KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. The future of Saint Josephs basketball is on display this summer.
St. Joes sophomores Langston Galloway and C.J. Aiken are playing together in the Delco Pro-Am League in King of Prussia against some of the toughest competition in the Philly area. The promising young duo gives Phil Martelli and Hawks fans some hope going forward as Galloway and Aiken try to help return the St. Joes program back to prominence.
The Hawks certainly had a rough going in 2010-11, finishing 11-22 overall and 4-12 in the Atlantic 10. A strong finish to the season, however, gives them some optimism heading into the upcoming year. After losing 15 of 17 games in the middle of the season, the Hawks finished by winning two of their final three games heading into the A-10 tournament. Then the 12th-seeded Hawks knocked off George Washington and Duquesne before falling 64-61 to Dayton in the semifinals.
Were just trying to build on last year, Galloway said. At the end of the year we got it going, so were trying to build on that.
Despite falling short of the A-10 final and a chance at an NCAA tournament berth, the Hawks strong cast of young players, which includes Galloway and Aiken, gained some confidence with their play in the A-10 tournament. In 2011-12, the Hawks will have higher expectations.
I think at the end of the season we came together as a team more, Aiken said. We got a season under our belts, so I think we know more, so we know what to expect. I think well be pretty good this year.
Galloway, a 6-foot-2 guard, was second on the team in scoring last season with 12.8 points per game. He also added 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, while shooting 39.2 percent from three-point range. Galloway is an athletic scoring guard who knows how to create his own shot.
Hes a great scorer, Aiken said of Galloway. Every time we need a bucket, Ill tell him to get the ball and shoot. I like his scoring, his defense, and hes a good combo guard.
Galloway had 22 points, five rebounds and five assists in a 98-82 loss on Sunday night in the Delco Pro-Am league. His team, P.T.P., went up against the defending champion Millennium All Stars, which includes former Siena stars Ronald Moore, Alex Franklin and Kenny Hasbrouck, former Saint Josephs and Iowa State guard Tasheed Carr, and former Kansas State forward Akeem Wright.
Aiken, a 6-foot-9 forward, averaged 7.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks last season. He is a slender power forward who weighs in at less than 200 pounds. He has terrific length and athleticism but needs to add more muscle to be able to consistently bang down low. Aiken finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in Sundays game. Galloway and Aiken also teamed with Drexel sophomore guard Frantz Massenat.
I know he can score from outside, so I know hes just working on that, Galloway said of Aiken. Im trying him to go inside a little more, bang a little, and get a little face-up game.
Hes one of a kind. You dont see too many 6-foot-9 guys that can shoot the way he does.
Galloway and Aiken are getting plenty of valuable experience playing in a league that includes current and former NBA players John Salmons, Hakim Warrick, Mardy Collins, Mustafa Shakur, Sean Singletary and Rob Kurz. They also get to compete against rival Temple players Khalif Wyatt, Dalton Pepper, Will Cummings, Ramone Moore and Micheal Eric.
It just gives me more confidence, Aiken said about playing against the tough competition in the Delco Pro-Am league. I see how physical it is down low, so I get more confidence playing against them.
Galloway and Aiken arent the only St. Joes players in the Delco Pro-Am. It also includes Todd OBrien, Ronald Roberts, Daryus Quarles and incoming freshman Chris Wilson, who chose St. Joes over Arizona State, Stanford and VCU.
With so many quality young players returning -- including Galloway, Aiken, Carl Jones, Roberts and Quarles, plus the addition of Wilson and fellow freshman Pada Ndao -- theres plenty of reason for optimism on Hawk Hill.
The key is our chemistry, Aiken said. Thats been coming together way more. I think thats the key because last year we didnt really have it until the end of the year.
Ryan Feldman covers college basketball and the NBA draft for his website, TheHoopsReport.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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