Monday, March 05, 2012

Aiken named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's sophomore C.J. Aiken was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and classmate Ronald Roberts was chosen the Sixth Man of the Year, as the Hawks had five players receive conference honors.  Langston Galloway was named to the A-10 All-Conference Second Team while Carl Jones and Halil Kanacevic received All-Conference Honorable Mention.

The five different players receiving A-10 honors marks the most in Saint Joseph's history.

Aiken, who headed the league's All-Defensive Team, proved to be one of the top shot blockers in the nation this season, topping the A-10 with 3.7 per game. His total of 116 blocks is tied as the third-best single-season total in SJU history. He led the nation at one point this year, and is currently ranked fourth. The 6-9 center committed just 44 fouls, which is an average of 1.4 per game. Aiken also averages double figures for the Hawks, with 11.0 points per game. He is the first Hawk to receive the award since Dwayne Jones in 2004-05.

Roberts has come off the bench in all 31 games and energized the Hawks with his athleticism. He is the team's third leading scorer with 11.1 points per game and is second on the squad with 6.0 rebounds. The 6-8 forward is also second on the squad in A-10 scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in league games. Roberts has scored double figures 18 times this season and becomes the first SJU player to receive the Sixth Man award since Tyrone Barley in 2003-04.

Galloway, who earned A-10 All-Rookie honors in 2011, is the top three-point shooter in the conference, hitting 49.6 percent from beyond the arc and making 2.6 per game.  The Hawks' second leading scorer with his 15.5 average, the 6-2 guard has tallied double figures in all but six games, and has scored 20 or more points six times.

Jones, a 5-11 guard, is Saint Joseph's leading scorer with 16.3 points per game to rank sixth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring. He has tallied double figures in all but four games this season and has reached 20 or more points seven times. Jones tops the team in free throw percentage, hitting 80.6 percent, and is handing out 3.2 assists per game.

Kanacevic, who was in his first year on the squad after transferring to SJU, is a 6-8 forward who tops the team in not only rebounding, but also assists. He ranks third in the conference with 8.1 rebounds per game, while leading the league with his 10.2 average in A-10 contests. Kanacevic is averaging 3.6 assists per game to rank 10th in the A-10 and leads the Hawks with seven double-doubles this season.

Saint Joseph's (19-11; 9-7 A-10) is seeded fifth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and opens play on Tuesday by hosting 12th-seeded Charlotte in a first round game at Hagan Arena. The winner of that game will advance to meet fourth-seeded St. Bonaventure in the Quarterfinals on Friday at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.

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