This year's St. John's team is a giant unknown in college basketball - enough raw talent to intrigue, enough of an influx of talent to be better than terrible, but also enough youth and newness that it's hard to say with logical, reasonable certainty what to expect out of the team.
And then there's the complete rookie head coach.
Below is the set of games that lay out before new coach Chris Mullin, his chances to stamp a mark on the Red Storm program in his first year, even before the recruiting gets rolling in the 2016 class, where the staff is chasing guards Shamorie Ponds and Bashir Ahmed, along with a plethora of 2017 and 2018 star talent from the New York City area.
Some facts about this year's schedule:
Last year St. John's played ten regular-season games at Madison Square Garden. This year, only seven contests will be at MSG - okay, eight if you count at least one Big East Conference Tournament game. Last year's slate included the NIT Season Tip-Off - two games at the Garden. One notable change: Creighton gets the friendly confines of Carnesecca Arena after drawing 10,700 to Madison Square Garden last year.
The Johnnies will have one matchup on Fox - the home game against Villanova. At least two games will be on FSN and four on CBS Sports Network the non-conference game against South Carolina, the road game against Villanova, the game against Marquette in Madison Square garden, and the barnburner that will be DePaul at St. John's on Wednesday, February 17th.
No Valentine's game this year.
The only Big East games that aren't on Wednesday or Saturday: the conference opener against Creighton (the second game of the Big East Tip-Off marathon); the noontime Sunday home games at Madison Square Garden against Villanova and Seton Hall; a Monday matchup at Georgetown; the road game against Big East behemoth DePaul; and the road game against Creighton.
St. John's has two stretches with six or more days off - after Thanksgiving/ Maui Invitational; between the road game at Butler in January and the Marquette home game; and the near-week off before the last game of the season against Providence.
The schedule in its entirety, from Wagner to Providence:
|We||11/4/15||St. Thomas Aquinas||Carnesecca||Exhibition||TBD||TBD|
|Mo||11/16/15||UMBC||Carnesecca||Maui Inv-Campus||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Th||11/19/15||Rutgers||Carnesecca||Gavitt Tipoff game||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Mo||11/23/15||Vanderbilt||Lahaina (HI)||Maui Inv||2:30 PM||ESPN2|
|Tu||11/24/15||Indiana/ Wake F.||Lahaina (HI)||Maui Inv||TBD||TBD|
|We||11/25/15||TBD||Lahaina (HI)||Maui Inv||TBD||TBD|
|We||12/2/15||Fordham||Rose Hill (NY)||TBD||TBD|
|Su||12/6/15||St. Francis NY||MSG||Holiday Fest||11:00 AM||FS1|
|Fr||12/18/15||Incarnate Word||Carnesecca||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Tu||12/22/15||South Carolina||Mohegan Sun (CT)||HoF Shootout||9:00 PM||CBS SN|
|Th||12/31/15||Creighton||Carnesecca||Big East||2:00 PM||FS1|
|Sa||1/2/16||Providence||Dunkin (RI)||Big East||3:30 PM||FS1|
|We||1/6/16||Xavier||Carnesecca||Big East||9:00 PM||FS1|
|Sa||1/9/16||Marquette||Bradley (WI)||Big East||2:00 PM||FSN|
|We||1/13/16||Georgetown||MSG||Big East||6:30 PM||FS1|
|Sa||1/16/16||Butler||Hinkle (IN)||Big East||12:00 PM||FS1|
|Sa||1/23/16||Marquette||MSG||Big East||8:00 PM||CBS SN|
|We||1/27/16||Seton Hall||Prudential (NJ)||Big East||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Su||1/31/16||Villanova||MSG||Big East||12:00 PM||FOX|
|We||2/3/16||Xavier||Cintas (OH)||Big East||6:30 PM||FS1|
|Sa||2/6/16||Butler||Carnesecca||Big East||4:30 PM||FSN|
|Mo||2/8/16||Georgetown||Verizon (DC)||Big East||7:00 PM||FS1|
|Sa||2/13/16||Villanova||W. Fargo (PA)||Big East||8:00 PM||CBS SN|
|We||2/17/16||DePaul||Carnesecca||Big East||8:00 PM||CBS SN|
|Su||2/21/16||Seton Hall||MSG||Big East||12:00 PM||FS1|
|Th||2/25/16||DePaul||AllState (IL)||Big East||9:00 PM||FS1|
|Su||2/28/16||Creighton||CenturyLink (NE)||Big East||2:30 PM||FS1|
|Sa||3/5/16||Providence||MSG||Big East||12:30 PM||FS1|