A-10 Tourney: St. Joe's runs away from Charlotte


A-10 Tourney: St. Joe's runs away from Charlotte

Its a formula that isnt always easy to execute, but when Saint Josephs can sink open threes and run its offense through multiple facilitators, it wins Atlantic 10 games.
St. Joes, which hosted Tuesday night's A-10 tournament opener vs. 12th-seeded Charlotte, shot 40 percent from three in nine regular-season conference wins and 26 percent in seven losses.
On Tuesday, the Hawks made 10 of 21 threes en route to a wire-to-wire 80-64 win over the 49ers that advanced them to an A-10 quarterfinal meeting against St. Bonaventure at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Aside from draining looks both open and contested from beyond the arc, what most impressed head coach Phil Martelli was his teams balance and ability to do some of its best work as the game slowed down.
That was a halfcourt game and we scored 80 points, Martelli said. Our turnovers werent too bad. We shot 68 percent in the second half. We grinded a little bit. Im not a fan of calling plays every time down the court but we called a play every time down.
In the opening 20 minutes, SJU's effective halfcourt sets ran through vocal 6-foot-8 sophomore point forward Halil Kanacevic, who accounted for 10 of the Hawks first 13 points, scoring seven of his own and assisting on a three-pointer.
Kanacevic who averaged 5.2 assists in the Hawks' nine regular-season conference wins and just 2.9 in their seven A-10 losses finished the first half with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks to go with three assists, one of which was a buzzer-beating alley-oop to uber-athletic sophomore forward Ronald Roberts.
And while Carl Tay Jones was quiet as St. Joes built a 34-27 halftime lead, backup freshman point guard Chris Wilson served as a second distributor to Kanacevic, dishing four first-half assists in 12 minutes without committing a turnover.
I thought Chris Wilson allowed us to run some offense at the right pace in the first half, Martelli said. The guys off the bench, Chris Wilson and Ron Roberts, had a big impact on the game.
The Hawks carried Kanacevics and Roberts half-ending energy into the second stanza, making six of their first seven shots to expand a seven-point lead to 14 with 13:47 remaining.
But as St. Joes missed a pair of threes and turned the ball over, Charlotte scored nine points in a row to cut the Hawks lead to 52-47.
Thats when Jones emerged.
For St. Joes, the second-half theme was that any time Charlotte cut it close, Jones gave the Hawks much-needed breathing room.
With the score 52-47, Jones hit a three to turn a two-possession game into an eight-point St. Joes lead.
At 55-49, Jones, who scored 18 of his game-high 23 points after intermission, answered a Charlotte field goal with another three.
Up 69-64 with three minutes left, Jones converted a traditional three-point play to again put St. Joes up by eight, and from there it was never again close.
First half, I was just taking what they gave me, I wasnt trying to force anything, Jones said. In the second half, they gave me a lot of stuff so I took it, know what Im saying?

Martelli wasn't too impressed I thought he was just OK, to be honest, he said and cited a non-winning decision by Jones to pass to a guarded Roberts with a few seconds left on the shot clock late in the game.
Roberts, as he is prone to do, made a miraculous bank shot as the clock buzzed, but the possession brought to mind some of the improvements Martelli hopes his team can make in order to advance deep into the A-10 tournament.
Jones is a work in progress, just like our team, Martelli said. But I think any time we can get out of a game and Tay doesnt have any turnovers, I think thats significant. And I liked the fact that there were plays where he wasnt just settling for jumpers ... he took the ball at the teeth of their defense.
I feel the defense kind of plays my jumper too much, Jones added. And it lets me get to the lane and do what I do inside the lane.
The win gives St. Joes a chance to avenge a devastating double-overtime loss to St. Bonaventure in the regular-season finale in Olean. The Bonnies came back to tie that game at the end of regulation and then again at the end of overtime after being down six points with 20 seconds to go. It was a meaningful loss for the Hawks. Had they won, they would have secured a first-round bye in the Atlantic 10 tourney and not had to deal with Charlotte Tuesday night.
Now we just have to prepare for St. Bonaventure and get a little revenge, I guess, Hawks guard Langston Galloway said.
His coach had a very different take on the R-word.
Revenge is wasted energy, Martelli said, in regard to being able to play both Charlotte and St. Bonaventure a second time after losing regular-season meetings to both teams.
They didnt do anything to us. Charlotte didnt come in and talk about our families, they came in and played a basketball game and were better than us, and last week Bonaventure was better than us.
"You have to have proper emotion at this point of the year. You have to be properly nervous. You gotta be on edge. Revenge is not part of this.

Notes: Neither St. Joe's nor Charlotte made a free throw in the first half, the teams were a combined 0 for 4 from the line ... The Hawks were out-rebounded by 15 last Wednesday at St. Bonaventure but came back to out-rebound Charlotte by 10 Tuesday night ... Galloway went 3 for 7 from three against Charlotte and is third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, at 47.5.

E-mail Corey Seidman at cseidman@comcastsportsnet.com.

Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

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Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University's board of regents said Thursday that it will fire football coach Art Briles and re-assign university President Kenneth Starr amid questions over the school's handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The nation's largest Baptist university said in a statement Thursday that it had suspended Briles "with intent to terminate." Starr will leave the position of president on May 31, but the school says he will serve as chancellor.

The university also placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Baylor asked a law firm last year to conduct a review of its handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the football program mishandled several cases of players attacking women.

The university's statement said the review revealed "a fundamental failure."

Baylor has faced increasing criticism in recent months for its handling of reports of rape and other violent incidents involving football players and students. One victim has sued the university, saying it was deliberately indifferent to her allegations against a former player who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Starr ordered an investigation last year but has been mostly silent amid mounting criticism over the school's handling of the complaints, which erupted under his leadership. He took over as the university's president in 2010, about a decade after the former prosecutor investigated former President Clinton's sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewisnky.

The football team, whose players were at the center of the upheaval, enjoyed unprecedented success under Briles' tenure, including two Big 12 championships in the last three years. That success brought a financial windfall, and in 2014, Baylor opened a new, $250-million on-campus football stadium. But Briles' program has also been criticized for recruiting or accepting transfer players without regard to the harm they might cause fellow students.

Starr rode the waves of the program's success, and often ran on the football field with Baylor students in pregame ceremonies. But as investigations began into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations against players, Starr provided only brief comments, even as criticism of the school mounted.

In a February statement issued by university, Starr said "our hearts break for those whose lives are impacted by execrable acts of sexual violence." And at a prayer breakfast last month, Starr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I am in favor of transparency. Stand up, take your medicine if you made a mistake."

Baylor's Board of Regents was recently briefed by a law firm hired to investigate how the school responded to assault incidents, and the school on Thursday released a summary of its findings. Starr initiated the review in 2015, after former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, who was convicted in 2015, transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State. Ukwuachu's former girlfriend testified during his rape trial in Texas that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Ukwuachu's former coach, Chris Peterson, now the coach at Washington, said he "thoroughly apprised" Briles about the circumstances of Ukuwachu's dismissal. Briles disputed that account, saying he talked with Peterson and there was no mention of the incident.

The school is also facing a federal lawsuit from a former student claiming the school was "deliberately indifferent" to rape allegations levied at a former football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting the woman.

The uproar following Ukwuachu's conviction caused Baylor to initiate the review by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and to announce a $5 million effort to improve efforts on how it responds to sexual assault, including adding another investigator and more staff.

But the Ukwuachu case was just the start of months of revelations of football players being involved in violent incidents with little or no repercussions. At least seven other woman have publicly come forward to say the school ignored their sexual assault allegations.

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova


Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

Josh Hart said the decision wasn’t easy.

But he’s happy with it.

After withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to return to school (see story), Hart is excited to focus on Villanova, graduation and then the NBA dream.

“I love the school, I love the teachers, the student body, the support, my teammates that we have coming back,” the 6-foot-5 guard said Wednesday on Comcast SportsNet’s Philly Sports Talk. “So it was a tough one and I just thought at the end of the day, I think going back for my senior year would be in the best interest of my parents and myself.”

As a junior, Hart helped Villanova win its second national championship in program history by leading the Wildcats in scoring with 15.5 points per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Hart received plenty of feedback from NBA teams. He said shooting and ball handling are what he hopes to improve.

As far as his draft stock …

“There were teams interested maybe in the first [round], and then there were teams that said they would take me in the second,” Hart said. “But there’s a whole month before the draft, a lot of teams didn’t know exactly what they were doing with their picks — whether they were trying to trade up for a pick, trying to trade down, trying to trade a pick for a player. Several teams said that they would take me.”

For more from Hart on the draft and Villanova, watch the video above.

Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

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Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

Delaware has its new head basketball coach in Martin Ingelsby.

Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, comes from Notre Dame, where he played from 1997-2001 and coached for 13 seasons, seven as an assistant.

Ingelsby played his high school ball at Archbishop Carroll and is the son of Tom Ingelsby, who played for Villanova from 1970-73.

Delaware is coming off a 7-23 season and 2-16 mark in CAA play, which led to the firing of head coach Monte Ross.

The Blue Hens, who announced the hire Tuesday, will formally introduce Ingelsby in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium.