The Sacred Heart game is the 10th known non-conference matchup for the Johnnies, and so far, few of the games have been of the “buy game”/ “intended easy victory” flavor.
The games we know of:
- Nebraska (November 16) at Carnesecca Arena (Gavitt Games)
- The Advocare International Tournament (November 23-26) in Orlando
- Sacred Heart (December 2) at Carnesecca
- Grand Canyon (December 5) in Phoenix
- Arizona State (December 8) in Los Angeles
- Iona (December 17) in Madison Square Garden (Holiday Festival)
- St. Joseph’s (December 20) at Mohegan Sun (CT)
- Duke at Madison Square Garden (Feb 3)
Sacred Heart, with the loss of high-scoring sophomore Quincy McKnight - who left SHU to go to another SHU, Seton Hall - look to be an easier opponent than perhaps all of the games known on the schedule. That doesn’t mean they will not bring their A-game to Carnesecca Arena, of course, but it does mean this is a game the Johnnies need to win.
Sacred Heart, from the Northeast Conference, was 13-19 last season and 8-10 in their conference. The Pioneers defeated Hofstra and Fordham as their best wins.
The St. John’s Red Storm expect to see postseason play next year, with roster turnover that welcomes transfer forward Marvin Clark from Michigan State and Justin Simon from Arizona, along with freshmen wing Sidney Wilson and guard Bryan Trimble. The Johnnies lost shooter Federico Mussini (pro in Italy), versatile swingman Malik Ellison (transfer to Pittsburgh), forward Darien Williams (transfer to Nevaca) and forward Richard Freudenberg (pro in Germany).
St. John’s has three more non-conference games to fill, and look to have available dates in the week before the matchup with Nebraska, the week between the Nebraska game and the Advocare Tournament (where they could face Nebraska again) and possibly in the week after the St. Joseph’s contest, dependent on when Big East play begins.