Largely overlooked last season, Marvin Dominique returns with higher expectations for a Saint Peter's team that will be noticed much more this year. (Photo courtesy of Saint Peter's University)
The last of the eleven Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams to release its schedule has finally done so, and for Saint Peter's University, it is a very favorable slate that will further illustrate just how much head coach John Dunne can accomplish despite living in the shadows of other, larger programs, both within and outside the MAAC.
The Peacocks cut the ribbon on their 85th season with a November 14 trip to Providence to take on Brown, one of three Ivy League teams Saint Peter's will face on its ledger, and will remain in New England for a November 16 battle against Hartford of the America East Conference.
Saint Peter's home opener is also the first game of MAAC play this season, held earlier than usual when Niagara visits the Yanitelli Center on November 20, a date that was created by the need of Niagara to move a conference game to accommodate a prior commitment, which coincided seamlessly with Dunne's desire to get a home game for his team early in the season. The Peacocks will not be in Jersey City for long, however, as they hit the road to meet La Salle on November 22 as part of the Barclays Center Classic. Three days later, Saint Peter's contests a familiar foe in their Garden State rival Rutgers on November 25 at the RAC. For Dunne, who defeated the Scarlet Knights in 2012, the game will be a reunion of sorts with his former assistant coach Dalip Bhatia, who is now the director of basketball operations under Eddie Jordan at his alma mater in Piscataway.
Following the drive down the New Jersey Turnpike, Saint Peter's returns home for two games that conclude the Barclays Center Classic subregional, first on November 28 against Tennessee State before hosting either Norfolk State or St. Francis Brooklyn the following day. MAAC play resumes for the Peacocks on December 3, when they get their first look at Canisius, who must fill the void left by point guard and reigning MAAC Player of the Year Billy Baron. Next on the ledger will be a journey to the Agganis Arena on December 6 to match wits with Boston University, four days before Princeton makes the commute north to the Yanitelli Center.
On December 14, Saint Peter's will once again invade the Prudential Center for their annual skirmish with Seton Hall. This will mark the second year in a row in which the Peacocks and Pirates will have competed on December 14, with Desi Washington's heroics lifting Saint Peter's to an overtime victory a year ago after Brian Oliver sent the game to the extra session with an improbable game-tying three-pointer at the end of regulation. A welcome of Fairleigh Dickinson on December 23 and a trip to Cornell on the 28th close out 2014 for the Peacocks, who resume MAAC play on January 2 by ringing in 2015 against Quinnipiac at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Marist comes to the Yanitelli Center on January 4, three days before the Peacocks arrive at Draddy Gym for their first of two encounters with reigning MAAC champion Manhattan. The collision with the Jaspers starts a three-game road swing that will conclude against two in-state rivals, with Rider hosting Saint Peter's on January 10 and Monmouth doing the same on the 14th. Three of the next four games on the slate will be back home in Jersey City, though, starting with Manhattan on January 16 and continuing with Quinnipiac on the 21st before a Sunday visit to Siena on January 25 precedes Rider's trek to the Yanitelli Center on the 29th.
Saint Peter's closes January on the 31st, when they will square off with Iona at the Hynes Center before getting a well-deserved week off prior to home games against Fairfield and Siena on February 7 and 9, respectively. Much like Seton Hall on December 14, this will be the second straight season in which the Peacocks have played on February 7 and 9 as well. On February 7, 2014, Siena came to the Yanitelli Center in an encounter that is now known not just for a 66-53 Saint Peter's victory, but also for being just the second game in which Saints head coach Jimmy Patsos was ejected. On February 9 of last season, the Peacocks scored another decisive victory, defeating Monmouth by the final of 61-50.
The Peacocks will take their annual trip to western New York on February 13 and 15, first meeting Niagara before visiting Canisius. Monmouth comes to the Yanitelli Center on the 19th to break up a stretch of four out of five contests on the road, which picks up again when Fairfield and Marist host Saint Peter's on February 21 and 27, respectively.
Saint Peter's closes their regular season at home on March 1 against Iona.