Player Profile: DeAndre Bembry

Today, Hawk Hill Hardwood will begin its 2013-2014 Saint Joseph's player profile series. Over the next two weeks, we will profile a player a day, starting with the freshmen. Each player profile will include insight from SJU assistant coach Dave Duda. Today, we begin with freshman wing DeAndre Bembry.

DeAndre Bembry, a 6'6, versatile small forward from The Patrick School (NJ) selected the Hawks last fall over a litany of high-major offers and city rival Temple. Bembry possesses a tremendous skill set, high-level athleticism, and a non-stop motor. On the AAU circuit, he was a key component on a loaded Sports U squad where he played alongside Maryland commit Jared Nickens, Temple freshman Josh Brown, and Oregon State freshman Hallice Cooke.

Many folks have already penciled in DeAndre as a day one starter for the Hawks. That remains to be seen, but the lofty expectations are warranted. St. Joe's assistant coach Dave Duda spoke on Bembry's talent and his acclimation process to college.

"He's obviously a great talent, but still learning the college game," Duda began. "How quickly the learning curve takes place will lead to how much he impacts our team."

The Hawks are looking to play a more up-tempo game this season, and a critical aspect of that speed is ball-handling and passing in the open court. "(DeAndre is) a really good passer and creator for others," Coach Duda continued.

While Chris Wilson, Langston Galloway, and Kyle Molock will be the primary ball-handlers for this year's Hawk team, Bembry is a more-than-adequate secondary ball-handler. His ability to see the floor at 6'6 and create spacing with a quick first step should be a major asset to this year's team.

Another important part of Bembry's game is his defensive instincts. An athletic, long 6'6, he is able to guard multiple positions, and will likely be asked to do so. "I'm hoping he will be able to handle some difficult matchups defensively to take some of the burden each game from Langston (Galloway)."

Last year, at The Patrick School, Bembry showed flashes of offensive brilliance. In last spring's Jordan Brand Classic Regional All-Star game, he took home co-MVP honors and led the game in scoring with 26 points. The Star Ledger named him the Union County Player of the Year. Bembry played extremely well for the Hawks in their Italian tour this summer, being one of their leading scorers in each of their games on the trip.

Now, at St. Joe's, none of that really matters anymore. In less than a month, the Hawks will tip off the 2013-2014 season at Vermont. It remains to be seen whether DeAndre Bembry starts for Phil Martelli's Hawks. It's not hyperbole or exaggeration to say that he will play a major role for SJU this year though. His athleticism, passing ability, defensive intensity, and motor all give him an opportunity to make a major impact at St. Joe's early on in his collegiate career.

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