A slow news day - as they often are in the summer - as it comes to St. John's.
1 - Reactions to the 2K Sports Classic announced yesterday, but not much in the way of news:
Arizona Daily Star: Wildcats will face St. John's at 2K Classic
NY Post: St. John's to face Arizona in 2K Sports Classic
ESPN: Bracket reveal: 2K Sports Classic
2 - Also, a new video from Red Storm sports, featuring the Red Storm's lone returnee, Malik Stith.
3 - Former St. John's walk-on Jon Scheiman is trying to follow his dream, trying to catch on with an Israeli pro team at 28 years old in Israel Basketball's Summer League. Scheiman already holds a PhD in Biomedical science from NYU, per the linked post, but wants to give hoops one last shot.
Below, a look around the league at some players who will get to stamp new countries on their passports, Mike Poole's postseason guarantee, expansion and new TV deal talk for the Big East, and possible recruiting rules changes.
Around the league
1 - West Virginia will scrimmage against Illinois while both teams are in Italy; their audience will be American troops at the Aviano Air Force Base.
2 - On their tour of China, Georgetown will be playing the Chinese Army. Ok, a team comprised of members of the Chinese Army called the Bayi Rockets, that has a lot of height.
3 - Speaking of China, the World University games team will head to the world's most populous country as well on August 8th. On that team? Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis, Pittsburgh's Ashton Gibbs, and 'Cuse's Scoop Jardine. Shabazz Napier of U Conn and Aaric Murray, currently sitting out the year at West Virginia after his transfer, both missed the cut. Also on the World University Games team is Ray McCallum, point guard for the University of Detroit, who the Johnnies will face, in Detroit, on December 5th.
4 - Mike Poole guarantees a postseason bid for Rutgers basketball. That sounds like a leap, but it's not such a fantasy. There's always the CBI. But seriously, I expect Rutgers to get to the NIT this year; and given what Mike Rice got out of his squad last season, maybe they can sneak into the NCAAs if a number of Big East teams are weaker than they were last year.
5 - Big East Commissioner John Marinatto on expansion and the negotiation of a new TV deal. Despite what you may have heard tossed around, Marinatto and the Big East say they don't want to kick out any [basketball-only] members. Some athletic directors are big on a 12-team football Big East that doesn't include Villanova football... i.e., two other football schools added to the mess that is the Big East. That would be 19 basketball teams, by the way.
6 - Yahoo! Sports' Jason King thinks six Big East teams will be in the top-25 when the preseason polls come out... and he has Arizona as #22.
7 - Rivals thinks Maalik Wayns and Jeremy Lamb will both be breakout players, per Big East Coast Bias. I think he has a different idea of what "breakout" means than I do; both will see their time and alpha-dog status change. By that increased-time = breakout player, I think Sean Kilpatrick should also be noted as a breakout candidate.
8 - Are changes in the recruiting model coming from the NCAA? Some of the suggestions that will go to the Board of Presidents this fall:
- A start date for official visits beginning after the men’s basketball championship in April of the junior year.
- Deregulating the type of communication between coaches and prospects (including text messaging and other forms of electronic communication).
- Allowing unlimited communication after Aug. 1 before the junior year in high school.
- Permitting evaluations at certified nonscholastic events on two weekends in April, with some restrictions.
- Permitting some contact at a prospect’s educational institution in conjunction with an evaluation, with some restrictions and requirements.