2/16 News and Notes

On Wednesday night, St. Joe's will play host to a top 25 Dayton team with a share of first place in the Atlantic 10 on the line. The Hawks themselves are knocking on the door of the Top 25, receiving 57 votes in this week's AP Poll. A full preview of the Dayton-St. Joe's game, info on a new 2017 offer, and much more are inside.

Wednesday's Atlantic 10 contest between St. Joe's and Dayton pits the league's only two 20-win teams against one another. The 1st place Dayton Flyers come to Hawk Hill with a 21-3 record, and an 11-1 mark in conference play. Host Saint Joseph's is 21-4 on the year, and 10-2 in league play, good for 3rd place at the moment.

The Flyers are a top 25 team in both major polls, checking in at 13 in the Coaches Poll and at 15 in the AP Poll. The Flyers are 11th nationally in RPI, and boast Out of Conference wins over Alabama, Iowa, Monmouth, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas. Their three losses came against La Salle, Chattanooga, and Xavier.

Dayton is led by Trenton native, and James Madison transfer, Charles Cooke. The 6'5 wing, who attended Trenton Catholic (NJ), is averaging a team-high 16 points per game for head coach Archie Miller. Look for DeAndre Bembry and James Demery to take turns on Cooke, who is a knockdown three point shooter, and more than adept slashing to the rim. He has hit three or more threes in eight games this year, and is 47% from downtown on the year. Dayton is such a dangerous team, in part, due to their depth. Cooke is just one of four double-digit scorers for the Flyers, joined by Dyshawn Pierre, a 6'6 forward (13.5), Kendall Pollard, another 6'6 forward (11), and Scoochie Smith, a 6'1 guard (10.2).

Pierre missed Dayton's first eleven games this year due to a suspension, but his return just bolstered an already-deep Dayton team. Pierre is the Flyers' leading rebounder, is an 85% free throw shooter, and can step out and knock down threes. He's 20-51 (39%) from three this year in his 13 games. Look for Isaiah Miles to be matched up with Pierre Wednesday night in about as good a head-to-head match-up you'll see in the A10 this year.

Dayton junior Kendall Pollard missed Dayton's game at Rhode Island on the weekend. However, Archie Miller has seemed to indicate that Pollard will be good to go Wednesday night at St. Joe's. If he's a scratch, that would be a major hit for the Flyers, but as of now, it seems as if he will be active.

St. Joe's will have a number of recruits in attendance Wednesday, and I will update the list on the pay board as the game goes on. One name that I already have is unsigned 2016 Cardozo (NY) guard Aaron Walker. The 6'1 tough-nosed guard is coming off a 34-point, 10-rebound, 5-assist game in the Queens Boro PSAL title game. Manhattan, Siena, Fordham, Saint Bonaventure, Cincinnati, and DePaul are among the schools that he's been linked to in recent weeks.

On Tuesday night, St. Joe's did extend a new 2017 offer. 6'3 Blair Academy (NJ) guard Matt Turner collected an offer from the Hawk coaching staff. A combo guard who is creative off the high ball screen and can knock down jumpers to three off the bounce or catch, Turner also holds offers from Rutgers, Seton Hall, and George Washington. Turner joins a list of 2017 guard with either offers or strong interest that also includes Jamir Moultrie, Eli Brooks, and Andrew Platek.

With under four weeks to Selection Sunday, 2016 recruiting still ongoing, 2017 recruiting kicking into gear, and a march to Brooklyn underway, stay tuned to Hawk Hill Hardwood for all your latest Saint Joseph's news.

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