Saint Mary’s Gaels
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #55
Conference Rank: #3 West Coast Conference
Saint Mary's Team Page
Saint Mary’s always reloads. No matter who they lose, others are ready to step up and pick up the slack. That will be the case again in the frontcourt, but it will be senior Matthew Dellavedova who leads the Gaels back to the postseason. The 6-4 senior led the squad last season with 15.5 points and 6.4 assists. The Aussie is a superb playmaker and an even better all-around scorer. Dellavedova is a capable shooter, but his three-point percentage has dipped every year. That is not a horrible thing since he took over the point guard duties last season, but if he starts knocking down over 40 percent of his long range attempts again, this is a Gaels team that will give Gonzaga and BYU more than they can handle.
2011-12 Record: 27-6, 14-2
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Randy Bennett
Coach Record: 235-118 at Saint Mary’s, 235-118 overall
The loss of Rob Jones is the obvious concern. The undersized power forward did not play like an undersized power forward during his senior campaign, averaging 15.0 points and 10.8 rebounds. Jones was a dangerous player because of his athleticism and ability to step outside and knock down the long ball. He would stretch out the opposing defenses, but obviously Jones also did a ton of work on the glass. Clint Steindl is also gone after starting 14 games during the 2011-2012 campaign. Steindl was a big wing who was pretty much just a shooter. However, he shot extremely well and led the team with two three-pointers per game and a 42.0 shooting percentage from long range. This team has other shooters, but Steindl could shoot over just about any opposing defender. Kenton Walker saw his production decrease during his senior season, but his absence raises even more depth concerns in the frontcourt.
The Gaels will need Matt Hodgson, and possibly Chris Reyes, to add depth in the paint. Hodgson is a big 6-11, 255 pound center who spent a couple seasons at Southern Utah. He may not be a great scorer or rebounder, but he is a fine defender and has the size to eat up plenty of space in the paint. Reyes may need some time to add strength to his 6-7 frame, but Coach Randy Bennett has a knack for picking up players who most think need a year or two of development, but are ready to go right away. The rest of the newcomers will add depth to the backcourt. Paul McCoy has been sitting on the sidelines for a couple years after transferring in from SMU and dealing with a knee injury. If he is healthy, McCoy should emerge as a quality backup point guard. Redshirt freshman Jordan Giusti will add more depth at the point. Treaven Duffy and James Walker will look for minutes on the wing. Walker, a junior college transfer, will be the player who makes an impact this season. In fact, with Steindl gone, Walker will be asked to play quite a few minutes on the wing and the Gaels will need him to be a productive option off of the bench from day one.
Who to Watch:
Replacing Jones’ production will fall to sophomore forward Brad Waldow. Waldow was one of those big men with low expectations as a freshman, but turned into an extremely productive big man. He started 24 games beside Jones last season, averaging 8.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. At 6-9 and 260 pounds, Waldow has the size this team needs to bang around in the paint. However, he averaged just 18.5 minutes per game last season and he needs to be better conditioned and stay out of foul trouble if he is going to play traditional starter minutes. If Hodgson is ready to go, Saint Mary’s will not need to get 25 to 30 minutes per game out of Waldow, but the more minutes they can get from him the better. Mitchell Young will take over Jones’ spot at the power forward position. Young’s production dropped big time last season as he averaged just 4.4 points and 2.7 rebounds. The emergence of Waldow had a lot to do with that. Two years ago Young tallied 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds and he will need to get closer to those numbers this year. Tim Williams, Beau Levesque and former Northwestern center Kyle Rowley will look to add depth up front. All three are very experienced players, but all three were also pretty unproductive last season.
The stars will emerge in the frontcourt, but they already exist on the perimeter. Joining Dellavedova will be Jorden Page and Stephen Holt. Page is a quality ballhandler who came back nicely from a knee injury last year. He averaged 8.0 points per game and struggled at times to find his shot, but Page is a proven scorer and a great option to play beside Dellavedova since he can allow the superstar of the team to work off of the ball a little more often. Holt, a 6-4 shooting guard, will do a lot of everything for the Gaels yet again in 2012-2013. As a sophomore last season he average 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals. Holt should replace Steindl as the best shooter on the team, although there are plenty of other candidates to fill that role as well. The bigger concern will be on the glass where Jones did such a great job. Waldow and Young bring more size to the frontcourt, but if they are not up for the rebounding task, Saint Mary’s could miss out on the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Matthew Dellavedova, Senior, Guard, 15.5 points per game
Jorden Page, Junior, Guard, 8.0 points per game
Stephen Holt, Junior, Guard, 10.1 points per game
Mitchell Young, Senior, Forward, 4.4 points per game
Brad Waldow, Sophomore, Forward, 8.1 points per game