Oct. 1, 2004
Coming off the most memorable season in school history, the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team will open the 2004-05 campaign with a nationally-televised game (ESPN2) at fellow NCAA Elite 8 participant Kansas on November 23. The Hawks' schedule includes nine teams that reached postseason play last season, with three teams that reached the NCAA Tournament and six that participated in the NIT.
SJU, led by 2003-04 National Coach of the Year Phil Martelli, will make a total of six appearances on national television this year. The Hawks will host '03-04 NCAA Elite 8 team and Atlantic 10 opponent Xavier on January 29 in an ESPN2 telecast. Saint Joseph's game with local foe Villanova kicks off "Rivalry Week" on Monday, February 7 at The Palestra, with the national broadcast on ESPN2. Two late-season conference road games will also been seen nationally, versus Rhode Island on February 26 on ESPN, and against George Washington on March 1 on ESPN2. The Hawks' Big 5 matchup with Pennsylvania on January 25 will be seen on College Sports Television.
"Scheduling is a daunting task where you have to take into account such things as the balance of home and away contests. But the final consideration is how this schedule prepares us for competition in the Atlantic 10 Conference, which is our vehicle to postseason play," said Martelli, who enters his 10th season with a 179-99 career record, including a 98-28 record over the last four years. The Hawk mentor recently signed a two-year contract extension that lengthens his tenure to 2011-12.
Saint Joseph's will play nine games on campus in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which saw standing-room only crowds during last year's perfect regular season. The home opener is December 7 versus Fairfield while Bucknell visits on December 28.
There are six games slated for The Palestra, the historic "home away from home" for the Hawks. Saint Joseph's will take on Drexel in the evening game of the Big 5 Classic on Saturday, December 4. In addition to the Drexel and Villanova games, other contests at The Palestra are against Davidson (Nov. 27), La Salle (Jan. 15), Pennsylvania (Jan. 25) and Temple (Feb. 12).
SJU will travel to California for the fourth consecutive year when it participates in the Northwestern Mutual Shootout at the University of San Francisco on December 10-11. The Hawks are paired with California-Davis in the first game, and will play either Longwood or San Francisco on December 11. Single road games at Old Dominion (Dec. 22) and Ohio State on New Year's Eve round out the non-conference slate.
Saint Joseph's, which has won four straight Atlantic 10 regular-season titles, opens defense of its conference crown on January 5 at Fordham. The Hawks will play home-and-home series with A-10 East Division foes Rhode Island, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure and Fordham. SJU will host Duquesne and '03-04 NCAA teams Xavier and Richmond, and will visit George Washington and NCAA team Dayton. The Hawks will play La Salle only once in a conference and Big 5 matchup.
SJU's complete television schedule is not finalized yet, but dates with Rhode Island (Jan. 8), La Salle (Jan. 15) and St. Bonaventure (Feb. 19) will be shown regionally on the Atlantic 10 Television Network.
The Hawks were the talk of the college basketball world in 2003-04. Saint Joseph's recorded a perfect regular season (27-0), reached the NCAA Elite Eight and finished with the best record (30-2) in school history. The Hawks also achieved the nation's No. 1 ranking (March 8, 2004) and were a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, both firsts for the program.
Seniors Pat Carroll and John Bryant and junior Dwayne Jones are the returning starters for the 2004-05 squad which aims to become the first SJU team in 40 years to make three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and the first-ever Atlantic 10 team to win five regular-season titles. Practice for the Hawks begins on October 16.