STANDISH, Maine – The 2018-19 Saint Joseph's College men's basketball season kicks off this Friday on the road in a contest against Plymouth State University.
The game against the Panthers begins a 25-game season for the Monks. They look to improve upon last year's performance, as the 2017-18 team went 16-10 overall and 11-5 in conference en route to grabbing the number #3 seed in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). The Monks lost two players to graduation from last year's roster.
STARTS AT THE TOP:
Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99 enters his 16th season at the helm for the Monks. He has an impressive résumé with a record of 242-164 to go along with seven Coach of the Year awards, including the Maine Men's Basketball Coaches and Writers Association (MMBCWA) top coach award last winter. Sanicola has registered three twenty-win seasons and 11 winning seasons as the Monks' head coach.
CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN:
WHERE WE LEFT OFF:
Saint Joseph's, as the #3 seed in the GNAC Tournament, hosted #6 Suffolk University in a quarterfinal matchup at the Harold Alfond Center on February 20th, 2018. The Monks suffered a 69-65 setback at the hands of the Rams after making just one of 12 three-point attempts on the evening.
The Monks graduated two seniors from last year's roster in Aaron Hall and thousand-point scorer Quinn Richardson-Newton. Hall, a transfer, came to the Monks as a junior and was a starting big man for two seasons for the Monks finishing his career with 452 points and 259 rebounds. Richardson-Newton was a four-year starter for the Monks, having started in every game he played in. He finished his career with 1,007 points and 533 rebounds.
MILEIKIS kicks off his senior season with the Monks, and third year as a captain, after posting his best season a year ago averaging 14.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, while shooting a career high 51.6% (133-258) from the field. Mileikis enters the season with 840 career points, 360 rebounds, and 230 assists.
BERRY also enjoyed a break out junior season for the Monks, averaging a team high 17.0 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest. Berry shot a career high 47% (162-344) from the field and 41.6% (79-190) from long range a season ago and goes into his senior season with 734 points, 246 rebounds, and 107 assists in 62 career games.
JOHNS returns for his season after averaging 7.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last winter. With the graduation of Hall and Richardson-Newton, Johns is the veteran big man on the squad.
JACK CASALE, the 2018 MMBCWA Rookie of the Year, had an impressive first season, averaging 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game a season ago while shooting 40.1% (105-262) from the floor and 33.3% (50-150) from deep.
NEWCOMERS TO WATCH:
Coach Sanicola brought in an impressive seven-player recruiting class, highlighted by David Keohan (West Newfield, Maine), Nicholas Curtis (Windham, Maine), Zac Manoogian (Westbrook, Maine) and Griffin Foley (Portland Maine). Each of these newcomers are expected to play roles for the Monks this winter.
GAMES TO SEE:
Sunday, November 25th at USM: In the annual Costello Cup matchup, the Monks look to draw even in the series matchup as the Huskies hold a 35-34 edge in wins. The Monks took home the hardware a season ago after a 59-53 win at home.
Thursday, January 10th vs. Albertus Magnus: The Monks host the Falcons who have been a top of the GNAC for last several seasons having won the conference title five of the last seven years. The Monks looks to avenge last season's 86-73 loss.
Saturday, January 12th vs. USJ: The Monks host the Hall of Fame led Jim Calhoun Blue Jays in their inaugural season as a men's basketball team. The Blue Jays were picked to finish third in the conference.
Saturday, January 19th at JWU: The Monks go on the road to face the defending GNAC champion Wildcats in a matchup of conference contenders. The Monks and Wildcats played twice a season ago having split those meeting; the first a Monks win 69-62 at home, the second a 64-63 loss.
Wednesday, January 30th vs. Suffolk: In a rematch of last seasons GNAC quarterfinal, the Monks looks to avenge the 69-65 loss at the hands of the Rams.