purpose. He didn't do much from a scoring standpoint in the scrimmage, but if healthy, he gives Phil Martelli a great option in the backcourt. Kyle is strong, quick, and still possesses solid athleticism.

Javon Baumann will get minutes this year backing up seniors Halil Kanacevic and Ron Roberts. He is a wide body and rebounded well Tuesday night. During skill work, he showed nice touch around the rim, gathering entry passes with ease and finishing with both hands at the rim. Javon was fairly quiet offensively in the scrimmage, but his size will be useful for the Hawks off the bench this year.

Jai Williams, who is just now getting into action with the team after nursing a foot injury, is yet another wide body. Jai has long been rumored to be a redshirt candidate this upcoming season. He actually showed off a bit more on the offensive side tonight than most probably expected. He was able to get position on Ron Roberts twice in the post, thanks to his huge frame, and get friendly rolls for buckets. Jai is a bit more project than player, but on Tuesday night, he ran the floor well and was able to finish twice in the post.

Chris Wilson will be sharing backcourt minutes this year with Langston Galloway and Kyle Molock. The junior played with confidence Tuesday night, had his runner working, and was able to finish through contact on the break on more than one occasion. Chris averaged 6.5 points last per game last year, along with 3.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds. He shot 37% from the field and 28% from three. If Chris is able to improve both of those numbers, by say, 5 or 6 percent each, he will be that much more valuable this season.

The Hawks embark on their trip to Italy on August 11th. During their ten days in Italy, they will be playing four games and visiting four cities. With the regular season roughly three months away, this trip gives the Hawks ten extra practices and four extra games to prepare for the coming season.

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