If one listens to the coaches speak of upcoming opponents each week in the Atlantic-10 conference call, it sound like one big love-fest.
Every upcoming opponent is made to be the best team this side of Kentucky, Syracuse and North Carolina.
Yet Rick Majerus of St. Louis is usually a straight shooter, but he’s also one who can throw out bouquets.
He did it when talking about St. Joseph’s, his opponent on Wednesday at Hagan Arena.
This is a key game. St. Louis (18-5 overall, 6-3 A-10) trails first place Temple by one game. St Joseph’s is 15-9, 5-4.
Majerus’s first player he talked about was 6-8 sophomore Ron Roberts.
“How many teams have the luxury of bringing in a leading scorer off the bench in Roberts,” Majerus asked.
Despite not having started a game, Roberts is averaging 11 points, which is fourth on this balanced team. He is second in rebounding, averaging 5.9 per game.
“I like how well they play together and share the ball,” Majerus said. “They have dimensions very few have.”
Majures also raved about the versatility of 6-8 Halil Kanacevic.
“He is a sensational passer,” Majerus said. “He has a great feel. He is a point forward and has the perception and skills of a passing guard.”
The Hawks will have to contain 6-6 St. Louis senior Brian Conklin, who is averaging a team-high 14.9 points and is second on the team in rebounding (5.4 per game).
St. Louis leads the A-10 in scoring defense (56.9) and scoring margin (12.8) and it will be interesting if the Hawks can get their transition game going against this formidable defense.