Jan. 28, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's will host Atlantic 10 and Big 5 rival Temple on Saturday, January 29, in a special 11 a.m. starting time at The Palestra. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
The Saint Joseph's Sports Network broadcast of the game will be available on SJUHawks.com, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action. The audio stream is available free of charge. Click here to listen.
GAME NOTES: C.J. Aiken ranks second in the nation in blocked shots and is the highest ranked freshman and only first-year player in the top 20. He leads the Atlantic 10 with 4.1 per game and 5.8 in conference games only. The nation's leader is William Mosley of NW Louisiana, with 4.8 per game. Leading scorer Carl Jones has scored double figures in 18 of 19 games this year, with eight games of 20-plus points. Freshman Langston Galloway tops the Atlantic 10 in free throw percentage, hitting 93.0 percent overall and 100 percent in conference games. Senior Idris Hilliard is averaging 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in the past three games. Phil Martelli is in his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs six wins to reach 300 for his career, and will coach his 500th game with four more. He also owns the most Atlantic 10 wins among active coaches, with 146. SJU is fielding its youngest team ever under Phil Martelli with two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and five freshmen, and a starting lineup of three freshmen, which is the most ever under Martelli. Today's game does not count in the Big 5 standings - the Feb. 20 game at Temple will be the City Series contest. Today's game is par of the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, in which the coaching staffs will be wearing sneakers to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society.
LAST TIME OUT: Saint Joseph's fought back from a large deficit, but the rally fell short as the Hawks lost to La Salle, 76-72, in an Atlantic 10 and Big 5 contest at The Palestra. The game had been rescheduled from the previous night because of the winter storm. Ronald Roberts had 12 points off the bench and Langston Galloway scored 10 for the Hawks, as they registered their highest point total in five games. SJU fell behind 48-30 four minutes into the second half, but would rally with a 15-2 run to cut the deficit to 50-45 at 12:49. Jones and Galloway each had six points in the spurt while the Hawks forced four La Salle turnovers. But Saint Joseph's couldn't close the gap and the Explorers built the lead up to 53-45. As the Explorers led 59-47, Roberts scored the next six points, and his dunk at 7:31 pulled the Hawks to within 59-53. Aaric Murray's three-pointer at 7:10 gave La Salle a 62-53 lead. La Salle held a 70-60 lead with 2:10 to play, but Hilliard hit just his second three-pointer of the year to pull the Hawks within 70-63. But SJU would miss two shots in the final minute and although a dunk by Aiken at :36 cut the deficit to 70-65, the Hawks ran out of time. La Salle led 34-27 at halftime, helped by a 5-for-8 three-point shooting effort.
1500 CLUB: With two more victories, Saint Joseph's will reach 1,500 wins in the program's history. The Hawks currently own a 1,498-1,001 record in 102 seasons. SJU will become one of 35 programs to reach the plateau, joining an impressive list of basketball programs.
MARTELLI MILESTONES: Head coach Phil Martelli is closing in on a few milestones. Here's the numbers he needs to reach those marks: 300 career victories - needs 6 150 Atlantic 10 victories - needs 4 500 games coached - needs 4 Martelli will join an exclusive group of head coaches in A-10 history that have recorded 300 wins - John Chaney of Temple had 516 while Gale Catlett of West Virginia notched 333 for West Virginia (1979-95).
REJECTION NOTICE: Freshman C.J. Aiken continues to make his presence known in the middle with his talent for blocking shots, averaging 4.1 overall and 5.8 in A-10 games. The freshman had a season-high nine blocks twice against GW and La Salle. The school record for blocks in a game is 12 by all-time leader Rodney Blake against Cleveland State on Dec. 2, 1987. Phil Martelli said, "C.J. has become more of a presence defensively. When you can walk out as a freshman with nine blocks that's something. But we have to get more than face-up jumpers. We have to get some baskets when he outruns people. It's a bright future but we just need it to be today." Here are his top efforts this season: 9 vs. La Salle (Jan. 27) 7 vs. Rhode Island (Jan. 19) 9 vs. George Washington (Jan. 8) 7 vs. Villanova (Dec. 3)
BLOCK PARTY: Led by C.J. Aiken, the Hawks top the Atlantic 10 in blocks per game, with 6.1 overall and 6.1 in league games. Aiken ranks second in the nation while Saint Joseph's ranks ninth. The school record for blocked shot average in a season is 3.8 by Rodney Blake (1985-86) and 5.7 by the 1985-86 team.
BOOST OFF THE BENCH: Ronald Roberts provides the Hawks with energy and athleticism off the bench. He did make one start this year against Penn, and in the past two games, is averaging 13.0 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 65 percent from the field. He is SJU's top reserve scorer, tallying 97 of the Hawks' 287 bench points this year.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Two of the Hawks' freshmen find themselves leading the Atlantic 10 in two categories. Langston Galloway tops the A-10 in free throw percentage in overall (93.0) and conference games (1.000). C.J. Aiken ranks first in blocked shots overall (4.1) and A-10 games (5.8).
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Idris Hilliard has scored 13 points in three consecutive games, while averaging 6.3 rebounds and shooting a combined 62.9 percent (17-for-27) from the field. The senior, who surpassed the 800-point mark for his career against La Salle, ranks eighth in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, hitting 51.1 percent. . IN FINE COMPANY: With his 11.3 scoring average, Langston Galloway is the Hawks' highest scoring freshman since Jameer Nelson averaged 12.5 ppg in 2000-01. Galloway is also the only frosh since Nelson to average double figures. The SJU scoring record for a freshman is 18.8 points per game by Bernard Blunt in 1990-91.
JONES-IN': Carl "Tay" Jones has recorded double-figures in 19 of 20 games and has scored 20-plus points eight times, including a career-best 29 points vs. Minnesota. He had a 13-game scoring streak, which dated back to last year, come to an end at Holy Cross. Jones leads the Hawks with his 17.9 scoring averag and ranks fifth in the A-10. He also averages the most field goal attempts on the squad, taking 13 shots per game.
FRIENDLY FOES: Phil Martelli and Fran Dunphy are very good friends and share a passion for their work in the community. The coaches are co-chairs of the Philadelphia Coaches vs. Cancer effort, which is one of the nation's highest fundraising groups for Coaches vs. Cancer. The group, which is comprised of the city's six Division I coaches and their wives, raised close to $1 million last year. The coaches are participating in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend by wearing sneakers at today's game.
YOUTH BE SERVED: According to StatSheet.com, the Hawks are the 11th youngest team in the nation this season. It is determined by calculating the average class year per minutes played.
BREAKING POINT: The Hawks scored their most points in five games with the 72 points against La Salle. SJU has scored 61 points or less in seven of the last nine games. SJU has only hit the 70-point mark eight times this season, with the highest point total being 79 in an early-season win over Norfolk State.
SLUMP BUSTER: Prior to the La Salle game, second leading scorer Langston Galloway had struggled in the previous four contests, shooting just 7-for-29 (24%) from the field and averaging 5.7 points. Against La Salle, he registered double figures for the first time since Jan. 8, with 10 points. Galloway had six points in a 15-2 run as the Hawks fought back from an 18-point deficit. The freshman tops the team in free throw percentage (93.0) and rebounding (5.9).
LOOKING AHEAD: Saint Joseph's goes back on the road Wednesday to Richmond and then hosts Massachusetts on Saturday at Hagan Arena.