Mike McCoy (@MikeMcCoysMind)
The Saint Joseph’s Hawks come into the 2012-13 season as the preseason favorites to win the Atlantic 10 as they return their top seven scorers from last season, including all five starters. The team also has returning the Atlantic 10 reigning Sixth Man of the Year, who looks to be headed for the starting lineup in his junior year. Phil Martelli leads arguably his best team since 2004 when the Hawks made it all the way to the Elite 8 led by stars Jameer Nelson and Delonte West and looks to try to improve with a team who came from being a young team in 2011-12 who look to be seasoned veterans in 2012-13.
Saint Joseph’s Season Primer
Coach: Phil Martelli, 18th Season (320-223, .697)
Last Year: 20-14 (9-7 Atlantic 10), Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals (St. Bonaventure, 71-68) NIT First Round (Northern Iowa, 67-65)
Key Losses: None
New Faces: Javon Baumann (Wetzlar, Germany/Theodor-Henss School); Isaiah Miles (Baltimore, MD/Milford Mill Academy):
Baumann, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound center, played in 19 games last season for the Licher Baeren Germany Pro-B League team averaging 4.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Baumann brings great size and strength to a team full of forwards, but will likely spend the year on the bench as a redshirt.
Miles, a 6-7, 228-pound forward, was an All-County honoree and two-time All-Metro First Team selection who averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 14 double-doubles as a senior. He won the state championship in 2010 as a sophomore with the Millers and won the MIAA-B Championship his junior season when he recorded 18.8 points per game; capable of playing either forward spot, he could earn some minutes this season.
Backcourt Starters: Carl Jones (17.0 ppg, 3.3 apg); Langston Galloway (15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
Carl Jones, from Garfield Heights, Ohio, is the lone senior on this Hawks team filled with talent and has been a start since his rookie season where he averaged 9.6 ppg. He was named to the All-Big 5 Second Team in his sophomore and junior year while also receiving Honorable Mention to the Atlantic 10 All Conference team last year. Jones will be the floor general of the Hawks offense and will be a big part in controlling the ball for Saint Joe’s. If Jones can limit turnovers this season the Hawks should do just well offensively.
Galloway comes into this season as the teams captain and leader for the preseason favorites. It is no surprise as last season he was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team and won the John P. Hilferty Award as Saint Joseph’s MVP of 2011-12. The Baton Rouge, LA native also led the A10 in three-point shooting at 46.6%. If Galloway is open he is deadly from beyond the arc and a threat to blow a game wide open early.
Frontcourt Starters: C.J. Aiken (10.9 ppg, 3.5 bpg); Halil Kanacevic (8.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg); Ronald Roberts (10.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
Aiken, a local product from Plymouth-Whitemarsh, last season was named as the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the year and Big 5 Second Team honors after a sensational season recording 120 blocks (3.53 bpg), just one block shy of Saint Joseph’s all-time record in a season. While blocking at least two shots in every game Aiken looks to improve on his stats last year and help hold down the low court for the Hawks in 2012-13.
Kanacevic who transfered from Hofstra University after being named to the CAA All-Rookie Team came into the Atlantic 10 with solid numbers and then was awarded as an Atlantic 10 All-Conference Honorable Mention. Kanacevic will have to be big on the boards once again this season on Hawk Hill as Saint Joe’s was 81st in the nation on the boards with only 36.4 rebounds per game.
Roberts is an athletic freak who won the Atlantic 10′s Sixth Man of the Year award as an instant energy boost off the bench, but he’ll move into the starting lineup alongside his fellow juniors this season. While at his best cleaning up loose ends and dunking anything in sight, the addition of a midrange jumper in practice means he might be looking to expand his offensive game a bit. One of the biggest matchup nightmares around.
Bench: Miles, Chris Wilson (3.3 ppg, 2.7 apg), Daryus Quarles (4.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg), Papa Ndao (1.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg)
Wilson is the only true point guard on the roster; he’s got good size at 6-3 and the ability to make a big step up in production his sophomore season even if his minutes don’t increase by more than a few. Wilson’s breakout year will probably be next year once Jones has graduated, but he’s certainly one to watch for as a big impact player off the bench–if he can contribute 8-10 points in those 20-24 minutes, SJU becomes a much deeper team.
Miles and Ndao are both power forwards, while Quarles is more of a wing, but all three give Martelli the ability to mix and match his forwards. There really isn’t a single power forward or small forward or center on the roster, though Quarles at 6-6 is the only one who really shouldn’t be matched up against the opponent’s centers. Production is going to determine minutes for these three, and the freshman Miles does have a real chance to play 10-15 minutes per game if he can play as well as he’s looked in practice.
Three Games to Watch: @ Notre Dame (11/16), @ Creighton (12/01), @ Drexel (12/31)
The Hawks get a matchup against a better Irish team than there was last year that went 22-12 (13-5, Big East) last season with the third best record in the Big East, but lost to Xavier in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Creighton is a hungry team who lost to Witchita State last year in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game and was excluded from the big dance with a 29-6 (14-4, MVC) overall record. Led by junior guard Doug McDermott, who averaged 22.9 points last year, the Jays look to be a darkhorse come tournament time and will try to avenge a loss against SJU last year which hurt Creighton in the rankings.
The preseason favorites in the A10 and CAA collide this time at the Daskalakis Athletic Center (the DAC) after the Hawks came away with an impressive 62-49 win over the Dragons at home last season.
Nov. 1–Saint Joseph’s hosts media day
Oct. 18–Galloway named St. Joseph’s captain
Oct. 12–Experienced Hawks step out for first practice
Oct. 11–Martelli excited for the best Atlantic 10 in 2012-13
Oct. 4–St. Joseph’s tops Atlantic 10 preseason poll
Jun. 27–Hawk Bites: Catching up with SJU’s Langston Galloway, C.J. Aiken
Keys to Success:
1. Let the experience help them win: Saint Joseph’s, as it is well documented, returns their top seven players from last year. Last season, 11 out of 14 losses came after having a lead in the second half. This year, with most of the starters in their third year of serious playing time, there are no more excuses for an inability to hold leads. If they can cut that number in half, the Hawks should be sitting pretty in the Atlantic 10 ranks.
2. Create turnovers: Last years the Hawks had a very poor steal percentage in 7.1 percent (327th nationally). If guards Langston Galloway and Carl Jones can create more pressure on guards on the other end of the court it will help the Hawks be able to not let teams come back into a games, especially in the second half–which was their demise last season. Wilson, who has a little more size than Galloway and Jones, could be an asset in this area.
3. Rebound: As talented as that Saint Joseph’s frontcourt is, their rebounding was somewhat lacking for a team with three guys over 6-8 in the rotation. On the offensive end, the Hawks pulled in 30.2 percent of their misses, which was just 240th in the country; their defensive rebounding was more respectable (68.3 percent, 151st) but still left room for improvement. Aiken’s never going to be a premier rebounder, so it’s up to Roberts, Kanacevic and Ndao to help in that area.
CoBL Division I 2012-13 Season Primers: | Drexel Dragons | Delaware Blue Hens | La Salle Explorers | Lafayette Leopards | Lehigh Mountain Hawks | Penn State Nittany Lions | Penn Quakers | St. Joseph’s Hawks | Temple Owls | Villanova Wildcats |