After an impressive 6-1 start to the season and a key victory on the road at their rival Syracuse on Saturday, St. John's has cracked the top 25 rankings for the first time since the end of the 2010-11 season. The Red Storm come in at 24th overall in the AP Poll with 211 points in the rankings.
"To receive a national ranking is certainly a benchmark for this team and program. This is evidence that the hard work is paying off," said Head Coach Steve Lavin. "This group of seniors has made steady and measurable progress each year, both on the court and in the classroom. Our senior leaders have an outstanding work ethic and are determined to take the next step with a deserving finish in the postseason. We have a daunting remaining schedule and realize improvement in all facets of the game is necessary, but I sense the team is looking forward to the challenges ahead."
Despite their jump in the AP, St. John's still remains unranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll, receiving 62 votes and finishing just two spots out of the top 25. Their 24th overall ranking in the AP reflects a tremendous jump in the polls for the Johnnies, who just two weeks ago did not receive any votes in either of the polls.
Big East strength shows
The Big East as a whole is once again well-represented in the weekly rankings, with seven teams in the conference either being ranked or receiving votes in one or both of the polls.
Leading the way once again are the Villanova Wildcats, who come in at 7th in each of the polls. After taking down two of their Philadelphia Big 5 rivals in La Salle and St. Joseph's this past week, the Wildcats remain undefeated at 8-0 on the season. They'll face two big tests this upcoming week against 7-1 Illinois at Madison Square Garden before facing Temple on Sunday.
After Villanova, the surprising Butler Bulldogs still remain represented in both the AP and Coaches Polls this week, standing at 15th in the AP and 19th in the Coaches. The Bulldogs easily defeated their in-state foe Indiana State last Wednesday before recording an impressive 65-56 victory over Northwestern on Saturday. After a game against Kennesaw State tonight, Butler will travel to Thompson-Boiling Arena next Sunday to take on Tennessee.
Georgetown, Seton Hall, and Creighton all received votes in each of the polls, while Providence still hung on in the Coaches with four votes. Georgetown comes in at 28th and 30th in the AP and Coaches respectively, with 62 votes in the AP and 34 in the Coaches. The Hoyas played just one game this week against mid-major Towson yesterday, but they'll face a huge test coming up on Wednesday when they take on 10th-ranked Kansas. The Jayhawks will come into the Verizon Center with a 6-1 record and a five-game winning streak.
Seton Hall and Creighton each were unable to crack either of the top 25 rankings despite receiving votes in both of them. The Hall easily dispatched of Rutgers this week, and while they remain undefeated at 7-0 so far on the season, they'll face their first major test this week on the road against 11th-ranked Wichita State, who haven't lost a home game in nearly two years.
Creighton disappointed many this week with a loss at Tulsa on Wednesday, but they were able to recover quickly with a 10-point victory over Nebraska yesterday. The Blue Jays sit at 7-2 on the season and will face South Dakota and St. Mary's this upcoming week. Providence rounds out the Big East's representation in the rankings this week, receiving four votes in the Coaches Poll.
Big East Weekly Awards
Besides the top 25 rankings, the Big East weekly awards were also handed out today. D`Angelo Harrison received honors for the second straight week, as he was named Big East Player of the Week after leading the Red Storm with 24 points in their victory at Syracuse on Saturday. Harrison averaged 20 points and six rebounds in the Johnnies two games this past week.
Seton Hall's Isaiah Whitehead would make it a tri-state sweep of the awards this week after being named Big East Rookie of the Week. The highly-touted freshman averaged 18.5 points per game this week and scored a career-high 25 in the Pirates victory over Rutgers on Saturday.
AP Top 25 Poll
|1||Kentucky Wildcats (64)||9-0||1,600||1|
|2||Duke Blue Devils||8-0||1,518||4|
|11||Wichita State Shockers||5-1||929||8|
|12||Ohio State Buckeyes||6-1||808||14|
|14||Iowa State Cyclones||5-1||668||20|
|18||San Diego State Aztecs||6-2||390||13|
|21||North Carolina Tar Heels||6-2||350||12|
|22||West Virginia Mountaineers||8-1||313||16|
|23||Northern Iowa Panthers||8-0||232||26|
|24||St. John's Red Storm||6-1||211||39|
|25||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||8-1||200||47|
|Others Receiving Votes: Michigan St 120, Illinois 91, Georgetown 62, Iowa 60, Seton Hall 57, Baylor 49, TCU 45, Colorado St 28, Arkansas 22, California 19, Michigan 14, Creighton 7, Virginia Commonwealth 6, LSU 5, NC State 3, Indiana 3, Old Dominion 2, Yale 1, Dayton 1|
USA Today Coaches Poll
|16||San Diego State||6-1||230||14||14/17|
|Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame 91; St. John?s 62; Michigan 45; Arkansas 38; Georgetown 34; Florida 31; Baylor 29; Iowa 29; Seton Hall 28; TCU 26; California 23; Creighton 12; Virginia Commonwealth 10; Nebraska 9; Colorado State 9; Louisiana Tech 8; Oklahoma State 5; North Carolina State 5; Providence 4; Old Dominion 3; UCLA 3; Saint Mary?s 1; LSU 1.|