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Common goals bind St. John’s basketball heading into fall

High expectations and improving program prestige are goals.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-VCU vs St. John's Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s hosted the annual Dribble for the Cure event this morning, and it was impossible to avoid all of the media attention on Chris Mullin’s roster.

Year three of Chris Mullin’s rebuild was always going to involve some level of anticipation and trepidation. Many passionate Red Storm fans believe that this is the pivotal year for the men’s basketball team to launch themselves into a perennial contender program in the Big East Conference again.

Sophomore guards Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett were not shy when asked about the high expectations the fans have for this year’s squad.

Marcus LoVett stressed how important of a year this is for his team, saying that “this team’s main goal this year is to make our way back into the NCAA tournament. We have a roster that has grown into a cohesive unit over the last couple of months and we all share a common goal and vision.”

Shamorie Ponds added, “we truly believe this year can be the year that can drastically improve the prestige of this basketball program. We want this to be a year that people around New York City are excited to see St. John’s basketball perform at a high level.”

For St. John’s Junior forward Tariq Owens, today’s fundraiser means a whole lot more than wins and losses on the basketball court. “Hosting fundraisers like Dribble For The Cure is very important for not just our school and athletic program, but most importantly for the community as a whole. To spread awareness of pediatric cancer and raise money for hundreds of struggling families, it means a lot to everyone representing St. John’s University.

“We all know someone who is struggling with cancer, whether it’s a friend or family member. Mornings like today bring the community together in such a powerful and supportive way that it gives our team the motivation to play at our best for all of our fans.”

The Red Storm will have to wait another month before they play their first game of the 2017-18 season. They host the American International College Yellow Jackets in an exhibition matchup at Carnesecca Arena on November 1st at 7 P.M.