Despite coming off an 11-20 season, Saint Joseph's was picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll released this week.
It's the highest the Hawks have been picked to finish since 2012-13 when they were the preseason favorite.
St. Joe's went just 4-14 in the conference last season after winning the A-10 with a 13-5 conference record the previous year. The Hawks have won the A-10 twice in the last four seasons.
Phil Martelli enters his 23rd season as head coach, and he has all five starters coming back. The Hawks lost some key players last season. Shavar Newkirk was averaging 20.3 points per game until he tore his ACL in the conference opener. Lamarr Kimble was averaging 15.5 points and leading the team in assists when he fractured his foot in February.
Newkirk was named to the preseason All-Conference Second Team; Kimble and Charlie Brown Jr. were third-teamers.
St. Joe's begins its season on Nov. 11 at Toledo, with the Hawks' home opener coming the following Saturday, Nov. 18 against Princeton (see schedule).