Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
The 2022-23 City 6 men’s basketball slate is starting to come into focus.
With the Atlantic 10’s release of its men’s basketball schedule on Wednesday, Saint Joseph’s and La Salle both have their complete schedules announced. (You can find the breakdown of St. Joe’s non-conference schedule here and La Salle’s here).
La Salle begins its 2022-23 conference schedule at VCU on Dec. 31, while St. Joe’s begins its A-10 season on the same date at home against Saint Louis.
La Salle's Khalil Brantley goes up for a shot on St. Joe's Cameron Moore last season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
The Atlantic 10 officially expanded to 15 teams this offseason after Loyola Chicago announced its emigration from the Missouri Valley Conference last November. With 15 teams, each school will play a set of four home-and-away games and will match up with the rest of the conference’s 10 teams for one game apiece — five at home and five on the road.
Along with La Salle, St. Joe’s has sets with Duquesne, George Washington and the newly added Ramblers. La Salle will play home-and-aways with the Hawks, George Washington, Rhode Island and UMass. The Explorers won’t meet up with the Ramblers for the first time until their final game of the season March 4.
St. Joe’s and La Salle both finished 5-13 in the A-10 last season, ahead of only Duquesne, which picked up just one conference win. La Salle, however, did sweep the Hawks in all three match ups in 2021-22, including a 63-56 victory in the A-10 tournament to end the Hawks’ season.
The Big 5 rivals match up for the first time at Hagan Arena on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 16, about a third of the way into the 18-game conference schedule. The Explorers host the Hawks at Tom Gola Arena on Feb. 5.
St. Joe’s plays home only games against Saint Louis (Dec. 31), UMass (Jan. 21), Rhode Island (Feb. 1), VCU (Feb. 21) and Richmond (March 1) at Hagan Arena in conference play. The Hawks will play road only games at Dayton (Jan. 4) at Fordham (Jan. 7), at George Mason (Jan. 29), at Davidson (Feb. 18) and at St. Bonaventure (Feb. 26).
La Salle’s home only A-10 games include Rhode Island (Jan. 7), Fordham (Jan. 14), Davidson (Jan. 24), Duquesne (Feb. 22) and Loyola Chicago (March 4). Their road only conference games include at VCU (Dec. 31), at Saint Louis (Jan. 21), at St. Bonaventure (Feb. 8), at George Mason (Feb. 18) and at Dayton (Feb. 28).
The 2021-22 campaign was the second straight A-10 season with the Explorers and Hawks occupying two of the bottom three spots in the conference standings after La Salle finished 6-12 and St. Joe’s finished 3-9 in 2020-21. The Hawks also finished at the very bottom of the A-10 standings at 2-16 in 2019-20.
St. Joe’s last finished with a winning conference record when it went 10-8 and finished fourth in 2017-18. The Explorers went 9-9 in 2016-17 but haven’t posted a winning mark in the A-10 since the 2013 Sweet 16 run.
Under the guidance of program alum and first-year head coach Fran Dunphy, the Explorers return a trio of talented guards in senior Josh Nickelberry (11.2 ppg), junior guard Jhamir Brickus (8.9 ppg) and sophomore Khalil Brantley (8 ppg) are back at La Salle.
La Salle’s front court should be buoyed by Saint Peter’s transfers Hassan and Fousseyni Drame. The twin 6-7 forwards averaged 6.0 points and 5.3 rpg and 7.0 ppg and 6.4 rpg, respectively, for the Peacocks last season.
St. Joe’s and fourth-year coach Billy Lange lost their next top three scorers but return their next three highest point producers from last season 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). The Hawks could also get a boost from Dayton transfer Lynn Greer.
2022-23 La Salle MBB A-10 Schedule
Sat., Dec. 31 at VCU
Sat., Jan. 7 vs. Rhode Island
Wed., Jan. 11 at Massachusetts
Sat., Jan. 14 vs. Fordham
Mon., Jan. 16 vs. Saint Joseph’s
Sat., Jan. 21 at Saint Louis, 2:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 24 vs. Davidson
Sat., Jan. 28 at Rhode Island
Wed., Feb. 1 vs. George Washington
Sun. Feb. 5 at Saint Joseph’s
Wed., Feb. 8 at St. Bonaventure
Sat., Feb. 11 vs. Massachusetts
Wed., Feb. 15 vs. Richmond
Sat., Feb. 18 at George Mason
Wed., Feb. 22 vs. Duquesne
Sat., Feb. 25 at George Washington
Tues., Feb. 28 at Dayton
Sat., March 4 vs. Loyola Chicago
2022-23 Saint Joseph’s MBB A-10 Schedule
Sat., Dec. 31 vs. Saint Louis
Wed., Jan. 4 at Dayton
Sat., Jan. 7 at Fordham
Wed., Jan. 11 vs. Duquesne
Sat., Jan. 14 vs. Loyola Chicago, 12:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 16 at La Salle
Sat., Jan. 21 vs. Massachusetts
Wed., Jan. 25 at George Washington
Sun., Jan. 29 at George Mason, noon
Wed., Feb. 1 vs. Rhode Island
Sun. Feb. 5 vs. La Salle
Wed., Feb. 8 at Loyola Chicago
Sat., Feb. 11 vs. George Washington
Wed., Feb. 15 at Duquesne
Sat., Feb. 18 at Davidson, 12:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 21 vs. VCU
Sun., Feb. 26 at St. Bonaventure, noon
Wed., March 1 vs. Richmond