Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two steps back?

The season must be upon us... a nice interview with Chad on a Dayton blog.

Saint Joseph's University: Taking Two Steps Back
October 5, 2009 Mr. Blackburn

As an example of how precarious the direction of a college basketball program can be imagine yourself as a St. Joe's fan last season. Just five years removed from an Elite Eight appearance, the Hawks were relegated to relying upon a 6'8" power-forward who was held in check by Kurt Huelsman. SJU's 08-09 team was essentially a study on erratic behavior. The Hawks won seven of their first eight conference games, giving every indication that they would be one of the teams to beat in the Atlantic 10. However, losing six of their last eight all but sealed their fate as a pretender. For as good as a player Ahmad Nivins was, he was unable to consistently provide the Hawks with enough scoring to keep them in games down the stretch. Tasheed Carr was an effective second option, he carried the team during the last month of the season, yet the Hawks were probably one additional scoring option away from a twenty win season.

This year marks an important step in the St. Joseph's program. Phil Martelli and Co. will be hosting visitors in the newly renovated Hagan Arena, formerly the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Notwithstanding that development, SJU will be fielding a team looking for an identity. The Hawks, who finished 10th in the league in scoring, will likely struggle to score points yet again. I interviewed Chad Adlehardt, of Hawk Hoop Club fame, to gain a clearer perspective on what kind of $#%*-storm UD fans can expect when the Flyers visit Hagan Arena later this year. We discussed how severe Ahmad Nivins' departure will effect the team, the ins and outs of their new digs, if St. Joe's fans will be forced to assassinate Phil Martelli at some point, and whether or not the Hawks can ever reach the heights of the 2003-04 team.

TB: Last year was a down year for Phil Martelli's program. The Hawks ended the 2008-09 season with a disappointing 17-15 record, ending up tied for fifth in the conference. What held last year's team back?

CA: Last year the Hawks lacked a true second and third scorer. With the departures of Pat Calathes and Rob Ferguson (44% of the '07-08 team points), too much of the offensive load was forced upon on A10 POY Ahmad Nivins. He certainly delivered, but no other players were able to consistently help with the scoring. Some say it was a lack of a true point guard, with 5th-year Senior Tasheed Carr being more of a scorer than being known to have a great handle or make good decisions with the ball. Two players who some thought would the step up and help carry the burden, juniors Garrett Williamson and Darrin Govens, either feared taking big shots or struggled to make shots consistently. Defenses began collapsing on Nivins, and with very few (if any) playmakers on the team, a stagnant offense was born. Also, a lack of depth might have played into the Hawks' demise at the end of the season. Going only 6 or 7 players deep in the rotation seemed like it really took a toll on the team.

For the entire interview with our own CWick... please click Saint Joseph's University: Taking Two Steps Back - Main - The Blackburn Review.

Already we're starting without all our troops. Get well soon Justin... Hawk Hill Hardwood: Crosgile Injured, Out 6-8 Weeks; Final Gym Rats Recap Tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. .500 or a few games below is about right; the program has been in a slow decline and this year appears to be the bottom. Supposedly, new recruits are coming to turn this around. Lets hope so, my miracle on 54th st T-Shirt is getting pretty ratty.