Sept. 7, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball schedule for 2007-08 has been finalized, and among the highlights are participation in the NIT Season Tip-Off and non-conference dates with Gonzaga and Creighton. In the Atlantic 10 Conference slate, the Hawks will face Massachusetts, Temple and Xavier twice each, in both home and away contests.
The Hawks open the year in the NIT Season Tip-Off facing Fairleigh Dickinson at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on November 12, with Siena taking on Syracuse in the other matchup. The winners and losers of those two games will play again on November 13, with the team that wins both of its games advancing to the NIT Semifinals at Madison Square Garden on November 21. The championship game is set for November 23 at Madison Square Garden.
SJU's opener at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse is November 27 against Ball State begins a stretch of four straight home contests. The Hawks will then renew their rivalry with Gonzaga on November 29, also at the Fieldhouse, and then host Penn State at the Palestra on December 1. Saint Joseph's closes out the homestand on December 4 against Holy Cross at the Fieldhouse.
The non-conference portion of the schedule includes a trip to Creighton (Dec. 9), for the first meeting with the Bluejays since 1981, along with visits to Fairfield (Dec. 21) and Siena (Dec. 28). The Hawks will take on Big 5 rivals Penn (Jan. 19) and Villanova (Feb. 4) at The Palestra and play a New Year's Eve game with Drexel, also at The Palestra.
Saint Joseph's opens league play on January 9 at Massachusetts, and will then face the Minutemen again at the Fieldhouse just two weeks later. The first home conference game is January 12 against Richmond.
The Hawks will also host Fordham, St. Bonaventure, La Salle, Saint Louis, Temple and Xavier in A-10 games and go on the road to play Charlotte, Temple, George Washington, Duquesne, Xavier, Rhode Island and Dayton.
"Anytime that you have an opportunity to be in an exempt tournament like the Preseason NIT it should give you a jolt as you prepare, whether it be in August or November. You're preparing for the challenges that you face," said SJU coach Phil Martelli, now entering his 13th year. "The Atlantic 10 challenges are going to be extraordinary. In the preseason rankings you can put one team first and somebody else can put them sixth. There's going to be great depth in the Atlantic 10. The great rivalry with Gonzaga is back - that'll be a premier game. Another strong test will be at Creighton, a place where not many visiting teams win. And the Big 5 is enough of a proving ground for anybody."
The Atlantic 10 Tournament will be held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, for the second consecutive year, from March 12 through 15.
Game times and the television schedule will be announced at a later date.