- - Monday, March 5, 2018

There were no Atlantic 10 Conference schools mentioned in the recent Yahoo sports story that deals with the ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball pitfalls, including possible crimes.

But Phil Martelli, coach at Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia since 1995, said he finds no solace that his conference, for now, is unscathed.

“No. This is heart-wrenching. This is college basketball that is being investigated,” he told The Washington Times last week. “For me it is (a feeling of) anger. I am so angry. It angers me, it saddens me. I just have anger.”

Martelli, from suburban Philadelphia, said for the first time this season he has questioned what he does for a living. He said he is afraid that many fans feel that every school, and coach, cheats even if they are not named in investigations.

He graduated from Widener University in 1976 and has compiled a record of 429-308 with the Hawks. He took Saint Joseph’s to the Final Four in 2004 with a team that included future NBA player Delonte West, a Washington native who played at Eleanor Roosevelt High in Greenbelt, Maryland.

A year ago Georgetown Prep guard Jared Bynum committed to play at Saint Joseph’s next season. “It is absolutely a prominent recruiting area,” Martelli said of the DMV. “You have high school coaches who are second to none.”

The Hawks (15-15, 10-8) are in their 36th season in the Atlantic 10 and play Friday at 2:30 p.m. in this year’s tournament as a surprising No. 4 seed.

Their current roster includes freshman forward Anthony Longpre, who is from Canada and played in high school at Glenelg Country in Howard County, Maryland. He played in the first 30 games with 19 starts and is averaging 17.2 minutes per contest.

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