The St. John’s Red Storm will participate in the 2022 Empire Classic, according to a report from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. St. John’s will be joined in this preseason event by the Syracuse Orange and the Temple Owls. The fourth team will be announced at a later date. Also to be determined is the date and location of this tournament, although we know it will take place in November.
It is safe to assume that this tournament will take place somewhere in New York City. Formerly known as the 2k Sports Classic, this event has usually been held at Madison Square Garden, although the last time it was played in New York City was in 2019. Considering the current field and historical precedent it is fair to guess this tournament will be played in New York City, although the venue will not be formally announced until later.
For St. John’s, this is a chance to rekindle an old rivalry with Syracuse. Each program was a key contributor to the early success of the Big East but has not played much since Syracuse departed for the ACC.
St. John’s and Syracuse have played four times since the Orange joined the ACC. The Red Storm have won the last three matchups, including two upset wins during Chris Mullin’s tenure as St. John’s head coach.
The last time the Johnnies and Orange played was in 2016 when the St. John’s drubbed Syracuse 93-60 at the Carrier Dome. That remains the worst loss in program history for Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. Fans may recall strong performances from Red Storm players Shamorie Ponds, Marcus LoVett, Bashir Ahmed, and Malik Ellison.
It is currently unclear if St. John’s will participate in the Gavitt Games or Big 12-Big East Challenge next season, but it is safe to assume St. John’s will play in at least one of those events. Alongside the Empire Classic, St. John’s has begun scheduling competitive games outside of conference play.