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St. John’s adds preseason games to 2023 schedule

The Johnnies will have chances to come together as a squad before Big East play

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Villanova vs St. John Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Storm’s 2022-2023 season schedule has been mostly revealed, with some times to be announced. Now, we also know who St. John’s tune-up opponents will be, as Mike Anderson’s team faces a pair of ortheast-10 Division II squads.

A pair of exhibition names will be a chance to integrate a number of prominent new faces to the team — most notably the transfers David Jones and Andre Curbelo, who should be major contributors to the team.

The Johnnies will take on Nassau County’s Adelphi on Wednesday, October 26, and the Southern New Hampshire Penmen on Saturday, October 29 — both at Carnesecca Arena. St. John’s has faced a number of NE-10 foes before, including Pace and Franklin Pierce.

Neither of these teams should prove to be a challenge — that’s not what exhibition games are there for.

But for St. John’s a team that lost two impact scorers in Julian Champagnie and Aaron Wheeler, both of whom took on big shots in the Big East portion of the season, integrating those two players while getting strong production from Joel Soriano and point guard Posh Alexander, will be a factor in the Red Storm’s success.

The Johnnies will have some time to gel. Though Merrimack may be a slightly tougher opponent than the likes of Mississippi Valley State, the preseason schedule has a number of teams that the Red Storm should get past on sheer talent (Lafayette, Central Connecticut State, Niagara, LIU, New Hampshire). Those teams are not inherently “bad”, but all are lower-level teams facing large roster turnover.

The Red Storm should get tests from Nebraska, Iowa State, Temple (at the Barclays Center, with either Syracuse or Richmond the next day) and Florida State (in Florida). This schedule is stronger than last season, but the Red Storm will need to lock in dependable rotations and performance by the time Big East play starts.

The Red Storm start Big East play with DePaul on December 7th, and after two more non-conference games (New Hampshire, Florida State), end December with three more Big East games against Villanova, Xavier and Seton Hall.

St. John's comes off of a two-and-a-half week pause because of COVID positives to knock off DePaul in the Red Storm's Big East opener, 89-84.
Joel Soriano battles David Jones for a loose ball
Nick Bello