Hurricane Sandy tore up a good portion of New York City and Long Island – amongst so many other regions along the east coast – on Monday and Tuesday, and unfortunately, the beginning of St. John’s basketball season has been derailed as well.
The Red Storm were scheduled to host Division II Sonoma State this Thursday (November 1) in their first exhibition game of the 2012-13 season, but due to travel complications caused by the horrid conditions caused by the weather, will now play the game on Saturday (November 3) evening at 5:30 PM, following the St. John’s women ‘s team taking on D-III Farmingdale.
This is one of the most highly anticipated seasons in recent St. John’s history, as third-year head coach Steve Lavin is returning from a season that he missed the majority of while treating his prostate cancer. Heading into the season, Lavin feels great and is cancer free, but has the task of putting together a roster filled with young, unproven talented players, and achieving a higher level of success than the team has been able to the last, oh I don’t know, 15 seasons.
Last season saw some of Lavin’s best players leave the program in Nurideen Lindsay (transfered to Rider) and Moe Harkless (selected in the first round of this past June’s NBA draft), but with some solid additions in Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch and international project guards Marco Bourgault and Felix Balamou, as well as returnees Phil Greene, God’sgift Achuwa, Amir Garrett and one of the Big East’s best freshmen from a season ago D’Angelo Harrison, this has to be the most excited the St. John’s fan base has been heading into a season in years.
Their first opponent, Sonoma State, is led by Pat Fuscaldo, who was a graduate assistant coach at San Francisco State when Lavin was a ballplayer there in the early 1980′s.
The exhibition will be shown on ESPN3 for those interested.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth