Jan. 2, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's opens conference play on Wednesday, January 3, hosting Duquesne at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. Game time is 8 p.m. or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the SJU-Villanova women's basketball game.
The game can be heard in Philadelphia on WHAT (1340 AM) while audio and video streaming is available via Hawks' All-Access on www.sjuhawks.com.
GAME NOTES: Saint Joseph's has won seven of its last eight Atlantic 10 openers and has posted an 8-3 record in the first conference game of the year during Phil Martelli's tenure. This is the fourth conference opener in the last five years the Hawks will be playing at home. Tonight is a rare men's-women's doubleheader for Saint Joseph's, as the SJU women's team is hosting Villanova at 6 p.m. The last one came as the season opener in 2005-06, when the Hawk women's squad defeated Princeton and the men beat Lafayette. Ahmad Nivins earned All-Tournament honors at the Aeropostale Holiday Festival last week. Phil Martelli owns the most Atlantic 10 wins among active coaches with 114. His winning percentage in conference games (.647) is also the highest among active coaches who have been in the league for more than one season. He also owns the longest tenure at one school of any of the league's coaches. Phil Martelli needs six wins to surpass Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay on SJU's list for coaching victories. Ramsay totaled 234 in 11 years (234-72 from 1955 to 66) while Martelli's 12-year mark stands at 229-130.
HE'S BACK: Ahmad Nivins returned to the starting lineup vs. Hofstra after missing the Saint Mary's game with a sprained ankle. The sophomore responded with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting and followed that with his first double-double of the year with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Boston University. He earned All-Tournament honors there and is now averaging a team-high 15.8 points and 7.3 rebounds on the year.
PAT'S PLAY: Pat Calathes has been one of the Hawks' more consistent scorers, tallying double figures in all but four games. The junior is second on the team in scoring and rebounding (11.6 and 6.0) and is one of the team's best from the foul line at 81.6 percent. He also ranks among the A-10 leaders in six different categories.
TO THE POINT: Although Phil Martelli prefers to not label his guards by position, he does have five players capable of running the point, and has the flexibility of using a number of combinations in the backcourt. Jawan Carter is the primary point guard, but at times, Darrin Govens, Pat Calathes, Garrett Williamson and D.J. Rivera have filled that role.
GIVEAWAYS: Turnovers continue to plague the Hawks, as they average 16.6 per game, with 19 or more in four games. The opponents' average is 16.2, helped by 26 from Boston and 23 from Drexel. The Hawks rank 13th in the A-10 in assist/turnover ratio with 0.71. SJU has turned the ball over 199 times, while handing out 142 assists. On the bright side, the Hawks limited their turnovers to 11 against Hofstra.
DEAN OF COACHES: Phil Martelli owns the most Atlantic 10 wins among active coaches with 114. His winning percentage in conference games (.647) is also the highest among active coaches who have been in the league for more than one season. Martelli owns the longest tenure at one school of any of the league's coaches. Only Jim Baron of Rhode Island has been in the A-10 longer (14 years), but it's been at two schools, St. Bonaventure and URI.
ON THE LINE: Despite being the top free throw shooting team in the nation last year (79.9), it has been one of the Hawks' biggest inconsistencies this season. SJU has dipped below 70 percent for the first time this year, at 69.5 percent.