It’s January 17th. The season barely started a month ago. And yet, when No. 10 St. Joseph-Metuchen takes to its home floor against top-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday night, it will play a game with an end-of-year feel.
After all, the Falcons will be hunting for what would be their fourth straight GMC Red crown, and it’ll be their final regular-season home game.
It’s been a figure-it-out-quickly sort of season for Joe’s (8-3), which rides a two-game winning streak into this marquee battle with Aquinas (14-1).
The game will be broadcast on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino calling the action. The pre-game show starts at 6:45 p.m., with tip-off at 7:00. Click here to listen to the broadcast.
If Joe’s wins, the Falcons would claim a GMC Red co-championship with both Aquinas and Colonia — with the teams deadlocking at 7-1 in-division and 1-1 head-to-head. If Aquinas wins, it would complete a perfect run through the division and hoist the Red trophy outright. The early conclusion to the race for the Red is thanks to a one-year GMC pilot program, under which only one round of games through the division count towards the championship.
Should there be co-champions, however, just as with any other division ties, all games would be considered toward breaking the tie. Which leaves St. Joe’s very much in play for a top-seed in the GMC Tournament next month, providing they fore a three-way co-championship with a win against Aquinas.
The Falcons are led by the recently-paired backcourt tandem of Josh Ingram and Jeremy Clayville, each averaging nearly 20 points-per-game. Ingram — a senior and 2nd-year starter — has quickly gelled with Clayville, a junior who earned back-to-back First Team All-Division honors at DePaul Catholic.
Click below to hear St. Joe’s head coach Jan Cocozziello discuss Ingram and Clayville’s success, the team’s preparation for a playoff-like game, and Tuesday’s matchup with Aquinas: