#60 Saint Mary's Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Saint Mary’s Gaels
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #60
Conference Rank: #4 West Coast
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Saint Mary’s finished seventh in the West Coast Conference last season. That is their worst finish since Coach Randy Bennett took over the program two decades ago. Of course, that is misleading in a season where Saint Mary’s had seven games cancelled and still had to play both Gonzaga and BYU twice. The Gaels still managed to reach the NIT though and, with everybody returning, that should be the minimum goal in 2021-2022.
2020-21 Record: 14-10, 4-6
2020-21 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Randy Bennett
Coach Record: 454-192 at Saint Mary’s, 454-192 overall
Key Departed Players:
Key Returning Players:
Logan Johnson, Senior, Guard, 13.3 ppg
Tommy Kuhse, Senior, Guard, 12.8 ppg
Matthias Tass, Senior, Forward/Center, 10.9 ppg
Dan Fotu, Senior, Forward, 8.4 ppg
Alex Ducas, Junior, Guard/Forward, 7.9 ppg
Leemet Bockler, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 ppg
Kyle Bowen, Junior, Forward, 4.0 ppg
Quinn Clinton, Junior, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Jabe Mulins, Sophomore, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Mitchell Saxen, Sophomore, Center, 2.7 ppg
Judah Brown, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Matt Van Komen, Junior, Center, 0.8 ppg
Luke Barrett, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 0.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Chris Howell, Freshman, Guard
Augustas Marciulionis, Freshman, Guard
Tommy Kuhse and Logan Johnson are the experienced seniors in the backcourt. Kuhse dished out 5.0 assists per game and added 12.8 points and 1.5 steals. Johnson led the Gaels with 13.3 points. Neither Kuhse or Johnson are very good outside shooters, but both are obviously very good at scoring inside the arc. Forward Dan Fotu was the most potent three-point shooter a season ago, connecting on a team high 24. Guards Alex Ducas and Quinn Clinton are capable of having some good shooting days as well. In fact, this team is full of potential shooters, but none of them were consistent last season. The team as a whole shot a dismal 29.4 percent from beyond the arc. That must improve in 2021-2022 if Saint Mary’s is expecting seriously compete for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Even Mathias Tass will occasionally hoist up a long ball, but the 6-10 center is at his best in the paint. Coach Bennet went nine deep when everybody was available last season. He will likely be able to go at least ten deep this year. Augustas Marciulionis is widely considered the best international newcomer and the 6-4 point guard will have a great career at Saint Mary’s. The Gaels may not need him to do too much right away, but it could be tough to keep him off the floor. Regardless, Saint Mary’s will be more competitive this season but there are a few teams in the conference that even the Gaels experience will have trouble against.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.2 (313th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.6 (18, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.2 (261, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (160, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (277, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.4 (322, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.6 (78, 3)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (86, 4)
Assists Per Game: 10.7 (316, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (48, 1)