Next year's Charleston Classic - where the St. John's team will play from November 15-18th - is shapring up to be one of the more intriguing tournaments of the 2012-13 season.
A tournament is only as good as the competition. The Charleston Classic has selected some intriguing teams for seven of the eight tournament spots, with the eighth team still "To Be Determined".
The Murray State Racers - undefeated until February and a six-seed in this year's NCAA Tournament - want in.
Murray State coach Steve Prohm said he is desperately seeking a tournament for next season and is attempting to get into the Charleston Classic.
The addition of Kentucky's Murray State would make the Classic even more competitive, and would add another NCAA Tournament team to the tournament mix. The Racers return five seniors, including a possible All-America candidate in guard Isaiah Canaan at the point guard spot; the team expects wins in the NCAA Tournament once again.
Isaiah Canaan had legitimate interest from the NBA, but decided to stay in school for his senior season.
The Charleston Classic bracket already includes Baylor, an NCAA Tournament team (with former commit Ricardo Gathers) with day-glo uniforms (.jpg) and NBA-level talent. Colorado was also an NCAA Tourney team, defeating UNLV in a first-round upset in March.
Dayton return a number of talented players, while Boston College was almost as young as St. John's last year - they expect a number of sophomore leaps.
The other teams in the tournament are hometown College of Charleston and Southern Illinois. The Classic is hosted by the Southern Conference (Charleston is a member) and ESPN.
St. John's expects to be far more competitive this season. Along with the return of head coach Steve Lavin, the team returns 73% of the team's minutes and 69% of the scoring, while bringing in talented players for depth. Facing off against another creative and talented squad will sharpen the team's tools or weapons and better prepare them for the rigors and challenges of Big East play.
Last season's Charleston Classic final featured Northwestern and Seton Hall, with the Pirates losing to the Wildcats in a thriller.