Big 5 season preview: St. Joseph’s led by DeAndre Bembry, among nation’s top prospects

Big 5 season preview: St. Joseph’s led by DeAndre Bembry, among nation’s top
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There weren’t too many positives to show for the 2014-15 St. Joe’s Hawks. If anything, an early season 58-56 win over the Temple Owls to narrowly keep them out of the NCAA Tournament is probably the only team highlight of an otherwise forgettable season.

The Hawks finished 13-18 (7-11) and if it weren’t for their lone savior DeAndre Bembry, that record of futility just might have reached new heights. It was the Hawks’ worst finish since 2010-11 and coach Phil Martelli with his freshly inked multi-year contract extension will have a lot of work ahead of him in order to turn things around in 2015-16.

The best thing Martelli has going for him, is that he may not only have the best player in the Atlantic 10 Conference, but one of the best players in the entire country to work with on his roster. Junior forward Bembry has NBA talent and it was on display in full-force last season for the fans who made their way over to Hagan Arena.

Bembry became the first Hawks player in team history to lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring at 17.7 points per game. He was also named to the First Team All-Atlantic 10 as well as the First Team All-Big Five. Bembry’s game doesn’t stop in the scoring department however, he ranked seventh in the Atlantic 10 with 7.7 rebounds and led the Hawks in both assists (3.6) and steals (1.9) as well.

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He’s the all-around package, good enough for to rank him as the 4thbest mid-major prospect entering the 2015-16 season.

The Hawks are hoping that freshman guard Chris Clover, who averaged 21.3 points per game for St. Joe’s Prep, can bring immediate scoring for a team that ranked 307thin the country in 2014-15. Defensively they’re hoping to improve on their 85thnational ranking per

They’ll face the Drexel Dragons to start the yearon Friday. The game will be played in Hagan Arena at8 p.m.

St. Joe’s games to watch:

St. Joe’s at Florida (Hall of Fame Tip-Off) –November 21, 2:30 p.m.ESPN3
Villanova at St. Joe’s (Hagan Arena) –December 1, 7 p.m.CBS Sports Network
St. Joe’s at Temple (Liacouras Center) –December 13, 4 p.m.CBS Sports Network
Rhode Island at St. Joe’s (Hagan Arena) –January 2, NoonNBC Sports Network
St. Joe’s at La Salle (Tom Gola Arena) –January 23, 4 p.m.American Sports Network