Saint Joseph's Hawks (Last Year: 20-14, 9-7 in A-10)
2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:
F/C: Halil Kanasevic (Jr)/Javon Baumann (Fr)
PF: Ronald Roberts Jr. (Jr)/Papa Ndao (So)/Isaiah Miles (Fr)
SF: C.J. Aiken (Jr)/Daryus Quarles (Jr)
SG: Langston Galloway (Jr)/Evan Maschmeyer (So)
PG: Carl Jones (Sr)/Chris Wilson (So)/Kyle Molock (Fr)
The Saint Joseph's Hawks were picked to win the Atlantic-10 title in the preseason polls and with good reason, as Phil Martelli returns everybody from last year's team.
The anchor of the team is the backcourt of Carl Jones and Langston Galloway. The duo combined to average 32.5 points per game last season and as you might imagine with that sort of production; can score in bunches. Jones is a terrific creator, while Galloway connected on 46% of his triple tries in 2011. Chris Wilson will be the main reserve at guard as he hopes to build off a solid freshman campaign. Freshman Kyle Molock could factor into the mix as well.
C.J. Aiken is drawing buzz from 2013 NBA Draft forecasters due to his combination of size, athleticism, length, and versatility. He finished fourth in the nation in blocked shots last season, and his ability to play multiple positions is a major asset for the Hawks. Daryus Quarles will come off the bench to see some time at small forward when Aikan needs a rest or is playing the four.
6-8 center Halil Kanasevic accomplished a rare feat for a big man - leading St. Joseph's in both rebounds and assists last year - his first with the Hawks after transferring in from Hofstra. The offense can run through him due to his passing ability, and his big body is needed on a team that lacks a lot of bangers down low. Ronald Roberts showed steady growth during his sophomore year and is another valuable piece to the puzzle. There isn't a whole lot of experience behind Kanasevic and Roberts, but with Aikan being able to play the four and an elite shot-blocker, that is not a huge blow for St. Joseph's.
As I've written numerous times already in these previews, the A-10 is stacked this year. If the Hawks' starting core can stay healthy, I agree with the preseason polls that they are the team to beat in conference and the ones likely to cut down the nets in March.
Player to Watch: C.J. Aiken, F
Two improvements are needed for Aiken to take his game to the next level: improving his ball-handling ability and becoming more consistent with his jump shot. If Aiken can show strides in those two areas this season, this may be his last season in a St. Joseph's uniform.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/16 vs. Notre Dame (Coaches vs. Cancer in Brooklyn)
11/17 vs. Florida State/BYU (Coaches vs. Cancer in Brooklyn)
I would be shocked if Lamar Jackson is taken in the first round...let alone first 3 or 4 rounds. Has anyone actually watched him try to throw a ball? He's terrible. He's only completing about 50% of his passes against weak ACC schools. His running won't translate to NFL so we should really be looking at his passing. Will be a bigger flop that Johnny Manziel.
Another week of great NFL games and College games brings us closer to the draft, which is the best thing to look forward to if you're a fan of a bad team. Again, I made my own order, but with each week it's looking more and more stable with teams beginning to separate themselves. Also, do not hesitate to tell me I'm wrong, I love feedback and banter.