SETTING THE SCENE
– Saint Louis plays its lone exhibition game Saturday night when it faces Harris-Stowe at Chaifetz Arena. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.
– The Billikens open the regular season next Friday (Nov. 10), hosting Seattle at Chaifetz Arena as part of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warriors Project.
– Saint Louis brings a mix of talented newcomers with proven and experienced returnees into the 2017-18 season. SLU features five returning players on its roster, six NCAA Division I transfers (five of whom will be eligible this season), two freshmen and two walk-ons.
– Preseason prognosticators have ranked the Billikens as high as second in the A-10 (Street and Smith’s). Their lowest preseason ranking has been No. 8 (Athlon). Atlantic 10 Conference coaches and media predicted to 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 freshmen 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, Ky. 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.
– Harris-Stowe State University is 1-1 on the season and is coming off a 57-56 home victory against Benedictine College on Nov. 1.
– The Hornets captured the American Midwest Conference Championship last year and made the NAIA Division I National Tournament for the first time school history. They are receiving votes in the NAIA Coaches Preseason Poll.
– Head coach Brion Dunlap is in his second season at Harris-Stowe.