St. John’s (17-16, 8-10)
Postseason: NIT Second Round (68-50 loss at Virginia)
This is the eighth installment of a 10-part series evaluating the schedules of the 10 Big East teams for the 2013-14 season. Above record, tournament finishes are from last season.
The Red Storm have a lot going for them on paper this season. They return their top seven leading scorers, including future NBA pro D’Angelo Harrison who was suspended for the final six games last season.
Not coincidentally, St. John’s lost five of those six games and nine of its final 12 after a 6-3 start to conference play. Shot blocking extraordinaire Chris Obekpa returns, as does Jakarr Sampson, Phil Greene IV, Sir’Dominic Pointer and God’sgift Achiuwa, who redshirted last year.
The Red Storm also welcome Rysheed Jordan, the No. 3 point guard of the 2013 class. The question is: Does Steve Lavin have enough control of this team to make it a Big East title contender?
Schedule (all times Central)
Nov. 2 – vs. San Francisco State Time TBA (exhibition)
Nov. 5 – vs. Humboldt State Time TBA (exhibition)
Nov. 8 – vs. Wisconsin 7:00 BTN (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Nov. 15 – vs. Wagner 5:00 Fox Sports 2
Nov. 19 – vs. Bucknell 7:30 Fox Sports 1
Nov. 22 – vs. Monmouth 8:00 Fox Sports 1 (Barclays Center Classic opening round)
Nov. 26 – vs. Longwood 6:00 Fox Sports 1 (Barclays Center Classic opening round)
Nov. 29 – vs. Penn State 6:00 (Barclays Center Classic, Brooklyn)
Nov. 30 – vs. Ole Miss/Georgia Tech 1:00/3:30 (Barclays Center Classic, Brooklyn)
Dec. 7 – vs. Fordham 12:30 FSN (Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival)
Dec. 15 – vs. Syracuse 11:00 Fox Sports 1
Dec. 18 – vs. San Francisco 7:00 Fox Sports 1
Dec. 21 – vs. Youngstown State 1:00 Fox Sports 1
Dec. 28 – vs. Columbia 1:30 Fox Sports 1 (Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival)
Dec. 31 – at Xavier 11:00 Fox Sports 1
Jan. 4 – at Georgetown 12:00 Fox Sports 1
Jan. 11 – vs. Villanova 12:00 Fox Sports 1
Jan. 14 – at DePaul 6:00 Fox Sports 1
Jan. 16 – vs. Providence 6:00 Fox Sports 1
Jan. 18 – vs. Dartmouth 5:00 Fox Sports 1
Jan. 23 – vs. Seton Hall 6:00 CBS Sports
Jan. 25 – at Butler 3:00 FSN
Jan. 28 – at Creighton 8:00 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 1 – vs. Marquette 11:30 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 4 – at Providence 6:00 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 9 – vs. Creighton 6:00 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 13 – at Seton Hall 8:00 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 16 – vs. Georgetown 6:00 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 18 – vs. Butler 8:00 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 22 – at Villanova 12:30 Fox Sports 1
Feb. 25 – vs. Xavier 6:00 Fox Sports 1
March 2 – vs. DePaul 11:00 CBS Sports
March 8 – at Marquette 11:00 Fox Sports 1
Give St. John’s credit for going to Sioux Falls to take on the Badgers to open the season. Bucky will be solid as always and it’s a good chance for the Red Storm to pick up a marquee win on the season’s opening night.
The following four non-conference games won’t do much to help the team’s RPI, nor will a game against Penn State in the Barclays Center Classic, but an intriguing matchup with the man, the myth the legend that is Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss potentially awaits the Johnnies in the second game.
A matchup with fellow NYC rival Fordham sets up another old Big East tilt when Syracuse comes to the Garden on Dec. 15. It’s one of the more intriguing non-conference matchups of the season, if only because it could be Jim Boeheim’s last hurrah in “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”
San Francisco, Youngstown State and Columbia (back at the Barclays Center) close out the non-conference slate before trips to Xavier and Georgetown get the Red Storm right into the swing of Big East play.
The Villanova game on Jan. 11 is the ultimate toss up for me, but I think St. John’s wins to set up a 5-game winning streak before faltering at Butler.
Last year, Marquette beat St. John’s on a Vander Blue buzzer beater to clinch a share of the Big East championship. I think the Johnnies get revenge this year on the Saturday before the Super Bowl but slip up in their next game at Providence.
I like the upset over Creighton at home on Feb. 9, followed by a disappointing loss at Seton Hall before wining three of its last six to finish 10-8 in the Big East and sneak into the NCAA Tournament.
Wins: Wagner, Bucknell, Monmouth, Longwood, Penn State (Brooklyn), Ole Miss (Brooklyn), Fordham, San Francisco, Youngstown State, Columbia (Brooklyn), Villanova, DePaul (twice), Providence, Dartmouth, Seton Hall, Marquette, Creighton, Georgetown, Butler,
Losses: Wisconsin (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Syracuse, Xavier (twice) at Georgetown, at Butler, at Creighton, at Providence, at Seton Hall, at Villanova, at Marquette
Prediction: 20-11, 10-8 Big East (5th)