Is St. Joseph’s Your Atlantic 10 Sleeper?
With all the attention that George Washington and Dayton have gotten for their wins against Top 25 teams in Virginia and Vanderbilt, its easy to forget about some of the other teams in the Atlantic 10 conference who will certainly make a run at the regular season title. St. Joseph’s is the perfect example. The Hawks have quietly gotten off to an impressive 9-2 start and look potent enough to compete with anyone in the conference.
For starters, the Hawks have won their last five games, beating fairly solid opponents in each contest. They won road games against Columbia and Temple, a neutral site game against Virginia Tech, and home matchups with Illinois State and Princeton. Not to mention that the Hawks also boast solid wins over Old Dominion and Buffalo. St. Joseph’s 2 losses this season have come at the hands of surefire tournament teams; Florida and Villanova are solid opponents that were expected to beat the Hawks.
St. Joseph’s is led by an excellent duo of upperclassmen in DeAdnre’ Bembry and Isaiah Miles. The two combine for 33.9 points per game and 16 rebounds per game. Needless to day, the Hawks have been so successful because they can rely heavily on two star players instead of one. If the Hawks want to compete for first place in the Atlantic 10 conference, it obviously starts with Miles and Bembry.
KenPom ranks St. Joseph’s as the 5th best A10 team and the 65th best team overall. With an impressive showing in the non-conference slate of its schedule, the Hawks are doing exactly what they need to do in order to have a chance to make it back to the Big Dance this March. One thing that the selection committee will definitely need to see though is a few solid wins over tournament opponents. The Hawks will need to beat Dayton or George Washington in conference play in order to get those resume boosting wins. Bottom line? Don’t sleep on the Hawks.