Saint Joseph's Phil Martelli (above) has a promising team in his 23rd season as head coach on Hawk Hill. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
(Ed. Note: This article is part of our 2017-18 season coverage, which will run for the six weeks preceding the first official games of the year on Nov. 10. To access all of our high school and college preview content for this season, click here.)
Here’s a look at the Hawks’ schedule for 2017-18:
The Hawks were 7-5 to start the 2016-17 season before leading scorer Shavar Newkirk went down in December. Consecutive losses to Ole Miss, North Carolina State, Temple and Villanova hurt St. Joe’s record in the early going.
Phil Martelli’s injury-depleted team struggled the rest of the year, posting a 4-14 record in Atlantic-10 play on its way to an 11-20 overall finish. A long losing streak haunted St. Joe’s in conference play as well. The Hawks didn’t win a game in the month of February, losing nine straight games from Jan. 31-March 1.
St. Joe’s non-conference schedule in 2017-18 features a mix of high conference teams with premier mid-major talent. For example, the Hawks will take a trip to California to play Washington State and either Harvard or St. Mary’s in the Wooden Legacy. After finishing second to last in the league last season, it will be interesting to see where St. Joe's fits in the A-10 pecking order this season. They start their conference schedule with a road trip to George Washington and a home game against Virginia Commonwealth, two teams that finished in the top half of the leagues standings last season.
Nov. 18-Dec. 9 (vs. Princeton, vs. Washington State, vs. Harvard/ St. Mary’s, vs. Bucknell, vs. Villanova, @ Temple)
The Hawks get reigning Ivy League champion Princeton in Hagan on Nov. 18 and then travel to California for the Wooden Legacy tournament. St. Joe’s opens against Pac-12 opponent Washington State and will face either St. Mary’s or Harvard in the second game. The Gaels won 29 games last season, while the Crimson finished second in the Ivy. The Hawks do not get much of a break when they return home from the West Coast. St. Joe’s then faces Bucknell, which is coming off a 26-win season that saw the Bison win the Patriot League and go to the NCAA Tournament. The stretch ends with a home game against Villanova and a trip to the Liacouras Center to play Temple.
Opposing Players to See
1. Jaylen Adams, G, St. Bonaventure
After a sophomore season in which he averaged 17.9 ppg and 5.0 apg, Adams averaged 20.6 ppg and 6.5 for the Bonnies in 2016-17.The Hawks kept Adams quiet last season, but he dropped 31 on St. Joe’s in 2016.
2. Justin Simon, G, St. John’s
Simon was a top-10 point guard in the Class of 2015 when he committed to Arizona. After seeing limited minutes with the Wildcats, he transferred to St. John’s after the 2015-16 season. The talented guard will likely have a larger role for the Red Storm this season after sitting out last year.
3. E.C. Matthews, G, Rhode Island
Matthews was a first team all-conference player as a sophomore in 2014-15, but a knee injury forced him to miss the 2015-16 season. He came back last year to lead the Rams in scoring and was the Most Outstanding Player at the Atlantic-10 Championship.
The Tigers won the Ivy regular and postseason titles before pushing Notre Dame to the brink in the NCAA Tournament a season ago. The Tigers graduate three starters, but they return Myles Stephens, the reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, and Devin Cannady, the team’s second leading scorer from a season ago. Princeton will be a good early test for St. Joe’s.
The Flyers have been one of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 during the past four seasons. Dayton has logged four consecutive seasons of 24 or more wins along with four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The two teams have split their last four meeting dating back to the 2014-15 campaign. The Flyers won last season’s meeting 77-70.
The Hawks and the Owls have played 127 times during their history. The past five matchups have made up one of the most competitive stretches in the series’ history, as they were all decided by single digits. St. Joe’s picked up a two-point win in 2014-15 and a one-point victory in 2015-16 before Temple’s 78-72 victory spoiled the Hawks’ run last season. Expect another good one in North Philly this season.
Full Schedule(all times TBD unless otherwise mentioned)
* = Atlantic-10 Conference game
# = Wooden Legacy
+ = Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase
Sat., Nov. 11 @ Toledo (7 PM)
Mon., Nov. 13 @ Illinois-Chicago (8 PM)
Sat., Nov. 18 vs. Princeton (7 PM)
#Thurs., Nov. 23 vs. Washington State (6:30 PM)
#Fri., Nov. 24 vs. Harvard/Saint Mary’s
#Sun., Nov. 26 vs. TBD
Wed., Nov. 29 vs. Bucknell (7 PM)
Sat., Dec. 2 vs. Villanova (5:30 PM)
Sat., Dec. 9 @ Temple (2:30 PM)
Sun., Dec. 17 vs. Maine (4:30 PM)
+Wed., Dec. 20 vs. St. John’s (4:30 PM)
*Sat., Dec. 30 @ George Washington
*Wed., Jan. 3 vs. Virginia Commonwealth (7 PM)
*Sat., Jan. 6 vs. Saint Bonaventure (8 PM)
*Wed., Jan. 10 @ George Mason (7 PM)
*Sun., Jan. 14 @ Massachusetts (5 PM)
*Wed., Jan. 17 vs. Dayton (6:30 PM)
*Sat., Jan. 20 vs. Fordham (1 PM)
*Wed., Jan. 24 @ Saint Bonaventure (7 PM)
Sat., Jan. 27, @ Penn (7 PM)
*Wed., Jan. 31 vs. Saint Louis (7 PM)
*Sat., Feb. 3 @ La Salle (4 PM)
*Tues., Feb. 6 @ Davidson (7 PM)
*Sat., Feb. 10 vs. Massachusetts (4 PM)
*Wed., Feb. 14 @ Fordham (7 PM)
*Sat., Feb. 17 vs. Duquesne (6 PM)
*Wed., Feb. 21 vs. George Mason (7 PM)
*Sat., Feb. 24 @ Richmond (6 PM)
*Tues., Feb. 27 @ Rhode Island (7 PM)
*Sat., March 3 vs. La Salle (2 PM)