Countdown to tip-off: What in the world is happening in Loretto?

Robert Morris basketball opens their season Nov. 11 against Penn. Until that time, we’ll post about some things that interest us.

Last time out: What I’m excited for: The frontcourt

Today: St. Francis is having a month from hell

BY CHRIS CAPPELLA

We’ve touched a lot on Robert Morris. Today, I want to focus on NEC foe St. Francis PA.

NEC coaches were already a little down on the Red Flash. After finishing last season 13-17 and claiming a seven seed in the NEC tournament (followed by a first round loss to FDU), St. Francis was picked eighth in the preseason coaches poll.

Quite frankly, even last season was a bit disappointing. St. Francis lost their final five regular season games to drop to a seven seed in last year’s tournament. They had a veteran group on Ronnie Drinnon, Greg Brown and Ben Millaud-Meunier. There were a lot of reasons for their downfall, but it still should have ended better.

Even with those three gone, I still loved St. Francis’ core: Guards Isaiah Blackmon and Malik Harmon and forwards Josh Nebo and Basil Thompson.

Now things are getting wacky. Harmon, a senior, is going to miss the entire season with a torn labrum. Blackmon, perhaps the most talented young guard in the league, is recovering from a torn ACL. Nebo, another sophomore, should be in for a big season.

But things have gone awry with Thompson.

He was arrested for aggravated assault and resisting arrest on Oct. 29. This, from the Altoona Mirror, has more details:

The officer said he was called to Saint Louis Hall about 10 p.m. Saturday for a loud music complaint and spoke with Basil E. Thompson, 21, of Philadelphia.

According to police, Thompson was defensive and confrontational with the officer. He argued with the officer, who asked to accompany Thompson to his dorm room so police could speak with him and a member of Residence Life staff.

Police said while in Thompson’s room, he put his hands up in a threatening way and prompting a fight with the officer.

Police said Thompson, a member of the university’s men’s basketball team, punched the officer in the face and head, which caused swelling and bruising.

If the allegations hold true, it’s reasonable to think Thompson’s career at St. Francis is over.

Thompson, who was set to enter his junior season, led the team in usage rate last season. He was a vital part of their offense, and that role was only going to grow.

Where does that leave St. Francis without him? Without Harmon? It’s going to be tough sledding for the Red Flash.

–@C_Cappella

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