By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — St. Joe’s faces a tough match-up Friday night up in Brooklyn as they battle #20 Notre Dame as part of the Coaches Versus Cancer Classic.
The Hawks are 1-0, they smothered Yale in their season opener on Monday 61-35.
“We played wonderful team defense (against Yale),” Hawks coach Phil Martelli tells KYW Newsradio. “Every guy really followed the plan and executed the plan.”
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Notre Dame is 2-0 on the young season and Martelli says they present quite the challenge.
“They have four guys back who all averaged double figures last year, team that won 22 games, went to the NCAA Tournament,” Martelli says. “They play almost blind to the shot clock, they take their time, they are very, very patient.
“Notre Dame plays a terrific style for the guys that they have. And they have complete buy in. Not a deep team, they’re going to play seven guys but they have a tremendous sense of confidence from guy one to guy seven.”
These two teams haven’t met since 1992 when Notre Dame beat the Hawks 68-65 as part of the Sugar Bowl Tournament down in New Orleans. Martelli talks about what they need to do to pick up a win on Friday.
“We can’t get impatient,” Martelli says. “We can’t get impatient defensively because the shot clock’s going to go down and down and down, we have defensively stay with our plan and then on the other side, same thing. They are going to guard us, they are going to guard us like older, stronger guys and we have to be willing to execute.”
St. Joe’s will not have the services of leading returning scorer Carl Jones against the Irish. The senior guard will miss another game due to a suspension for a violation of the University’s community standards. He is expected to be available on Saturday for the next game of the Classic against either BYU or Florida.
St. Joe’s and Notre Dame will tip-off at around 9:30 p.m. on Friday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.