Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli received three commitments for this year’s freshmen class. Unfortunately, only one of the three signed recruits plans to suit up this season, as the team recently received the unsettling news that point guard Kyle Molock suffered his third knee injury in as many years while power forward Javon Baumann will be redshirting to work on polishing his game.
The lone freshman expected to contribute right away is power forward Isaiah Miles out of Baltimore, MD. Miles was rated a 3-star recruit by both Rivals and Scout coming out of Milford Mill Academy. There shouldn’t be too much pressure on the 6’7″ freshman as he spots a deep front court that consists of Halil Kanacevic, CJ Aiken, Ron Roberts, Daryus Quarles, and Papa Ndao. Still, if he performs well, he may put a similarly statured Daryus Quarles — who has been inconsistent and underachieved over two years — on the hot seat, though Martelli considers Quarles as a better runner while Miles is a more physical player, so they should have no problem coexisting for two seasons. Miles averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds and was a threat from deep as a senior at Milford Mill. The SJU coach described him as “versatile” and expects him to be able to fill a few different roles as a wing.
Perhaps the most anticipated recruit in the incoming class was Kyle Molock. Having been injured before, Molock carries the most risk and, in July, he re-tore the ACL that he had injured in January. Two years before that he sustained an injury to his other knee. The 6’3″ guard out of Dublin, Ohio had previously committed to Purdue before decommitting and instead choosing St. Joe’s. Molock was expected to spell Tay Jones and Chris Wilson at the point but now he will be expected to take an even larger role as backup to Wilson once Jones graduates — if he can remain healthy. The well-built guard is a capable scorer with a quick first step and an impressive shot. It remains to be seen how if he will be able to overcome his latest injury, however, Phil Martelli describes Molock as mature beyond his years and is confident that if anyone can overcome three knee injuries, this young guard can.
The least renowned of the incoming class is Javon Baumann who is a bulky 6’8″, 250 pound power bruiser. Baumann most recently played in Germany where he averaged around 5 points and 4 rebounds per contest. Baumann will be a project of sorts but his size is intriguing. If he progresses, Baumann will be a possible replacement for the similarly sized Kanacevic when the junior graduates after next season. Martelli refers to him as “wide-eyed” and thinks he will be ready and willing to learn and turn himself into a force down low. The extra season of practice with the rest of the team will be vital to the freshman’s development.
Hawk Hill’s incoming class is certainly not the most highly publicized in the Atlantic 10 but, at best, it offers one player who will contribute important minutes from the start, and a pair who will be impactful in replacing the team’s sizable junior class in the future. At the very least, it will give the team immediate depth in the frontcourt and a project at forward for the future. Fans of the Hawks will wait with bated breath to see whether the jewel of the class can recover from yet another severe injury.