Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hagan countdown...

Hawks' Basketball Schedule Announced for First Season in Hagan Arena

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's University men's basketball will begin a new era in 2009-10, with the opening of the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena on November 13 against Drexel, highlighting the Hawks' schedule that was announced today.

The season opener culminates the two-year expansion and renovation of Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which has been the home of the Hawks since 1949. In 2008-09, Saint Joseph's played all of its home games at The Palestra due to the construction. Hagan Arena will add approximately 1,000 seats to stretch capacity to 4,200, while providing numerous other amenities that were not available in the Fieldhouse.

The Hawks will open the year at Hagan Arena with back-to-back home games against Drexel (Nov. 13) and Holy Cross (Nov. 17).

This season's schedule also features eight games against teams that reached the 2009 NCAA Tournament, with a possibility of two more.

Saint Joseph's will make its second consecutive appearance in a high-level tournament at a tropical location when it participates in the Paradise Jam, from November 20-23 at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The Hawks, who played in the EA Sports Maui Invitational last season, will face Boston College in the opener on November 20, and will then meet either Purdue or South Dakota State in the next round. The remainder of the field consists of DePaul, East Carolina, Northern Iowa and Tennessee.

Other non-conference home games will be against Lehigh (Dec. 20), Princeton (Jan. 2) and Towson (January 18) , while the contest with rival Villanova will be played at The Palestra on December 9. The Hawks will go on the road to face Rider (Nov. 30), Cornell (Dec. 6), Minnesota (Dec. 12), Siena (Dec. 29) and Penn (Jan. 25).

SJU opens play in the Atlantic 10 against defending conference champion Temple on January 6 at the Liacouras Center. The Hawks' first A-10 game in Hagan Arena will be against Fordham on January 9.

The remainder of the home conference schedule consists of Dayton (Jan. 23), Massachusetts (Jan. 27), Richmond (Feb. 3), St. Bonaventure (Feb. 6) and Saint Louis (Feb. 9). The Hawks will also host city rival Temple (Feb. 20) and close out the regular season hosting La Salle (March 6).

Saint Joseph's will go on the road to play conference foes Rhode Island (Jan. 13), St. Bonaventure (Jan. 16), Duquesne (Jan. 31), Massachusetts (Feb. 14), Xavier (Feb. 17), Charlotte (Feb. 24) and George Washington (March 3).

This year will begin a new format for the Atlantic 10 Championship. The top 12 teams will qualify for the Championship; however the first round games will be hosted on the campuses of teams seeded #5, #6, #7, and #8 on Tuesday, March 9. The Championship then shifts to Boardwalk Hall as the top four seeded teams will again receive a bye into the quarterfinal round, scheduled for Friday, March 12. Semifinal action will take place on Saturday, March 13, with the Championship game held on Sunday, March 14, and televised live at 1:00 p.m. on CBS Sports for the first time in A-10 history.

Complete schedule (PDF)

Hawks Head into New Era of SJU Basketball with New Look
2009-10 Men's Basketball Season Preview

PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's Hawks head into 2009-10 having lost the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and NBA draft pick (Ahmad Nivins) but will gain a new arena, which they hope will translate into the same homecourt advantage enjoyed in the years at historic Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.

The expansion and renovation of the Fieldhouse will produce the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena (capacity 4,200), which is scheduled for an October 2009 opening. The Hawks have also experienced a tremendous upgrade with the new 20,000-square foot Ramsay Basketball Center that houses the basketball office, locker room, lounge and video study room.

The Hawks played off campus all season in 2008-09 at The Palestra and experienced an up-and-down season with a winning record (17-15) but no postseason play, despite the double-digit scoring and rebounding effort from Nivins (19.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg).

If anything, last season might have served as a learning experience for the relatively young Hawk squad that will take to the court in 2009-10.

"The returning players have to understand and respect the sacrifices that team made without having a true homecourt and without really having a locker room," said head coach Phil Martelli, who enters his 15th season as head coach. "I think the returning players need to be appreciative of the fabulous surroundings that we now have. They also have to understand that winning records are really not what we're about. We're about postseason appearances and we're about daily improvement," the coach added.

The Dedication of the Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena

and the

Centennial Celebration of Saint Joseph's Basketball

Saturday, October 17th, 2009 ~ 5:00 PM

The incomparable tradition that is Saint Joseph's basketball celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2009. The centennial season will begin in dramatic fashion with the dedication of the new Michael J. Hagan '85 Arena.

University President, Timothy Lannon, SJ, said it best: "Mike Hagan is a unique success story and singular example of the Jesuit tradition in of giving back. His involvement as an alumnus, University Trustee, and now major benefactor with his wife Joyce is one of humility and selfless action."

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