10/23 News and Notes

The Atlantic 10 had its annual Media Day in Brooklyn this past Wednesday. Find out where the Hawks were picked, what pre-season recognition St. Joe's junior DeAndre Bembry is garnering, and more inside.

Dayton was selected by the Atlantic 10's coaches as the preseason favorite in the conference, despite the loss of Dyshawn Pierre for at least the first semester. The Flyers received 12 first-place votes in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Rhode Island was picked second with eight first-place votes. Spots three through six went to Davidson, George Washington, and Richmond, in that order.

A year after an extremely disappointing 13-18 season, St. Joe's was selected seventh in the A10 by the league's coaches. The Hawks will be led, once again, by Preseason All-Conference First-Team selection DeAndre Bembry. Bembry was joined on the First Team by La Salle's Jordan Price, Davidson's Jack Gibbs, and URI's Hassan Martin and E.C. Matthews.

The Hawks kick off the 2015-2016 season just three weeks from tonight, on November 13th, against City 6 opponent Drexel. The Hawks have a hectic start to the season, with Drexel on Friday the 13th, Niagara on Sunday the 15th, Buffalo on the 18th, Florida on Saturday the 21st, and then either Old Dominion or Purdue on Sunday the 22nd. St. Joe's starts the season off playing five games in ten days.

Early next week, Hawk Hill Hardwood will begin its annual Player Profile series, which will closely examine each scholarship player on the Hawks with insight from one of the staff's assistant coaches. It's a feature that has been well received over the past two years, and will therefore continue this season.

Last weekend, St. Joe's hosted one of its top remaining 2016 recruiting targets in 6'9 St. Benedict's Prep (NJ) power forward Arnaldo Toro. I spoke with Toro following his visit, and that article remains on the site's homepage. Toro is staying in Jersey this weekend before making his final scheduled official visit next weekend to Kansas State. In a somewhat interesting turn of events, Toro will not be only 2016 power forward visiting KSU next weekend. Corey Evans of HoopSeen reported today that Florida big man James Love will also be trekking to Kansas State next weekend. With two players in the same class at the same position taking an official the same weekend, it definitely puts pressure on one to make the call before the spot is taken. Will that work in St. Joe's favor with Toro or not? That could play out next weekend.

One name that emerged in a big way in July was 6'4 Australian combo guard Kieran Hayward. St. Joe's, Arizona State, LSU, Rider, Middle Tennessee State, and more offered the athletic, sharp-shooting guard following a strong July in Chicago and Vegas. While there is no new info on Hayward at the moment, his is a name to remember. With Frankie Hughes committing to Louisville this Wednesday, the Hawks saw yet another name drop off their board. Hayward and Toro are two of the biggest names left. St. Joe's has an impact recruit already committed in St. Thomas More (CT) wing Charles Brown. Now it's a matter of adding to that. The Hawks have missed on a laundry list of prospects, including Kevin Marfo (GW), Dylan Painter (Villanova), Frankie Hughes (Louisville), Christian Vital (UNLV), and more. Despite those misses, capitalizing on at least one of Arnaldo Toro and Kieran Hayward would really improve things.

I will have an update on Hayward early this coming week, right around when the Player Profile series kicks in. It should be a busy three weeks here leading up to the start of the season. Thanks for your continued support and reading!

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