SJU releases 2014-15 schedule, Martelli comments
Saint Joseph’s released today its finalized schedule for the 2014-15 basketball season.
The A10 conference portion of the schedule was released last week, but the non-conference schedule hadn’t been announced. As of this afternoon, all the games are set.
The season kicks off with a home game against Fairleigh Dickinson, with the raising of the A10 Championship banner prior to tip. The Hawks will have three non-conference games against Philadelphia-area teams in road games against Drexel and Villanova, and a home game against Temple.
The home-and-home series with Vermont, Loyola-MD, Marist, and Denver conclude this season, leaving coach Phil Martelli and Saint Joseph’s a lot of wiggle room in upcoming seasons.
Regarding the revamped Preseason NIT, Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli said that the changes are “unnerving” and that “for those of us in college basketball, this should give us serious pause because one of the fabrics has been pulled away.”
“It is what it is,” Martelli said. “Let’s play it. We have a championship contender in Gonzaga and get to play in Madison Square Garden and get a home game. We’ll make the best of it.”
Martelli concluded that the NIT will “stay in there [with the other exempt tournaments], but it will never look like what it did with sixteen teams and four games.”
When asked about Gonzaga, the head coach said that “to go out there with so many memories of so many great games–I have such respect for Mark Few and his program–is a highlight for us and our players.”
Finally, regarding the A10 conference slate and any games that stand out, Martelli stated that “I’m really intrigued by the Atlantic 10 this year. You have a VCU team that’s going to be nationally recognized all-year long. We get to go down there on a Saturday night for that atmosphere. I think Saint Louis because of the way you’re treated, and the excitement around Dayton and we go out there again.”
Martelli concluded “I think it’s such a great league with so many unknowns this year — along with ourselves, Saint Louis lost a lot, La Salle lost their backcourt — so it’ll be interesting to see how things look come conference play.”
Saint Joseph’s begins its season at home against Fairleigh Dickinson–one of FDU’s coaches is former Saint Joseph’s player Dwayne Lee–on Friday, November 14th at 7pm.