Saint Peters Basketball Team Bio And Facts
Saint Peters Basketball
- Nickname: Peacocks
- Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)
- Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
- 2021-2022 Regular Season Record: 20-11 (14-6) 15 Seed in NCAA Tournament
- Points Per Game Leader: Darryl Banks III, 11.5 PPG
- Head Coach: Shaheen Holloway
- First Season: 1937-38
- NCAA Tournament Appearances: 4 (1991,1995, 2011, 2022)
- NCAA Tournament Record (As of March 19, 2022): 2-3
- NBA Players: 2 (Bill Smith 1961, Rich Rinaldi 1971)
- Known For: Became the third 15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to reach the Sweet Sixteen after upsets of No. 2 Kentucky and No. 7 Murray State in 2022
Saint Peter’s University
Saint Peter’s University is a Jesuit Catholic school located in Jersey City, New Jersey, with less than 3,000 undergraduates. It is a 12-minute train ride from Downtown Manhattan in New York City. The school competes at the NCAA Division I level in 16 different varsity sports in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and is nicknamed the Peacocks for all sports.
2022 NCAA Tournament Run
Saint Peter’s became the Cinderella story of the 2022 NCAA Tournament by defeating No. 2 Kentucky in the Round of 64 and No. 7 Murray State in the Round of 32 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Only 1.53% of completed brackets accurately predicted that Saint Peter’s would reach the Sweet Sixteen, and only three percent of brackets had Saint Peter’s winning their first game, while six percent of brackets had Kentucky winning the National Championship. Saint Peter’s earned the right to play in the NCAA tournament by winning the MAAC championship over Monmouth and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Peacocks became the third team to reach the Sweet Sixteen as a 15-seed in history, following Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 and Oral Roberts in 2021.
Entering the tournament, they were the worst offensive team statistically of the 68 teams in the field but were able to win the first two games through strong defense. The top scorers during the regular season were Darryl Banks III and KC Ndefo. Banks scored 27 points in the Kentucky game while Ndefo scored 19 in the Murray State game, and Doug Edert scored 20 and 13 points respectively in each game for the Peacocks.
Basketball Team History
Before 2022, Saint Peter’s had never won an NCAA Tournament game. The Peacocks had reached the Big Dance three times previously but had lost in the first round each time. They have had previous postseason success, though, as they won the CIT Tournament in 2017 by defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the championship game. This was the first postseason championship in team history. Saint Peter’s has also played in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) 12 times prior to the 2022 season, with the most recent appearance in 1989.
Saint Peter’s has had two players play in the NBA in Bill Smith, drafted in 1961, and Rich Rinaldi, who was drafted in 1971. The Peacocks also had a star player from 2002 until 2006 named Keydren Clark, who set multiple NCAA records as a Peacock. Clark led the NCAA in scoring during his Sophomore and Junior seasons and finished his career with more than 3,000 points, all with Saint Peter’s. Clark finished his career number six on the NCAA all-time scoring leaderboard but never played in the NCAA Tournament or NIT.
Team Nickname and Mascot
Saint Peter’s is the only Division I program to be nicknamed the Peacocks. This name came about because of an early Dutch settler named Michael Pauw, who owned most of the land that the university was built on. Pauw’s last name literally translates to Peacock in Dutch. The Peacock name is also said to reflect resurrection and eternal life.
The Peacock name shares the name with an NBC streaming service. After Saint Peters’ upset win over Kentucky, the Peacock streaming service provided buses and other funds in order for the Saint Peter’s spirit squad to the Round of 32 game against Murray State.
Why is Saint Peter’s called the Peacocks?
Saint Peter’s is called the Peacocks because the land on which the university was built was settled by a Dutch settler named Michael Pauw. In Dutch, Pauw literally translates to Peacock, and the Peacock name reflects eternal life and salvation according to one of the University’s founders.
Who was Saint Peters’ Head Coach when they reached the Sweet Sixteen?
Shaheen Holloway was the head coach for the Peacocks’ 2022 tournament run. Holloway was a star basketball player for Seton Hall in the early 2000s and stayed in the same state to coach as both Saint Peter’s and Seton Hall are located in New Jersey.
Has Saint Peter’s ever won an NCAA Tournament game before 2022?
Prior to the 2022 NCAA tournament, Saint Peter’s had reached the NCAA’s three times but had never won a game. The Peacocks lost to Texas in 1991, UMass in 1995, and Purdue in 2011. However, they did win the CIT Championship in 2017 and have won five games in the NIT during their history.