WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the 2017-18 Atlantic 10 Conference Preseason Poll, as voted on by a panel of the league's head coaches and media members, and announced at the league’s annual Media Day at the Capital One Arena.
Senior Shavar Newkirk was named to the Preseason All-Conference Second Team while junior Lamarr Kimble and sophomore Charlie Brown, Jr., were chosen to the All-Conference Third Team.
It marks the highest preseason selection for Saint Joseph’s since the 2012-13 campaign when the Hawks were picked first. SJU has won two conference titles in the past four years, capturing the championship in 2014 and 2016.
Saint Joseph’s, led by 23rd-year head coach Phil Martelli, returns five starters from last season in which four players missed significant time with injuries and went 11-20.
Newkirk was having a career-best season and was en route to All-League honors when he tore his ACL in the first A-10 game of the year. He was averaging 20.3 points per game at the time, while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 84.7 percent from the foul line.
Kimble picked up the scoring lead in Newkirk’s absence, scoring 15.5 points before suffering a fracture in his foot in February. He topped the Hawks in assists with 4.5 per game despite missing seven games.
Brown, who earned A-10 All-Rookie honors in 2017, averaged 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds while making 30 starts as a freshman. He was the Hawks’ best at the foul line (of those who played in every game), hitting 81.9 percent.
Defending champion Rhode Island received 27 first-place votes and 390 points in the poll while St. Bonaventure registered 345 points and one first-place vote. The Hawks had 300 points and edged out VCU (299) for third place.
Saint Joseph’s opens the season on November 11 at Toledo and plays its home opener on Saturday, November 18 against Princeton.