For the first time in program history, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men’s basketball team received votes in the latest D3Hoops.com Top 25 Poll, released Monday afternoon. The Blue Jays received 55 votes in the week nine poll, which was just one vote shy of cracking the top-25 rankings behind No. 25 Brandeis who was awarded 56 votes.
The second-year program, under Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun, is 17-2 on the season and currently riding a 16-game win streak. They are also undefeated (5-0) to start Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play after most recently defeating previously ranked (No. 19) Albertus Magnus College, 98-79, and Johnson & Wales University, 81-65, on the road last week. Albertus Magnus and Johnson & Wales have combined to win the last 10 GNAC Championships.
USJ has most notebly gone 3-1 this season against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opponents, picking up wins over Trinity College, Bates College, and Williams College. Its lone NESCAC loss – and last loss to date – was at Tufts University on November 23. Tufts checked in at No. 21 this week in the Top 25 and has been nationally ranked for the past three weeks.
To date, the Blue Jays rank in the Top 10 in Division III in eight different statistical categories – defensive rebounds per game (2nd – 32.32), rebounding margin (3rd – 12.8), scoring margin (4th – 18.9), rebounds per game (4th – 45.42), field-goal perfentage defense (5th – 37.7%), field-goal percentage (7th – 50.3%), free throws made (10th – 354), and won-lost percentage (10th – 89.5%).
The D3hoops.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. Points are awarded on a 25-24-23-22-etc. basis.
The USJ men’s basketball team returns to the floor on Tuesday, February 4, in its third of three straight road games, taking on fellow undefeated (5-0) GNAC foe Lasell. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and Lasers is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.