2/9 Notebook

A shorthanded Saint Joseph's team fell Tuesday night at Dayton, 77-70, despite heroic performances by Philadelphia natives Lamarr Kimble and Charlie Brown. Inside, I break down that game and also have insight into where the Hawk coaching staff has been this week on the recruiting front. We also look at Taylor Funk's (above) play this week and DeAndre Bembry's expanded role for the Atlanta Hawks.

On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that St. Joe's would be without two starters in that evening's game at Dayton.  Chris Clover and James Demery both remained in Philadelphia with flu-like symptoms when their teammates traveled to Ohio to face off against the Dayton Flyers.  The shorthanded Hawks battled Dayton, ultimately falling just short, 77-70.

A Lamarr Kimble pull-up 3 from the Dayton logo at the halftime buzzer evened things up at 32, which is as good a result as the shorthanded Hawks could have really hoped for.  In the second half, Dayton pulled away, taking a 60-46 lead on a Xeyrius Williams jumper with 8:38 to play.  At this point, it appeared that Dayton was in total control and that the Hawks were finished.  A quick 7-0 run over the next two minutes, capped off by a Lamarr Kimble three, pulled SJU within 60-53, and suddenly it was a ballgame again.

Back-to-back highlight-reel putback dunks by Hawk sophomore Markell Lodge, and another Lamarr Kimble three and it was a one-possession game, 66-63, with 3:42 to go. After Dayton built their lead back up, it was Charlie Brown hitting a deep contested three, and then a defensive stop by the Hawks, and the Hawks had the ball down just 75-70 with just under a minute to go.  A really poor offensive possession followed, resulting in a Brendan Casper late-shot-clock three, and Dayton would close things out.

It was Saint Joseph's third loss in a row, but for the first time in recent memory, there were more positives than negatives to take from this one.  Lamarr Kimble had his second terrific game in a row, finishing with the first double-double, 25 points and 10 assists.  He was efficient too, hitting 4-10 from three and 7-8 from the free throw line.  Fresh is being asked to do so much.  He played 50 minutes against Fordham, then 40 on Tuesday.  Fatigue is obviously a major concern, but in these last two games, it hasn't appeared to be a major factor, as he got better in both games as they progressed.

Charlie Brown was also terrific in the loss.  The 6'7 swingman had 17 points on 4-11 shooting from deep.  What was most impressive about Charlie Tuesday was his activity and creativity offensively.  He is obviously a knockdown shooter, and he shot well Tuesday.  None of his makes were easy looks either.  He was running off screens and being defended well.  Two of his threes in particular were fiercely contested, and he buried them regardless.  Charlie was also able to get past his man on four separate occasions.  In the first half, he had a gorgeous slip screen assist to Jai Williams for the dunk.  Charlie is getting better and better as the year is going on.  Over the last six games, he's 19-47 (40%) from three, and averaging 16.7 points per.  He has the look of a player who could make a significant jump this offseason and be an All-League caliber player next season as a sophomore.

The Hawks are now 10-13, and just 3-8 in league play.  Hopefully Chris Clover and James Demery are healthy enough to play Saturday at home against UMass. For a team that needs A10 wins, this home game against UMass is one of the more realistic ones left on the schedule.  

On the recruiting front, Phil Martelli spent Wednesday night watching Bethlehem Catholic and William Allen, per the @LVBR twitter account.  Why exactly? William Allen (PA) has one of the best unsigned senior guards on the East Coast in 6'5 2017 guard Tyrese Martin.  Martin had 17 last night with Phil Martelli watching.  He had a season-high 37, including 6 threes, against Emmaus in December.  Tyrese is averaging 21 points per game for a team that entered last night at 21-0. They lost in overtime last night, giving them their first loss of the season. At 6'5, Martin has great size, and is an above-average shooter from the field at at the line, where he's 72%.

At the moment, Martin has offers from Saint Bonaventure, Norfolk State, San Diego, Robert Morris, UNCW, Hofstra, Rider, and more.  St. Joe's, Ohio State, and several others are also seemingly interested now. It will be interesting to see how the Hawks move forward here.

On Tuesday night, 2017 St. Joe's commit Taylor Funk poured in 22 points in a 47-32 win over Ephrata.  Manheim Central plays again tonight, against Lampeter-Strasburg.  The 6'9 Funk is averaging 23.2 points per game this season for Manheim Central and has made 48 threes on the season.  

When Phil Martelli was in Pennsylvania recruiting Wednesday, Dave Duda was in Baltimore, watching Perry Hall (MD).  Perry Hall has two 2018 big men in Anthony Higgs and Laquill Hardnett.  The Hawks are still actively expanding their 2018 big board when it comes to big men.  Abraham Deng, Marcus Littles, and Seth Pinkney have offers.  Then you have Ajiri Johnson from Bonner with interest.  You can add Higgs and Hardnett to that list of players with interest as well.

From the current team to recruiting now to the NBA.  DeAndre Bembry and Jameer Nelson squared off last night when Denver traveled to Atlanta.  Jameer had 6 points and 8 assists in the loss.  The bigger story was the expanded role of Bembry for the Hawks though.  DeAndre tied a career high with 10 points, and also had 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.  He has gotten significantly more minutes over the last four games with Thabo Sefalosha out with injury.  The question becomes whether DeAndre has done enough in these past four games to continue getting minutes when Thabo returns.  I'm going to guess that the answer is yes.

The Hawks have UMass Saturday afternoon at home.  I'll have a gameday preview up Saturday morning.

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