Fresh Kimble, St. Joseph’s Point Guard

The list is long… Some really good names…

Bob McNeill ’60, Jimmy Lynam ’63, Matt Goukas ’66, Jim O’Brien ’74, Jeff Clark ’82, Bryan Warrick ’82, Maurice Martin ’86, Geoffrey Arnold ’86, Wayne Williams ’86, Bruiser Flint ’87, Rap Curry ’94, Bernard Blunt ’95, Mark Bass ’96, Terrell Myers ’97, Na’im Crenshaw ’02, Marvin O’Connor ’02, Jameer Nelson ’04, Delonte West ’04, Tyrone Barley ’04, Pat Carroll ’06, Tasheed Carr ’09, Carl Jones ’13, Langston Galloway ’14, Shavar Newkirk ’17

Where will Fresh Kimble end up? Will he be just another good St. Joseph’s guard? Or, will he be an all-time great on Hawk Hill?

Tough call… he’s right at the midway point in his career. Nonetheless, he’s climbing fast…

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Fresh Kimble, St. Joseph’s Redshirt Junior Point Guard

Statistically speaking, he’s on their asses!

Fresh has well over 600 points 2 games into his junior season. Conservatively estimating that he will score at a clip of 16 ppg and play another 60 games in a St. Joseph’s uniform, he will end up somewhere in the 1,500 point range. Likewise, it seems safe to project him somewhere in the 400-500 career assist range. Those numbers would make him one of the most productive point guards in the history of St. Joe’s. Focusing purely on statistical output, he would be somewhere near the top of the aforementioned list of names.

However, it must be emphasized that statistics are a mere small part of the rubric employed to evaluate and measure St. Joseph’s University guards. Simply stated, wins outweigh individual performance by a substantial margin once one traverses behind the stone walls surrounding Hawk Hill.

It’s the wins… The overabundance of victories that make Jameer Nelson the Gladys Knight of St. Joseph’s guards. Indeed, it’s truly difficult to imagine someone other than Nelson singing lead.

Fresh Kimble, nonetheless, is making a strong case for a spot as one of the Pips…

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Gladys Knight and the Pips

Since his last foot injury, Kimble has come back looking extremely svelte. He appears to be at least 15-20 pounds lighter. As a result, he’s quicker, bouncier and, early on, more effective.

A more effective Kimble is a problem for his A10 opponents. Last time we had an extended look at him he averaged an impressive 15.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, and 4.0 rpg from the point guard position for Head Coach Phil Martelli. Those numbers from the 2015-16 season were accumulated over the course of 24 games.

Coming out of the gate that year, Martelli appeared to have, once again, caught lightning in the bottle. Kimble teamed with Sharvar Newark (20.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 3.5 through 12 games) to form one of the most electrifying and productive backcourts in the nation. This pair of sub-six foot guards was rocking and rolling.

But it would not last… In game 12, all alone in the open court at Hagan Arena, Newkirk tore his ACL and went down for the season. Kimble would last another 12 games without his comrade, before a foot injury would end his campaign. What could have been?

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Neumann-Goretti PIAA State Champions

A product of Carl Arrigale’s nationally renown Neumann-Goretti Saints program, Kimble understands what it means to be a good teammate and a leader of a team. Named Captain as sophomore, he did not allow that fact that he wasn’t on the floor to impact his job performance as captain.

Leaders lead… Fresh Kimble is just a leader!

Neumann-Goretti and Nike Team Final (AAU) sent a college ready point guard to St. Joseph’s. He fervently and diligently worked to get back on the court. Mission accomplished, or so we all thought…

I was there for the return of Fresh… Opening night of the 2017-2018 season… He was a little anxious and a little rusty… That was to be expected, but there he was… Competing like a pitbull as usual…

Then it happened again… Huh? You’ve got to be fuckin’ kidding!

He injured the foot again… As the crowd watched in disbelief, we saw him trying to disregard the all to familiar pain shooting violently through his lower extremity… Kimble knew what it was… He knew all too well and he tried to will his way through it… For a while, he refused to succumb… He stayed on the floor played a few possessions with a broken foot…

But, once he came off the floor, he knew he wasn’t going to return… In a rare display of emotion, he slammed his hand down on one of the chairs… Reality was settling in… Same shit all over again…

Again, he was exemplary in how he dealt with this adversity. Always present… Always accounted for… Always a gentleman… Always a scholar… Most importantly, ALWAYS the Captain…

Another year of tortuous rehabilitation… Another year of chomping at the bit… Another year of watching his teammates struggling on the court and knowing he would make a difference.

FUCK!

Nonetheless, time passes… Yet another season comes around… The Captain reappears.

This time he’s really ready… Slimmer… Faster… More explosive… More aggressive…

He returns to reshaped squad, Martelli went down to Washington D.C. and found Kimble a protege… Thus far, freshman guard Jared Bynum is capably filling the void created by Newkirk’s graduation.

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Jared Bynum, St. Joseph’s Freshman Guard

The backcourt guys look good… Really good… So good, it got me to thinking about where Fresh will end up in the pantheon St. Joseph’s guards. As noted earlier, we must concede that he could never be Gladys Knight. Jameer will forever be the lead singer. To state otherwise is denial of revealed truth among Hawk faithful. But, a healthy Kimble is about knock someone off for one of those Pip spots. Yup…

Now this is a touchy subject among the older Hawks. Truth be told, Geoff Arnold and Bruiser Flint, to this day, have never conceded that the ’04 Hawks would have defeated the ’86 Hawks. This despite the fact that the ’04 Hawks beat damn near everybody… Now don’t get me wrong, they love Nelson, West, Barley and Carroll. They just do NOT believe they were BETTER than Flint, Arnold, Wayne Williams and Maurice Martin.

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Fresh Kimble, St. Joseph’s Captain

I haven’t asked them about Fresh… yet.

I’m sure they think he’s still in their rear view mirror.

The fact of the matter is… Kimble has pulled up right beside them…

And… he’s got about 60 games left.

He’s trying to get to the station. Jameer’s waiting… There’s Midnight Train to Georgia…

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