QUEENS, N.Y. - Head coach Steve Lavinand his deep and versatile St. John's basketball team (0-1) look to bounce back on Friday as the Red Storm hosts its home-opener against local squad Wagner (1-1) of Staten Island and the Northeast Conference. The matchup airs on FOX Sports 2 (Time Warner Cable add-on sports package, RCN Ch. 383, Verizon FIOS Ch. 198, DirecTV Ch. 618, Dish Network Ch. 398, more at foxsports.com) -- the Red Storm's only game on FOX Sports 2 all season but one of 29 nationally-televised contests in 2013-14 -- with announcers Rich Ackerman and Jim Spanarkel.
The Last Meeting
December 1, 2010
Queens, N.Y. (Carnesecca Arena)
St. John's Wears Out Wagner, 69-61, For Fifth-Straight Win
What the Red Storm lacked in offensive accuracy on Wednesday night, it made up for in defensive aggression. St. John's shot a season-low 36.1 percent from the field, but forced a season-high 21 turnovers and made 15 steals - the most since March 1, 2005 - to outlast Wagner, 69-61, and run its current win streak to five-straight.
The contest can also be viewed via FOX Sports GO on mobile devices and heard live on the official radio flagship of St. John's Basketball, Bloomberg Radio 1130-AM, and on RedStormSports.com (subscription), with veteran New York City announcers John Minko and Brandon Tierney.
St. John's has won its last nine home-openers dating to the 2003-04 season -- all at Carnesecca Arena -- including a 77-74 victory over Detroit on Nov. 13 last year. The Red Storm is 3-0 in home openers and 19-4 overall at Carnesecca Arena during the Lavin Era.
Now beginning its 53rd season, St. John's is 435-82 (.841) in 517 games at Carnesecca Arena. The building, constructed in 1961, was re-named for St. John's Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca during the 2004-05 season. The Red Storm went 7-1 in Queens in 2012-13, averaging 72.5 points per game on campus, firing at a 46.0 percent clip from the field and a 36.4 rate from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Red Storm limited opponents to 63.6 ppg on 37.9 percent shooting and a 29.6 mark from long distance last season.
St. John's enters the matchup with a 11-2 all time record against Wagner. The last meeting came on Dec. 1, 2010, when the Red Storm defeated the Seahawks 69-61 in Carnesecca Arena.
Recap: No. 20/21 Wisconsin 86, St. John's 75
One week ago, St. John's battled back from an 18-point first half deficit and trailed by just four points with 8:29 remaining, but No. 20/21 Wisconsin used a late 8-0 run to pull away and defeat the Red Storm, 86-75, in the season-opener for both teams at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
D'Angelo Harrison scored a game-high 27 points, while JaKarr Sampson finished with 21 points and seven boards. The Red Storm shot 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the floor, finished even on the boards and dominated play down low with a 44-24 scoring advantage in the paint and even scored 52 second-half points, but also committed 12 turnovers (10 in the first half), and made just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) shots from beyond the arc. Rookie Rysheed Jordanplayed 24 minutes in his collegiate-debut and finished with six points, three rebounds and three assists.
League-Best Four St. John's Players Earn Preseason All-BIG EAST Honors
St. John's earned a league-best four BIG EAST Preseason honors, including a Preseason First Team selection for junior guard D'Angelo Harrison and Preseason Rookie of the Year accolades for freshman guard Rysheed Jordan. Sophomore forward JaKarr Sampson, the reigning BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, earned Preseason Second Team honors and classmate Chris Obekpawas 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 2013 ESPN 100, Jordan represents the highest-rated rookie prospect in the BIG EAST this season.
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 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll with 56 points. Defending regular season champion 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.
Lavin: One Branch On Big Ten Legend Keady's Coaching Tree
Big Ten legend-now-turned St. John's special assistant/advisor Gene Keadywas a decorated head coach at Purdue University for 25 seasons, from 1980-2005. He led the Boilermakers to six conference titles and 17 NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Elite Eights, tallying 512 wins with the Boilermakers. He has mentored a number of assistant coaches who are currently enjoying success as head coaches around the college basketball landscape.
In his first three years, former pupil and current St. John's head coach Steve Lavinwent 40-28 overall, and 20-14 in the BIG EAST Conference, and all told, each of Keady's 10 former assistants-now-turned-active-head-coaches have had incredible success. In 2012-13 Lavin, Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt), Matt Painter (Purdue), Cuonzo Martin (Tennessee), Bruce Weber (Kansas State), Linc Darner (Florida Southern), Alan Major (Charlotte), Paul Lusk (Missouri State), Austin Parkinson (IUPUI-women) and Carson Cunningham (Carroll College) combined for a record of 173 wins, 153 losses (.531).
So far in 2013-14, Lavin is 0-1, Stallings is 1-0, Painter is 2-0, Martin is 0-1, Weber is 1-1, Darner is 2-0, Major is 1-1, Lusk is 1-0, Parkinson is 1-1, and Cunningham is 1-4, for a combined record of 10-9 (.526).
Six of Keady's 10 former assistants were selected to the 2013 postseason, with Lavin, Martin and Major earning top-five seeds in the 2013 NIT Championship, Weber earning a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Division I Championship, Darner earning a No. 1 seed in the South Regional Tournament of NCAA Division II Championship and Parkinson earning a postseason bid in the WNIT.
Lavin was an assistant coach under Keady from 1988-91. After serving as head coach at UCLA for seven seasons, Lavin returned to coach St. John's in 2010-11 and has led the Red Storm back into the national spotlight.
Weber served under Keady as an assistant at Purdue for 18 seasons. Painter was a player for Keady from 1989-93, starting 50 games for Purdue in his career. Stallings was an assistant under Keady for six seasons from 1982 to 1988; he also played at Purdue for three seasons, two of them under Keady. Martin, now the head coach at Tennessee, was an assistant coach for Keady and Painter at his alma mater from 2000-08 at Purdue. Darner played for Keady with teammates Painter and Martin from 1991-94, while Major graduated from Purdue in 1992 after serving as a student manager under Keady. Lusk served as an assistant coach for Keady at Purdue in 2004-05. Parkinson played for Keady from 2000-04, finishing 10th on the all-time assist list. Cunningham played for Keady from 1997-2000, becoming only the third player in Purdue history to be named a two-time Academic All-American.
Wagner enters Friday's contest with a 1-1 record after defeating Chestnut Hill on Wednesday, 75-67. The Seahawks finished the 2012-13 season with a 19-12 record and a trip to the Northeast Conference (NEC) semifinals where they fell to eventual champion LIU, 94-82.
Wagner topped the 2013-14 NEC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll, earning seven first-place votes. In the past two years, the Seahawks have combined for 44 wins. The last time Wagner was picked to win its conference was 21 years ago.
The Seahawks return nine letterwinners and three starters from the 2012-13 squad including senior guard Latif Rivers, whose 1,140 career point mark ranks him 28th in school history, and two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year Kenneth Ortiz. Statistically, the Seahawks led the NEC in field-goal percentage defense (.409) last season while Naofall Folahan finished second in the conference in blocks per game with 1.5.
At 29 years old, Head Coach Bashir Mason is the youngest head coach in the nation, carrying a 20-13 career record into Carnesecca Arena. In his first season, he led the Seahawks to the NEC semifinals after earning 12 conference victories and was named a finalist for the CollegeInsider.com Joe B. Hall First-Year and Ben Jobe Minority Coach of the Year Awards.
Red Storm Tickets, Red White Club Information
St. John's Season Tickets are now available. For more information, fans can visit RedStormTix.comor 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.
Non-conference action continues with three-straight contests at Carnesecca Arena. Following a tilt with 2013 NCAA participant Bucknell (Nov. 19), the Red Storm opens play with two on-campus games as part of the Barclays Center Classic presented by Continental Tire.
Monmouth comes to Queens on Friday, Nov. 22 followed by Longwood on Tuesday, Nov. 26, prior to St. John's second appearance in two seasons at the new Brooklyn Barclays Center during the fall semester.