Thanks to our friends at Bucky's 5th Quarter, we know that Steve Lavin and his young Red Storm will play a November 8th matchup against Bo Ryan's Wisconsin Badgers.
In Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
"Playing a Bo Ryan-coached Badger team gives us an early-season test and an opportunity to get a report card following an offseason that will include a European tour,” said Steve Lavin.
"The relationship Coach [Bo] Ryan has with Coach (Steve) Lavin also made it a more appealing game," Wisconsin associate head coach Greg Gard added. "They have had a long-standing relationship and with the game featuring Midwest and East Coast programs, it brings some flavor to the schedule."
The Wisconsin Badgers, 23-12 last season, lost in the first round to Ole MIss in the NCAA Tournament. The talented Badgers return forwards Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky, along with guard Ben Brust. Wisconsin last faced St. John's in the NCAA Tournament in 2002, winning 80-70 in the first round of the tourney.
The game will serve as a home game for the Wisconsin team, but will be rightfully considered a neutral site matchup for RPI purposes. TV station and time is yet to be determined, but according to the release, the game will be a nationally televised matchup to showcase the new Sanford Pentagon Sports Complex and the Complex' heritage court.
The main "heritage" court, which seats 3,250, is designed to be an intimate experience.
The Pentagon...will be a 160,000-square-foot facility that will include nine basketball courts: six high school regulation, two professional/college practice courts and the "heritage" court. The heritage court will be located in the center of the facility and will be a premium professional/college-size court with design elements reminiscent of 1950s-60s basketball. The Pentagon will be the epicenter of the Sanford Sports Complex.
Matt Warnke, Daktronics Sales Representative, said "this system offers a unique design and gives you a ‘Hoosiers’ feel. We look forward to the first event in this great new facility."
Admit it, you've always wanted to travel to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Now you have your chance.
And the Johnnies have another marquee, nationally-televised game to start the season - similar to playing in ESPN's 24-hour tip-off in 2012 and 2012. These games are great for exposure, and the Johnnies want to start what should be a good season off on the right foot.
Coach Lavin enters his fourth year with the Red Storm with expectations following a 17-16 season and a second-round NIT loss to Virginia. The Red Storm lose only Amir Garrett leaving.
Scoring star JaKarr Sampson will come back for his sophomore season, and D`Angelo Harrison, who was removed from the roster for conduct detrimental to the team, should return. Chris Obekpa, who anchored the defense will also be back, along with guard Phil Greene IV and wing Sir`Dominic Pointer.
The Johnnies also return redshirted forward God`sgift Achiuwa along with newcomers sidelined this year - the talented Orlando Sanchez (reinstated late in the season by the NCAA for age-related issues), and sharpshooter Max Hooper.
The Red Storm also welcome in Rysheed Jordan, the highest-rated recruit of Steve Lavin's tenure and a point guard who can create off of the dribble.
The squad will take a summer trip to France and Italy, likely in mid-August; the trip will allow them to to get in an extra ten days of practice and game time to work on their game planning.
Bonus: an animated look at the arena.