After making the NCAA Tournament a year ago with their first Missouri Valley Conference title in more than three decades, the Bradley Braves will look to start the 2019-20 season out on the right foot against Saint Joseph’s and new head coach Billy Lange.
The game (7 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on NBC Sports Philadelphia+ locally, but if you don’t have that channel or don’t have cable, anyone in the US can also watch it live online on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of many Missouri Valley Conference and A-10 basketball games this season, plus tons of other college basketball and live sports every week, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and additional original content (both video and written) all for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch Bradley vs Saint Joseph’s live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Bradley vs Saint Joseph’s Preview
After back-to-back 20 win seasons and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, there is a level of expectation around the Bradley program that the Braves have not always been familiar with.
“We want to contend to a regular season title, and have more balance and consistency in conference play,” head coach Brian Wardle told The Bradley Scout. “If our offense can be more balanced with our [defense] and we can stay more consistent, I like how competitive our group can be.”
Missouri State was picked first in the Missouri Valley Conference media poll, but Bradley was a close second, receiving five first-place votes.
The team reviews its top three scorers in Darrell Brown, Elijah Childs and Kennell. Brown was the top scorer, netting 14.8 points per game, managing 17 against Michigan State in Bradley’s 76-65 first-round loss in the tournament.
“All six returners we got here, we all want to get back to the tournament,” Brown said. “That feeling of winning games and being on the big stage, it means the world.”
“I’m a confident player, and I think I’m more confident than last year,” added Childs. “I’m confident in my teammates, and they have confidence in me. My coaching staff has got confidence in me. Last year we had confidence in ourselves.”
Saint Joseph’s finished 14-19 last season and 6-12 in Atlantic 10 conference play, and Hawks will have to rebuild under first-year head coach Billy Lange.
The Hawks will rely on Ryan Daly to provide a good chunk of the scoring. He transferred from Delaware, where he led the program in scoring twice.
“I watched film on him from Delaware,’’ Lange said. “Like, how was he with the ball in his hands. Some of the attrition we had, I had to have a good feel for his ball skills. I was really impressed with his decision-making.”
Daly had hoped to play last year after transferring, but had to sit out a season.
“I found out the day of the first game,’’ Daly told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “That was tough for the first month.”
It sounds like Lange is ready to hand the reins to Daly as the team’s leader.
“Let him loose, more on that side. I can think he can elevate confidence in his teammates, because they know he will fight,” Lange said. “Can you be that competitive and bring your teammates along as well? He can bring them along with him.”
Bradley is a 5-point visiting favorite for the game, with a total of 146 points.
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