For St. John’s, the 2023-24 schedule is filled with promise, opportunity, and fewer soft pillows for the team to rest and develop on.
Within that schedule are some promising decisions and a push to play more games the fans will get excited about.
In Rick Pitino’s first year at the helm, he’s been given (or has given the program) on-court challenges in the NABC Brooklyn showcase against Boston College, and a competitive Hofstra team, along with matchups against Michigan, West Virginia and North Texas in already-agreed upon contests.
But the addition of an exhibition against Rutgers for pediatric cancer research is great for the hungry fans. Playing six Big East games at the Garden is exciting.
And relegating Seton Hall to UBS Arena at Belmont (in Elmont) is a stroke of brilliance that should continue every year.
UBS Arena, the home of the New York Islanders, is a big, major pro arena with all the amenities and a bigger-time feel than Carnesecca, but a lot more difficult for someone to get to from New Jersey. Despite the direct trains to the Arena, from New Jersey it is either two regional train systems (NJ Transit to LIRR) or a long slog through Queens traffic. Making the Seton Hall game feel like less of a neutral site game is a sight to see.
Adding games against Hofstra and DePaul at UBS Arena is also good to establish that arena as another new home. The Red Storm last played Kansas at UBS Arena in 2021-22, falling 95-75.
The full schedule is here.