St. John’s-Rutgers Open to Playing Non-Conference Games Beginning in 2014

NEW YORK — St. John’s-Rutgers doesn’t have the same cachet as St. John’s-Georgetown, St. John’s-Syracuse or even Rutgers-Seton Hall.

Still, the two schools are local rivals who managed to draw a pretty good crowd to Madison Square Garden for Rutgers’ 58-56 victory Wednesday night.

Two years from now, they will be in different leagues, with Rutgers headed to the Big Ten and St. John’s to the new Catholic 7 amalgam.

But both schools said they would consider keeping the local rivalry going in non-conference games beginning in 2014.

Through a spokesman, Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti told SNY.tv he would be “open” to playing the Johnnies in a non-conference game. Head coach Mike Rice is on record saying he would still like to play New Jersey rival Seton Hall after the teams are in different leagues.

St. John’s coach Steve Lavin echoed Pernetti’s sentiments post-game.

“Good rivalry and we’ll have to see when they’re in the Big Ten and we’re in our newly established Big East where everything is,” Lavin said.

“You have to look at the composite, like I know we’re going to be playing Syracuse. And they have to look at who they’re playing outside their league, but…there’s the possibility of playing enough of those New York, New Jersey, tri-state area teams to keep the fan interest and for attendance and the rivalry aspect and the kids having played against each other when they came up.

“But I wouldn’t be able to say today we’re going to do this because I look at the big composite as we learn more about the new Big East and how that develops, and what exempt tournaments we’re playing in and all those other factors.”

Photo: NY Post

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