Saint Louis vs. Seattle
Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 | 7 p.m. | St. Louis, Mo. (Chaifetz Arena)
TV: FOX Sports Midwest (Dan McLaughlin, Troy Robertson)
Radio: 101 ESPN (Bob Ramsey, Earl Austin Jr.)
Online Coverage: A-10 Digital Network stream (info) | FOX Sports Go App stream (info) | Live Stats | @SaintLouisMBB on Twitter
SETTING THE SCENE
– Saint Louis opens the 2017-18 men’s basketball season on Friday night, hosting the Seattle Redhawks at Chaifetz Arena at 7 p.m.
– The game is part of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warriors Project. Next week, the Billikens head to Madison Square Garden in New York City to face Virginia Tech and Providence or Washington.
– Seattle is a fellow Jesuit institution. Friday’s game is part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight, a program through the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities that helps promote higher education through basketball.
– Saint Louis brings a mix of talented newcomers and proven, experienced returnees into the 2017-18 season. SLU features five returning players on its roster, six NCAA Division I transfers, two freshmen and two walk-ons.
– Preseason prognosticators have ranked the Billikens as high as second in the Atlantic 10 Conference (Street and Smith’s). Their lowest preseason ranking has been No. 8 (Athlon). A-10 coaches and media predicted the Billikens to finish seventh in the league after their 11th-place finish last year. Coming from eight sources, the Billikens were predicted to have an average A-10 finish of 5.1.
– Senior guard Davell Roby is the Billikens’ leading returning scorer after averaging 11.7 ppg a season ago. He needs 218 points to become SLU’s 31st member of the 1,000-career point club.
– Hasahn French and Jordan Goodwin make up the Billikens’ most talented freshman class in recent history. Goodwin, from nearby Centreville, Illinois, ranked No. 55 in the final ESPN Top 100 rankings for 2017 and was a consensus four-star recruit. French, who came to SLU via Commonwealth Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts, ranked No. 90 in the ESPN Top 100 rankings.
– Head coach Travis Ford is in his second season with the Billikens. The 2017-18 campaign will be his 21st season on the sideline, all of them as a head coach. He began his career at Campbellsville, an NAIA institution in Campbellsville, Kentucky. From there, he served five seasons as head coach at Eastern Kentucky before moving on to UMass for three seasons. Ford was head coach at Oklahoma State for eight seasons before joining the Billikens.
– Seattle University is located in Seattle, Washington, and plays in the Western Athletic Conference.
– First-year head coach Jim Hayford inherited a roster with no seniors. He signed three graduate transfers – Jordan Hill (Wisconsin), Richaud Gittens (Weber State) and Josh Hearlihy (Vermont).
– Aaron Menzies, a 7-3 center, averaged 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds last year before a foot injury cut his season short after 14 games. He registered four double-doubles and had a 35-point effort versus Louisiana Monroe.
– Matej Kavas, a 6-8 guard, is the reigning WAC Freshman of the Year. In 27 games, he averaged 8.6 ppg and shot a team-high 40.4 percent from three. In Western Athletic Conference play, his numbers rose to 11.6 ppg, 47.9 percent field-goal shooting and 41.3 percent from beyond the arc.
– Hayford was hired at Seattle after six seasons at Eastern Washington. He led the Eagles to the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and the CBI Tournament in 2016 and 2017. EWU earned a Big Sky regular-season co-championship in 2015 and won the Big Sky Tournament title in 2015.
– Last season, Seattle went 13-17 overall and 5-9 in the WAC. The Redhawks were coached last season by former SLU assistant coach Cameron Dollar.
– This will be the first meeting between the Billikens and Seattle on the hardwood.