Dec. 31, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's (4-7) will ring in 2010 hosting Princeton (6-4) on Saturday, January 2, at Hagan Arena. Game time is 2 p.m.
The game will be broadcast on WNTP (990 AM) with the streaming video and audio available on www.sjuhawks.com.
GAME NOTES Saint Joseph's owns an 11-3 record in the first game of the New Year under Phil Martelli. In the decade that just came to a close, the Hawks amassed a 201-103 record (counting this season to date) and made seven post-season appearances. Freshman Carl Baptiste was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Week for Dec. 27. He had a career-high 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting in the win over Lehigh. Baptiste also posted a personal best six rebounds and had three blocks in 22 minutes of action. The Hawks returned from the break for Christmas by losing at Siena on Dec. 29. Phil Martelli is in his 15th season as head coach and his 25th at the University. Martelli served as an assistant coach for 10 years on the staffs of Jim Boyle and John Griffin. Saint Joseph's is celebrating the Centennial of SJU Basketball this year, as the inaugural season took place in 1909-10.
SHAKING IT UP: Phil Martelli changed things up at Siena by starting Carl Baptiste in place of Todd O'Brien. Baptiste, who had a career-high 13 points in the previous game, had a short-lived appearance as he was quickly whistled for two fouls. O'Brien ended up playing 14 minutes in the first half and grabbed nine rebounds en route to a career-high 11 boards in the game. There have been two other starting lineup changes this year, but they were for non-competitive reasons.
DECADE OF EXCELLENCE: The past decade was one of the most successful in Saint Joseph's history. The Hawks amassed a 201-103 record (counting this season to date) and made seven post-season appearances (4 NCAA, 3 NIT). Included in that list of accomplishments is the Hawks' run to the 2004 Elite Eight, a trip to the NCAA Second Round in 2001, and runner-up status in the 2005 NIT.
RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR: Under Phil Martelli, the Hawks are 11-3 in the first game of the New Year. But during this time, all but two were the conference openers. Today's game with Princeton will mark just the third time in 15 seasons that the Hawks will face a non-conference team in the first game of the New Year. In 2008-09, SJU defeated Ball State, 66-53, in Muncie.
EVERYBODY INTO THE ACT: More Hawks are seeing action this year than last, with nine players averaging at least 10 minutes per game or more.
EVERYBODY INTO THE ACT, PART II: As a result of more Hawks seeing significant action this season (nine averaging at least 10 minutes), more players have reached double figures than in any other season under Phil Martelli. A total of nine players have scored in double figures at least once this year. The previous high was eight players in five different campaigns in Martelli's 15 seasons.
TALE OF TWO HALVES: At Siena, the Hawks got off to a good start, shooting 50 percent, leading for part of the half and trailing by just 43-42 at halftime. But SJU allowed Siena to shoot 59.4 percent in the second half and would commit 12 of its 19 turnovers in the second half as the home team pulled away.
BRYANT'S BASKETS: Sophomore Bryant Irwin came off the bench to have another solid game at Siena, scoring 13 points, while hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
BEST OF THE DECADE: Saint Joseph's 2003-04 team was cited by SI.com in their review of the past decade as the "Best Single-Season Team". The Hawks went 27-0 in the regular season, were ranked number-one in the nation, earned a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. The website stated, "St. Joe's didn't quite pull off a championship, but the Hawks, led by incandescent point guard Jameer Nelson, became the first team to complete a perfect regular season since UNLV in 1991". Nelson also earned a mention on the All-Decade Team. Earlier this year, The Sporting News named Nelson to its All-Decade First Team.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks open play in the Atlantic 10 Conference at Temple on January 6 and follow that with a home game against Fordham on January 9.