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2/17/2024 4:23 pm  #1

GW vs Saint Joe's Game

Back on the road and things get even tougher as we take on a  high Quad 2 road game vs top 100 Saint Joe's

It took him 5 years, year by by year improvement and Billy Lange has brought Saint Joe's back up from the bottom of the league to a team not far from the bubble with a Quad 1 road win over Villanova and strong computer #s

Does GW pull of the upset and improve to 15-11?


Last edited by The Dude (2/18/2024 1:10 am)


2/17/2024 11:14 pm  #2

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

After today's loss St Joe's is nowhere near the bubble. In fact, they weren't near the bubble before today. Only bubble teams are VCU and Richmond and they have a lot of winning to do to make the NCAA.


2/18/2024 10:08 am  #3

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

St Joe's is one of six games left in the regular season for GW.  Four of these are on the road.

@ St Joe's
@ St Louis
@ LaSalle
St Bonaventure


2/18/2024 2:09 pm  #4

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

TJT85 wrote:

St Joe's is one of six games left in the regular season for GW.  Four of these are on the road.


   Not sure if season ticket holders should be worried about this.
   Or grateful.


2/20/2024 7:55 pm  #5

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

St. Joseph's Hawks

Date: Wednesday February 21st, 2024
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Hagan Arena
Analytic Ranks: 112th (KenPom), 113th (EvanMiya), 96th (Haslametrics)
NET Ranking: 97th
2022-23 Record: 16-17, 8-10 (T-8th in A10)
2023-24 Projected Record: 19-12, 9-9 (T-7th in A10)

Head-to-Head: 31-40, and the Hawks have won three of the past four meetings. The two teams played three times last year, with SJU getting the better of GW at Hagan Arena and the A10 tournament, while GW eked out a 92-91 overtime win at the Smith Center.

In Game 1 in DC, GW took a six point lead into halftime with five made threes in the first 20 minutes. The Hawks would claw their way back after the half, as Klaczek made three threes early on to trim the deficit. GW would eventually get the lead back and go up 5 with under 2 minutes to go. Unfortunately, the team lost their composure along the sideline, turned the ball over, and allowed Joe's to tie things up and force overtime. It was apparent all game that GW had no ability to protect the rim defensively. This is an incredible stat -  SJU's last twelve made field goals in regulation were either layups or dunks. That's right - they didn't make a jump shot in the final 14 minutes of the second half. GW nearly gave the game away in overtime as well as Max turned the ball over somewhat similar to the way JB did in the second half. Luckily Fleming lost track of an open SJU player near the rim and missed a three in the closing seconds to allow GW to hang on. Reynolds and Brown fouling out late also helped. BA led all scorers with 32 points and 7 made threes, JB had 22 points and 6 assists, Max finished with a double double (12 points, 10 rebounds), and Ricky had 11 points/7 rebounds.

In the return game at Hagan, the game wasn't as close. GW fell behind by 20 going into halftime and spent most of the second half trying to play catchup. The shots just weren't falling in the first half, as GW made just one three in the first 20 minutes. While the Buff & Blue played better in the second half, Hunter and Ricky fouled out making it tough to stop the bleeding down low. All five starters for GW finished in double figures: BA (15 points), JB (13 points), Ricky (13 points), Max (11 points), and Hunter (11 points).

The poor shooting from Game 2 carried over to the A10 tournament game as GW just could not make shots all game, finishing just 5/27 from three. A 19/21 performance from the FT line was the only thing keeping them within range as the game got away from them a bit in the second half (no one could stop Reynolds). Things were looking up certainly in the first half, as GW raced out to a 23-10 lead about nine minutes in. The momentum killer came just before halftime. We all remember the play - GW forced a missed shot, but SJU got the offensive rebound and got fouled on a made putback. Something that we've known all too well recently. CC lost it and threw a marker that somehow ended up rolling onto the court. He got called for a technical and what was a four point lead with a minute to go became a 1 point Joe's lead going into halftime. JB led GW with 25 points and 8 assists, while Ricky (20 points, 10 rebounds), and BA (14 points) also finished in double figures in what would be their final game in college.

Offensive Efficiency: 104th (KenPom), 94th (EvanMiya), 89th (Haslametrics)
Defensive Efficiency: 130th (KenPom), 152nd (EvanMiya), 120th (Haslametrics)
Pace: 108th (KenPom), 151st (EvanMiya), 106th (Haslametrics)
Home Rank: 135th
Roster Rank: 94th
Offensive Shot Quality Rank: 154th
Defensive Shot Quality Rank: 127th
Rim & 3 Rate: 92% (6th)

Strengths (2023-24 Season):
3-PT Field Goals Made Per Game - 10.4 3PM (9th) (hoo boy...)
3-PT Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 28.8 3PA (13th)
Opponent Field Goal Percentage - 41.4% (57th)
3-PT Field Goal Percentage - 36% (74th)
Assists Per Game - 14.7 APG (T-86th)
Opponent FT Percentage - 69.9% (93rd)
Personal Fouls Per Game - 15.7 PF/G (T-94th)
Points Per Game - 76.7 PPG (98th)
Blocks Per Game - 3.8 BPG (T-109th)
Steals Per Game - 7.2 SPG (T-111th)
Free Throw Percentage - 73.1% (116th)
Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 60 FGA (T-119th)

Weaknesses (2023-24 Season):
Opponent Steals Per Game - 7 SPG (T-252nd)
Free Throws Made Per Game - 12.6 FTM (262nd)
Opponent Offensive Rebounds Per Game - 11 ORPG (T-268th)
Free Throws Attempted Per Game - 17.3 FTA (279th)
Opponent Personal Fouls Per Game - 15.8 PF/G (293rd)
Opponent Blocks Per Game - 3.9 BPG (T-295th)
Opponent Assists Per Game - 14.2 APG (T-297th) (feels like a miracle that GW would even approach this number right now)
Opponent 3-PT Field Goals Made Per Game - 9.1 3PM (T-349th)
Opponent 3-PT Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 26.8 3PA (351st)

Key Returning Players:
Erik Reynolds II (Junior; Temple Hills, MD) - 19.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 spg; 43% FG, 38% 3-PT, 89% FT per 35.1 mpg
      Last Season @ St. Joe's: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists; 7-14 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 7-7 FT in 28 minutes.

Cameron Brown (Senior; Laurel, MD) - 13.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.3 spg; 41% FG, 36% 3-PT, 67% FT per 34.2 mpg
      Last Season @ St. Joe's: 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block; 4-12 FG, 3-6 3-PT in 39 minutes.

Lynn Greer III (Junior; Philadelphia, PA) - 12.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.1 spg; 41% FG, 33% 3-PT, 71% FT per 32.5 mpg
      Last Season @ St. Joe's: 22 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals; 5-11 FG, 1-4 3-PT, 11-18 FT in 37 minutes.

Kacper Klaczek (Junior; Chorzow, Poland) - 7.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1 spg, 1 bpg; 43% FG, 30% 3-PT, 74% FT per 31.3 mpg
      Last Season @ St. Joe's: DNP (illness)

Christian Winborne (Sophomore; Baltimore, MD) - 6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.1 apg; 31% FG, 17% 3-PT, 67% FT per 22.3 mpg** (Winborne left the team earlier in the year and intends to transfer)
      Last Season @ St. Joe's: 1 point, 3 rebounds, 1 assist; 0-7 FG, 0-3 3-PT, 1-2 FT in 23 minutes.

Rasheer Fleming (Sophomore; Camden, NJ) - 5.8 ppg, 5 rpg; 43% FG, 30% 3-PT, 69% FT per 20.5 mpg
      Last Season @ St. Joe's: 7 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block; 2-3 FG, 1-1 3-PT, 2-2 FT in 25 minutes.

Key Losses:
Ejike Obinna (Graduated; Enugu, Nigeria) - 8.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg; 68% FG, 54% FT per 22.6 mpg

Key Transfers:
None. Prior to Winborne departing the Hawks brought back all but two players who appeared in 10 games or more so I guess that makes sense.

The coaching carousel has already started with DePaul and Ohio State canning their coaches before the season even wraps up. When it comes to replacing a coach, coaching trees are often a consideration in picking the new guy in charge. It certainly doesn't hurt to bring in a guy who spent time under a hall of famer. At the end of the day though a hall of fame coach is generally able to make adjustments in game and do things that most cannot - even those that study their moves for many years.

Jay Wright's ability to win multiple championships with his four-out motion offense certainly caught the eyes of ADs around the country and as a result many Villanova assistants have had the opportunity to become head coaches. His assistants have tried to replicate his style of play but success has been limited:

Pat Chambers had two 20+ win seasons at Boston U, but he's had two 20+ win seasons in 10 seasons since. Penn State isn't one of the easier jobs in the Big Ten, but failing to make the NCAA tournament even once in nine years feels like a failure. Chambers has resurfaced at Florida Gulf Coast and hasn't fared two well through almost two seasons now. FGCU is one of the better jobs in the Atlantic Sun, so I think that says more about Chambers.

Speedy Claxton has done well taking over at his alma mater. He was a player under Wright at Hofstra. While he's not made it to the NCAA tournament yet, he's won 20+ games in each of his first two years coaching and is having another solid year this season. At the very least, he's put the Pride in the running to win the CAA each year.

Jason Crafton has done a pretty good job all things considered at Maryland Eastern Shore given how hard a job it is (still under .500 in the MEAC, but good by relative standards). We've seen that up close the past couple years, although Crafton is a bit of an edge case in that you can't really recreate the Villanova system in the MEAC. UMES has won by being a defense first team.

Baker Dunleavy left Quinnipiac in a somewhat better state than what he inherited, but at the end of the day also finished under .500 in the MAAC and won 20+ games just once in six years. Dunleavy left to become the GM of Basketball at Villanova (that's a thing now) and because Quinnipiac was supposedly cutting their basketball budget. Still, he was a disappointment overall as HC.

Adam Fisher is more of a TBD as he's in his first year at Temple but things have been rough in year 1. Temple reportedly has next to nothing when it comes to NIL so he has his work cut out for him. The Owls may finish in the absolute cellar of the AAC this year.

You can pretty much say the same thing about George Halcovage, who got the gig at Buffalo last offseason. The Bulls have been pretty much uncompetitive in the MAC this year and reportedly multiple coaches turned the job down last offseason.

Ashley Howard took on a tough job at La Salle, but won fewer than 40% of his games both overall and in conference. The Explorers continued to trend down over Howard's tenure and a change had to be made. He's now back as an assistant at Villanova.

Joe Jones has certainly had more success at Boston U after seven mediocre years at Columbia, but he's yet to make the NCAA tournament from the Patriot League. The Terriers have had a few good seasons under Jones but generally find themselves as a middling team in the league.

Kyle Neptune turned one .500 season at Fordham into getting the Villanova head job when Wright opted to retire. He's hovered around .500 in conference in the Big East, but that's just not good enough at a program like Villanova that really supports its basketball program. The Wildcats may not be able to reach the consistent heights that they enjoyed under Wright, but they should definitely be better than they are right now.

Fordham has gone down the Wright coaching tree many times, as current head coach Keith Urgo and former coach Tom Pecora both spent time under the legendary coach.

Pecora had a decent run at Hofstra (four 20 win seasons in nine years), but never truly broke through to the NCAA tournament. He's done a great job at Quinnipiac this year, but they have an experienced team. Whether he can sustain the success when the senior guards graduate will be something to watch. He was of course atrocious at Fordham, winning just 13 conference games across five years.

Urgo meanwhile had a season to remember last year but the Rams are back to being under .500 in conference this year. It's a tough job, but for someone that had a lot of hype/momentum last year, things have fallen back down to Earth a bit this year.

And finally there's Billy Lange, who was never able to really get to the next level as the head coach at Navy but got the chance again to lead a D1 program nine years later at St. Joe's. Lange is now in his fifth year but has never even been above .500 in A10 play. This year has been much of the same despite the increased hype around the team. This was supposed to be the squad that earns a double bye in the A10 tournament.

While the team has had some highs, there have definitely been some lows that have held the Hawks back. The running theme going back to all the coaches listed above (I left out Fred Hill at Rutgers, but he basically had no success either) has been the inability to replicate the motion offense that Wright ran so exceptionally well at Villanova. It's hard to recreate at the lower levels, especially at schools that are tough to win at. The coaches named have combined for just a single NCAA tournament appearance (Chambers at Boston U back in 2010-11). Making the big dance at the mid-major level inherently takes a bit of luck, but given the sample size it's still incredible that Wright's guys haven't been able to have more success.

In Wright's final nine seasons as coach, the Wildcats were 31st or higher in three point attempt percentage. They shot 35.2% or better in each of those nine seasons (per KenPom) which was consistently above average. Since Lange has taken over at St. Joe's, the attempt percentage has looked similar - the Hawks have ranked 34th or higher in five straight seasons. Up until this season, however, SJU has been a below average team shooting threes (33.6% or worse the first four years). While Joe's is shooting 36% this year, the reality is that they are still susceptible to swings in performance from game-to-game.

When shots are going in, things are great. In SJU's Villanova win, they made 14 threes at a 52% clip. However, when shots are not going in, the Hawks can struggle. Look no further than the Texas A&M-Commerce loss. The Hawks took 30 threes, but made just six. It wasn't even that Texas A&M-Commerce shot the ball well either, as they were just 27% from three themselves but SJU still lost. The problem has resurfaced in their last two games on the road at Loyola and Duquesne, as the Hawks lost both games by shooting a combined 16/66 (24%) from distance. The defense just isn't good enough to survive a poor shooting night as the Hawks won't adjust from their formula offensively.

That's why the ultimate x-factor coming into the year was redshirt freshman center Christ Essandoko, who originally committed to Providence out of high school before flipping his commitment to SJU. Essandoko sat out last year due to academic ineligibility. His skills on the block combined with his touch from beyond the arc (41%) makes him a matchup nightmare on most nights. He can pass out of the post, rebound, and defensively contest shots. Production along the perimeter was known coming into the year, but adding a presence inside provides much needed balance to the team (no disrespect to Obinna - he had moments but just isn't as dynamic a player). In many ways, SJU's "post problem" was not too dissimilar to what GW is facing right now. Unfortunately, Essandoko is still just a freshman and on top of that has dealt with a nagging toe injury throughout the year. He was sidelined a number of games OOC because of that, and has most recently missed the last three games as the injury was re-aggravated. With Essandoko out and Joe's struggling from distance, the Hawks have had two of their three worst performances offensively in the last two games (the other one being the aforementioned Commerce game). If he remains out, that will be absolutely massive for GW. Otherwise, Stretch could be in for a long night.

If Essandoko is unable to go again, returners Kacper Klaczek, Rasheer Fleming, and Charles Coleman will be pressed into larger roles.

Klaczek, a guy who GW showed interest in once upon a time, is the consummate glue guy who did a bit of everything on the floor last season - score, rebound, pass, play tenacious defense, and block shots. He wasn't consistent enough from 3 to warrant the number of shots he took from there but makes enough of them that you have to close out on the shots. He's playing more of a reserve role this season.

Fleming had a strong freshman campaign last season, although I guess he didn't put up enough stats to make the all-rookie team. He thrived in a complementary role while rebounding at a strong rate (leads the team this year with over 7 a game) and led the Hawks in blocks last year. Like Klaczek though he struggled a bit from distance. He's also 0/9 from deep in their last three games.

Coleman is a seven foot center who previously played at East Carolina. He can also step out and shoot the three (made seven of them last year and took half his shots from there) but he's a career backup and will continue to serve that role on the team now in his fifth season.

At the end of the day though, It's all about the perimeter trio - Erik Reynolds II, Cameron Brown, and Lynn Greer III - that the Hawks have returning that had many picking them towards the top of the A10.

Reynolds, a preseason first-team all-A10 selection, was second in the league in scoring last year after JB. To this day, I still can't believe GW never offered him out of HS (regardless of whether he came here or not). I truthfully don't even remember us showing interest either. The Bullis product shot 38% from distance (up to 39% this year) and fell just one three short of 100 made for the season. He also shot 89% from the FT line (2nd in the A10) and led the Hawks in steals, finishing with just one more than his backcourt mate Brown. It's worth noting that Reynolds has had a very rough stretch shooting the ball lately, as he's just 11/48 (23%) from the field and 5/31 (16%) from 3 in the last four games. Playing GW should help that!

Speaking of Brown, he's another local product who played HS ball at Eleanor Roosevelt. Unlike Reynolds, I do believe we brought him in for a visit during the JC era although he ended up visiting Joe's afterwards and committing there. Brown actually led SJU in rebounding last year (6 rpg) and shot 36% from three (up to 39% this year) while making 81 threes of his own. For whatever reason, he's been a bit inconsistent from the FT line (67% last year, 65% this year) but his experience has come in handy for SJU this year.

Greer opted to transfer back closer to home after not quite being able to crack the rotation at Dayton. He's another above average rebounder (5 rpg last year) who led the Hawks in assists last season (4.1 apg - 7th in A10). Unlike Reynolds & Brown, Greer is more of a drive-first guard. He shot just 33% from three (down to 29% this year) and made just 29 last season. He hasn't made a three since January 10th. Unfortunately against GW he was pretty consistently able to get a step on JB or BA last year and the lack of rim protection allowed him to make layup after layup every time we faced Joe's last year. Hopefully that changes this year but given the defense lately that doesn't seem likely.

Finally, expect a trio of true freshman in Xzayvier Brown, Anthony Finkley, and Shawn Simmons II to play sizable roles in the rotation.

Brown, whose first name would get you 30 points if it were a valid Scrabble word (how many people can say they have the letters x, y, and z in their first name??) is definitely a contender for A10 rookie of the year given the year he's had. The award should go to Jun or Garrett, but things might get close if GW continues to lose. Brown is known for his scoring (43% from 3 on the year and is second in points on the team) but is also a very good passer (second on team behind Greer) and really gets after it on defense (leads the team in steals). He's basically become what Lange was hoping Winborne was going to be last season although that never panned out. Like many freshmen, Brown can be leaky with ball security though. In seven of their last eight games, X Brown has had at least three turnovers.

Finkley has seen more minutes as of late with Essandoko going down although he's struggled to shoot the ball in his freshman campaign (just 28% despite taking 2/3 of his shots from there). He is 8/10 from the FT line though which suggests there is shooting upside moving forward and he crashes the glass well.

Finally, Simmons is the latest "roman numeral" player to enter the A10. He was a pretty well-regarded recruit out of HS who had offers from several high-major schools. Despite listed as a big guard, Simmons prefers to take the ball to the hoop when in the game. He's surprisingly taken just eight threes on the year and has missed all of them.

Look I know Joe's struggled in their two games last week but this is one of the worst possible matchups for GW outside of Dayton. We all know MBB struggles to guard the perimeter consistently and if SJU is left open they will make you pay. They are ninth nationally in threes made per game and average nearly 15 assists a game. Against GW they may make 15 threes without much trouble and finish with 20+ assists for the game. The lone saving grace would be if Essandoko remains out but that may not make a difference if I'm being honest. GW is going to need to make shots to stay in the game but passing the ball has been inconsistent. You see the numbers above - SJU's opponents average nearly 15 assists a game. This is a defense that can be picked apart but GW ranks last in the A10 in assists for a reason (made more embarrassing given the tempo they play at). The stats suggest that GW will get chances from deep - can they make the shots they are given? I'm likely to put my hand on my face every time a three is left open and then say a prayer that Joe's somehow misses the shot.

Projected Score: St. Joe's 84, GW 73. 16% chance to win (KenPom). ESPN gives us a 8.6% chance at a W. I'm a bit surprised the predicted differential is just 11 points. SJU's last five wins have been by six points or fewer, but GW is just not playing well in general right now, especially on the road.


2/20/2024 9:50 pm  #6

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

GW +11.5 +500 ML on FD


2/21/2024 1:49 pm  #7

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

Now up to +13 1/2, +650  ML.

2twooed reports we may be without 3 starters.

Onto St. Louis. (Where GW has never won, but might be able to this season?)



2/21/2024 5:34 pm  #8

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

Love the discussion of the Jay Wright coaching tree in the preview. St. Joe's might shoot 70% from three point range tonight. At least some of the attention of Philadelphia area basketball fans will be on Philadelphia Catholic League semifinals at the Palestra (which is the best event they hold there. I highly recommend going if the opportunity ever arises for you). It seems like some St Joe's fans don't think they can cover a 10+ point spread which is hilarious to me considering we're likely without Johnson and Buchanan


2/21/2024 6:27 pm  #9

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

Before the game starts, let's all agree on a few things:
1) The Hawk must die!
2) GW is much better when it moves the ball around. Despite being shorthanded tonoght, asking Bishop to do everything all the time is not going to work.
3) This losing streak has taken the shine off Caputo, Bishop and the team in general, that does not mean a Purge is in order, at least not yet. So no calling for the head of "Coach Kaput-o" or calls to bench the #3 all time scorer in school history or forming a pitchfork mob to send anyone to the portal before the bus leaves the vicinity of Geno's Steaks
4) Really, The Hawk M.U.S.T DIE!!!


2/21/2024 6:56 pm  #10

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game



2/21/2024 7:06 pm  #11

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

Anyone getting technical difficulties?


2/21/2024 7:07 pm  #12

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

jf wrote:

Anyone getting technical difficulties?

Yes. Maybe ESPN+ is showing mercy on us.


2/21/2024 7:09 pm  #13

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

We may wish for it


2/21/2024 7:09 pm  #14

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

Who is out for this game?


2/21/2024 7:09 pm  #15

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game or if anyone wants to listen to the WRGW broadcast. We've got two broadcasters at Hagan


2/21/2024 7:13 pm  #16

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

jf wrote:

Anyone getting technical difficulties?

Now I am not sure if I made the right beverage choice. On the one hand, I am not motivated by what I am seeing to blind myself, but on the other hand the anguish of not seeing the game makes me almost incapable of being calm.


2/21/2024 7:16 pm  #17

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

gwstudent2024 wrote: or if anyone wants to listen to the WRGW broadcast. We've got two broadcasters at Hagan

Need to be more constant in providing us the score


2/21/2024 7:17 pm  #18

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

My favorite radio observation so far: "Bishop playing surprisingly good defense..."
      Also, Smith making a very good point about his lack of play earlier in the season.


2/21/2024 7:19 pm  #19

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

As per ESPN website:
GW 20 St Joe's 21 11:45 1st
Good news, GW shooting 66.7%
Bad news, St Joe's shooting 81.8% (9-11 and 3-5 from behind the arc)


2/21/2024 7:19 pm  #20

Re: GW vs Saint Joe's Game

Good news is we are on pace for 100.  Bad news is they are on pace for 108.  Really bad news is only the second one is sustainable for 40 minutes with all these injuries.


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