On Saturday afternoon, St. Joe's dropped its fourth consecutive game, losing 87-76 at home to UMass. The loss dropped the Hawks to 3-9 in conference play. While the loss was excruciating enough, the bigger story post-game was an injury to sophomore point guard Lamarr Kimble. Kimble left the game in the final minutes and news broke Sunday that he will miss the remainder of the season.
St. Joe's released a presser Sunday saying the following: "Saint Joseph's leading scorer Lamarr Kimble will be sidelined for the rest of the season after sustaining a fracture in his foot during the Hawks' loss to Massachusetts on Saturday. He has a fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot which will require surgery and two months of recovery."
That means that Kimble, who averaged 15.5 points and 4.5 assists per game this season, will miss the year's final seven games and the Atlantic 10 tournament. Kimble is the fourth Hawk to go down with a season-ending injury, joining Shavar Newkirk (ACL), Lorenzo Edwards (shoulder), and Pierfrancesco Oliva (chronic knee).
The Hawks now travel to VCU with a depleted roster to take on the Rams Tuesday night. Nick Robinson will replace Lamarr Kimble in the starting lineup, joining Chris Clover, James Demery, Charlie Brown, and Markell Lodge. The line for this game opened at VCU favored by 15.5 .
One bright spot for the Hawks this year has been freshman wing Charlie Brown. Brown was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week for the third time Monday, and remains the frontrunner for A10 Rookie of the Year honors. Brown averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds in Saint Joseph's two losses this week.
St. Joe's hosted one of the premier players in the region Saturday for an unofficial visit. 6'7 2019 Imhotep (PA) wing Donta Scott attended the game, spent time with Phil Martelli and the coaching staff post-game, and walked away from Hawk Hill with a St. Joe's offer. The Hawks, at the moment, are firmly in the mix, but Scott will collect a plethora of high major offers this coming spring and summer, which will put things a bit more into perspective.
Speaking of high major offers, St. Joe's top overall target in 2018, Saint Benedict's (NJ) shooting guard Matthue Cotton, was offered by both Miami and Virginia Tech Sunday. Those schools join St. Joe's, VCU, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, and countless others in hot pursuit of the athletic, sharp-shooting 6'5 Voorhees, New Jersey native.
St. Joe's assistant coach Dave Duda watched 6'3 Hackensack (NJ) guard Atiba Taylor drop 29 points in a loss to Bergen Catholic (NJ) on Sunday night. Taylor holds a Hawk offer, was at a game earlier this season, and has been watched by the SJU coaching staff several times this month. He and Jared Bynum are two of the Hawks' top point guard targets in 2018.
I will have a recap of what could be an ugly night at VCU following tomorrow night's contest.