By Matt Noonan
In just two days, the Hobart men’s basketball team will tip-off against the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) in the opening round of the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament. And the team’s head coach, Stefan Thompson, seems excited for his Statesmen to compete against Jim Calhoun‘s squad, which enters the national postseason riding an impressive 25-game winning streak.
“As a coach, I am looking forward to it,” Thompson said, via Joe Sager of D3Hoops.com. “I know he is a competitor and that’s why he’s still in the industry and able to sustain such a great career.”
Calhoun has never coached in the D-III Tournament but has plenty of experience coaching in the postseason with both Northeastern University and the University of Connecticut. He won three national championships with the Huskies of UConn while guiding Northeastern to five March Madness appearances, including a pair of second-round contests in 1981 and 1982.
Last season, Calhoun and the Blue Jays came close to making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance but lost to Albertus Magnus in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament.
This season, the Blue Jays erased the memories of their 2019 conference tournament championship setback by beating the Falcons in the 2020 GNAC title game this past Sunday.
USJ, which is in its second season as a varsity program, only has one junior on its roster. A majority of the team is first-years and sophomores, who have turned the Blue and Gold into a team to watch over the past few weeks in both Connecticut and New England.
The winner of Friday’s match-up will advance to Saturday’s second-round against the winner of Springfield College and SUNY Canton.