Oct. 16, 2013
NEW YORK - Head coach Steve Lavin, Special Assistant/Advisor Gene Keady, juniors Phil Greene IV, D'Angelo Harrison and Sir'Dominic Pointer, and sophomores JaKarr Sampson and Chris Obekpa were on hand to represent St. John's at the annual BIG EAST Conference Men's Basketball Media Day on Wednesday at The Lighthouse at iconic Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.
More than 200 reporters from television and radio stations, newspapers, magazines and websites from around the country were in attendance to interview coaches and players from all 10 BIG EAST squads. FOX Sports 1 announcers Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery were both on hand to help usher in the new era of the conference and introduce BIG EAST commissioner Val Ackerman.
With a roster that returns 91.6 percent of its scoring and 88.3 percent of its rebounding from a season ago, St. John's earned two first place votes and was picked fifth in the preseason poll with 56 points. Defending regular season champions Marquette (74 points) earned five first place votes and finished atop the poll, while Georgetown (70) had two first place votes and was picked second. Creighton (61), which earned one first place vote, and Villanova (58) rounded out the top four spots.
"I think ten teams is an ideal number for our conference in terms of fueling rivalries and also creating a true league champion based on a balanced schedule with home-and-home matchups," commented Lavin. "Old-school basketball is back in the BIG EAST."
St. John's earned a league-best four BIG EAST Preseason honors, including a Preseason First Team selection for Harrison and Preseason Rookie of the Year accolades for Rysheed Jordan. Sampson, the reigning BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, earned Preseason Second Team honors and Obekpa was a Preseason Honorable Mention.
Harrison ranked third among all BIG EAST players last season with 17.8 points per game, while Sampson led all BIG EAST freshman in both scoring (14.9 ppg, T-11th overall) and rebounding (6.6 rpg, 11th overall). A BIG EAST All-Rookie selection, Obekpa led the nation with 4.03 blocks per game and established a new single-season St. John's and BIG EAST freshman mark with 133 rejections. Ranked 17th nationally in the ESPN 100, Jordan represents the highest-rated rookie prospect in the BIG EAST this season.
St. John's Season Tickets are now available. For more information, fans can visit RedStormTix.com or call the Carnesecca Arena Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-STORM. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Basketball supporters can join the Red White Club by visiting RedStormSports.com and clicking on the link to "Giving" to visit the Red White website.
Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival tickets are included in St. John's season ticket package. For presale information on college basketball at Madison Square Garden, sign up at www.MSGInsider.com.
Tickets for college basketball events at Barclays Center are not included in the season ticket package. Those tickets are available through Ticketmaster by visiting www.barclayscenter.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Box Office at Barclays Center.
2013-14 Preseason Coaches' Poll Team Pts. 1. Marquette (5) 74 2. Georgetown (2) 70 3. Creighton (1) 61 4. Villanova 58 5. St. John's (2) 56 6. Providence 41 7. Xavier 38 8. Seton Hall 20 9. Butler 19 10. DePaul 132013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Doug McDermott, Creighton
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team*
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention