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Wooden Classic trip highlights SJU MBB's non-league schedule

08/26/2021, 4:30pm EDT
By Jason Guarente

Jason Guarente (@JasonGuarente)

Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball team has revealed its 12-game non-conference schedule. The first four will be played at Hagan Arena.

The Hawks have five matchups against NCAA Tournament participants and were invited to play in the Paycom Wooden Classic during Thanksgiving weekend.

Billy Lange (above) and Saint Joseph's released their 2021-22 non-conference schedule on Thursday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

The journey starts with home dates against Maryland Eastern Shore on Nov. 9, Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 13, Drexel on Nov. 17 and Monmouth on Nov. 20.

“We have put together a strong non-conference schedule that will continue to elevate our program,” head coach Billy Lange said in a release. “We're excited for the opportunity to compete in Hagan Arena with our passionate fan base supporting us, challenge our team with high-level road games, play in a nationally recognized showcase event and for all of Hawk Hill Philadelphia to be a part of the next chapter in the story of Saint Joseph's basketball.”

Saint Joseph’s ends the month with a trip to Anaheim, Calif. for the Wooden tournament. The Hawks face USC on Nov. 25 and will play either Georgetown or San Diego State the following night. They welcome Binghamton on Dec. 1.

The Big 5 portion of the schedule begins at Villanova on Dec. 4 before returning to Hawk Hill against Pennsylvania on Dec. 8 and Temple on Dec. 11. The Hawks head into Atlantic 10 play after traveling to Bradley on Dec. 18 and hosting Holy Cross on Dec. 22.

Saint Joseph’s will be looking to reverse some recent trends in the Big 5. The Hawks have played Temple more than any opponent in program history and have dropped the past four meetings. They’ll try to end a nine-game losing streak against Villanova. They’ve won three of their last five games against Penn.

Villanova, Drexel, Mount St. Mary’s, USC, Georgetown and San Diego State all played in the NCAA Tournament last season. USC reached the Elite Eight and Villanova was in the Sweet 16.

Lange, a former assistant at Villanova and with the Philadelphia 76ers, is entering his third season at Saint Joseph’s. The head coach welcomes back plenty of talent.

Five of the team’s top six scorers are back, including three who averaged double digits. Redshirt senior Taylor Funk, a 6-8 forward, contributed a career-high 17.4 points and 5.7 rebounds. The Manheim Central grad surpassed 1,000 points and was named All-Big 5 First Team. He shot 83.8% from the foul line.

Sophomore Jordan Hall averaged 10.6 points and 5.7 rebounds. The 6-7 wing from Neumann-Goretti started 18 games and made the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team. Hall was named All-State and led Goretti to the Catholic League title as a senior.

Lower Merion’s Jack Forrest, a junior, scored a career-best 10.4 points, including a season-high 25 against La Salle. The 6-5 guard appeared in 14-of-20 games, missing six due to injury, in his first season with the Hawks after transferring from Columbia.

Junior Cameron Brown, who averaged 8.6 points, and junior Dahmir Bishop, 7.7 points, also return. Brown, a 6-5 guard, scored 13.3 points over the final four games. Bishop, a 6-5 guard from Imhotep Charter, started 13 games after transferring from Xavier.

Eight of the Hawks’ 12 non-conference games are at home. Game times, broadcast information and Atlantic 10 game dates will be announced in the near future. 

Saint Joseph’s (5-15 overall, 2-9 Atlantic 10) finished last season with four wins in five games after starting 1-14. 

Saint Joseph’s MBB 2021-22 Non-Conference Schedule
(All game times TBD unless otherwise noted)

Tues., Nov. 9 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore
Sat., Nov. 13 vs. Mount St. Mary’s
Wed., Nov. 17 vs. Drexel
Sat., Nov. 20 vs. Monmouth

Paycom Wooden Classic (at Anaheim Calif.)
Thurs., Nov. 25, USC, (9:30 p.m.)
Fri., Nov. 26, Georgetown or San Diego State 

Wed.. Dec. 1 vs. Binghamton
Sat., Dec. 4 @ Villanova
Wed., Dec. 8 vs. Pennsylvania
Sat., Dec. 11 vs. Temple
Sat., Dec. 18 at Bradley
Wed., Dec. 22 vs. Holy Cross

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