2022 Record: 27-8 (14-2)
Head Coach: Randy Bennett (Career Record 507-208)
PG: Aidan Mahaney (13.9 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 2.0 Ast)
SG: Augustas Marciulionis (5.9 Pts, 1.2 Reb, 1.6 Ast)
SF: Alex Ducas (12.5 Pts, 4.3 Reb, 1.0 Ast)
PF: Joshua Jefferson (2.2 Pts, 1.4 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
C: Mitchell Saxen (11.6 Pts, 7.6 Reb, 1.7 Ast)
6: PG Jordan Ross
7: PF Mason Forbes (Harvard 8.0 Pts, 5.3 Reb, 1.2 Ast)
8: C Harry Wessels (2.6 Pts, 1.8 Reb, 0.3 Ast)
9: SG Luke Barrett (2.4 Pts, 2.0 Reb, 0.1 Ast)
10: SG Chris Howell (0.6 Pts, 0.4 Reb, 0.1 Ast)
11: C Andrew McKeever
12: PF Jensen Bradtke
13: SG Rory Hawke (RS)
Saint Mary’s entire projected starting lineup is composed of returning players from last season. The most notable returner is rising sophomore PG Aidan Mahaney. He showed tremendous poise and confidence as a freshman. One of his most impressive performances last season was when SMC played Gonzaga at home and Mahaney led the Gaels to the OT victory. The way he played and the level of talent he had as a freshman speaks volumes of whats to come in his sophomore season. SMC also returns Mahaney’s backcourt mate Augustas Marciulionis from Lithuania. He only started 9 games last season but he will take on a much bigger role this year. He’s a glue guy for this Gaels team who plays really hard and does all of the little things correct.
Additional returners to Saint Mary’s this season are Alex Ducas and Joshua Jefferson. Ducas, an Australia native, was very impressive this past season and is an elite shooter from beyond the arc. Going into his 5th season, Ducas will display leadership on this team that will be critical to reach the ceilings they are capable of. Ducas is a career 40% three point shooter and shot 41% from beyond the arc this past season. Joshua Jefferson is a player that is poised to have a breakout season. The former 4 star recruit from Las Vegas showed flashes of elite athleticism as a freshman. He will move into a starting role next year and should make a huge impact to the team.
The Gaels also return the big man duo of Mitchel Saxen and Harry Wessels. Saxen is another experienced player for the Gaels who saw a massive breakout between his sophomore and junior seasons. Saxen is great on the defensive side of the ball and he also finishes around the rim at a high level. One of his best attributes is rebounding as he was 3rd in rebounds in the conference last season. He also led the conference in blocked shots per game. Wessels is a player who should continue to see a rise in his minutes and overall production. SMC is all about development so he will likely wait behind Saxen then become the next Gaels breakout center as a junior.
Saint Mary’s brings back Harvard transfer Mason Forbes who was with SMC last season but took a redshirt year. Forbes will be a valuable depth piece in the Gaels frontcourt. He’s a solid defender as well as an elite finisher around the rim. He should be the first big off the bench this season and flourish in that role. His redshirt year gave him the opportunity to learn the SMC system and become the best player he can be in his role. Also returning are guards Chris Howell and Luke Barrett. Howell didn’t get much playing time as a freshman last year, but he’s a former 3 star top 250 recruit that has the chance to become a productive player down the line. Luke Barrett could be a spot shooter off the bench and should see a bit of an increase in minutes this season.
SMC added 3 freshman as part of the class of 2023. The Gaels return Australian guard Rory Hawke who joined the team mid season last year but took a redshirt season. The 2023 recruits the Gaels signed are Jordan Ross, Andrew McKeever, and Jensen Bradtke. Jordan Ross from Compass Prep is a Top 100 recruit in the class and he should see immediate action this season. Andrew McKeever from California is an unranked center who can be a great future developmental piece for the Gaels. Jensen Bradtke is a 6-10 forward out of Australia who also has potential to be a big piece down the line.
Saint Mary’s is loaded this season and Randy Bennett is one of the most underrated coaches in the country. The Gaels have a talent packed roster that is a lock to finish Top 2 in the WCC. SMC will battle Gonzaga all season for that league title. SMC has a chance to make their deepest run yet in Randy Bennett’s career. The Gaels are all about development and they rarely lose players to the transfer portal.