Toledo Rockets (0-0) vs. St. Josephs Hawks (0-0)
NCAAB: Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 7:00pm EST
Line: St. Joseph’s -5
The St. Joseph Hawks will host the Toledo Rockets in the season opener for both clubs Saturday evening from the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena in Philadelphia. Toledo posted a 17-15 record with an 8-10 conference record last season, and St. Joseph’s went 28-8 with a 13-5 record in Atlantic 10 play.
Williams Poised for Huge Season for Rockets
The Toledo Rockets enter this season with many key players from last year returning, but will have to deal with a few key losses. Nathan Boothe, who led the team in scoring last season with 19.3 points per game graduated leaving a big void to fill. Stuckey Mosley and his 10.2 points per game transferred to James Madison. Toledo will return senior guard Jonathan Williams who will carry the load offensively and will likely lead the team in scoring. Williams was outstanding last season, scoring an average of 17.6 points per game ranking him second in team scoring, and reached double digits in points in all but one game. The Hawks did bring in two solid transfers that should help the team immediately in Steve Taylor and Lucas Antunez. Taylor came in from Marquette and will be a force down low after finishing second in team rebounding with Marquette last season. Toledo did lose some key parts but do have decent talent to plug the holes, and will likely rank near the middle of the pack in the MAC.
Toledo scored an average of 77.6 points per game last season, ranking them 65th overall, and shot 46% as a team. The Rockets conceded an average of 71.4 points per game, and held opponents to 43.5% shooting.
Hawks Dealing with Large Roster Turnover
The St. Josephs Hawks will be going with a young team this season after a large roster turnover from last season. The Hawks lost their top three scorers from last season in Isaiah Miles, DeAndre Bembry, and Aaron Brown, and currently do not have a roster player that reached double digits in points last season. St. Josephs will be counting on the trio of Lamarr Kimble who averaged six points per game last season on an average of 18 minutes of playing time. Kimble is a dynamic player that should blossom into an impact player at point guard. St. Joseph’s also return forward James Demery who will need to be productive on offense for this team to have success. The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 8.1 points per game last season. St. Joseph’s does feature some intriguing young talent, but they do not have enough to compete with the likes of VCU, Dayton and Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Conference, however they will still be a competitive squad.
St. Joseph’s averaged 77.7 points per game, last season, ranking them 77th overall, however that number will likely drop this season. The Hawks allowed an average of 70.1 points per game last year, ranking them 127th overall.
The Toledo Rockets are:
- No Key Trends
The St. Joseph’s Hawks are:
- No Key Trends
I am going with Toledo in this contest. Toledo still features a lot of talent from last season which includes a great player in Jonathan Williams who should be the best player on the court in this contest. Williams averaged 17.6 points per game last season, and should have a big game against a younger Hawks squad. St. Joseph’s is going with a very young roster, they lost their top three scorers from last season, and they will have a hard time scoring points all season. Toledo features solid scoring punch, so I will gladly take them with the points.