Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
After three forgetful seasons to start his tenure on Hawk Hill, Saint Joseph’s fourth-year coach Billy Lange will try to right the ship this year.
The Hawks exited their non-conference schedule with a .500 mark last season before the wheels fell off in Atlantic-10 play. St. Joe’s will hope to build some early-season momentum in 2022-23 with its non-conference slate, which it announced on Monday.
Lange and company unofficially begin their 2022-23 campaign with home exhibitions against Towson (Oct. 29) and Widener (Nov. 4) before tipping off their season against Houston on Nov. 11 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. for the Veterans Classic. St. Joe’s then returns home Nov. 14 and Nov. 17 for games against Lafayette and Albany, respectively.
Sophomore Erik Reynolds is set to be one of St. Joe's top returners in 2022-23. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
The Hawks’ marquee non-conference tournament is the Sunshine Slam at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. from Nov. 21-22. St. Joe’s opens the event against Georgia and will match up with either UAB or South Florida the following day.
St. Joe’s will travel to the Palestra Nov. 30 to face Penn, beginning its Big 5 games, and then host Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 3 before traveling to Temple on Dec. 6. The Hawks took down both the Quakers and Owls in 2021-22, breaking a four-game losing skid against Temple.
Saint Peter’s comes to Hagan Arena on Dec. 10, coming off its Elite Eight run last season. St. Joe’s hosts Villanova a week later, Dec. 17, looking to halt a 10-game losing streak to the Wildcats.
The Hawks’ non-conference slate concludes with home games Dec. 19 against Sacred Heart and Dec. 22 against Central Connecticut St.
St. Joe’s has three of last season’s NCAA Tournament teams on its 2022-23 non-conference slate in Villanova (Final Four), Houston (Elite Eight) and Saint Peter’s (Elite Eight). A potential matchup with UAB would add a fourth.
"We continue to focus on playing a non-conference schedule that aligns with our ambitious vision for the program and honors the great basketball tradition on Hawk Hill," Lange said in a release. "Games against Final Four level teams like Houston and Villanova, and NCAA Tournament teams like UAB and Saint Peter's, provide competitive opportunities for our young and new team to grow and sharpen. Additionally, Georgia, and Big 5 battles at Penn and Temple along with additional games in Hagan Arena will help us share the experiences we need to play with The Hawk Will Never Die spirit."
Lange’s lineup will have quite a different look in 2022-23 with top scorer Jordan Hall (14.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 5.8 apg) headed to the professional ranks and second top scorer Taylor Funk (13.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) transferring to Utah State.
The Hawks do, however, return their next top three scorers in graduate forward Ejike Obinna (12.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg), sophomore guard Erik Reynolds (12.1 ppg) and senior guard Cameron Brown (8.3 ppg). Redshirt-junior center Charles Coleman (2.3 ppg) is another rotation player back on the roster. Sophomore wing Kacper Klaczek should be back in the mix after an injury ended his season in December a season ago.
St. Joe’s also adds former Roman Catholic standout Lynn Greer, who transferred to St. Joe’s from Dayton for the spring semester last season, and Louis Bleechmore, who averaged 11.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg at Harcum College along with a freshman class that includes Christian Winborne, Rasheer Fleming (Camden) and Quin Berger (Westtown).
St. Joe’s MBB 2022-23 Non-Conference Schedule
(All game times TBD unless otherwise noted)
*Sat., Oct. 29 vs. Towson (Exhibition)
*Fri., Nov. 4 vs. Widener (Exhibition)
Fri., Nov. 11 vs. Houston (Annapolis, Md.)
Mon., Nov. 14 vs. Lafayette
Thurs., Nov. 17 vs. Albany
Mon. Nov. 21 vs. Georgia (Dayton Beach, Fla.)
Tues., Nov. 22 vs. UAB/South Florida (Dayton Beach, Fla.)
Wed., Nov. 30 at Penn
Sat., Dec. 3 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
Tues., Dec. 6 at Temple
Sat., Dec. 10 vs. Saint Peter’s
Sat., Dec. 17 vs. Villanova
Mon., Dec. 19 vs. Sacred Heart
Thurs., Dec. 22 Central Conn. St.