6'6 Saint Joseph's freshman Markell Lodge was expected to give Hawk head coach Phil Martelli minutes this season due to his freakish athleticism, toughness, and willingness to mix it up inside. With Papa Ndao already out for the year, it was announced on Monday afternoon that Lodge will also be missing the season.
"Markell, his family, and I made the decision, while receiving input from our academic advising staff," Phil Martelli said Monday in a university press release. "We feel that he would benefit from placing all of his emphasis on academics this year. The decision is absolutely the right step for Markell, who has a bright future at Saint Joseph's."
With power forwards Markell Lodge and Papa Ndao out the year, a position of strength and depth is now one filled with some question marks. The starting job will likely go to junior Isaiah Miles. The 6'7 native of Baltimore has been buried behind the likes of C.J. Aiken, Ronald Roberts, Papa Ndao, and Halil Kanacevic during his first two years on Hawk Hill. Last year, as a sophomore, he averaged 3 points and 1.7 rebounds in just over 9 minutes per game. That 9 minutes per game is likely to triple or quadruple this coming season. In turn, it will be imperative for his productivity to make a similar jump. West Virginia transfer Aaron Brown is also likely to see some minutes as an undersized 4 this year, while also giving minutes at his more natural position, the 3.
I was able to speak with Saint Joseph's assistant coach Dave Duda earlier today. For the third consecutive year, Coach Duda gave insight into the Hawk roster for Hawk Hill Hardwood's Player Profile series. The first player profile will run tomorrow, and will be on freshman wing guard James Demery.
In July, I sat down with Phil Martelli for a video interview that ran on SJUHawks.com. My next sit-down with the head coach will take place on Friday, and the interview will go up live on SJUHawks.com early next week. I will also have a full practice report up after watching the action on Friday.
October 20th Odds and Ends
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