It was only one practice, but here are a few observations after watching St. Joseph’s work out before heading to Italy Aug. 11-21.
*Halil Kanacevic looks leaner and seems even taller than his listed 6-8. Kanacevic still has a physical style he and Ronald Roberts Jr. will be strong bangers inside.
*Roberts, always a quick leaper, looks even quicker. The key for him is how well he finishes around the basket but he and Kanacevic go after it as well as any frontcourt pair. They both treated the practice as if it were the A-10 tournament.
*Langston Galloway could be handling the ball more this season. He understands that teams will be double teaming him even more than in the past and he has worked on his handle. Plus it gives the Hawks another ballhandler to take some of the load off Chris Wilson.
*Redshirt freshman Kyle Molock, who missed last year due to an ACL injury, has been cleared to play. He wasn’t practicing when this reporter was there, but the Hawks said they were just being cautious with him, not wanting to overwork the knee. With Wilson and Galloway the only experienced guards, the contribution of Molock will be key.
* One of the newcomers who was active was 6-6 freshman DeAndre Bembry an all-state performer from the Patrick School in New Jersey. Bembry showed some range, hitting a three-pointer, but was mostly active inside. At first glance, he has the look of a key rotation player.
*The Hawks hope that 6-7 sophomore Isaiah Miles can take the next step after not making much of an impact his freshman year. Consistency seems to be the key for Miles, who even in the workout showed flashes.
*Coach Phil Martelli says that the Hawks will play a more uptempo style this year. That would suit their skills, especially since even the big men such as Roberts and Kanacevic can run the floor and both can finish inside. Last season the Hawks often struggled in half-court sets.
* Martelli was right in saying don’t look too much into who is starting these games. He says he is going to give everybody a chance to play. His first intention was to give the seniors a breather, but they wanted none of that.
“I was hoping at some point in time maybe the older guys would rest a little more, but they worked so hard these 10 days that I am going to play them,” Martelli said.
*Galloway, Roberts and Kanacevic are the leaders of this team and each is taking that role seriously. The trio set the tone by staying in great shape and nobody will outwork them.