The St. John’s Athletics Department had two big announcements for their followers recently. First up the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team released their non-conference schedule on Wednesday, which features December home matchups against Kansas and Pittsburgh.
Entering his third year at the helm of the Red Storm, the reigning BIG EAST Coach of the Year Mike Anderson will guide the Johnnies through an 11-game non-conference schedule that features some of the most recognizable opponents in all of college basketball.
St. John’s will play eight of its 10 non-conference home games at Carnesecca Arena, the on-campus home of the Red Storm. The Johnnies will also host the first-ever basketball game at UBS Arena, the soon-to-be-opened home of the New York Islanders, when they welcome Kansas on Dec. 3 as part of the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. Later that month, St. John’s will take the famed floor of Madison Square Garden for the 92nd consecutive season when it hosts Pittsburgh as part of the Gotham Classic.
The Red Storm’s lone road matchup of non-conference play will come on Wednesday, Nov. 17, when the team travels to Bloomington to take on Indiana as part of the Gavitt Tip-Off Games. St. John’s will look to improve to 4-1 all-time in the inter-conference series that honors the legacy of BIG EAST founder Dave Gavitt.
Before traveling to the Hoosier State, the Red Storm will open the season with a pair of home games at Carnesecca Arena. The Johnnies will tip off the 2021-22 season on Tuesday, Nov. 9, when they welcome Mississippi Valley State University to campus for the first meeting between the two schools.
Four days later, the Red Storm will host the Peacocks of Saint Peter’s for the second time in as many seasons. Last November, the Johnnies narrowly avoided a season-opening loss to Saint Peter’s in the Lapchick Tournament, erasing a four-point deficit in the final 20 seconds of the contest.
Upon returning from Indiana, the Red Storm will play three consecutive home tilts against local teams beginning with a Saturday matchup against Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 20. St. John’s is 12-0 all-time against the Knights in a series dating back to 1959 with nine of those wins coming at Carnesecca Arena/Alumni Hall, the last of which came on Dec. 10, 2014. D’Angelo Harrison led the way with 26 points in that win while Phil Greene IV added 16 and Sir’Dominic Pointer chipped in 12.
Next up for the Red Storm will be St. Francis Brooklyn on Tuesday, Nov. 23. The Terriers and the Johnnies have plenty of history, as the two teams will meet for the 80th time in a series dating back to the first season of St. John’s Basketball in 1907-08. St. John’s leads the all-time series 67-12, including wins in each of their last eight outings.
St. John’s will close November on Saturday, Nov. 27, with a tilt against NJIT. The contest will be the first between the teams since 2015.
After facing off against Kansas at UBS Arena on Dec. 3, the Red Storm will reignite another storied local rivalry when it welcomes Fordham to Carnesecca Arena on Sunday, Dec. 5. The meeting will be the 89th all-time between the two New York City schools and the first since the 2016-17 season. The Red Storm is 66-22 all-time against the Rams dating back to 1909, including an 18-0 mark inside Carnesecca Arena/Alumni Hall.
The following week, St. John’s will play a pair of on-campus games as part of the Gotham Classic. The Red Storm will welcome Monmouth on Thursday, Dec. 9, before hosting Colgate on Sunday, Dec. 12. St. John’s is 3-0 all-time against the Hawks in a series dating back to 1985 and 5-2 against the Raiders. After losing two of their first three games against Colgate, the Johnnies are 4-0 in that series since 1920.
The Red Storm will wrap non-conference play with its MSG debut, hosting Pittsburgh on Saturday, Dec. 18. The meeting will be the first between the two teams since 2013, when the Panthers departed the BIG EAST for the ACC. Beginning the 2014-15 season, St. John’s is 7-0 against former BIG EAST members in non-conference play. The Johnnies are 34-24 all-time against Pitt.
In addition it was announced that the University will be unveiling another tribute to Lou Carnesecca this fall.
The University has commissioned a statue of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, which will be occupy a prominent space in the arena lobby across from the building’s main entrance.
“We’re thrilled to install the statue of Coach Carnesecca in the arena lobby,” said Athletic Director Mike Cragg. “Coach is the reason that so many of our supporters first fell in love with St. John’s Basketball, so it will be fitting that he greets fans as they walk in the door for a game.”
The public unveiling ceremony is scheduled to be the kickoff event for St. John’s Homecoming Weekend on Friday, Oct. 22 followed by a dedication ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 23. The action packed weekend also features Red Storm Tip-Off on Friday evening. The following night, St. John’s will induct its 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame class.
“This is sure to be a memorable weekend for St. John’s Athletics and the greater University community,” said Cragg. “I think this will be a great way to welcome everyone back, after being apart for a long year and a half, to reconnect and celebrate together.”
Master sculptor Brian Hanlon, who created the statue of Joe Lapchick that stands guard outside of Taffner Field House, also forged the monument to Carnesecca. Hanlon is the Master Sculptor for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Carnesecca won 526 games in 24 years as the head coach at St. John’s. His teams played in 24 postseasons, qualifying for the 18 NCAA Tournaments and six NITs, highlighted by the program’s second Final Four appearance in 1985 and fifth NIT title in 1989. A founding father of the BIG EAST Conference and an international ambassador for the game known the world over, Carnesecca was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
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