The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Men’s Basketball Big East Schedule Preview

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TORCHPHOTO/NICK BELLO
St. John’s will play at Madison Square Garden seven times during Big East play.

Before you know it, Red Storm basketball will be back and now with the release of the Big East conference schedule, we can predict the Johnnies season outlook.

Big East play for the Red Storm tips off with a New Year’s Eve affair with the Butler Bulldogs at Carnesecca Arena. This will be one of the Red Storm’s three games in conference play to take place in Carnesecca with the rest of the home games set to take place at Madison Square Garden.

The Red Storm split the two matchups with the Bulldogs last season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that same result hold up again this year. Conference play has always been a struggle for the Red Storm (last winning record in conference play in the 14-15 season) expect a similar start in this year’s conference play.

After what should be a win against the Bulldogs, the Red Storm take to the road against Xavier and Georgetown. St. John’s lost both matchups to Xavier last season and that doesn’t look like it will change. The Red Storm beat Georgetown in a thrilling overtime game last year in D.C. however, this time around the Red Storm will be up against a better Georgetown squad than last year.

The first game of the year at MSG will be  Jan. 11 against the DePaul University Blue devils. The Red Storm should be able to take care of business against the Blue Devils, last year they split their matchups and that’s looking like the case again this season. Next, a game away against Providence College where the Red Storm did not beat them in their two matchups last season.

The last four games of January see two more games at MSG and two more away games against Seton Hall University, Marquette University, DePaul, and Villanova University. Marquette and DePaul look like the likeliest of wins in this stretch for the Red Storm, although we have seen the Johnnies pull off wins against Villanova and Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden last season.

February will feature six games beginning with Georgetown at MSG. Creighton comes next and the Red Storm should be able to take care of Creighton in Omaha. Then the Red Storm will face four difficult games in a row as Providence and Xavier come to town in the middle of February. The Red Storm will then go on the road to face Seton Hall and Villanova. This stretch will be by far the hardest of the season and the optimal outlook is the Red Storm can steal a game from Xavier or Providence at home.

The Red Storm’s Big East schedule closes out with three March games against Creighton, at Butler, and home against Marquette. Creighton and Marquette will be games where the Johnnies will be likely to squeak out a victory.

An optimal prediction for the Red Storm is that they can repeat their record they had in conference play last season at 8-10. There are a lot of unknowns about this team with a new head coach,Mike Anderson, and the losses of Shamorie Ponds and Marvin Clark. A winning record will be difficult for this team but remember: anything can happen in sports.

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