St. John’s and Rutgers are pitching in to help raise funds for disaster relief - and get to know a little bit more about their teams before the games count.
St. John’s and Rutgers men’s basketball teams will play their exhibition game on November 5 at 1 PM at Rutgers (in Piscataway, N.J.) to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
General admission tickets to the contest and parking at The RAC will be $10 each with all net proceeds going to the Red Cross.
The Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers started the trend of high-level exhibitions for hurricane relief, taking advantage of a waiver from the NCAA to also add a third preseason game/ scrimmage.
And, like Providence (against Connecticut), West Virginia, Iona and many other schools, St. John’s will get in on the action with a preseason game against Rutgers.
While the cause is certainly noble, playing an additional preseason game will better help the Red Storm prepare for the season. Rutgers is a somewhat comparable competitor for St. John’s, and it should be interesting to note how the team performs against a Power 5 opponent.
With a “secret” scrimmage (closed to the public) against Hofstra and an exhibition against American International on November 1st, this third game is a way to test the team’s grasp of preseason concepts and their ability to recover on four days rest in a competitive environment.
The Johnnies - guard-oriented with some questions on the interior - will have a chance to work on defending scoring guards, including former Bishop Loughlin guard Mike Williams and point guard Corey Sanders. And the Scarlet Knights have size inside, with forward Deshawn Freeman (6’7”, 225 lbs) and wing Issa Thiam (6’9”, 200 lbs) for Kassoum Yakwe, Marvin Clark and Tariq Owens to contend with.
The Red Storm and Scarlet Knights last played in November of 2015. Fans may recall the Johnnies recovering from a substantial second-half deficit to beat Rutgers by a 61-59 score. Federico Mussini and Yankuba Sima led the way for St. John’s, contributing 13 points each in coach Chris Mullin’s third-ever game as a head coach.