1/18 News and Notes

On Saturday evening, Saint Joseph's will travel into the heart of the city, to the revered Palestra, for a Big 5 match-up with Jerome Allen's Penn Quakers. Today, Hawk Hill Hardwood has a preview of that Big 5 battle, as well as a look around the Hawks' recruiting landscape.

The 11-5 Hawks will be looking for their third straight win on Saturday evening at 7 when they travel to The Palestra to take on Penn. St. Joe's has back-to-back wins in Atlantic 10 play over George Mason and Duquesne, and are now winners of seven of their last eight.

The Hawks have notched two straight wins despite being short-handed, with forwards Ron Roberts (back spasms) and Isaiah Miles (concussion) unable to go against GMU and the Dukes. According to the university's game notes, both are listed as possible for Saturday. Roberts and Miles both returned to practice on Thursday.

Senior shooting guard Langston Galloway scored 24 of his 26 points in the opening half of St. Joe's 84-75 win over Duquesne Wednesday night against Duquesne. The sharp-shooting Louisiana native is now only nine three-pointers short of becoming SJU's all-time leader. While he will not reach that milestone tonight, it is a number to remember in the coming two or three games.

Penn enters tonight's game at 3-10. In terms of common opponents, the Quakers and and Hawks have have losses to Temple and Villanova. Penn lost 76-62 at Marist, a team that the Hawks easily disposed of at Hagan. The Quakers are coming off their best win of the year though, a surprising 77-74 win over a talented Princeton squad.

The Quakers have four double-digit scorers, led by sophomore guard Tony Hicks at 15 points per game. Sophomore center Darien Nelson-Henry, who did serious damage against the Hawks last year, is averaging a team-high 7.4 rebounds to go along with his 13.2 points. At 6'11, 265 pounds, Nelson-Henry has unique size and skill for the Ivy. He could cause some problems inside against the Hawks tonight, especially if Roberts is unable to go.

Saint Joseph's opened as six-point favorites over the Quakers in Vegas. I will be at tonight's Big 5 contest at The Palestra, and full coverage will follow, as the Hawks look to win their third straight and continue things rolling in a positive direction.

On the recruiting front, it was a good week for St. Joe's-bound seniors. Cardinal Hayes (NY) point guard Shavar Newkirk scored his 1,000th point this week during a blowout win over All Hollows (NY). Then, on Friday evening, Shavar went off for 22 points in a 73-62 win over city rival St. Raymond's. The win improved Hayes to 15-0 on the season as they continue to stake their claim as New York City's best.

On Friday evening, 6'10 Greenbrier East (WV) senior Obi Romeo, a Saint Joseph's commit, posted his second double-double of the week, going for 16 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 blocks in a win over visiting Logan (WV). Earlier this week, against national top 5 Oak Hill Academy, Obi had 10 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocks in a blowout loss. All of those stats are per Obi's adopted father, Rick Romeo.

Northside Christian (NC) got 22 points from St. Joe's commit James Demery in a blow-out 101-55 win over Westminster Catawba (NC). NCA remains nationally ranked within the top 15, with their only loss being to perennial power Montverde Academy (FL).

Point Pleasant Beach (NJ) senior guard Matt Farrell also scored his 1,000th point of his career this week. The 6-foot sharp-shooting point guard slammed home his thousandth point in a win over Asbury Park Thursday night. Farrell visited St. Joe's for their game against Boston U, and is also being heavily tracked by Butler, William and Mary, Creighton, and Monmouth.

Looking at a few local prospects, 2015 St. Joe's Prep (PA) shooting guard Chris Clover had 25 points in a 44-36 win over Father Judge (PA). Clover is a priority recruit for every school in the Big 5. Life Center Academy knocked off Academy of the New Church on Friday afternoon as well. Malik Ellison (13 points) and Traci Carter (7 points) are two of SJU's top targets in 2015 as well. ANC junior Carnell Harley, who probably projects a bit lower than the Atlantic 10, dropped 25 in the losing effort.

Hawk Hill Hardwood will have more later tonight, on both the Penn game and local high school games going on this afternoon.

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