Player Profile: DeAndre Bembry

Last season, St. Joe’s freshman DeAndre Bembry put together one of the best rookie campaigns in recent Hawk history. Bembry earned Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Year honors, was the Big 5 Rookie of the Year, and helped the Hawks to a conference championship and NCAA tournament bid. Inside, Hawk Hill Hardwood profiles the star sophomore.

As a freshman, St. Joe’s swingman DeAndre Bembry showed glimpses of greatness. The North Carolina native averaged 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists as a freshman en route to a plethora of post-season awards. Those accolades continued to roll in earlier this month when Bembry was named Preseason 1st-Team All-League at Atlantic 10 Media Day.

DeAndre started all 34 games of his freshman season, and compiled double-digit point totals in 11 of his final 12 games. He is co-captain this season alongside senior guard Chris Wilson, becoming only the second sophomore in St. Joe’s history to be named captain.

With the graduations of senior starters Langston Galloway, Ron Roberts, and Halil Kanacevic, this is DeAndre Bembry’s team this season. St. Joe’s assistant coach Dave Duda spoke about Bembry’s offseason, and what he sees from his dynamic wing.

One of DeAndre’s greatest areas for improvement is his jumper. He shot just 35% from three and 58% from the free throw line as a freshman. “DeAndre has put in a lot of hours trying to center his jumpshot,” Coach Duda began. “He’s shot the ball across his body for most of his career, causing many left to right misses. He’s also worked tirelessly on keeping his shoulders squared to the basket on his finish.”

DeAndre was at his best last year offensively attacking the basket, both for himself and also in creating for others. While he was dynamically explosive attacking the rim (see his dunk against VCU in the Atlantic 10 championship game), DeAndre was at times turnover prone a year ago, committing 2.5 turnovers per. That’s another area DeAndre worked on this offseason, and so far it is paying off.

“He’s been dominant at times with his ball skills and getting to the rim in pre-season,” Duda stated. “Now he knows the ball must be in his hands when the game is close.”

Last year, DeAndre was frequently called upon to guard the opponent’s best perimeter player. He more than held his own going against the likes of Shabazz Napier and Greg McDermott. This year, he will likely have a bit of that pressure taken off his shoulders, as it appears that freshman wing James Demery will see the bulk of that responsibility. By all accounts, Demery, who has a chance to be a true lock-down defender, will see quite a bit of the opponent’s top perimeter player.

In order for St. Joe’s to compete in the top half of the Atlantic 10 this season, they are going to need DeAndre Bembry to perform at the highest level. His play as a freshman attracted national media attention. Recently he was named the top NBA prospect in the Atlantic 10 by Yahoo Sports. According to St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli, in a video interview with Hawk Hill Hardwood last week, eight NBA teams have already been in to see Bembry this season.

With three All-League starters lost to graduation, this year’s Hawk squad is DeAndre Bembry’s to run. He is the only underclassman on the A10’s preseason 1st-Team. He is St. Joe’s first sophomore captain since 1937. NBA teams are taking notice. His time is now.

Hawk Hill Hardwood Top Stories