SLU Releases Hoops Schedule

The Saint Louis University basketball team has high expectations entering the fourth season under coach Rick Majerus and returning all five starters from last year's 23-win team.

After playing two exhibition games at home, the Billikens will open the season against Austin Peay (17-15 last season) on Nov. 12 at Chaifetz Arena, the first of five consecutive home games to start the regular season.

Saint Louis University went 18-4 at home a year ago, including a 12-2 mark against non-conference opponents. The Billikens struggled away from Chaifetz during the non-league schedule last season, losing all six games away from home while playing without freshman Cody Ellis.

The Billikens will host Georgia on Nov. 20 at Chaifetz. Saint Louis lost to Georgia 64-56 on the road last season after a late comeback attempt came up short. The Bulldogs went 14-17 last season and return leading scorers Trey Thompkins (17.7 points per game) and Travis Leslie (14.8).

SLU will go on the road for the first time on Nov. 30 when the Billikens travel to Portland for a homecoming game for junior forward Brian Conklin. The Pilots went 21-11 last season.

Then Saint Louis U. has the highlight of the non-conference schedule when it travels to Duke to play the defending national champions on Dec. 12. Duke (35-5 last season) returns two of its top three scorers from last season in forward Kyle Singler (17.7) and guard Nolan Smith (17.4).

The Billikens travel to Mexico later in December to play in the Cancun Governor's Cup. They will play Northeastern (20-13 last season) in the opening game on Dec. 22 and then play either Southern Miss (20-14) or East Tennessee State (20-15) the following day.

Saint Louis returns from Mexico to play three games at Chaifetz — final non-conference games against Bowling Green on Jan. 1 and Chicago State on Jan. 3 before kicking off the Atlantic 10 Conference season against Dayton on Jan. 6.

The Billikens' Atlantic 10 schedule includes road games with Temple (Jan. 9), Xavier (Feb. 5), Richmond (Feb. 12) and Dayton (March 2) and home games with Saint Joseph's (Jan. 15), Rhode Island (Jan. 26) and Xavier (March 5).

SLU will play three of its final four conference games at home against Charlotte, Duquesne and Xavier.

Saint Louis finished fourth — behind Temple, Xavier and Richmond — in the Atlantic 10 Conference during the regular season a year ago with an 11-5 record. The Billikens return their top six leading scorers, including junior guard Kwamain Mitchell (15.9 points per game), junior forward Willie Reed (12.4) and sophomore Ellis (10.5). SLU's recruiting class was led by 6-foot-11 power forward Rob Loe from New Zealand and guards Mike McCall and Jordair Jett.

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