DU vs. Saint Joe's - Things I Think I Think.

by Face

Discuss this on Yuku

This was originally going to be a Q&A with the operators of HawkHillHardwood, a Saint Joe's blog whose contact information we were given by one of the other A10 bloggers. Unfortunately, they didn't have the chance to get back to us in time. We had some things to say, though, so I won't let the effort go to waste.

I'm going to take the questions that we asked and twist them around a little bit and see if we can't come up with something coherent. I've had to remove a point or two and combine another one, but here are some things that I'm thinking about as I look at this game.

Check it out after the jump!

- Regarding SJU, momentum is a word that is brought up a lot in sports. Fans and pundits alike are usually split about 50/50 as to how meaningful it is for a team. Certainly, if a team can be said to have some momentum, Saint Joe's qualifies right now. They are winners of two of their last three regular season games and also beat George Washington in the first round of the A10 tourney. All of that said, the team is 10-21. I'm not sure how much momentum one can really muster when you've lost that many games.

- Earlier this season, the Hawks lost to George Washington by 7. Fast forward to the tourney and they beat the Colonials in overtime. What made the difference? Moreover, what sparked the Hawks to outscore the Colonials by 12 in OT after a lackluster second half? I chalk it up to a couple of things. The first is that Aiken and Galloway have a full regular season under their belts now, and I'm never one to discount experience. The second is that other than the height of Aiken, Saint Joe's starts a smaller and faster lineup than GW. Eventually, fatigue is going to set in, and GW isn't known for running.

- Fans should feel lucky. Both teams feature some outstanding young talent, as exemplified by all-rookie teammates Galloway and McConnell. Aiken and Talley have also done well in their own right. As they gain more experience in the A10, I wonder how high the ceiling is for the group of players that both the Dukes and Hawks have assembled? Could we be watching the 2013 A10 Finals contenders here?

- Last time these teams played, Duquesne won 75-63, holding Saint Joe's to 37% shooting vs. DU's 48%. On the other hand, DU's three point shooting has cooled somewhat since that game, when we shot 50%. Galloway dropped 20 in the effort. I predict a much closer game this time. The young players on both teams are likely to play as good or perhaps better, but we have faltered a bit. It depends on the Dukes - SJU is built to be able to move with us. Still, I think we come out on the right side of things 85-79.