St. Joseph’s 2019-20 season didn’t yield many wins, but if you ask head coach Billy Lange, wins and losses don’t always determine how well a team is playing.
The Hawks finished last season 6-26. It was their lowest win total since becoming members of the Atlantic 10 in 1982, but not all was lost.
Transfer Ryan Daly emerged as one of the best scorers in the A-10, and freshman Cameron Brown ended the season reaching double-figures in a season-high five straight games. Those two players will be just as important next season, but the Hawks’ roster will look much different around them.
Here’s a breakdown of key departures and additions for St. Joe’s.
Dennis Ashley, 6-foot-1, 176-pound guard, 1.7 points per game
Ashley got two starts as a graduate transfer from Maine, but he never played more than 17 minutes in a game. He earned a start against Davidson after a season-high eight points, four rebounds and two assists versus Rhode Island.
Greg Smith, 6-foot, 183-pound guard, 0.9 points per game
Smith played sparingly as a senior. His most action came against St. Bonaventure in February. He finished that game with four points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.
Toliver Freeman, 6-foot-3, 215-pound wing, 5.7 points per game
Freeman saved his best for last in his final game. He scored 18 points and made four threes in Brooklyn against George Mason. The Hawks will miss his energy on the defensive end and his ability to guard multiple spots. At just 6-3, he became one of team’s best rebounders when inserted into the starting lineup against Dayton in January.
Lorenzo Edwards, Senior, 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward, 6.9 points per game
After graduating, Edwards decided to transfer and play his final season at College of Charleston. He split time between the forward and center positions with the Hawks. Edwards knocked down seven three-pointers in the second game of the season, but he was unable to find that stroke again and ended the year shooting 25.2% from three.
Chereef Knox, Sophomore, 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward, 4.2 points per game
By the end of December, Knox looked like one of key players to St. Joseph’s future. He was averaging 6.2 points, had three double-figure games and played a career-high 32 minutes against William & Mary. His scoring averaged dropped by two points and he didn’t make the same impact in conference play. Knox’s transfer was a surprise, but he’s headed to Coppin State where he will likely make a bigger impact.
Anton Jansson, 6-foot-11, 230-pound center, Golden State Prep, Ca.
Size in the front court was not one of the Hawks’ biggest strengths last season, so the addition of Jansson was important. He arrived early and enrolled in January. Jansson played at Golden State Prep in California after coming to the States from Sweden. He competed for the Sweden U20 team last summer. Jansson has to develop more to be a consistent contributor, but Lange likes his attitude and mentality.
Jordan Hall, 6-foot-7, 195-pound forward, Neumann-Goretti, Pa.
Lange’s first recruit for the 2020 class has him excited. Jordan Hall played nearly every position during his time at Neumann-Goretti, and he can become that same kind of player for the Hawks. Lange called him one of the 10 best passers he’s seen “at any level.”
Jadrian Tracey, 6-foot-5 190-pound guard, West Oaks Academy, Fla.
The Hawks are losing one of their most athletic players in Freeman, but Tracey could help fill that void. His athleticism allows him to bring energy defensively and attack the rim on offense. His size will be a welcome addition to an already big group of guards.
Greg Foster Jr., 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard, Gonzaga
Foster announced his decision to transfer from Gonzaga last summer, but he’ll be eligible this season. Foster can play both guard spots and is best known for his vision as a passer. He played 20 minutes in one game as a freshman against North Dakota State and finished with five assists. He’s the main newcomer to watch in terms of expected impact due to his combination of passing and high-level athleticism.
Dahmir Bishop, 6-foot-5, 178-pound guard, Xavier University
The Philly native decided to circle back to Hawk Hill after a season at Xavier University in Ohio. Bishop arrived in January and practiced with the team during the final two months of the season. He was a four-star recruit out of high school and helped Imhotep Charter win three straight PIAA Class 4A State Titles. Bishop shot 2-of-17 from three at Xavier, and that’s the biggest change Lange wants to see him make. He’ll be one of the most talented players on the Hawks’ roster.
Jack Forrest, 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard, Columbia University