#84 Saint Mary's Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Saint Mary’s Gaels
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #84
Conference Rank: #3 WCC
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Despite a 27-4 regular season record, Saint Mary’s failed to receive an invite to the NCAA Tournament in 2018. A pair of losses during the Gaels’ weak non-conference schedule proved to be detrimental after losing to BYU in the WCC Tournament. It will be a steep climb back to the top of the conference now that All-American center Jock Landale has graduated. Saint Mary’s loses five of their top seven scorers, including three starters from a year ago. Head coach Randy Bennett could be looking at a rebuilding season in 2018-19.
2017-18 Record: 30-6, 16-2
2017-18 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Randy Bennett
Coach Record: 392-162 at Saint Mary’s, 392-162 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jock Landale, Center, 21.1 ppg
Calvin Hermanson, Forward, 11.3 ppg
Emmett Naar, Guard, 9.5 ppg
Cullen Neal, Guard, 5.3 ppg

Evan Fitzner, Forward, 5.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jordon Ford, Junior, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Tanner Krebs, Junior, Forward, 7.7 ppg
Kyle Clark, Junior, Forward, 4.0 ppg

Jordan Hunter, Senior, Center, 2.9 ppg
Jock Perry, Sophomore, Center, 2.1 ppg
Elijah Thomas, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Quinn Clinton, Freshman, Guard

Malik Fitts, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from South Florida
Dan Fotu, Freshman, Forward
Aaron Menzies, Senior, Center, Grad Transfer from Seattle
Alex Mudronja, Freshman, Guard
Matthias Tass, Freshman, Forward
Kristers Zoriks, Freshman, Guard
Jordan Ford and Tanner Krebs are the only starters remaining from 2017-18 for the Gaels. Ford was third on the team in scoring with 11.1 points per game and will see a much larger role in his junior season. Krebs will also be a junior this year and will need to develop into more than just a three-point specialist. Kyle Clark will be a welcome addition back to the lineup after suffering a knee injury last season. Clark played in just three games last year but saw action in 33 games the year before. Jordan Hunter, Jock Perry and Elijah Thomas will all need to step up as rotation players after seeing limited playing time last season. The Gaels will have transfers Aaron Menzies and Malik Fitts available this year. Menzies is a 7-3 center who averaged 11.3 points and 8.9 rebounds at Seattle last season. Fitts is a 6-8 forward who averaged 7.4 points and 4.6 rebounds as a freshman at South Florida two seasons ago. Saint Mary’s also added five freshmen, all of which are from overseas. With a limited roster returning, there will be plenty of chances for the new players to secure solid playing time in their first year with the Gaels. In all likelihood, this will be a rebuilding year for Saint Mary’s, but they should remain towards the top of the WCC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.0 (83rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.5 (14, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 51.5 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.2 (198, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.9 (149, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 41.0 (7, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.9 (22, 1)
Rebound Margin: 6.3 (20, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (56, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.9 (8, 1)