A pivotal year for the new-look St. John's men's basketball squad now comes with a schedule featuring a pair of fan-favorite games, a number of cupcakes, the NIT Season Tip-Off, and no trips out of New York State before the New Year... when the squad travels to far-off Newark, New Jersey.
Today, following the release of the full Big East schedule by the conference, St. John's released this full slate:
|0-1||vs Humboldt State (EXH-CA)||2:00||Nov||1||Sa||n/a|
|0-2||vs St. Thomas Aquinas (EXH-CA)||Nov||8||Sa||n/a|
|1||vs NJIT (CA)||7:00||FSN||Nov||14||Fr||312|
|2||vs Franklin Pierce (CA-NIT)||7:30||Nov||17||Mo||n/a|
|3||vs LIU-Brooklyn (CA-NIT)||7:30||ESPN3||Nov||19||We||320|
|4||vs Minnesota (MSG-NIT)||7:00||ESPNU||Nov||26||We||48|
|5||vs Georgia/ Gonzaga (MSG-NIT)||4:30/ 7||ESPNU/ ESPN2||Nov||28||Fr||72/22|
|6||vs Niagara (CA)||7:00||FOX Sports 1||Dec||2||Tu||271|
|8||vs Fairleigh Dickinson (CA)||8:00||CBSSN||Dec||10||We||280|
|9||vs Fordham (MSG-Holiday)||1:30||FSN||Dec||14||Su||204|
|10||vs Saint Mary's (CA)||7:00||FOX Sports 1||Dec||19||Fr||74|
|11||vs Long Beach State (CA)||7:30||FOX Sports 1||Dec||22||Mo||148|
|12||vs Tulane (Barclays)||Noon||FOX Sports 1||Dec||28||Su||282|
|13||at Seton Hall||Noon||FOX Sports 1||Dec||31||We||98|
|14||vs Butler (CA)||4/6:00||CBSSN||Jan||3||Sa||104|
|15||vs Villanova (MSG)||9:00||FOX Sports 1||Jan||6||Tu||14|
|16||at Providence||7:00||FOX Sports 1||Jan||14||We||51|
|17||at DePaul||2:30||FOX Sports 1||Jan||18||Su||198|
|18||vs Marquette (MSG)||7:00||FOX Sports 1||Jan||21||We||76|
|19||vs Duke (MSG)||2:00||FOX||Jan||25||Sa||13|
|20||at Creighton||9:00||FOX Sports 1||Jan||28||We||24|
|21||vs Providence (MSG)||Noon||FOX||Jan||31||Sa||51|
|22||at Butler||7:00||FOX Sports 1||Feb||3||Tu||104|
|23||vs Creighton (MSG)||Noon||FSN||Feb||7||Sa||24|
|24||vs DePaul (CA)||9:00||CBSSN||Feb||11||We||198|
|25||at Xavier||3:00||FOX/FOX Sports 1||Feb||14||Sa||59|
|26||at Georgetown||7:00||FOX Sports 1||Feb||17||Tu||65|
|27||vs Seton Hall (CA)||2:30||FOX Sports 1||Feb||21||Sa||98|
|28||vs Xavier (MSG)||8:00||FOX Sports 1||Feb||23||Mo||59|
|31||vs Georgetown (MSG)||Noon||CBS Sports||Feb||28||Sa||65|
|32||at Marquette||9:00||FOX Sports 1||Mar||4||We||76|
Ten of the 31 regular-season games before the conference tournament will be played at Carnesecca Arena. Ten more games will be played at Madison Square Garden. One home game will be played at Barclays Arena. And the Big East's true round-robin, 18 game slate remains intact.
(And if this means anything to you, Steve Lavin's Red Storm play nine regular season games on Saturday, nine Wednesday games, and they have no Thursday games scheduled.)
The top end of the non-conference schedule is a little stronger. Last year's schedule had two teams that finished over top 25 in Kenpom (Wisconsin and Syracuse). This year, three teams - Duke, Syracuse and Gonzaga - ended last season in the top 25 of the tempo-free computer rankings. If St. John's gets to meet Gonzaga, the Red Storm will also play three of the most high-profile hoops programs in the country.
While that part of the schedule is strong, the bottom of the non-conference schedule is weaker than last year's ended up being. Last season, the Red Storm faced only two sub-250 teams in the KenPom rankings - Longwood (343) and Monmouth (272).
This season, the Red Storm play five sub-250 cupcakes, including two sub-300 squads: Niagara (271), Fairleigh Dickinson (280), Tulane (282), NJIT (312), and Long Island University (320). And that does not include a regular season matchup against Division II Franklin Pierce to fill a slot created by the NIT Season Tip-Off.
What do you think? Formidable schedule? Any minefields waiting for the Red Storm?