#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels: College Basketball 111 in 111


saint mary's cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

For the second time in three years, Saint Mary’s ended up on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble despite a successful regular season.  Things only get more difficult for the Gaels with addition of BYU to the West Coast Conference.  Still, with a solid core returning, St. Mary’s should be right back in the conference title hunt.

SAINT MARY’S GAELS
Last Season: T-1st, 11-3 in WCC, 25-9 overall
Predicted WCC Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Mitchell Young (Jr)/Kenton Walker (Sr)/Kyle Rowley (Jr)/Brad Waldow (Fr)
PF: Rob Jones (Sr)/Tim Williams (Jr)/Beau Levesque (So)
G/F: Stephen Holt (So)/Clint Steindel (Sr)/Eividas Petrulis (Fr)
G: Paul McCoy (Jr)
PG: Matthew Dellavedova (Jr)/Jorden Page (So)

Gone: G-Mickey McConnell, PF-Phil Benson

matthew dellavedova st. mary's

2011-2012 Outlook:
The Gaels lose half of their backcourt in WCC Player of the Year Mickey McConnell, but return Matthew Dellavedova.  The Aussie is the a two-year starter and got even more experience this summer playing for the Australian National Team.  He is not near as efficient a three-pointer shooter as McConnell but can light it up from deep when he gets the hot hand and also uses his size to get to the basket.

Dellavedova will likely take on the ball-handling responsibilities although SMU transfer Paul McCoy is also capable of running the point.  After sitting out last season, McCoy will be an impact player and possibly part of a three-guard look that will also feature rising sophomore Stephen Holt.  Jorden Page returns from a season-ending knee injury that cost him all but seven games last year and will be a key backcourt reserve for the Gaels.

The frontcourt returns all its contributors and will provide head coach Randy Bennett with plenty of options.  6-6 Rob Jones might be undersized but uses his physicality in the paint and three-point range to be an effective inside/outside threat.  He will return to the starting line-up and be joined by either Mitchell Young, Clint Steindel, Kenton Walker, or Tim Williams.

Young is the only of those four players not to start a game last season but is undoubtedly the most talented.  He averaged more than ten points and five rebounds despite playing around 21 minutes a night.  Walker and Williams seem better suited as role players off the bench and will also have to compete with Northwestern transfer Kyle Rowley for playing time.  Steindel is a perimeter based forward who connected on 42.3% of his triple tries and gives Bennett more size at small forward when he wants to go with a bigger line-up.  Redshirt freshman Brad Waldow, Beau Lavesque, and  Eividas Petrulis figure to be the odd men out in the rotation.

McConnell is the only contributor gone from last year’s team which means the Gaels bring plenty of experience and versatility to the floor.  Gonzaga will once again be the team to beat in the WCC, but Saint Mary’s should find themselves on the right side of the bubble this year if they don’t earn the league’s automatic bid to the Big Dance.

Player to Watch: Paul McCoy
As a freshman at SMU, the 5-11 guard averaged 13.4 points, 4 boards, and 3 assists per game.  His numbers dipped a bit his sophomore year which ended early due to a knee injury.  McCoy is a solid defender who will pester opposing points guard and allow the bigger Dellavedova to guard two’s.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/14 vs. Northern Iowa
11/22 vs. Baylor (Las Vegas Classic)
11/23 vs. Missouri State (Las Vegas Classic)

OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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