St. John's announced its full non-conference schedule a few weeks ago, but there were still a few details to solidify. One of them was who the Johnnies would play in the first round of this upcoming November's Charleston Classic.
The Red Storm will face College of Charleston in the first round. The game, which will play as close to a true road game as you can get in an early season tournament, will take place on Thursday, November 15th at 5pm. It will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
The Charleston Cougars of the Southern Conference finished 2011-12 tied for fourth place in the conference standings. The squad, newly coached by Doug Wojcik after Bobby Cremins' retirement, won 19 games but did not play in any postseason tournaments.
The Cougars will return two of its top three scorers from a year ago (G Andrew Lawrence and F Trent Wiedeman), and will certainly pose a difficult test for Steve Lavin's young Red Storm. Just about half of the St. John's roster will be playing in its first collegiate tournament.
The rest of the Charleston Classic field is strong, including Baylor, Murray State, Auburn, Colorado, Boston College, and Dayton. St. John's and Charleston will be the third game of the first day of the tournament, following Dayton/Colorado at 12:30pm and Baylor/Boston College at 3pm. Murray State will face Auburn later on at 8pm.
Non-conference, neutral site tournaments are valid tests for any team in November, especially for a squad like St. John's that will need time to gel. The Red Storm went 0-2 in last year's 2k Sports Classic in New York.