Last Season: 13-18 (7-11 Atlantic 10)
Saint Joseph's entered a rebuilding phase one season ago. Coming off an NCAA Tournament berth in 2013-2014 where they lost to eventual national champion Connecticut in overtime, the Hawks had the unenviable task of replacing three starters in 2014-2015.
The Hawks would suffer growing pains throughout a 13-18 season, but would see sophomore DeAndre' Bembry emerge as a star and gain attention not just in the Atlantic 10, but nationwide.
In 2015-2016, Saint Joseph's will rely on Bembry to drive their success. Coming off an offseason in which he was one of 20 college players in the nation invited to take part in the Nike Basketball Academy with instructors such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis, the expectations for Bembry are sky high.
Last Season: 17-16 (8-10 Atlantic 10)
Just like the elevator business, the 2014-2015 season for the La Salle Explorers had its ups and downs. They finished 17-16 overall and 8-10 in conference play, good for 9th in the Atlantic 10 standings. The Explorers started out very streaky, winning their first four games of the season, then immediately losing their next four games.
Unfortunately, that wasn't their only major losing streak last season. They lost four consecutive games at the end of February, losing to Saint Louis, Fordham, Rhode Island, and Saint Joseph's. Before that stretch, the Explorers were 15-11 and on pace for a top 6 seed in the A-10 Tournament. The Fordham lost hurt the most. Losing to a program as bad as Fordham's is a huge blow to a team's confidence.
A higher seed in the A-10 tournament would have been great for the Explorers to have. They defeated Massachusetts in the first round, but lost to the number one seeded Davidson in the next round. Just two seasons removed from a memorable Sweet 16 run, the Explorers will look to some new faces to try and reach those same heights soon.
Last Season: 26-11 (13-5 American)
Temple's 2014-2015 season featured its highs and lows as the Owls fell just short of an NCAA Tournament appearance. After getting off to a slow start that included losses to UNLV and Saint Joseph's, the Owls began to find a bit of a groove.
Once Jesse Morgan became eligible, the Owls appeared to be a much more complete team, rattling off six straight wins, including a 77-52 rout of #10 Kansas. Unfortunately for the Owls, they would follow that streak with a three game losing streak.
They would put together a seven-game win streak after that, but would end their conference tournament hopes with a loss to #20 SMU, keeping the Owls out of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.
As the #1 seed in the NIT Tournament, the Owls would reach the semifinals before bowing out to Miami. Now Temple looks to retool a bit and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in two years.
Since we last watched our City 6 teams play, Philadelphia has endured 7 straight months of Chip Kelly, #FireRuben and #ThisStartsNow. But we made it through, with a month to go until the college basketball tip-off. Last season, we saw Villanova win the Big East and get a number 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but fall in the second round to a strong NC State team, and a Temple team that played well down the stretch, but fell to Miami in the NIT Semifinal.
We also saw La Salle find a new star in Jordan Price, and Saint Joseph's DeAndre' Bembry blossom into a future NBA prospect. Drexel had a rough start, going 2-11 at the beginning, but finished a respectable 9-7, even ripping off a 6-game win streak. They lost Damion Lee as a transfer to Louisville, so the hunt for a number one option on offense begins. Penn finished 9-19, but they have a new coach in Steve Donahue, who was an assistant at Penn for 10 years before becoming the head coach at Cornell and Boston College.
There's a lot to look forward to this season, but I'll start with a preseason ranking/summary of each City 6 program.
City 6 Rankings
2. Saint Joseph's
5. La Salle