Red Storm clashes with the Cavaliers for the first time since the 2003 NIT (ESPN, Bloomberg Radio 1130-AM, Watch ESPN).
Red Storm to face the Cavaliers at 11 a.m. on ESPN at John Paul Jones Arena.
BUZZER BEATER: Pointer's Heroics Propel St. John's Into NIT Second Round After 63-61 Win At Saint Joseph's
Pointer finishes with 15 points as Red Storm erases 12-point second half deficit in victory.
Red Storm meets the Hawks for the first time since 1980 (ESPNU, Bloomberg Radio 1130-AM, Watch ESPN).
Team Visits 9/11 Memorial And FDNY Firehouse
St. John's men's basketball
NIT First Round
St. John's vs. Villanova - AP Photos
St. John's squares off against Villanova in the opening round of the 2013 BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
No. 15/17 Marquette defeats St. John's 69-67 in overtime at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2013.
On Branch: An adept passer and playmaker as a "true" point guard ... transferred to St. John's from Texas A&M in January and will be eligible to join the Red Storm in games on Dec. 21, 2012 ... named the best high school defender in the Class of 2011 by Scout.com ... was rated as high as the No. 47 overall prospect and No. 8 point guard nationally in the Class of 2011 ... joins JaKarr Sampson, Maurice Harkless, D'Angelo Harrison, Sir'Dominic Pointer and Amir Garrett as six members of the 2011 ESPNU 100 to don the St. John's Red and White.
Steve Lavin On Branch: "Jamal is an excellent lead guard and a welcome addition to our basketball family. His ballhandling, court vision and quickness gives us backcourt depth for the 2012-13 season. Point guard play is a critical element to success in the BIG EAST Conference and Jamal will be a valuable asset as we continue to elevate our basketball program."
At Texas A&M: Played in 11 games for the Texas A&M Aggies in the fall of 2011 ... averaged 4.2 points, 2.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game ... fired at a 41.7 percent clip from the field and a 33.3 percent rate from beyond the arc ... dealt 28 assists with 21 total turnovers (1.3 ratio) ... dished a career-high six assists in his collegiate debut vs. Liberty (Nov. 9) ... netted a career-high 10 points vs. Mississippi State during the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden (Nov. 17) ... playing against St. John's in the 2K Sports Classic event on Nov. 18, scored seven points with five rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.
Before College: Originally from Kansas City, Mo., and moved to the state of Texas for his high school years ... played two seasons at Atascocita High School in Humble, Texas, before spending his final two seasons at Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington ... selected the district's most valuable player, an all-state selection and a finalist for Mr. Basketball in the state of Texas after his senior season in 2010-11 ... averaged 16.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in leading Grace Prep to the state championship as a senior ... a second team all-area selection by The Dallas Morning News in 2011 ... scored a career-high 48 points against Houston Yates as a senior ... played summer basketball for Team Texas, Houston Hoops and the Houston Swoosh ... during his high school career, he earned four letters in basketball and two in football.
Personal: Jamal Edward Branch ... born in Kansas City, Mo. ... son of Schamauda Thompson and Jerome Branch ... has two sisters, Karissa Couty (21) and Jayda Branch (12), and two brothers, William Mason (24) and Justin Branch (9) ... cousin Alec Burks, formerly played at the University of Colorado (2009-10 to 2010-11) and now is in his second season with the Utah Jazz ... cousin Marcus Denmon, who played at Missouri from 2008-09 to 2011-12, was a 2012 second round NBA Draft selection of San Antonio and now plays in Europe ... Branch and STJ teammate Harrison are longtime friends from being summer basketball competitors in Texas ... majoring in sports management.
Up Close With Jamal Branch