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Here at the Rumble, we are enjoying the final weeks of relaxation before the St. John's Red Storm embarks on its 105th year in college basketball. With that said, we are preparing for our best season yet - just as Steve Lavin is for his third campaign in Queens.
We've noticed that some of our recurring contributors and readers of the site are returning from hibernation. For those of you, welcome back! It's been a long summer, whether you've kept tabs on the Johnnies or not. If you feel like you missed anything pertinent in the past few months, please venture to our story archives page. You'll find everything you need.
For any Rumble visitors (returning or new), we encourage you to join our site. The process is 100% free and easy. Below the logo in the upper-left portion of the front page, click "Join Rumble in the Garden." The process will entail you to quickly make an SB Nation profile.
More on the process of joining and the weekly recap, below the jump.
More on joining Rumble in the Garden (Quinn's best attempt at a sales pitch)
By joining SB Nation and the Rumble, you will gain the ability to comment on all posts and contribute to the site throughout the season, including making your voice heard during games on threads and providing your own Red Storm opinions in FanPosts.
Please take advantage of the opportunity. We aren't looking to hear ourselves talk, but rather to facilitate conversation. And it doesn't limit you to just our site. Creating a profile allows you to join as many SB Nation sites as you'd like. Our friends across the Big East do a phenomenal job, in particular.
We truly feel that Rumble in the Garden is becoming your #1 source of Red Storm news. SB Nation will be undergoing extensive format changes in the coming weeks, which will make the network easier to navigate. The season is fast-approaching - while the young Johnnies look to make it a great season, you should have similar aspirations for your viewing perspective!
Yet again, more conference realignment (and other Big East news)
Earlier last week, we discussed the possibilities of a 20-game conference schedule due to the 18-team league. But, of course, that was assuming that the presumed 18 teams would stick around long enough to reap the effects.
Then, Notre Dame dropped a bomb on the league on Wednesday morning. It was reported that the Fighting Irish plan to join the ACC for all sports excluding football and hockey. The move allows Notre Dame to join the ACC for basketball, along with current Big East foes Syracuse and Pittsburgh, making the case for the Big East to claim superiority more difficult than ever before.
The loss of Notre Dame basketball isn't the end of the world for the Big East, but the principle of the move stings. It seems like the conference is losing credibility by the day. After reading Norman's recap, what do you feel about the reemergence of conference alignment?
Also, UConn head coach Jim Calhoun announced his retirement last week. We know Red Storm fans have mixed feelings on Calhoun. Quinn expressed why he feels that St. John's fans should remember the three-time national champion positively: Jim Calhoun is retiring and it's time St. John's fans lauded a legend.
Reviewing the 2011-12 Johnnies
In getting you ready for the beginning of this season, we're looking back at last year and what made things settle the way they did. The Red Storm were disadvantaged in size and depth a year ago, which led to rebounding and interior defensive liabilities. For more: Concerning the Johnnies' interior defense, rebounding, and the scoring train.
Before Lavin's third season with St. John's begins, the Rumble will review each of the five returning Johnnies. First up is God'sgift Achiuwa. Red Storm in Review 2012 - Gift and the glass. Check it out. You might be surprised to learn something new.
St. John's solidifies coaching staff
We speculated all summer about who would "replace Mike Dunlap" as assistant coach with St. John's. After weeks (and weeks), the Red Storm finally announced that former UCLA point guard Darrick Martin is their man, viewed more as an addition rather than a "replacement." Rico Hines and Tony Chiles also received internal promotions, but will continue to be titled as assistant coaches. Martin joins Hines, Chiles, Gene Keady, Moe Hicks, and Derrick Wrobel on Lavin's bench.
St. John's kick-off events
"Dribble for the Cure" will take place this upcoming Saturday (September 22nd). Join Steve Lavin, women's head coach Joe Tartamella, and the men's and women's basketball teams to help fight pediatric cancer. It was announced this week that former New York Knicks star John Starks will attend the event.
Also, St. John's will officially kick off the 2012-13 season at Red Storm Tip-Off on October 12th, marking the beginning of official practices. The annual event will take place on campus at Carnesecca Arena. This week, the Red Storm cleared timing uncertainties, confirming that the event will begin at 7pm.
Nationally-ranked Red Storm soccer team in full swing
Our own Tim Dimas has been tracking St. John's soccer throughout the beginning of the season. Tim chronicled the early portion of the season, and how head coach Dave Masur's squad will be tested in the coming weeks: St. John's men's soccer finding the back of the net.