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Saint Joseph’s forward C.J. Aiken to pursue professional opportunites

C.J. Aiken

Saint Joseph’s C.J. Aiken (1) grabs a rebound against VCU during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament, Friday, March 15, 2013, in New York. VCU won 82-79. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

AP

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Before the 2012-13 season began many expected Saint Joseph’s at the very least to be one of the Philadelphia schools playing in the NCAA tournament. But thanks to inconsistent play and various personnel issues Phil Martelli’s team failed to live up to the expectations, ending their season with a loss to St. John’s in the first round of the Postseason NIT.

And it hasn’t taken long for one player to determine that he’s ready to leave Hawk Hill, as 6-9 junior forward C.J. Aiken will reportedly pursue professional opportunities.

In 31 games this season Aiken averaged 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, shooting 49.6% from the field.

“After lengthy meetings with C.J. Aiken and his family, C.J. has decided to pursue a career in professional basketball,” coach Phil Martelli said in a statement. “There will always be a place in my heart for C.J. I wish him well in all his future endeavors.”

Aiken is ranked 66th among NCAA juniors according to DraftExpress.com, and there’s a great deal of work to be done when it comes to his strength in the paint on both ends of the floor.

In regards to next season Saint Joseph’s is expected to return Ronald Roberts Jr. and Halil Kancevic, with both being seniors in 2013-14. Aiken’s departure opens the door for rising junior Papa Ndao, who averaged just 6.9 minutes per game this season, to possibly earn more playing time.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.