(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Watch out for those St. Joe's Hawks!

Just when I was beginning to think that the Big Five would not have a team making the NCAA playoffs, I realized that I was being too Villanova-centric. Yes, the Wildcats (ranked #25 as recently as a few weeks ago) have lost 5 in a row and are in a free fall right now, and, yes, Temple looks to be a good team if not a tournament team, and, yes, Penn is 2-0 in the Ivies and until someone dethrones the Quakers, they're the Ivies' defending champs and the team to beat.

Amidst all of this discussion, though, are Phil Martelli's St. Joe Hawks, replete with the Hawk mascot that never stops flapping his wings during a game. Remember several years ago, when the Hawks, led by Jameer Nelson and Delonte West, went to a regional final and barely lost to Oklahoma State? Fast forward a few years, and you have a big front line and quick, talented guards who can shoot the basketball. Ahmad Nivins is a fine front-court player, and 6'10" players Pat Calathes (older brother of Florida's frosh sensation Nick) and Robert Ferguson can shoot the basketball. The guards -- Tasheed Carr, Darrin Gowens, Garrett Williamson, D.J. Rivera -- are quick, talented players in the St. Joe's mold, and, well, the Hawks are 15-5 after thrashing Villanova at the Palestra last night by 22.

In a game called the Holy War. (Which makes me wonder if they played this game at Christmas-time they'd call it the Holly War or the Holy Holly War). The Hawks are big (enough), talented, deep and playing very good basketball.

It says here that they're an NCAA tournament team.

If not a Sweet 16 team.


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