For the Saint Louis University men's basketball team, the past few years have been filled with hope and frustration. Head coach Brad Soderberg has led the Billikens to the National Invitation Tournament in both of his seasons with the team, but they still haven't leapt out of the Conference USA pack to join elite rivals like Louisville and Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament. Can three-point marksman Reggie Bryant (pictured) and freshman guard (and Vashon superstar) Dwayne Polk finally bring home a C-USA title before the 2005 switch to the Atlantic 10 Conference? Do we dare hope to see the Bills when the Final Four tips off here next spring? The mystery begins to unfold with the 7:30 p.m. exhibition game against the University of Missouri-St. Louis Rivermen at Savvis Center (14th Street and Clark Avenue). Tickets prices range from $9 to $23 (314-241-1888 or www.ticketmaster.com). -- Jason Toon
Just Skating By
There may not be a more romantic date than going ice skating. Getting all bundled up and strapping on some skates as you consider the Olympic grace of a triple axel -- it can't be that hard, right? Holding glove-covered hands with that special someone as you both get warmed up on the first few laps around the rink is almost indescribably sweet. And then it happens: You fall. And you take that special someone down with you. At that point ice skating shows that it's not Rockefeller Center dreams, it's wet-jeans Hell. But suffering through embarrassment together can really break the ice (in more ways than one). Enjoy all this and more inside the Kennedy Recreation Complex (6050 Wells Road; call 314-894-3088 for times) as it opens its doors for the public ice-skating season this Friday, November 5. Skating costs $2 to $4; skates cost $1 -- good deal, and good luck. -- Alison Sieloff
Volley of the Balls
Hey, what are you up to Friday around midnight? Nothing? Great -- can you jump serve? Canaan Baptist Church (5409 Baumgartner Road) hosts its eleventh annual Volleyball Marathon, a 24-hour fundraiser, from 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 5, through 6:30 p.m. Saturday, November 6. The event benefits the Missouri Baptist Children's Home (by providing Christmas presents for the kids there) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation (the funds will help a local girl and her family get to Disney World). Teams of six or more can still register (mostly for graveyard shifts, mind you, and with a minimum team donation of $50) by calling 314-487-1730; visit www.canaanbaptiststl.org/volleyball for more information. -- Rose Martelli
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