LoVett and Co. Open Up Season vs. New Orleans
Jamaica, NY--Coming off a heart breaking loss versus Rutgers in the final exhibition game, the Johnnies look to come back and perform in front of their home fans at the storied Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm, who finished the season (14-19) last year in a blowout loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament, open their 2017-18 season up to the New Orleans Privateers (18-11), in their first ever meeting.
Last season, the Johnnies improved their winning total from 8 in 2015-16, to a total of 14 in 2016-17. The Red Storm also got their first Big East Tournament win since they last beat Rutgers in the old Big East on March 9th, 2011 under then head coach Steve Lavin. The Johnnies also improved their Big East winning record from only a mere one, to seven. A six game improvement over the course of a full season, was ranked one of the top improvements in all of the NCAA.
The importance of the non-conference schedule this season for Chris Mullin's Red Storm has been so vital, especially in New York, where critics are out, and very loud. "Every day is important. Every film session, practice, shoot around, and if you approach it that way you can just go out there and play."
Losing three point specialist Italian native Federico Mussini, who went back home to Italy to play professionally, leaves a hole in the guard position. Hold on just a moment, not true so much anymore with the addition of Justin Simon, and Bryan Trimble Jr. The lack of depth in the front court will hurt this team versus teams such as Seton Hall and more specifically Angel Delgado. Tariq Owens and Amar Alibegovic lead the team in height as the tallest players on the roster, at 6'9" and 6'11", and no one else behind them in that range. Head Coach Chris Mullin has spoke about the team playing "small" most of the season.
Projected Starting Lineup for the St. John's Red Storm
G- Marcus LoVett
G- Shamorie Ponds
G- Justin Simon
F- Bashir Ahmed
F- Marvin Clark II
G- Bryan Trimble Jr.
F- Tariq Owens
F- Kassoum Yakwe
F- Amar Alibegovic
Projected Starting Lineup for the New Orleans Privateers
G- Matthew Jiles
G- Jorge Rosa
F- Michael Zeno
F- Makur Puou
F- Travin Thibodeaux
The Johnnies record during Friday games last season, were 2-2 overall.
Injuries to note- Kassoum Yakwe (ankle) is probable to play vs. New Orleans
The Johnnies begin their 110th season at Carnesecca Arena on Friday night in a double-header that begins with Joe Tartamella's women's Red Storm team taking on St. Francis of Brooklyn at 4:30. The men's game immediately follows on Fox College Hoops and WSJU Radio