In stark contrast to last season, the Hawks are winning without Bembry needing to take control on both ends of the court.
That is because the Hawks have received contributions from a bevy of players, spreading the wealth and taking some of the burden off of Bembry.
On Wednesday night, it would be senior Isaiah Miles’ turn to take control. The 6-foot-7 forward would go off against Buffalo, tying his career highs for points and rebounds with a 24-point, 14-rebound effort to help the Hawks easily move past Bulls, 89-67.
“There’s a well-rounded team around me this year, so I don’t have to do as much as I did last year as far as everything: defense, offense, making plays for other people. I feel like I have all of that around me. I’m not really worried about my stats,” Bembry said. “I feel better not doing everything and we’re winning.”
With Miles and others doing work early, Bembry would be held scoreless for nearly the first 10 minutes of the game before getting on the board with a layup. The points would put Bembry into the 1,000 Point Club for Saint Joseph’s, but individual numbers appear to mean much less to Bembry than the overall success of his team.
Without being relied on as the soul source of offense, Bembry would contribute elsewhere and the Hawks would receive a balanced effort from the remainder of the lineup, stretching their lead to as large as 22 on their way to an 89-67 win and a 3-0 record on the season.
“We have some balance and you’re not running in here saying, ‘well I guess if they scored 89, DeAndre’ must’ve had 35.’ And I think he likes it this way,” Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli said.
Four players would score in double figures for Saint Joseph’s, including Bembry with 10, but it would be Miles who would stand out on this night.
Miles would rack up a career-high 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Hawks.
“It was just one of those days,” Miles said. “I was hype from the beginning of the game. I’m excited every game, but for some reason I was really excited for this game.”
The Hawks appear to be firing on all cylinders early in the season and are certainly a more balanced squad. They will need to bring their A-game on Saturday if they hope to remain undefeated, however, as they face their first real test of the season in a matchup with Florida.
“That separates the men from the boys. Florida is a really good team. They’re really athletic and really strong, so I feel like that’s going to be the real test for the team,” Miles said.
By: Kyle Babcock
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