In a loaded Atlantic 10 (this was the case even before Butler and VCU decided to join a year early) Phil Martelli’s Saint Joseph’s Hawks are considered to be one of the favorites to win the league.
C.J. Aiken, Halil Kanacevic and Ronald Roberts, Jr. are three of the key players returning in the front court, and guards Langston Galloway and Carl Jones are both back after playing well in 2011-12.
But the Hawks were hit in the perimeter depth department on Wednesday, as freshman guard Kyle Molock tore the ACL in his right knee during an individual workout.
This is the second time in six months that Molock has torn the same ACL, as his senior season of high school was cut short in January.
While Martelli’s got the horses needed to be one of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 without Molock’s services, according to Aaron Bracy of PhilaHoops.com the coach was expecting Molock to factor into the rotation.
“His strength is the first thing that jumps out at you,” Martelli told Philahoops last week. “He doesn’t look like a freshman. He’s strong and carries himself like a leader, communicates like a leader.”
This is the third major knee injury in Molock’s career, as he tore ligaments in his left knee in 2010.
A gifted guard who has the ability to be a player the Hawks can build around in the future, the hope for Molock is that he can get back to full strength for the 2013-14 season.
“Everyone involved in our program is supporting Kyle and his family at this difficult time. He has, in a short time on campus, made a positive impression academically, athletically and social.
“This injury, while a challenge, will not stop Kyle from becoming a great Hawk,” said Martelli in a statement released by the school.