Thursday, October 04, 2012

St. Joe's picked to finish first in A-10

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Saint Joseph's men's basketball has been chosen as the preseason favorite in the Atlantic 10 Conference for the 2012-13 season, according to a poll of the league's head coaches and media.

In addition, four Hawks - C.J. Aiken, Langston Galloway, Carl Jones and Halil Kanacevic - were named to the Preseason All-Conference teams. The announcement was made at the league's annual Media Day held at the Barclays Center, which will serve as the host of the Atlantic 10 Tournament beginning this season.

The Hawks return their entire squad from last season, when they went 20-14 and earned a bid to the NIT. It marks the highest predicted finish for Saint Joseph's since 2004-05, when the Hawks were chosen as the favorite in the East Division, as they were for the 2003-04 season.

Jones and Galloway were each named to the Preseason All-Conference Second Team while Aiken and Kanacevic were both selected to the Preseason All-Conference Third Team.

Jones led the Hawks in scoring for the second consecutive season with his 17.0 average,  and received All-A-10 Honorable Mention in 2012. The only senior among the Hawks' returning regular players, Jones ranked sixth in the league in scoring.

Galloway, a junior,  was an All-Atlantic 10 Second Team honoree in 2012 while averaging 15.5 points per game. He led the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.465) and in three-pointers made per game (2.65).

Aiken, who was also named to the Preseason All-Defensive Team, was the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. He averaged 3.53 blocks per game, which ranked fifth in the nation. The 6-9 junior registered 120 blocks on the season, which was one short of the Saint Joseph's record.

Kanacevic, a junior forward, topped the Hawks in rebounding (8.3) and assists (3.68) last year, in his first at Saint Joseph's. He received All-Atlantic 10 Honorable Mention in 2011-12.

Saint Louis received 10 first-place votes and was picked second in the preseason poll, followed by new member VCU, Temple and Massachusetts. Butler, also in its first year in the conference, was picked to finish sixth, and was followed by La Salle, Dayton, Xavier and Richmond. Defending tournament champion St. Bonaventure was tabbed 11th, with Charlotte, George Washington, Fordham, Rhode Island and Duquesne rounding out the 16-team league.

The Hawks open the season on November 12 hosting Yale in the first game of the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
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