Saint Joseph’s Hawks – Grade: D
The Hawks had four players that averaged 12.0+ ppg last season. Two of them are back in Erik Reynolds and Ejike Obinna, which at least makes them competitively offensively. The problem is that the only newcomer that isn’t a freshman is Louis Bleechmore, a JUCO forward. It’s a young roster with not much talent in a league that mostly got better.
The only “good” thing that happened for Saint Joe’s was getting three-star center and former NC State commit, Christ Essandoko. The 7’0 big man has a chance to be a legit star in the league but outside of Reynolds, there isn’t much to work with on the perimeter.
Saint Louis Billikens – Grade: A
It was an emotional rollercoaster for the Billikens, who got 16 ppg scoring guard Javonte Perkins back for another season after an injury took him out for all of 2021-22. And after point guard Yuri Collins came back from a couple of weeks in the transfer portal, gives the Atlantic 10 the best backcourt next season.
Adding Missouri guard Javon Pickett adds more depth in the backcourt and options for different lineups and 6’8 forward Jake Forrester could easily take over the power forward spot after losing Jordan Nesbitt to the portal. Things could’ve gotten dicey for Saint Louis but in the end, they got all the pieces needed to contend for a regular season title.