Nov. 16, 2006
EASTON, PA - Saint Joseph's men's basketball travels to Lafayette on Friday, November 19 for a 9 p.m. game at the Kirby Sports Center.
The game can be heard on 1340 AM WHAT in Philadelphia and via audio streaming on www.sjuhawks.com.
Darrin Govens will undergo surgery on Friday on his right hand to repair the fracture suffered in the season opener. His timetable for return to the court is still undetermined, but he will begin rehabilitation immediately and be evaluated on a weekly basis. Rob Ferguson owns a 12-game double-figure scoring streak dating back to last year. Phil Martelli needs 12 wins to surpass Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay on SJU's list for coaching victories. Ramsay totaled 234 in 11 years (234-72 from 1955 to 66) while Martelli's 12-year mark stands at 223-125. Rob Ferguson and Ahmad Nivins both made their first career starts against Lafayette last year, in the season opener. Ferguson went on to start all 33 games, while Nivins started his first 12 of 13 contests and then came off the bench the rest of the year.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawks won their season opener for the second year in a row, defeating Fairfield, 63-47 at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Ahmad Nivins scored a career-high 20 points, with 15 of them in the second half as the Hawks maintained a double-digit lead through the final 20 minutes. Rob Ferguson added 14 points as the Hawks put their new inside game into play. Pat Calathes scored 13 and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, as the Hawks shot 58.8 percent in the second half alone. The game was turnover-ridden as SJU committed 22 while Fairfield had 16. SJU led by as many as 18 points late in the game.
INSIDE INFO: SJU players might be hearing the words, "pass it inside" more than they have in the past few years, with frontcourt players Rob Ferguson and Ahmad Nivins looking to be the main scoring threats. This is a marked change from the guard-dominated teams of the last few years. Ferguson is the leading returning scorer with a 10.8 average, and scored 14 points in the season opener. Nivins was an Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection last year, with 6.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He had a top-notch opening game with a career-high 20 points and nine rebounds.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: The injury bug bit the Hawks early as freshman Darrin Govens suffered a fractured hand in just 12 minutes of action in the opener. The guard broke the fourth metacarpal of his right hand and underwent surgery on Friday. His timetable for return to the court is still undetermined, but he will begin rehabilitation immediately and be evaluated on a weekly basis.
NOTICING NIVINS: Ahmad Nivins lived up to the high expectations with a career-high 20 points in the win over Fairfield. The sophomore made his first five shots of the second half en route to scoring 15 points in that period. He finished with nine rebounds and made 7-of-9 shots from the field.
GIVING IT AWAY: Phil Martelli was not happy with the Hawks' 22 turnovers against Fairfield, with 13 of them coming in the second half. Point guard Jawan Carter had four turnovers and four assists, while Martelli singled out Pat Calathes for his nine turnovers.
NOT-SO BRIGHT SPOTS: The Hawks' coach was not only displeased with the amount of turnovers in the season opener but also the fact that SJU allowed Fairfield to grab 21 offensive rebounds and go to the foul line 25 times.
FRESH FACES: Phil Martelli brought in another stellar recruiting class this year. Freshmen Darrin Govens, D.J. Rivera and Garrett Williamson held three of the five spots on the Pennsylvania All-State 1st Team as chosen by Associated Press. Rounding out the highly-recognized class, Jawan Carter was an All-State honoree and Delaware's Player of the Year, while Rockwell Moody garnered Virginia Independent Schools All-State recognition. Four of the players were 1,000-point scorers in their scholastic careers- Carter (2,462); Govens (1,598), Williamson (1,349) Rivera (1,122). The four combined amassed a total of 6,531 points. SJU's recruits also come from succesful high school programs. Carter (Tatnall School), Williamson (Lower Merion) and Moody (Bishop O'Connell) saw their teams each win state titles while Govens' Chester squad reached the title game (vs. Lower Merion) and Rivera's Neumann-Goretti team captured the Philadelphia Catholic League title.
ON THE LINE: Saint Joseph's led the nation in free throw percentage last season (79.9 percent), but this year are without three players from that squad who shot 79 percent or better. The Hawks got off to a good start in the opener, hitting 76 percent, led by a 6-for-8 effort from Pat Calathes. The Hawks do have some veterans capable of leading the way, as Calathes (89.5 percent), Rob Ferguson (84.4) and Ahmad Nivins (70.6) put up solid numbers last season.
PERIMETER PLAY: The Hawks have relied on solid perimeter scoring over the past few years and a strong attack from beyond the arc. Despite a subpar effort from beyond the arc in the exhibition vs. Widener (3-for-21), the Hawks went 6-for-12 against Fairfield. Rob Ferguson led the way hitting a career-best 4-for-5.