Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 1.14.00 AM

How Langston Galloway reinvented his game

Leave a comment

Despite Langston Galloway’s scoring average (nearly 14 points per game) and perimeter scoring (39 percent from three) a year ago, the guard from Saint Joseph’s had an underwhelming junior season. His efficiency rating — 110.9 — was the lowest it had been during his three seasons on Hawk Hill, and with a large percentage of returning minutes remaining in 2014, there was an expectation of a bounce back senior season for Galloway.

So far, the guard hasn’t disappointed. He only scored seven points in SJU’s rout of Dayton tonight, but overall this season, Galloway has shouldered a larger role in the Hawks’ offense — his efficiency rating rivals that of his sophomore (and breakout) season — and his three-point shooting has reached a career-best percentage (44 percent). It was unclear what sort of season Galloway would have without Carl ‘Tay’ Jones, a guard who was proficient at breaking down and drawing help defenders before assisting Galloway on the perimeter, but the guard has completely retooled his game for his final year.

According to Synergy Sports Technology, Galloway has become a better spot-up shooter, scoring 1.4 points per spot up (as compared to 1.00 in 2013), and his perimeter accuracy has helped strengthen his overall game, specifically in pick and roll action. More than 20 percent of Galloway’s possession finish with a P&R possession, an significant uptick from his junior year (12 percent), and his decision making once he clears the pick is much improved, scoring more than one point when he dribbles into a jump shot. For much of his St. Joe’s career, Galloway was simply a shooter — a really good shooter, but somewhat of a one-dimensional player — but the guard transitioned this offseason into a scorer, the type of player who can score off the catch and the bounce. Galloway’s revised game is why the Hawks are one of the Atlantic 10’s best teams, and a squad that has enough resume padding to dance in the coming weeks.

Stanford loses key veteran guard to stress fracture

Marcus Allen
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.

“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.

What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.

The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.