The first week of fall practice kicked off with Red Storm Tip-Off. What should have been an offseason of straight anticipation turned into an offseason of tumult for St. John's. Now that the lights are on, the talk's more about the game than it is about who could have been in the red and white.
Red Storm Tip-Off itself was a fun event. It was well attended by fans and recruits alike, with Amir Garrett, Ricardo Gathers, Darrick Wood, and Norvel Pelle in the house. And it was a good hype-the-crowd event. But Tip-Off featured almost no basketball game action from the new recruits - there are only 8 players on the roster. The team is looking for walk-ons, and we looked at St. John's potential walk-ons yesterday.
More recap, after the jump.
The new players didn't get to ball, but they did get a chance to speak their confidence and swagger in pre- and post-game interviews... with Nurideen Lindsey stating that their goal is to win a National Championship. Before you dismiss that as ridiculous bravado, any person should always have as a goal to be the best; and these players certainly have that goal.
In other news, we posted the results of the Blogger Roundtable picks for All Big East and player of the year, and also where we think the Big East basketball teams will finish on Big East Media Day. St. John's was picked 12th in the 16 team league - appropriate for a team with so many question marks, perhaps.
But in the USA Today initial coaches' poll, the Red Storm received 11 votes, good for 39th in the poll. Are the Johnnies the 39th best team in the country? Maybe, but there is a lot of work to do. And that work might not be evident until nearly January.
Steve Lavin is still not coaching with the team as he recovers from a procedure to deal with his prostate cancer; he may be back by the first game against William and Mary in 2 weeks.
Our favorite story last week was a few days old, but still a good one: Chris Mullin, the great scorer from the 80s who took the Red Storm to the Final Four, is helping coach the actors in a basketball-themed play called Lysistrata Jones on Broadway.
See the Baselines series - preseason looks at this year's roster