St. Joe's, La Salle, Villanova release schedules

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St. Joe's, La Salle, Villanova release schedules

Villanova, La Salle and St. Joe's released their full 2013-14 schedules on Tuesday.

St. Joe’s (see schedule), which is coming off a disappointing 18-14 season that ended against St. John's in the first round of the NIT, will open on the road at Vermont on Nov. 9.

For the Hawks, the first big test on their schedule is against Creighton, who will head to Hagan Arena on Nov. 16.

St. Joe’s enters City 6 competition at Temple on Dec. 4 before welcoming Villanova on Dec. 7 and Drexel on Dec. 18.

The A-10 will look different this season after losing Butler, Temple, Charlotte and Xavier while picking up George Mason. But the biggest item of note from the Hawks' conference slate is the team's two games against La Salle. It will be the first time as A-10 members that the squads will face off twice during the regular season. The Hawks will travel to La Salle’s campus for the first time since 2001 on Feb. 15, and their second matchup will mark the end of the regular season for both teams.

The Explorers (see schedule), who made a surprise run to the Sweet 16 before ultimately falling to Wichita State, will host Manhattan College in their season opener on Nov. 9.

After starting the season off against some manageable opponents (Manhattan, Quinnipiac, Siena and Penn State), the Explorers head to the U.S. Virgin Islands for Paradise Jam. With a win over Morgan State, La Salle would either face Vanderbilt or Providence.

The challenges really start for La Salle in December. A week after playing at Villanova on Dec. 15, the Explorers head to Miami. Last year, La Salle fell to to Miami, 76-59.

The Explorers' last non-conference test comes against Temple on Jan. 18 before heading into A-10 play.

As for Villanova (see schedule), the Wildcats come off of a 20-14 season that ended in a loss to North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
 
Just as Temple and La Salle, Villanova will play in a tournament in late November, flying to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Wildcats will take on USC on Nov. 28. In the second round, the Wildcats would face either Kansas or Wake Forest.

Days before Villanova enters into the new-look Big East conference slate, the team faces rival Syracuse.
 
On New Years’ Eve, the Wildcats head to Hinkle Field House for the first time to face Butler.

In conference play, Villanova will take on Big East newcomer Creighton on Jan 20 at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Wildcats will close out the regular season at home against Georgetown.

Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

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Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

Delaware has its new head basketball coach in Martin Ingelsby.

Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, comes from Notre Dame, where he played from 1997-2001 and coached for 13 seasons, seven as an assistant.

Ingelsby played his high school ball at Archbishop Carroll and is the son of Tom Ingelsby, who played for Villanova from 1970-73.

Delaware is coming off a 7-23 season and 2-16 mark in CAA play, which led to the firing of head coach Monte Ross.

The Blue Hens, who announced the hire Tuesday, will formally introduce Ingelsby in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium.

Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

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Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

Villanova’s chances at repeating as national champions just got much better.

Josh Hart is returning for his senior season.

The Wildcats’ leading scorer from last season’s title-winning team tweeted this Tuesday night:

Shortly after, Villanova officially announced the news.

Hart was in the midst of going through the NBA draft process, attending the combine in Chicago and working out for teams. By not hiring an agent, he was able to test the waters without jeopardizing his final year of college eligibility. Hart had until Wednesday to make a decision, which is coming back to the defending champs.

“I enjoyed the process and learned a lot,” Hart said in a statement released by the school. “It was definitely worthwhile. I look forward to graduating next year and coming back to play with my teammates.”

As a junior, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. He put up 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Villanova’s 95-51 Final Four win over Oklahoma, before following it up with 12 points and eight rebounds in the national title game in which the Wildcats thrillingly won at the buzzer, 77-74, on a Kris Jenkins three-pointer.

Hart and Jenkins, the team’s two leading scorers, return along with key pieces Jalen Brunson (9.6 ppg), Phil Booth (7.0 ppg), Mikal Bridges (6.4 ppg) and Darryl Reynolds (4.5 rpg).

“Josh Hart did a great job in this process,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. “I’m really proud of the way that he showed himself. I am really happy for him that he is returning to play with his classmates and that he will graduate on time.” 

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

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National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

It's been nearly two months since Villanova won the National Championship in one of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament history.

Since then, the Wildcats have been honored by the city (parade), the New York Stock Exchange (opening bell), the Phillies (first pitch), the Flyers and the Union. Earlier this week, head coach Jay Wright addressed the Eagles.

But that will all pale in comparison to where the Wildcats will be next Tuesday, when they become the latest championship team to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:10 p.m. and will be streamed on www.whitehouse.gov/live.

In his pool, President Obama had Villanova finally advancing past the second round — "I know that eventually they're going to break through. They've had some bad luck over the last couple of years," Obama told ESPN.com — but had the Wildcats falling to Kansas in the regional semifinal.

He then had Kansas beating North Carolina to win the title.

After surviving the first weekend for the first time since their Final Four run in 2009, Villanova ousted Kansas, 64-59, before shocking Buddy Hield and Oklahoma in the national semifinal, winning by 44. The Wildcats then won one of the most memorable championship games in NCAA Tournament history when Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Tar Heels, 77-74.