Martelli has enjoyed watching Galloway (USA Today)
Saint Joseph's (PA) senior guard Langston Galloway, a Baton Rouge native, has authored a storied career to date for the Hawks. SJU's scoring machine reflects on his time on campus and what it will mean to take on his hometown school Thanksgiving night in the Old Spice Classic.
Five point six miles, or roughly 21.4% of a marathon.
That’s how close Saint Joseph’s star senior guard Langston Galloway was from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the campus of LSU every time he stepped onto his team’s home floor as a high schooler at Christian Life Academy in Baton Rouge.
But Galloway, who had offers from the likes of LSU, Baylor, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, opted to head northeast, 1,303 miles away from his hometown, to attend school and ply his trade athletically at the Philadelphia-based school from the Atlantic 10. According to Galloway, it was a familiar feel that enticed him.
“It felt like a family up here, and I also had family up here,” Galloway recalled in a recent interview. “That definitely was one of the things that drove me up this way.”
That doesn’t mean the recruiting process for the Class of 2010 signee was an open-and-shut case. Galloway admitted he had a “really good” relationship with then-LSU coach Trent Johnson but said he had to follow his heart.
“It definitely was difficult (to decide) because there were so many schools coming at me,” explained Galloway. “I enjoyed every minute of it, but I ended up deciding to go to St. Joe’s in the end. It was all good in the end.”
Fast-forward to current day and Galloway, a prolific scorer and outside shooter, is continuing his assault on the Hawks’ record books at the dawn of his final season on campus.
A model of consistency, Galloway has never averaged fewer than 12.8 points or 2.0 made threes per game for an entire season, and, through three games in 2013-14, has posted averages of 18.3 points and 2.7 made threes. Total it all up, and Galloway’s 1,444 career points rank him 20th all-time in program history, only 650 points away from leader Jameer Nelson, while his 243 threes are third in Hawks’ history, one behind second place (Darrin Govens) and 51 trifectas from the leader (Pat Carroll).
Galloway is trying to lead the Hawks back to the Big Dance
Still, when Galloway reflects on his storied run under venerable coach Phil Martelli, it’s all about reaching an elusive team goal.
“My first year, it was just a learning experience, but the last two years we’ve been to the NIT,” said Galloway. “This year we’re just trying to get to the NCAA Tournament to finish out my career.”
Galloway and St. Joe’s (2-1) can take a big step toward that end with a good showing in this week’s Old Spice Classic in Orlando, where the Hawks coincidentally will open with LSU (3-1). The hometown boy from the Bayou is looking forward to the game but doesn’t anticipate he’ll carry any extra emotions when the two teams tip off Thanksgiving night.
“No, not really,” Galloway responded to the notion of this game meaning something more. “It’s just another game, a big game for us, though. I definitely have friends on the team I know, so it’ll be a rivalry just because I know those guys and we’re going to compete against each other and we’re going to try to win. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Those friendships Galloway alluded to were formed and fortified this past summer when he returned to Baton Rouge and discovered several Tigers liked to frequent the same newly built community gym, Team Sportsplex, as he did.
“This summer when I was back home we pretty much all played – [Anthony] Hickey, Jarell [Martin], Shavon [Coleman] and a few other guys who are on the team,” said Galloway. “We keep in contact here and there. Since the season started it’s definitely slacked off, but before the season started we were all in contact with each other.”
Not surprisingly communication between Galloway and the LSU players he befriended has ceased completely of late in advance of their nationally televised showdown. His eyes, like theirs, are on the prize, focused on making good on the big stage the Old Spice Classic presents and what a few high-profile wins can do for their respective NCAA Tournament chances.
“It’s a huge platform for us, going out there and playing against top-level competition. We definitely will go out there and try to get some wins,” Galloway acknowledged. “That would be big for the program and really our résumé going into the upcoming months getting closer to March.”
TigerSportsDigest publisher Ben Love will be in Orlando to cover the Old Spice Classic for Scout.com. Check back to Scout’s national college basketball page for continuous tournament updates and click here to follow Ben on Twitter.