St. John's announced recently that they will play Rutgers in the Big East/Big Ten challenge and now there is another scheduled match-up for the Johnnies that has been released.
The Johnnies will travel to MGM Grand in Las Vegas to face Arizona State in a non-conference neutral site battle on December 22.
This one will be a battle of new head coaches as the Sun Devils have recently added Bobby Hurley, who's brother Dan was rumored to be a St. John's head coaching candidate, after Herb Sendek was fired. Arizona State was 18-16 (9-9 in Pac-12) on the season but failed to make the NCAA Tournament, losing in the second round of the NIT to Richmond.
Hurley led the Buffalo Bulls to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance after finishing the season with a 23-10 overall record and a championship in the MAC Conference Tournament. They lost in the opening round to West Virginia but were able to put up a strong fight.
Hurley has already made an impact at Arizona State, landing his former Buffalo point guard Shannon Evans. But Evans will be ineligible for the upcoming season so he won't be able to play in this match-up against the Johnnies.
Arizona State will return talented soon-to-be-sophomore guard Tra Holder (seven points per game), powerful forward Savon Goodman (11.2 points per game), but will lose terrific senior Shaquielle McKissic (12.4 points per game/leading scorer) to graduation.
The Johnnies are still shaping up their roster at this point in the offseason, but the stronger their non-conference schedule is the better their resume will look before they step into Big East conference play.
And who doesn't want to play in Vegas during the month of December?