Time & Place: 3:00 PM Eastern, Hagan Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: ESPN2 (Mike Couzens, Jon Crispin)
Radio: 610 ESPN Radio (Villanova; Ryan Fannon, Whitey Grigsby)
Team Ratings (Offense/Defense): Villanova: 115.3 (13th)/99.1 (232nd); Saint Joseph’s: 97.3 (258th)/108.9 (330th)
While DePaul is out proving that they should be ranked, the No. 23 Villanova Wildcats (6-2) will finish off their three-game Big 5 gauntlet with a (down the) road game at the Saint Joseph’s Hawks (2-7) on Saturday afternoon.
Villanova has bounced back from falling to Baylor in the championship game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Since then, the Wildcats have picked up two home wins against La Salle and Penn by 11 points each.
Saddiq Bey has led the charge in both games, earning a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) against La Salle and dropping 27 points against Penn. Meanwhile, Justin Moore has been electric off the bench, picking up 25 points against the Explorers and 17 against the Quakers. Collin Gillespie also hit double-figure scoring in both victories.
Saint Joseph’s will be playing their first Big 5 game of the year Saturday, and it’s coming at a pretty rough time. The Hawks are beginning a new era of basketball after firing Phil Martelli, their coach of 24 seasons, back in March. His replacement is Billy Lange, last an assistant for the Philadelphia 76ers and a two-time assistant coach under Jay Wright.
Lange is dealing with a lot of roster turnover, as the top four scorers from the 2018-19 team left the program for various reasons. Leading scorer Charlie Brown is now in the NBA, Lamarr Kimble and Jared Bynum transferred, and Chris Clover graduated. The fifth-leading scorer, Taylor Funk, is still on the team, but will be out indefinitely with a right hand injury. He has missed their last two games.
That leaves Ryan Daly, a transfer from Delaware that had to sit out last season. He is the only Hawk averaging double-digit points this season (20.9 points per game). He also leads the team in rebounds (8.4) and assists (4.8). Daly dropped 30 points at UConn on Nov. 13, St. Joe’s second and most recent win. They’re currently on a six-game losing streak, including going 0-3 at the Charleston Classic.
Villanova leads the all-time series 51-25. They have won the last seven matchups and 13 of the last 15. Saint Joseph’s last series victory was on December 17, 2011.