Friday, February 12, 2016

Saint Joseph's forward Halil Kanacevic returns from suspension without fanfare or incident

Halil Kanacevic had a fairly quiet game against Drexel. That wasn't a bad thing.

Saint Joseph's forward Halil Kanacevic returns from suspension without fanfare or incident

Saint Joseph´s forward Halil Kanacevic returned from a two-game suspension in the Hawks´ win at Drexel. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Saint Joseph's forward Halil Kanacevic returned from a two-game suspension in the Hawks' win at Drexel. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

Halil Kanacevic had a fairly quiet game against Drexel. He scored just two points on 1-for-8 shooting, and recorded two rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and two turnovers. He also committed just one foul.

It wasn't much of a contribution in what turned out to be a 63-49 win for Saint Joseph's at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. But the fact that he didn't draw any attention to himself wasn't a bad thing. In fact, it may have been just the right thing for him.

Kanacevic returned to the Hawks' lineup Monday afternoon after serving a two-game suspension for aiming an obscene gesture at the Villanova student section. He didn't start, but playing 27 minutes in a seven-man rotation is plenty of time on the floor.

I expected him to get an earful from the always-boisterous Drexel student section, even though the DAC Pack wasn't as big as it is when classes are in session. In fact, a lot of the seats that students would have taken were occupied by St. Joe's fans.

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Still, it was a game between two city schools, and any time that happens on Drexel's floor, it's a big deal. Hawks coach Phil Martelli knew it too, and spoke at length on the matter after the game. Here's what he had to say:

As we debated what to do, and what I decided would happen, it was either going to be two games or three games. I thought that his [first game back] should be on the road in a difficult environment. I wanted it to be that way.

I mean, we could have waited and made it three games. It would have been a bit excessive, I think. But we - I - decided, and got affirmation from [athletic director] Don DiJulia to do it [this way], because we wanted him to face this. We know in two weeks when we go to VCU, it's not going to be pretty.

[Assistant coach] Dave Duda spent some time with him yesterday. I said to him yesterday: "Listen. I have your back." Now he'll sit here and tell you that he did it. So it's self-inflicted, and he knew what was coming. And the only thing that - I really do - the only thing I tune in to is if there's any comment about family, and if there's any racial comment. There's no reason for that.

There wasn't much [today]. It will come, though, and he has been forewarned. Look, I'm not trying to throw a guy under the bus, but it's zero tolerance. Blink the wrong way, and we'll just move on.

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Soft Pretzel Logic is's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

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