Player Profile: DeAndre Bembry

It's been over a decade since St. Joe's has had a player receive the accolades, awards, and recognition that Hawk junior swingman DeAndre Bembry has this offseason. Earlier today, Bembry was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List. That award is given to the nation's top college basketball player, which in 2004 went to Hawk great Jameer Nelson. An in-depth look at Bembry is inside.

The hype train is fully behind 6'6 St. Joe's junior wing DeAndre Bembry, and for good reason. In addition to being named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list earlier today, Bembry was named Preseason 1st Team All-Atlantic 10 and was placed on the Watch Lists for the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award. All of this comes on the heels of a sensational sophomore season and an eye-opening performance this summer at a Nike event in California featuring the country's top college players.

As a sophomore last season, Bembry was one of the lone bright spots for Phil Martelli's Hawks. DeAndre led the Hawks in scoring, at 17.7 points per contest, rebounding, at 7.7 per game, assists, at 3.6 per game, and steals, at 1.9 per contest. In Atlantic 10 play a year ago, he was even better, scoring a league-best 19.1 points per game in conference play.

Prior to the start of this season, I spoke with St. Joe's assistant coach Dave Duda about his star junior. Now, two games in, we will take a look at what Coach Duda said and see how it mirrors what we've seen so far this year. "I'm real anxious to see how he handles the attention," Duda began. That attention has come in the form of media recognition, but more importantly, in the form of NBA scouts. Roughly two-dozen NBA teams have watched Bembry so far this fall. In the Hawks' season opener against Drexel, the Spurs, 76ers, Nets, and Grizzlies all had scouts watching Bembry. On the surface it seemed a quiet night, but looking at the stat sheet post-game, Bembry had 23 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block.

Duda went on, saying, "He's been dominant at times so far in practice. I think he's in for a big year, and his focus is only on winning. Obviously the better the team does, the better for him." So far this season, the Hawks are 2-0, and Bembry showed off his versatility Sunday against Niagara. While he didn't score a single point in the first half and only finished the game with 12, he also tallied 7 assists and 6 rebounds.

That stat-stuffing ability, the fact that he is constantly a threat to post a triple-double, is what makes him so appealing to NBA scouts, and is the reason Hagan will host dozens of NBA teams and scouts this season. DraftExpress currently has Bembry going 35th in the 2016 NBA draft, so that would put him as an early second-round pick. He's listed by the site as the 4th-best non-BCS conference player in America behind only Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Domantas Sabots (Gonzaga), and Malik Pope (San Diego State).

As Dave Duda stated, the better the Hawks do as a team, the better it is for Bembry's draft stock. And the better he plays, the better off the Hawks are. Whether this is DeAndre Bembry's last year on Hawk Hill remains to be seen. The Hawks' season rolls on tomorrow when they host Buffalo. The Hawks then square off with Florida on Saturday and either Purdue or Old Dominion on Sunday. DeAndre will have a chance to really cement his name in the national conversation with strong play this week.

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