St. Joseph's Hawks
Record: 24-9 (11-5 in Atlantic-10)
Beat: UMass, VCU (twice), Dayton (thrice)
Lost to: Creighton, @Temple, LSU, Villanova, @UMass, @Richmond, St. Louis, George Washington
Fresh off an Atlantic-10 Tournament Championship, the Hawks find themselves as a 10 seed in the East Region matched up against our UConn Huskies. St. Joseph's beat two tournament teams en route to their 5th conference championship in program history and first since 1997. They defeated Dayton in the first round behind Langston Galloway's 31 point performance and then went on to blow out the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure before outlasting VCU 65-61 in the conference final. Senior Forward Halil Kanacevic was named Tournament MVP.
In the non-conference portion of their schedule, St. Joseph's had opportunities to pick up some signature wins against Creighton and Villanova. Despite leading at the half, the Hawks could not hold on against the Blue Jays and were defeated 83-79 at home. Villanova was not nearly as close as the Wildcats exploded for 59 points in the 2nd half, beating St. Joseph's 98-68. Something that should definitely be mentioned about the Hawks is that they lost to Temple back in early December 77-69. Temple.
As far as the conference slate goes, St. Joseph's picked up some signature wins in the "powerhouse" that the Atlantic-10 is. They defeated Dayton twice, who is Tournament bound along with a win against UMass 73-68. The Hawks also defeated VCU, who is also headed for the NCAAs, 69-62 back in February. Against the other two teams in conference who are also headed for the Tournament, the Hawks got smothered by Saint Louis' Defense, losing 65-49, and also lost to George Washington 76-71 late in the season.
Statistically, St. Joseph's stands in good ranking in some categories. They shoot 46.8% from the field which is good enough for 53rd in the nation. To go along with their shooting, they also rebound well on the defensive end of the court, averaging 26.1 per game which ranks 33rd in the nation. But, the stat that the Huskies need to be most aware of is the Hawks three-point shooting. They rank 45th in the nation in team three-point shooting at 38.1%.
When it comes to the Hawks rotation, they only play five players. Five players on the team average 30+ minutes a game while the next highest minutes per game total 11.8, a significant drop off. In the Atlantic-10 Championship game, St. Joseph's used two bench players who combined for a total of 7 minutes. Those five players have been on the court over 65% of the time in their last five games. Let's take a look at those players:
#10 Langston Galloway, Senior, G, (6-2, 202 pounds): A first team all-conference selection, he leads the team with 17.5 points per contest while also pulling down 4.3 rebounds a game. Galloway is the Hawks main three-point threat as he is shooting 43.9% from deep which is good enough for 67th in the nation. He also leads the team in free throw shooting at 82.6%.
#45 Halil Kanacevic, Senior, F, (6-8, 255 pounds): A second team all-conference selection, he leads the team in rebounds, assists, and blocks per game while also averaging 10.7 PPG. Kanacevic cleans up the glass averaging 8.8 RPG, which ranks 44th in the nation, while also handing out 4.4 APG and blocking 1.5 shots a game. While he is not one of St. Joseph's main three-point threats, he can knock it down as he shoots 37.0% from deep. As mentioned before, Kanacevic was the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament MVP.
#13 Ronald Roberts Jr., Senior, F, (6-8, 225 pounds): A third team all-conference selection, he is second on the team in points, rebounds, and blocks per game. Roberts Jr. averages 14.4 PPG to go along with 7.4 RPG and 1.4 BPG. He also shoots an impressive 59.8% from the field which ranks 34th in the nation.
#43 DeAndre Bembry, Freshman, F, (6-6, 200 pounds): Was the co-rookie player of the year in the Atlantic-10 averaging 12.0 PPG and 4.5 RPG. He is one of three main three-point threats for the Hawks as he is 36-101 on the year for 35.6%.
#24 Chris Wilson, Junior, G, (6-3, 210 pounds): Averages 9.0 PPG and is second on the team when it comes to three-point percentage, attempts, and makes. He is 46-131 from deep which is 35.1%.
St. Joseph's is coached by Phil Martelli who is in his 19th year as head coach for the Hawks where he has compiled a 362-246 record. Before he took over the program in 1995, Martelli was an assistant for the team from 1985-1995. He is the all-time winningest coach in St. Joseph's history and has led them to the NCAA Tournament five times, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2003-2004. In the 2003-2004 season, Martelli was named National Coach of the Year for guiding the Hawks to a perfect regular season at 27-0. This has been his only collegiate head coaching job.