The Saint Joseph's (0-1) men's basketball team will visit local rival Drexel (0-1) on Monday, November 17 for a 7 p.m. game at the Daskalakis Center.
The game will be broadcast on Sports Radio 610 AM (WIP) with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action, with free audio streaming available on SJUHawks.com. Download the SJUHawks app and upgrade to the premium app to listen to the game on your mobile device.
• Saint Joseph’s dropped its season opener vs. FDU on Friday, 58-57, on a three-pointer with 3.3 seconds to play. The Hawks are looking to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2010-11.
• Saint Joseph’s is in the midst of a stretch of six games in 13 days, including a cross-country trip to #13 Gonzaga on November 19 for the NIT Season Tip-Off.
• The Hawks return two starters - DeAndre’ Bembry and Chris Wilson - from last year’s Atlantic 10 Champion team. Bembry, a Preseason A-10 All-Conference First Team selection, is the team’s leading returning scorer after averaging 12.1 points last season.
• Phil Martelli is in his 20th season as the head coach of the Hawks. He is the school’s all-time leader in victories with 362.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawks suffered just their second loss in 10 season openers as FDU hit a three-pointer with 3.3 seconds to play to gain the 58-57 win. The Hawks had taken a 57-53 lead with 1:13 remaining after back-to-back three-pointers from DeAndre’ Bembry and Chris Wilson. FDU answered with a layup with 50 seconds to play and then rebounded a Hawks’ miss on the next possession. FDU inbounded with :09 to play after a Saint Joseph’s foul and Mustaafa Jones, a Philadelphia native, hit the gamewinner from the right side. Isaiah Miles made the first start of his career and had his first career double-double with 12 points and a personal best 14 rebounds. Wilson added 12 points as the only other Hawk in double figures. Aaron Brown scored nine points in his SJU debut while Javon Baumann grabbed a career-high eight rebounds. FDU held a 28-25 lead at halftime and by as much as 34-28 two minutes into the second half. A dunk by Bembry started a 9-3 run for the Hawks, with four points from Brown, as SJU opened its biggest lead of the second half, 44-39, with 6:47 remaining. FDU pulled within 46-45, but Miles countered with a three-point play to up the Hawks’ lead to 49-45. Despite another layup by Brown, FDU would tie the score, 51-51, with 2:32 to play. The Hawks committed 16 turnovers in the game.
FAMILIAR FOE: Drexel and Saint Joseph’s have a great familiarity with each other. Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint is a 1987 graduate of Saint Joseph’s and was a teammate of Hawks’ assistant coach Geoff Arnold. The duo helped SJU to the 1986 Atlantic 10 title.
RACKING UP THE MILES: The play of junior Isaiah Miles was one of the bright spots in the loss to FDU. The junior made the first start of his career and posted his first-ever double-double with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Miles also took a career-high 14 field goal attempts in 33 minutes of action.
ON BOARD: The Hawks outrebounded FDU by a 44-28 margin. Isaiah Miles led the way with a career-high 14 boards while Javon Baumann grabbed a personal best eight rebounds.
BACK IN THE FOLD: The Hawks return two starters from last year’s A-10 Champion team - DeAndre’ Bembry and Chris WIlson. Bembry was the A-10’s Co-Rookie of the Year and the Big 5 Rookie of the Year after averaging 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Wilson was the Hawks’ starting point guard and averaged a career-best 9.1 points per game.
JAM-PACKED WEEK: The Hawks are wasting no time getting the season going as they will be playing six games in 13 days. After tonight’s game, the Hawks will board a charter flight on Tuesday morning for the 2,100-mile trip to Spokane, Washington. SJU will take on Jesuit rival, 13th-ranked Gonzaga in the NIT Season Tip-Off on Wednesday and then return home to host Vermont on Saturday (Nov. 22) The Hawks play another NIT game hosting LIU Brooklyn on Nov. 25 before going to Madison Square Garden for a Thanksgiving date with Western Kentucky.
THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON: Saint Joseph’s enters the year as the defending Atlantic 10 champion, having won the program’s third title om 2014, which was its first since 1997. The Hawks went 24-10 and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in overtime to eventual national champion Connecticut.
PLATINUM PHIL: This is Phil Martelli’s 20th season as Saint Joseph’s head coach, and his 30th overall at the University after 10 years as an assistant. He is SJU’s all-time leader in career victories with a 362-248 record and is the longest tenured current coach in the Atlantic 10. Martelli owns a 178-126 record in Atlantic 10 play, which is the most conference wins for any active coach.
TOURNAMENT TIME: SJU is participating in the redesigned NIT Season Tip-Off. The Hawks will travel to Gonzaga on November 19, and then host LIU Brooklyn on November 25. SJU will conclude play in the tournament on Thanksgiving night when it faces Western Kentucky at Madison Square Garden. It marks the second year in a row that the Hawks will have a game on Thanksgiving - last season, the team took on LSU in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
HONORING A LEGEND: Saint Joseph’s is wearing a “JR” patch on its uniforms this season to honor Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay, who passed away in April. “Dr. Jack” compiled a 234-72 record and guided the Hawks to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances and nine consecutive postseason bids from 1955-66. He went on to amass 864 wins in the NBA and helped the Philadelphia 76ers to the 1967 championship as general manager and coached the Portland Trailblazers to the 1977 NBA title. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
FROM THE START: James Demery becomes the second freshman in two years to own a spot in the starting lineup on opening day. DeAndre’ Bembry started all 34 games as a freshman for the Hawks last season and went on to earn Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Year honors. Demery, a 6-6 wing, averaged 18.0 points last season at Northside Christian Academy in North Carolina.
WINNING WITH WILSON: Chris Wilson will be the Hawks’ starting point guard for the second year in a row. Last season, the 6-3 guard averaged a career-best 9.1 points per game and handed out 2.7 assists while scoring double figures in 14 games.
FEAR THE ‘FRO: DeAndre’ Bembry made a tremendous impact in his freshman year and the expectations are high for a successful sophomore season. Bembry was voted onto the Preseason Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team and is the only sophomore to earn that distinction. The 6-6 wing player averaged 12.1 points last season and shot 45.8 percent from the field en route to being named the Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Year.
RARING TO GO: Junior Aaron Brown will make his debut after sitting out last season due to the transfer rule. The 6-5 guard transferred to SJU from West Virginia, where he played two years for the Mountaineers. Brown, from Darby, Pa., starred locally at Penn Wood High School, where he was an All-State selection and the Player of the Year by the Delaware County Daily Times. He averaged 20 points per game as a senior and helped his team to the state title.
ROOKIE STARTERS: Junior Isaiah Miles and redshirt sophomore Javon Baumann will be in the starting lineup for the first time in their careers. Miles has played 40 career games, and hit for a career-high 17 points last season against Loyola. Baumann, who redshirted the 2012-13 season, appeared in 15 games last year and was a co-recipient of the team’s Most Improved Player Award.
WILLIAMS’ WAIT: Also making his Hawk debut will be redshirt freshman Jai Williams, who sat out last year to develop his game. Williams, a 6-9 forward from Philadelphia Electrical and Technical Charter School, has lost close to 45 pounds since arriving at SJU in the fall of 2013, and is now down to 257.
SIDELINED SENIOR: Papa Ndao will sit out this season due to undisclosed medical reasons. Ndao, originally from Dakar, Senegal, is one of three seniors on SJU’s squad this year. He played in 31 games in 2013-14 for the A-10 champion Hawks, while making two starts and scored a career-high 13 points in SJU’s win over George Mason last year. He has played in a total of 85 career games for the Hawks, starting eight contests. Ndao, who has played three years, is on track to graduate from Saint Joseph’s in May with his degree in interdisciplinary health studies.
HOLES TO FILL: Graduation hit the Hawks hard as Saint Joseph’s lost three senior starters from last year’s 24-10 team. The trio of Langston Galloway, Ronald Roberts, Jr., and Halil Kanacevic combined for 1,429 points, 681 rebounds, and 243 assists in last season alone. Those three were also 1,000-point scorers in their college careers and were Atlantic 10 All-Conference performers.
CAPTAINS OF THE SHIP: Senior Chris Wilson and sophomore DeAndre’ Bembry were voted co-captains by their teammates. Bembry becomes the first sophomore to be chosen a captain in Phil Martelli’s 20 seasons as head coach of the Hawks, and only the second in school history. The previous sophomore captain was Joe Oakes, who captained the famed “Mighty Mites” team in 1936-37.
WELCOME TO HAWK HILL: Newcomers on the squad this year are James Demery, Shavar Newkirk and Obi Romeo. Demery is a 6-6 wing from Northside Christian Academy (N.C.); Lodge is a 6-7 forward from Pace Academy (N.C.); Newkirk is a 5-11 point guard from Cardinal Hayes (N.Y.); and Romeo is a 6-10 forward from Greenbrier East (W. Va.). Markell Lodge, a 6-7 forward from Pace Academy (N.C.)., will be sitting out this season to concentrate on academics. Also new to the program are walk-ons Mike Booth and Kyle Thompson. Booth, the grandson of former SJU head and assistant coach Harry Booth, averaged 18.0 points at Bishop Shanahan High School. Thompson was an All-Catholic League selection at St. Joseph’s Prep.
CAROLINA ON MY MIND: The Hawks’ roster features three players in the starting lineup from the state of North Carolina - Chris Wilson (Fayetteville), DeAndre’ Bembry (Charlotte) and James Demery (Williamston). Markell Lodge (Washington) is the fourth player but he is sitting out this season to concentrate on academics.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Hawks will board a charter flight on Tuesday morning to fly to 13th-ranked Gonzaga for an NIT Season Tip-Off game on Wednesday. SJU returns home to host Vermont on Nov. 22 and then also hosts LIU Brooklyn in the NIT on Nov. 25.