The day started with the news that Pat Swilling Jr. was no longer enrolled at Saint Joseph’s University. It ended with a 66-52 loss at the hands of Temple. This was just a typical day in what has become another season to forget on Hawk Hill.
The university made the announcement regarding Swilling before the game on Sunday. Swilling had been removed from the team earlier in the week, pending the outcome of the university’s judicial process for a violation of the university’s code of conduct. No officials from the university would elaborate on the events leading to the code of conduct violation.
It is believed that Swilling chose to leave the university on his own. While he had not played a major part for the Hawks this season, his departure re-opens the revolving door on Hawk Hill, coming a season after Bryant Irwin, Temi Adebayo, Chris Prescott and A.J. Rogers all transferred from the program. It is widely rumored that Justin Crosgile, who hasn’t seen action in a month, will also leave the program after the season.
The story on the court is not much better, as the Hawks fell to 0-4 on the season against their Big Five rivals after their loss to Temple at the Liacouras Center. This was the first time since the 1977-78 season that the Hawks went winless against the Big Five.
This Big Five rivalry illustrated the gulf in class between the two programs, with Saint Joseph’s employing a slow-down style in an effort to keep the game close. Temple had four players in double figures, with Ramone Moore leading the way with 17 points.
The Hawks offensive possessions often seemed disjointed as they created very few easy looks. Despite only allowing 66 points, the bigger issues for the Hawks may be on the defensive end. The Owls repeatedly were able to get open looks from three-point range, as well as several easy lay-ups. If Temple had taken advantage of more of their open looks from long range, they could have won by 20 or more points.
One remaining bright spot for the Hawks was the performance of Langston Galloway, who led the Hawks with 17 points and was on the court for the entire 40 minutes. Despite the Hawks languishing for a tie for 12th place in the Atlantic 10, it would be a travesty if Galloway did not make the conference’s All-Rookie team.
Despite the Hawks falling to 2-10 in conference play, they are still alive for the final spot in the conference tournament. Saint Joseph’s is in a tie for 12th place with Charlotte in the conference, with their match-up on March 5th at Charlotte shaping up as a potential do-or-die game for both teams, similar to the Hawks match-up with La Salle to end last season.
The Hawks will take the court on Wednesday as they travel to the Mullins Center in Amherst, Massachusetts as they will take on the Massachusetts Minutemen. The Comcast Network will have local coverage of the game, with tip-off slated for 7PM.