July 8, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - With the BIG EAST matchups unveiled and the non-conference schedule finalized for the 2009-10 men's basketball season, St. John's Athletics announced this season's non-league slate and began sale of its Red Storm Ticket Mini-Plans on Wednesday. Fans can call 1-888-GO-STORM to reserve a Mini-Plan ticket package beginning today.
"We're excited to be playing a very competitive non-conference schedule, which will help prepare us for the always-challenging BIG EAST gauntlet in the second half of the season," said sixth-year head coach Norm Roberts. "Our non-league schedule features very tough opponents, including several NCAA and NIT participants from this past year. We're excited about the opportunities they provide and look forward to a very competitive year."
Fans will get an early glance at the Carnesecca Initiative Phase II renovations right from the jump - including the Red Storm's new high-resolution video scoreboard - on Friday, Nov. 13 as the Blackbirds of Long Island University head up the BQE for a season-opening matchup in Queens.
The Red Storm will then hit the road, traveling upstate to Rochester, N.Y., to meet St. Bonaventure in a neutral matchup in "The Flower City" at Blue Cross Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The contest will mark the first between the Red Storm and Bonnies since 1985.
St. John's next participates in the third annual Philly Hoop Group Classic, beginning with a home matchup against Brown. The Bears visit Carnesecca Arena on Friday, Nov. 20 before the Red Storm travels to Philadelphia's most storied collegiate venue, the Palestra, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The Red Storm meets a pair of 2009 NCAA participants as part of the new two-day, tripleheader format - St. John's faces Siena in the second game of the tripleheader on Friday, Nov. 27, before facing Temple on Saturday, Nov. 28, in the nightcap.
After heading home to square off with Long Island squad Stony Brook on Wednesday, Dec. 2, the Red Storm will head south to Tobacco Road for its annual meeting with national power Duke. The Saturday, Dec. 5 tilt will mark the 12th-straight season in which the two squads have met.
After facing the Blue Devils, the Red Storm heads back to New York to make its Madison Square Garden season debut, participating in the third-annual SEC/BIG EAST Invitational. St. John's plays host to the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at The Garden in a matchup that will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Fellow BIG EAST squad Connecticut will host the Kentucky Wildcats in the game that follows on ESPN as part of the doubleheader event at "The World's Most Famous Arena."
St. John's has faced only eight opponents 80 or more times as it heads into its 103rd season of basketball, and the Red Storm renew one of those rivalries on Sunday, Dec. 13 when cross-town squad Fordham makes its way into Carnesecca Arena. St. John's is 60-20 against the Rams all-time, though the two squads have not met since 2002.
St. John's looks to recapture the Holiday Festival crown in the second-straight pre-Christmas version of the classic event at Madison Square Garden, on Sunday and Monday, Dec. 20-21. The Red Storm meets Hofstra on Dec. 20, following a matchup between 2009 NCAA participant Cornell of the Ivy League and 2009 NIT participant Davidson of the Southern Conference. The Red Storm, which has claimed two of the last five titles, looks to hoist the trophy on Dec. 21.
Rounding out the Red Storm's non-conference schedule is a Wednesday, Dec. 23 tilt against Bryant University. St. John's faces the Bulldogs, who completed their first NCAA Division I season in 2008-09, in the final pre-Christmas meeting at Carnesecca Arena, with BIG EAST Conference play to follow after the holiday.
In all, St. John's could play 16 regular-season games against teams that participated in postseason tournaments in 2008-09 (NCAA - Duke, UConn, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Marquette, West Virginia, Villanova, Temple, Siena and Cornell; NIT - Notre Dame, Georgetown, Providence and Davidson).
A four-man class of newcomers will be added to the 13 letterwinners returning to the court for the Red Storm in 2009-10, comprising Roberts' most experienced squad as he heads into his sixth season on the STJ bench. The 2009-10 Red Storm boasts six returnees with significant starting experience, and returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 95.1 percent of its rebounding from a 2008-09 squad that won 16 games, including St. John's first BIG EAST Tournament victory since 2003.
St. John's fans, get first dibs on tickets by reserving your Red Storm Mini-Plan today! Call 1-888-GO-STORM or click on the link to the order form!
ST. JOHN'S MEN'S BASKETBALL
The 3-Point Plan - 2 games at MSG, 1 game at Carnesecca Arena
The Double-Double Plan - 2 games at MSG, 2 games at Carnesecca Arena
The Triple-Double Plan - 3 games at MSG, 2 games at Carnesecca Arena
ST. JOHN'S WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Seein' Red Plan - $15
Superfan Plan - $25
2009-10 Women's Opponents include 2009 national finalist Louisville, Notre Dame, Villanova, USF, Marquette, West Virginia, Providence and Seton Hall.