Men's Basketball Begins Practice for 2012-13 Season Today
Oct. 12, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - One of the most highly-anticipated Saint Joseph's men's basketball seasons in recent years begins today, October 12, when the Hawks take to the court for the first official practice of 2012-13.
Now in his 18th season at Saint Joseph's, Phil Martelli welcomes back the entire squad from last year, when the Hawks went 20-14 and earned a bid to the NIT.
The Hawks were picked as the favorite in the Atlantic 10 in the Preseason Poll, as voted on by coaches and the media, receiving 11 first-place votes.
Four Hawks also received Preseason All-Conference mention as Carl Jones and Langston Galloway were named to the Preseason Alantic 10 All-Conference Second Team with C.J. Aiken and Halil Kanacevic earning selection to the All-A-10 Third Team. Aiken was also named to the Preseason All-Defensive Team.
Saint Joseph's opens the season on November 12 hosting Yale in the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Hagan Arena.
THEY'RE BACK: The Hawks return all five starters, plus A-10 Sixth Man of the Year Ronald Roberts, Jr., from last year's squad which posted a 20-14 record, for the seventh 20-win season under Phil Martelli. That squad also earned an NIT bid, for the 10th postseason appearance during his tenure.
PRESEASON PICK: Saint Joseph's has been tabbed as the preseason favorite in the league, marking the first time that has occurred since 2004-05. In that season, the Hawks were picked to the win the East Division, as they also were in 2003-04. Last season, SJU was predicted to finish seventh and ended up with a fifth-place finish.
A-10 ACCOLADES: Carl Jones and Langston Galloway have been named to the Preseason Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team with C.J. Aiken and Halil Kanacevic earning selection to the All-A-10 Third Team. Aiken was also named to the Preseason All-Defensive Team. Saint Joseph's had five players receive conference honors during the 2011-12 season, which was the most Hawks to do so in one season. Galloway was an All-A-10 Second Team selection, Jones and Kanacevice were named to the All-A-10 Third Team, Aiken was the Defensive Player of the Year and Ronald Roberts was chosen as the Sixth Man of the Year.
MAJOR TURNAROUND: Saint Joseph's was one of nine teams in the nation to win at least 20 or more games in 2011-12 after losing 20 or more the previous season. The others were: South Florida, Indiana, Cal State-Fullerton, Loyola Marymount, Oregon State, Wyoming, Norfolk State and South Carolina-Upstate.
ON THE BLOCK: After just two seasons, C.J. Aiken has established himself as one of the top shot blockers both in the nation and in SJU history. He compiled 120 blocks last year, which was one shy of the Hawks' single-season record, and ranked fifth in the nation with his average of 3.53 per game. He was named the A-10's Defensive Player of the Year Award, becoming the first Hawk to win the award since Dwayne Jones ni 2004-05. Totalling 237 career blocks, he already ranks second on the all-time list behind Rodney Blake (419). Aiken also helped Saint Joseph's set the record for team blocks in a season with 244, and with 7.2 blocks per game as a team, the Hawks ranked second in the NCAA stats behind national champion Kentucky.
SHARP SHOOTER: Junior Langston Galloway led the A-10 and ranked fourth in the nation in three-point percentage, hitting 46.6 percent. His total of 90 three-pointers made last season also topped the conference and ranked fourth among the Hawks' best all-time performances.
HIGH-FLYING HAWK: Junior Ronald Roberts, Jr. is one of the most exciting players in recent Hawk history, with his tremendous athletic ability. Roberts came off the bench in all 34 contests last season, and averaged 10.9 points and 5.9 rebounds to earn the A-10's Sixth Man of the Year Award. He became the first Hawk to receive that honor since Tyrone Barley in 2003-04.
THE POINT FORWARD: Halil Kanacevic became a welcome addition to the squad last season after transferring from Hofstra. The 6-8 forward possesses a unique passing ability and topped the Hawks in assists and rebounds with 3.68 and 8.3 per game, respectively. Kanacevic received A-10 Honorable Mention in 2012 and is an All-A-10 Preseason Third Team selection heading into this season.
FIRST LOOK: Saint Joseph's will be the first A-10 team to get a look at the Barclays Center this season, as the Hawks are participating in the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Saint Joseph's is a regional host for the tournament, so they will hold two games at Hagan Arena - an exhibition with Wheeling Jesuit (Nov. 8) and the regular-season opener with Yale (Nov. 12). The Hawks will then move on to the championship round of the tournament at the Barclays Center and face Notre Dame on Nov. 16, with BYU and Florida State playing in the first game. The consolation and championship contests will be held on Nov. 17 with all four games televised on truTV.