#70 Saint Mary's Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Saint Mary’s Gaels
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #70
Conference Rank: #3 West Coast
 Saint Mary's Logo
Despite losing their top three scorers heading into the 2020-2021 campaign, Saint Mary’s is a program that is hard to write off. The Gaels have been right in the NCAA Tournament discussion every season since 2007-2008. Six of those times they ended up on the wrong side of the bubble and had to settle for a trip to the NIT, but Coach Randy Bennett has down a terrific job rebuilding his roster each and every season. And this year should be no different and it will not be a surprise if Saint Mary’s spends another February/March pushing for a spot in the big dance.
2019-20 Record: 26-8, 11-5
Coach: Randy Bennett
Coach Record: 440-182 at Saint Mary’s, 440-182 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jordan Ford, Guard, 21.9 ppg
Malik Fitts, Forward, 16.5 ppg
Tanner Krebs, Guard, 9.1 ppg
Jock Perry, Center, 3.3 ppg
Aaron Menzies, Center, 2.5 ppg
Elijah Thomas, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Dan Fotu, Junior, Forward, 6.4 ppg
Tommy Kuhse, Senior, Guard, 5.9 ppg
Matthias Tass, Junior, Forward/Center, 6.6 ppg
Krister Zoriks, Junior, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Alex Ducas, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 3.6 ppg
Kyle Bowen, Sophomore, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Logan Johnson, Junior, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Quinn Clinton, Sophomore, Guard, dnp last season
Key New Players:
Judah Brown, Freshman, Forward
Leemet Bockler, Freshman, Guard
Jabe Mullins, Freshman, Guard
Mitchell Saxen, Freshman, Center
Matt von Komen, Sophomore, Center, Transfer from Utah, not eligible
The frontcourt will be manned by returning leading scorers Dan Fotu and Matthias Tass. Fotu started 19 games during his sophomore season and averaged 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds. Tass started 13 games and only played in 14, averaging 6.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 blocks. The 6-10 junior is a proven defender, but now he will have the opportunity to emerge as a star on the other side of the floor as well. Of course, getting over that season ending ACL injury suffered on December 21st will be very important to his development. The lone senior on the roster is Tommy Kuhse. The 6-2 guard will again run the point and, like everybody on the team, will be asked to do more scoring this season. Those three returning key contributors from a season ago give the Gaels a point guard and two solid frontcourt players. What that means is St. Mary’s needs are some shooters and scorers. And for a team that ranked fourth in the country in three-point field-goal percentage last season, there should be some ready to step up. Krister Zoriks and Alex Ducas have some experience and Quinn Clinton can make some long balls when healthy. Keep an eye on Ducas especially, the Australian wing has a nice shot and he will have the opportunity to show it off more this season. Zoriks could also change the dynamic of the offense if the point guard can stay healthy. The recruiting class, highlighted by Jabe Mullins, will add some size and talent all over the floor. On paper, losing Jordan Ford, Malik Fitts and Tanner Krebs will be difficult, but Coach Bennett has plenty of players ready to fill the void and take Saint Mary’s back to the postseason.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.3 (67th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.9 (110, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.9 (13, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.2 (290, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (84, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.6 (4, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.4 (38, 2)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (127, 4)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (268, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.9 (3, 1)

Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#123 Jabe Mullins