December 7th: Week in Review

St. Joe's got a career night out of senior wing Aaron Brown on Friday night at Columbia. Brown poured in 26 points in the Hawks' 80-78 win, while DeAndre Bembry fell just shy of a triple-double. A look back at that and more are all inside.

Aaron Brown's career-high 26 points were not wasted Friday night in St. Joe's first road win of the season, at Columbia. Brown scored 26 points on 11-16 shooting from the field and 3-4 from three. Aaron, a Penn Wood (PA) grad who played his first two collegiate seasons at West Virginia, was one of three double-figure scorers for the Hawks. Isaiah Miles did most of his damage (15 points) in the first half, while DeAndre Bembry scored all of his 12 in the second. Bembry struggled shooting, going 4-14 from the field, but nearly pulled a triple-double, also finishing with 9 rebounds and 8 assists.

Friday night's game marked the return of senior forward Papa Ndao. Ndao missed all of last season with medical issues and then missed the first six games this year. He immediately contributed Friday, playing nine minutes and finishing with nine points on 3-4 shooting from downtown. The Hawks have really struggled shooting the ball this year, so he immediately proved an upgrade in that category. Look for his role to expand in coming games as well.

Columbia was led by senior Maodo Lo's 21 points and 6 assists. He's about as talented a player as the Hawks are going to see here on out. Columbia is also one of the Ivy's better teams. They rebounded from their loss to the Hawks with a double-digit win at Delaware on Sunday.

It's entirely too early in the season to look at RPI in any serious manner, but I figured it was worth at least mentioning here. The NCAA released its updated RPI rankings on Sunday, and the Hawks jumped from 81st nationally to 71st with their win over Columbia. The Hawks are 3-1 at home, 1-1 on a neutral court, and now 1-0 on the road.

St. Joe's now has Princeton at home on Tuesday followed by a weekend trip to North Broad where they will face Fran Dunphy's Temple Owls. The early line out of Vegas has the Hawks favored by 4 against a Princeton team coming off its first loss of the season, to Stony Brook.

St. Joe's has those two games this week, then has out of conference games remaining at home against Illinois State and Maryland Eastern Shore, as well as a neutral court game against Virginia Tech. So, of their five remaining OOC prior to the start of league play, the Hawks have three at home, one on the road, and one on a neutral court.

The coaching staff was sighted out on the recruiting trail several times over the weekend. They were spotted watching 2016 Robeson (NY) big man Isaac Kante on Saturday. Kante has St. Joe's, Hofstra, Stony Brook, and more involved. At 6'8, he's a post with an offensive skill set and a nose for the ball. Phil Martelli was also down in the DMV, where the staff is very active in 2017. Jamir Moultrie, Chyree Walker, and Nate Watson are among the players that he was likely checking in out. Walker, a big, strong 6'3 shooting guard, recently received an offer from the Hawks. Watson is a newer name to keep an eye on. St. Joe's really needs to land a big in 2017, and he is one of the better names they've been linked to, and there have been many already.

I will be at Hagan Arena tomorrow for St. Joe's-Princeton. A full recap will be up tomorrow night.

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