Saint Joseph’s University just put the finishing touches on a huge basketball season. The Hawks completed their season with a 28-8 record, for the second-most wins in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. As a result, Saint Joseph’s has earned some major honors from the Philadelphia Big 5.
Saint Joe’s standout DeAndre’ Bembry and head coach Phil Martelli were named the Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, while Hawks senior Isaiah Miles was selected the Most Improved Player. They will be honored with other award winners at the Big 5 banquet in the Palestra on April 11.
Bembry and Miles were named to the All-Big 5 first team along with Villanova standouts Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono and Temple’s Quenton DeCosey. The second team includes Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu and Kris Jenkins, along with La Salle’s Jordan Price, Penn’s Darien Nelson-Henry and Temple’s Jaylen Bond.
Villanova won its third straight Big 5 championship with a perfect 4-0 series record. Price was the Big 5 leading scorer, averaging 19.2 points a game for the season.
Miles was the top free-throw shooter. He connected on 88.3 percent of his free throws.
Villanova freshman Jalen Brunson was the Big 5 Rookie of the Year while La Salle junior Amar Stukes, an accounting major with a 3.35 grade point average, was the Scholar Athlete of the Year.
The Big 5 banquet and Hall of Fame starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the door the night of the banquet. Along with the current season men’s and women’s award winners, five of the greatest men’s basketball teams in Big 5 history will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Those teams are: 1968-69 La Salle (record 23-1, highest national rank No. 2, coach Tom Gola); 1970-71 Penn (record 28-1, highest national rank No. 3, coach Dick Harter); 2003-04 Saint Joseph’s (record 30-2, highest rank No. 1, coach Phil Martelli); 1987-88 Temple (record 32-2, highest national rank No. 1, coach John Chaney0; 1984-85 Villanova (record 25-10, NCAA champions, coach Rollie Massimino). For more information on the event, go to www.philadelphiabig5.org.