As of this Monday morning, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had both St. John’s and Providence among the First 4 out of the NCAA Tournament.
Those two teams will tangle in what could be a play-out game in Thursday’s Big East Tournament quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s a significant game for a number of reasons,” Johnnies coach Steve Lavin said Monday.
Yet Lavin said we shouldn’t overstate the significance of this game and said it’s possible both teams are already in the Big Dance. To read more of this story, click here
By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
The bracket for the 10-team Big East Tournament is finalized and when No. 5 seed St. John’s walks on to its home floor at Madison Square Garden on Thursday afternoon for its quarterfinal, it will do so while on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
Picked to finish fifth in the Big East in the preseason, the Red Storm did just that and will square off against No. 4 seed Providence on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Both sides have little room for error in their quest to get to the NCAA Tournament. The loser may have to start thinking about the NIT, while the winner would either be in good standing or should be one more win away from going dancing. To read more of this story, click here
Steve Lavin is expected to sign an extension at St. John’s that goes beyond the remaining two years on his current deal.
It remains unclear how long the extension would be for, and sources said a report that it would be six years is not necessarily accurate.
In January, SNY.tv quoted Lavin as saying he wasn’t going anywhere, and at that time the extension was in play.
“Steve is coming to the end of the fourth year in his initial six-year contract and it is an appropriate time to discuss an extension. We have certainly had preliminary talks and look forward to revisiting the matter at the conclusion of the season,” said Chris Monasch, St. John’s Director of Athletics. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Steve Lavin and his players awoke Sunday morning to the daily update from ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi.
And it went like this: St. John’s is currently among the First 4 Out of the 68-team NCAA Tournament field.
St. John’s, like a lot of bubble teams at this point, has only one option to keep its dancing dreams alive: Keep on winning.
They did what they were supposed to do Sunday afternoon, beating DePaul, 72-64, at Madison Square Garden behind D’Angelo Harrison’s 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Sir’Dominic Pointer had 14 points and five boards, Orlando Sanchez added 13 points and seven rebounds and Chris Obekpa grabbed 10 rebounds.
“I don’t turn on SportsCenter, none of that,” Harrison said of Lunardi’s bracket. “I watch NBA TV.”
To read more of this story, click here
St. John’s coach Steve Lavin announced that point guard Rysheed Jordan would not play in Sunday’s game against DePaul because of the death of a close relative.
“Rysheed attended Niaja’s [Kane] funeral yesterday in Philadelphia and he will return to New York tonight,” Lavin said. “This has been a very challenging week for Rysheed and his family as they have been grieving this tragic loss.
“It’s clear that Rysheed needs more time before returning to action. He will not suit up for tomorrow’s game but will be on the bench to support his teammates. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Rysheed and his family.” To read more of this story, click here
St. John’s has unsuccessfully recruited two players from Louisiana in the past two years.
Rico Gathers chose Baylor over St. John’s in 2012 and Jarell Martin picked LSU over the Johnnies (among others) in 2013.
But knowing that they have some heavy lifting to do for 2015 and 2015, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin and his staff are back at it again.
St. John’s is among a handful of teams in the mix for 2015 Louisiana shooting guard Brandon Sampson, the No. 57 player in the Class according to 247 Sports. To read more of this story, click here
If the Big East Tournament started today, St. John’s would be the No. 6 seed and would face a quarterfinal rematch with No. 3 Xavier, the same team that beat the Johnnies, 65-53, last night at Madison Square Garden.
If the Johnnies get past Xavier, they would likely get No. 2 Villanova in the semifinals, the same Villanova team that is 2-0 against St. John’s this season.
And if St. John’s were to win that game as well, they would likely face No. 1 Creighton in the championship game March 15. To read more of this story, click here
St. John’s freshman guard Rysheed Jordan is questionable for Tuesday’s game against Xavier after suffering the death of a “close relative,” the school announced Monday.
Johnnies head coach Steve Lavin said he and Jordan will meet and assess the “right thing to do” in terms of Jordan’s participation for Xavier.
“He’s in Philadelphia today with his family for the viewing and will return to New York [Monday night]” Lavin said. “I’ll get together with Rysheed and approach the situation in an appropriate manner based on how he is navigating through this emotional minefield. It’s difficult to speculate how a person is going to respond to losing someone they are so close to.” To read more of this story, click here
PHILADELPHIA — St. John’s came up short in its bid for a signature win, losing Saturday at No. 9 Villanova, 57-54, before 17,124 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Johnnies (18-10, 8-7 Big East) had won six straight and nine of 10 to vault back into the NCAA Tournament conversation after starting 0-5 in Big East play.
Still, their only marquee win at this point is a victory over then-No. 12 Creighton.
Entering the day, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had St. John’s as a No. 11 seed and playing No. 6 UConn. To read more of this story, click here
St. John’s could get one big man back just in time for their biggest game of the season, but will be without another.
Sophomore center Chris Obekpa could play in Saturday’s game against No. 9 Villanova — a game with huge NCAA Tournament implications for the Johnnies — while senior big man Orlando Sanchez is out because his wife, Flor Esthefani, had a baby daughter, the school announced.
“Our St. John’s basketball family congratulates Orlando and Flor on bringing newborn baby girl Ysabel Angela Sanchez into the world,” coach Steve Lavin said.
Lavin also said he wouldn’t “rule out” Obekpa playing, but he is by no means a certainty to play.
“He looked fine, he’s not limping or anything,” St. John’s junior JaKarr Sampson said Friday, according to the New York Post. “He looked like he’s ready to play tomorrow.”
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