Falcons and Trojans to Battle in Early Season Showdown on January 5th
UNION, NJ—For the first time in almost four years, St. Joseph’s and St. Thomas Aquinas will square off for on the hardwood at the Scholaship for Inner City Youth Festival at Kean University’s Harwood Arena on January 5, 2020 at 12:00 PM.
Since 1981, the two schools have played each other at least 11 times with St. Joseph’s winning the majority of the matchups with a 7-4 record. The Falcons have also won each of the last five times the two schools have squared off (2002, 2005, 2008, 2013, and 2016). However, the Trojans, who have won the only two MCT/GMCT Championship Game match-ups (1982 and 1992), are looking to make a statement after reaching the GMCT Elite Eight each of the past two seasons.
With the likes of Wake Forest commit, Quadry Adams, Southern New Hampshire commit Derrick Grant, and Patrick School transfer, Jaquan Harris, who has garnered D1 scholarship offers from Rutgers and Auburn recently, St. Thomas Aquinas is looking to put an end to the stranglehold that St. Joseph’s has had over the Boys GMCT with 12 straight finals appearances and 9 championships since the 2007-08 season. The Falcons have won the last four GMCT titles.
St. Joseph’s will counter with a roster that still includes the likes of Tyree Ford, who is closing in on 1,000 career points, and K-Shawn Schulters, who was the 2018 GMCT MVP. In addition, the Falcons also have the likes of Andrew Olden, Maurice Johnson, Demarcus Shepard, Adam Slawinski, Kody Robinson, Eric Amponsah, and Cal Goodwill returning. St. Thomas Aquinas’ roster will feature Woodbridge transfer Kyree Henry, Jalen Jones, Samar Abdullah, Derrick Golden, and Mehki Johnson.
In addition to making its second straight GMCT Elite Eight appearance, St. Thomas Aquinas won its first outright GMC Blue Division title since 2011. The 2010–11 season was the last time STA reached the GMCT Final Four before bowing out to top seeded Piscataway. The Trojans also won a share of the title with Carteret in 2012. Aquinas had a very busy off-season, which included play in the Hamilton Park Summer League, the Celtics Fall League, Monmouth Team Camp, and the Northeast Fall Invitational.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s competed in the Linden Summer League, where it fared well with a 7-1 regular season record that even included a victory over Linden. Aquinas, which won its first state playoff game in 38 years last season, has not defeated St. Joe’s since the 1993-94 season. Both of these teams will likely be ranked one and two in the 2019-20 GMC Hoops Pre-Season Poll. The match-up between these two GMC schools that are only miles apart will start off a busy day of hoops at Kean, which also will include a match-up between Seton Hall Prep and Montclair Immaculate among others.