Steve Lavin and St. John’s will open the 2013-14 regular season against Big Ten power Wisconsin on Nov. 8.
But there’s a twist.
The game will take place in Sioux Falls, S.D., “in an effort to showcase the newly-built, $19 million Sanford Pentagon facility,” according to a Wisconsin press release.
Wisconsin’s showdown with the Red Storm will be played on the 3,250-seat Heritage Court, the centerpiece of the 160,000-square foot facility that makes up the Sanford Pentagon.
“Playing a Bo Ryan-coached Badger team gives us an early-season test and an opportunity to get a report card following an offseason that will include a European tour,” said Lavin. “Having covered the Big Ten for seven years with ESPN, I developed an appreciation for the cohesive brand of basketball Bo Ryan’s teams play. Coach Ryan and I have also partnered in the fight against cancer. We are looking forwarded to competing against Wisconsin and participating in the first-ever college basketball game at The Pentagon in Sioux Falls.” To read more of this story, click here
St. John’s could turn out to be a real force in the Big East next season.
As previously reported here last month, sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison is expected to return to the team along with freshman forward JaKarr Sampson, the reigning Big East Rookie of the Year. Adding them to recently committed guard Rysheed Jordan, forward Orlando Sanchez and the rest of the returning players, and the Johnnies will have an experienced, deep and talented squad in the first year of the new Big East.
“D’Angelo has responded to his suspension in an admirable and mature manner,” Johnnies coach Steve Lavin said Monday after Harrison was named to the All-Met Division 1 Basketball Team. “We are hopeful with a productive spring and summer performance he will be able earn his way back on to our team.” To read more of this story, click here
As previously reported here last week, Philly Vaux Roberts guard Rysheed Jordan announced for St. John’s on Thursday.
“ST JOHN BABY..🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀🏀,” he Tweeted.
The 6-foot-4 Jordan also considered Temple and UCLA.
“I am looking forward to taking the next steps as a basketball player and in continuing my education at St. John’s University,” he later added. “Throughout the recruiting process it became clear St. John’s is the best fit for me. I developed a strong relationship with Coach [Steve] Lavin, the staff and players and believe I can contribute to the program immediately.
“The full-court, uptempo, attacking system of play is suited for my game. New York City has great energy and The Garden is a place everyone dreams of playing. I want to thank Temple and UCLA for showing interest in me. I am a Philly native and love my city and can’t wait to represent in the Big Apple.” To read more of this story, click here
St. John’s wing Amir Garrett is transferring, thereby opening up a scholarship for the Johnnies to use in recruiting.
“After a long thought out process of speaking with my family, I will be leaving St. John’s basketball program!” he Tweeted Tuesday night.
“It was a well thought out decision that didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. St. John’s will always have a special place in my heart. As of now I’m playing baseball, but I plan on being at another program in the fall. To read more of this story, click here
By GARRETT MILEY
Special to ZAGSBLOG
PHILADELPHIA — Sir’Dominic Pointer drained a game-winning jumper at the buzzer as St. John’s shot 55.2 percent after the break to erase a 12-point second half deficit and advance into the NIT Second Round with a 63-61 victory on the road against St. Joe’s.
“I’ve never hit a shot like that in college,” Pointer said after the game. “It just felt good and to celebrate it with my teammates felt even better.”
Pointer finished with 15 points, including a career-high three 3-pointers, seven rebounds and five assists to lead St. John’s (17-15), while JaKarr Sampson added a team-high 16 points to go with five rebounds. Phil Greene IV finished with 10 points, Jamal Branch had nine points and five assists, and Chris Obekpa added six points, eight rebounds and three blocks. After shooting just 36.4 percent (12-of-33) in the first half, the Red Storm fired at a 55.2 percent clip (16-of-29) in the final stanza. To read more of this story, click here
By MATT SUGAM
Special to ZAGSBLOG
NEW YORK – And now they wait.
Five weeks ago, Steve Lavin had a young and hungry St. John’s squad poised to make its second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years.
But the Johnnies lost key players down the stretch to suspensions and lost for the seventh time in eight games, falling to Villanova, 66-53, in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The No. 7 Wildcats will face No. 2 Louisville tonight at 7 p.m.
Whatever bubble dreams the Johnnies (16-15) had of making the NCAA Tournament have popped.
Their hopes of continuing their season now hinge on an NIT bid, and the Johnnies must wait until Selection Sunday to learn their fate.
To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — St. John’s freshman forward JaKarr Sampson was named the 2012-13 Big East Rookie of the Year on Tuesday and said he “wouldn’t mind” returning to St. John’s for his sophomore season.
The 6-foot-8 Sampson from Akron, Ohio becomes the second straight St. John’s player to earn Big East Rookie of the Year honors and the third overall. Moe Harkless took home the league’s top freshman honor in 2011-12, while David Russell earned the award in 1979-80.
“I’m very confident, so I felt this was a possibility from the first day I was at St. John’s,” Sampson said. “I hold myself to a high standard. I felt like I could win it from day one.”
Ironically, Sampson was initially supposed to begin his St. John’s career alongside Harkless in 2011, but was deemed academically ineligible by the NCAA.
He then did a postgraduate year at Brewster (N.H.) Academy and came to St. John’s in 2012.
Had the two played together in 2011-12, only one of them would have won the award and St. John’s would not have won back-to-back honors. To read more of this story, click here
In this interview with SNY’s Gary Apple and Tarik Turner, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin talked about his difficult last month.
From the death of his father, Cap, to the suspension of D’Angelo Harrison, to the fight with Notre Dame, it has been a trying month for Lavin.
“From the time my father passed Feb. 10 it’s been very difficult,” Lavin said.
“You just move forward as best you can.”
On the court, the Johnnies have lost six of seven to fall out of NCAA Tournament contention. To read more of this story, click here
St. John’s led by as many as seven in the first half and took a four-point lead into halftime, but made just five field goals as part of a 14-point second half effort as Notre Dame shot 68.0 percent (17-of-25) after the break and rolled to a 66-40 victory against the Red Storm.
“You don’t have to look beyond the second half shooting percentages to realize what the difference was in this game,” said St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin. “We were able to keep Notre Dame in check during the first half, but they pounded us in the paint during the second half with high percentage shots.”
JaKarr Sampson finished with a team-high 12 points, while Sir’Dominic Pointer had seven points, 12 boards, four assists and four blocks to lead St. John’s (16-13, 8-9). Phil Greene IV added 10 points and Chris Obekpahad two points, five rebounds and four blocks. The Red Storm shot 41.4 percent (12-of-29) in the first half, but just 18.5 percent (5-of-27) after the break. St. John’s went 0-of-9 from distance in the second half and finished just 1-of-13 (7.7 percent) from long range in the game. To read more of this story, click here
By BRENDAN McGAIR
Special to ZAGSBLOG
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Steve Lavin has a message for the Big East – one regarding the Providence College squad that squeezed out a last-second 62-59 win over the D’Angelo Harrison-less St. John’s Red Storm Saturday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
“They are the hottest team in our league other than Georgetown,” was the tip of the cap extended by Lavin, whose team’s NCAA Tournament chances took a major hit with the loss.
Given up for dead after ending January with a 2-7 conference record, PC reversed its fortunes in February with five wins in six opportunities. With the calendar flipped to college’s basketball most pulsating and heart-stopping month, the Friars kicked off March by evening their Big East mark at 8-8 – same as St. John’s and Cincinnati. To read more of this story, click here