Nov. 3, 2005
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's men's basketball has been predicted to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 this season, in a poll of the league's coaches and media released today at the conference's annual Media Day. George Washington was picked to finish first in 2005-06, which is the league's 30th season.
The Colonials, which return four starters from last year's A-10 champion team, received 38 of the 65 first-place votes cast. Charlotte earned 18 first-place votes and was picked second, while Temple was on eight first-place ballots and predicted to finish third. Xavier and Dayton round out the top five.
The Hawks, led by 2005 A-10 Coach of the Year Phil Martelli, return three starters from last year's squad went 24-12 and advanced to the championship game of the NIT. Saint Joseph's is seeking its sixth consecutive conference regular season title, a feat that has never been achieved in the league's history.
SJU seniors Dwayne Lee and Chet Stachitas both earned mention on the A-10 Preseason All-Conference Second Team. Lee averaged 9.8 points per game for the Hawks last year and was the top assist man in the conference, with an average of 5.2 overall and 5.8 per game in league contests. He was also named to the Preseason All-Defensive Team.
Stachitas, a 6-5 senior guard, is the Hawks' leading returning scorer after averaging 10.8 points last season. He is also SJU's top returning 3-point shooter, hitting 35 percent of his attempts last year.
Two SJU newcomers, Jordan Fowler and Ahmad Nivins, were named to the A-10 Preseason All-Rookie Team. Fowler is a 6-4 guard from Montclair, NJ, and Montclair High School. Nivins is a 6-9 forward from Jersey City, NJ, and St. Anthony High School.
The 2005-06 season also marks the beginning of Atlantic 10 play for new members Charlotte and Saint Louis. With the addition of the two teams, the conference has moved away from the two-division alignment it had used in nine of the past 10 years and will now employ one division of 14 teams.
Massachusetts is predicted to finish seventh, with Fordham at eighth, Rhode Island ninth and La Salle 10th. Richmond, Duquesne, Saint Louis and St. Bonaventure round out the poll, in that order.
Saint Joseph's tips off 2005-06 on November 18, hosting Lafayette at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
Click here for complete poll and All-Conference teams.