St. Joseph's Swilling leaves school, O'Brien sits out

Langston Galloway fires; Temple's Idris Hillard goes for a block; Lavoy Allen looks for a charge.
Langston Galloway fires; Temple's Idris Hillard goes for a block; Lavoy Allen looks for a charge.
Posted: February 21, 2011

St. Joseph's 66-52 loss at Temple on Sunday ended a difficult week for the struggling Hawks.

Not all the problems were confined to the basketball court.

Before the game, St. Joe's announced that reserve freshman guard Patrick Swilling Jr. was no longer enrolled at the university, while another reserve, junior center Todd O'Brien, sat out his second straight game for failure to comply with the university's community standards.

The 7-foot O'Brien is expected to return to the team this week after the completion of a university judicial process.

Neither director of athletics Don DiJulia nor coach Phil Martelli would comment on the nature of the violations, but a source close to the university said Swilling voluntarily returned to his home in New Orleans before the completion of the judicial process. Swilling is the son of Pat Swilling, a former all-pro linebacker for the New Orleans Saints. He was regarded as a football prospect but decided to play basketball and picked St. Joe's partly to be teammates with a close friend who is also from Louisiana, Langston Galloway.

Swilling averaged 1.4 points and 11.5 minutes a game. O'Brien, a transfer from Bucknell, is averaging 1.2 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 7.1 minutes.

The news about the two players broke shortly before Wednesday's game against Xavier, and Martelli sensed it impacted the Hawks during the loss.

"I thought we played a very distracted game," he said. "But Friday at practice we took a step forward and had a very energetic, united practice. I think it was probably harder on the players when they were alone than when they were together as a group."

Reluctant shooter. C.J. Aiken managed only four shots in 26 minutes in the loss to Temple. Although the 6-foot-9 freshman from Plymouth Whitemarsh High needs to pack on some weight and improve his balance to become an offensive force in the post, he does have a smooth jumper. Martelli would like to see Aiken shoot more.

"I wish he looked at the basket a little bit more on the faceup jumper," Martelli said. "I think he's sometimes reluctant."

Aiken, who ranks second in the nation in blocked shots, had one against Temple.

A bright spot. Galloway, who played on the same AAU club as Swilling, turned in another solid game. The 6-2 freshman guard from Baton Rouge scored 17 points with five rebounds, three assists, and one turnover. . . . The Hawks went 0-4 in the Big Five for the first time since 1977-78. The Big Five abandoned the round-robin format for eight seasons beginning in 1991-92 as each team played only two City Series games. It's only the third time in history that St. Joe's went 0-4 in the Big Five.


Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com.

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