Instant Replay: St. Joe's 85, Columbia 65

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Instant Replay: St. Joe's 85, Columbia 65



Before even taking the court Monday night, St. Joe's suffered a substantial loss, as head coach Phil Martelli announced that junior forward James Demery would be sidelined for a few weeks with a stress fracture in the fourth metatarsal of his left foot (see story)

Even after losing Demery – one of just three returning rotation players from last season – the Hawks were still able to take care of business in convincing fashion. 

Two nights after gutting out a win over Toledo, St. Joe’s secured its second win well before the final buzzer, taking down Columbia 85-65 at Hagan Arena.

The Hawks’ explosive backcourt led the way for the second time in as many games. Lamarr Kimble scored a career-high 19 points and dished out eight assists, both of which were team highs. Shavar Newkirk was right there with Kimble, recording 17 points and four assists.

St. Joe’s used a piercing 57.6 shooting percentage and stifling defense that held Columbia to 32.1 percent to jump out to a commanding 50-27 lead at the half. The Hawks wouldn’t let off the gas the rest of the way either, leading by at least 15 for the entirety of the second half.

St. Joe’s finished the night with an impressive 55.2 percent shooting clip.

Turning point
On a night when St. Joe's never trailed, the Hawks put this one away early. Leading 7-6 just under five minutes into the game, the Hawks scored 10 unanswered points to stretch their lead out to double digits for the first time. 

After the lead reached 21-11 on a Kimble jumper, St. Joe’s wouldn’t relinquish its double-digit lead for the remainder of the night. The Hawks' largest lead of the night was 26.

Big men on campus 
St. Joe’s: Charlie Brown

Both Kimble and Newkirk were spectacular in this one, but Charlie Brown has to get the nod here. In Demery’s absence, Brown stepped up as a third scoring option for the Hawks, pouring in 15 points on 6 of  10 shooting from the field and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Brown also pulled down five rebounds.

Columbia: Jake Killingsworth

Killingsworth was the lone bright spot for a sputtering Columbia offense. Killingsworth scored a team-high 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field and 3 of 6 from deep.

Up next
St. Joe’s hits the road for the first time this season, as the Hawks will participate in the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S Virgin Islands. The Hawks open the tournament against Loyola (CHI) on Nov. 18 at 12:30 p.m. 

Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

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Knicks will reportedly reach out to Jay Wright about coaching job

Fresh off a second national championship in three years, this was bound to happen. Jay Wright is a hot name. 

And according to the New York Daily News, the Knicks plan on reaching out to Wright about their vacant head coaching job. 

Just don’t expect Wright to be interested. 

The 56-year-old coach has been determined to build Villanova into a powerhouse since he took the head coaching gig way back in 2001 and he’s finally done that. On the surface, maybe some think that would be enough to make him want to take his coaching to the top league in the world. Not so fast. 

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Wright said pretty flatly that he’s staying at Villanova because he loves it there. 

“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright said. “That challenge is appealing but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”

In that interview, Wright talked about his time at Hofstra and quoted Jim Valvano, who once said, ‘Don’t mess with happy.’ That was true at Hofstra until the Villanova job came around, so maybe there’s a chance the Knicks could blow him away. It just doesn’t seem likely. 

The Knicks just fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a 29-53 record in 2017. The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since 2012-13. 

The New York Daily News cites a source, who said the Knicks believe Wright would be a “perfect candidate for a rebuilding club.” The Knicks might be right, but don’t bet on them getting Wright. 

Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

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Jalen Brunson hires agent, declares for NBA draft

Villanova is losing its second star player in two days. 

Guard Jalen Brunson has decided to hire an agent and enter the 2018 NBA Draft, he wrote in a letter to Nova Nation on ESPN. He will forego his senior season at Villanova after an incredible college career. 

This news comes a day after his teammate Mikal Bridges announced he will also head to the NBA draft.

“It is with great honor and privilege that I have called Villanova University my home for the past three years,” Brunson wrote in ESPN. “When I decided to commit to Coach Jay Wright and the basketball program, I was driven by three goals: getting my education, competing at the highest level and winning a national championship. While I pride myself on remaining disciplined and focused to achieve these goals, I have grown as a man and have established lifelong relationships with my teammates, classmates, members of the basketball staff, fellow student-athletes and the wonderful educators and administrators of this prestigious university.”

Brunson leaves Villanova as one of the greatest players in Wildcats history, helping lead Villanova to its second national championship in three years. 

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game this season. Brunson was named the Big East Player of the Year and was the Wooden Award and Naismith Award winner this season.