Saint Joseph's schedule opens with two-game road trip

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St. Joseph’s University head basketball coach Phil Martelli (right) is greeted by player Charlie Brown, Jr. during St. Joseph’s University basketball media day Thursday, November 02, 2017 at Hagan Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer)

St. Joseph’s opens the season with a two-game road trip, at Toledo on Nov. 11 and at Illinois-Chicago two days later, before opening their home season against Ivy League champion Princeton at Hagan Arena. The Hawks will compete in the Wooden Legacy tournament in Fullerton, Calif., during Thanksgiving weekend, with the possibility of a second-round game against nationally ranked St. Mary’s.

St. Joseph’s first two Big Five games will be held on back-to-back December Saturdays, home against No. 6 Villanova and at Temple. In their final game before their conference schedule, the Hawks take on another Big East opponent, St. John’s, in the Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase in Uncasville, Conn. They’ll wait until January to visit the Palestra for a Big Five game against Penn.

The Hawks will play five Atlantic 10 teams twice each in their 18-game conference schedule. One of them is St. Bonaventure, voted to finish second in the preseason poll, but the other four – La Salle, George Mason, Massachusetts and Fordham – are picked in the lower half of the league.

They will play at preseason favorite Rhode Island in late February but have two other contenders, VCU and Dayton, at home. One advantage for St. Joe’s is that it does not have to play more than two consecutive games on the road.