Saint Louis takes on St. Joe's on Wednesday night. BillikenReport.com breaks down what to look for.
Player Profile: Halil Kanacevic
This season, Halil joins the Hawks' athletic frontcourt, which also features sophomores C.J. Aiken and Ron Roberts. Halil brings an added dimension to the frontcourt, providing muscle alongside the athletic sophomores.
According to Saint Joseph's assistant coach Dave Duda, the addition of Halil to the roster this season is an important one. "Halil brings a lot of missing ingredients to the table," Duda started. "He is a true low-post, back-to-the-basket player," he elaborated.
Due to his frame, it is natural to assume that Halil brings toughness to the post, and that is the case. There is another dimension to his game though, and one that may surprise both fans and opponents this season. In addition to his post game, Halil "is an underrated playmaker from the post." Halil is a capable passer and facilitator out of both the high and low post.
In August, during his interview with Hawk Hill Hardwood, Phil Martelli also spoke glowingly about Halil. In particular, he spoke about what Halil brings from a leadership standpoint, saying, "Halil is very vocal in what is a quiet group. He has already earned the respect of his teammates."
There is an area of his game that Duda sees room for improvement in as well. According to his coach, Halil "sometimes over thinks plays." This is due to one of his strengths, which is "his high basketball IQ."
In terms of productivity, the Hawks will be looking for help on the boards and in the scoring department this season. The Hawks lost forward Idris Hilliard to graduation last year. As a senior, Idris averaged 8.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Coach Duda sees Halil being capable of stepping in this season and producing in the frontcourt alongside Aiken and Roberts. Specifically, he said that Halil has "double-double potential each night out."
Expectations for the Hawks are significantly elevated this season, and Halil Kanacevic is one of the primary reasons why. Look for big things out of the Hofstra transfer this season. When the Hawks open the 2011-2012 season next week against Western Kentucky, do not be surprised to see Kanacevic immediately step in and make a positive impact.
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