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Hampton reloaded: Pirates ready for Battle of the Bay

Many things have changed for Hampton University basketball. But anticipation for the Battle of The Bay remains as big as ever.

New guns to arrive for Battle of The Bay

The Hampton-Norfolk State matchup has been a staple of 757 and HBCU basketball for better than 60 years. The rivalry has been maintained through multiple NCAA Divisions and conferences. It’s never been through a pandemic, though.

There will be a maximum of 250 people in the crowd in Norfolk on Monday night, a far cry from the capacity crowds that have become the norm in this longstanding rivalry. Not that Joyner expects that to change much.

“The game is the game,” Joyner said. “I don’t care what your record is, I don’t care what their record is— its still the Battle of The Bay.”

NSU comes into the game 2-1, with wins over James Madison and Radford as well as a loss to Old Dominion. Hampton only has one game under its belt, but student-athletes are very familiar with each other.

“Whatever it is, both teams are gonna be up and ready for this game. One of the things I preached to my kids is that it does take a cool head to win a hot game. But then again…this is the 757’s version of Duke and Carolina or Michigan and Ohio State. Our guys play together over the summer, they’re in each other’s gym, they’re in a lot of each other’s company, they know each other.”

The NSU game will see a few new faces pop up for Hampton. Joyner said he expects his three transfers to play, including former Old Dominion teammates Marquise Goodwin and Dajour Dickens.

Goodwin, a 6’5 junior, is one to watch. The Hampton native who played for Hampton High School, then averaged 7.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game as a sophomore at ODU. He didn’t play in the opener due to some nagging injuries, but the sharpshooter figures to be a big part of HU’s offense.  Defense is Dickens’ strong suit, as his long frame figures to give opposing offenses the blues. Former Howard guard Ray Bethea, Jr. will make his debut against NSU as well.

“They’re gonna be tough, they’re gonna be confident, they’re gonna be well-versed on the defensive end. They’re going to come to try to push their well. I’ve seen some good things from them early, respect and like the team that I saw,” he said.

“But then again, we all put our pants and jerseys on the same, so when we walk on the court, its gonna be time to play, no matter what.”

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Hampton reloaded: Pirates ready for Battle of the Bay
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