NBE Basketball Report
St. John’s News

NBE BIG EAST NOTEBOOK (11/16/2012): BUSY WEEKEND AHEAD FOR CONFERENCE TEAMS

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams extended the conference’s winning streak to 19 games Thursday before a buzzer-beater by Massachusetts against Providence brought an end to the run. Nonetheless, BIG EAST teams were 3-2 Thursday as St. John’s, Louisville and Villanova came away with wins.

The BIG EAST’s .871 winning percentage ranks as the second-best in Division I. The Pac-12 has a .920 winning percentage through Thursday to lead the nation.

—The Red Storm scored a road win against College of Charleston in the opening round of the Charleston Classic, sending St. John’s to a semifinal matchup against Murray State at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3.

Guard D’Angelo Harrison led all scorers with 21 points in the win. Harrison has averaged 21.5 points in the first two games for St. John’s.

The Red Storm will face either Baylor or Colorado Sunday to conclude the Charleston Classic.
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NBE BIG EAST REPORT (11/15/2012): NOVEMBER TOURNAMENTS START IN EARNEST

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Georgetown scored a 68-59 win against Liberty Wednesday night, lifting the cumulative record of BIG EAST teams to 24-2 in the 2012-13 season. BIG EAST members have won 17 consecutive games. The BIG EAST’s .923 winning percentage is the best in Division I.

Forward Greg Whittington scored a career-high 18 points with nine rebounds to pace the Hoyas past Liberty as part of the Legends Classic. Georgetown heads to Brooklyn, N.Y., to face No. 13 UCLA Monday in the semfinal round of the Legends Classic at the Barclay’s Center. The Hoyas will face either No. 1 Indiana or Georgia Tuesday.

“With all due respect to Liberty, we got some games coming up, and we’re preparing for some teams that are a little bit better than them,” said junior forward Nate Lubick, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. “We use these games to find ourselves, to find what this team’s identity is going to be. … I don’t think our sense of urgency’s really been there.”

Mikael Hopkins added 13 points for Georgetown (2-0).

Forward Otto Porter — a preseason All-BIG EAST selection — did not play Wednesday night because of “symptoms indicative of a mild concussion,” head coach John Thompson III said in a statement.

The conference’s gaudy record could be tested Thursday as five BIG EAST teams are in action, including three teams that will play on the ESPN family of networks in early-season tournaments.

—St. John’s, which opened its season with a come-from behind win against Detroit Tuesday, faces a College of Charleston team that is a perennial contender in the Southern Conference. The game, which begins at 5 p.m. on ESPNU, is part of the Charleston Classic.

Freshman center Chris Obekpa had a school-record eight blocks to go with seven points and 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut Tuesday. D’Angelo Harrison had a team-high 22 points off the bench in the win.

St. John’s had 12 blocks and held Detroit to 34.6-percent shooting.

The Red Storm will play either Auburn or Murray State Friday in Charleston.

—Providence brings its 2-0 record to Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where the Friars will face Massachusetts — one of the favorites in the Atlantic-10 race — in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

Forward Kadeem Batts scored a career-high 27 points as Providence cruised past neighboring Bryant Monday night.

Guard Vincent Council — a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team choice — did not play against Bryant while recovering from a leg injury suffered in the season-opener and Council is out 4-5 Weeks With the Injury (CBS Sports). With heralded recruit Ricky Ledo ineligible to play this season and another star freshman Kris Dunn out until January after a preseason knee injury, the PC depth will be challenged. Bryce Cotton will be counted on heavily and he scored 24 points against Bryant. Cotton has played all 80 minutes thus far in the two games.

—Villanova also takes a 2-0 record into tournament play Thursday as the Wildcats meet Purdue in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. The game is slated for a 9:30 p.m. tip on ESPN2, following the opening game between Alabama and Oregon State. Jay Wright’s club will play one of those two on Friday.

Freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono scored 25 points to lead Villanova past Marshall, 80-68, on Saturday night. James Bell added 19 points against the Thundering Herd.

The Boilermakers lost their opening game to Bucknell, but were without the services of Terone JOhnson who is recovering from a knee injury suffered in the offseason. Johnson did play 17 minutes in Purdue’s win over Hofstra and will be counted on to carry the scoring load this year as he rounds back into shape. At 9.2 points per game a season ago, Johnson is Matt Painter’s leading returning scorer.

—Louisville will welcome Samford at 7 p.m. to the Yum! Center on the BIG EAST Network as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Russ Smith had a game-high 23 points to lead the Cardinals past Manhattan in the season-opener Friday. Guard Peyton Siva turned in his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists against the Jaspers, a 79-51 victory.

—For DePaul, Thursday’s game against Gardner-Webb is the first of four games in the Cancun Challenge. The Blue Demons also will play Austin Peay at home Saturday before heading to Cancun.

Brandon Young scored a game-high 20 points in the season-opening win against UC Riverside last Friday night. The game, won by the Blue Demons 91-59, was played
on campus at McGrath Arena. Cleveland Melvin added 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

THIS WEEK’S BIG EAST SCHEDULE:

Monday, November 12
Pittsburgh 86, Fordham 51
Providence 81, Bryant 49
Notre Dame 84, Monmouth 57
Seton Hall 78, Norfolk State 65
Rutgers 88, Sacred Heart 62

Tuesday, November 13
St. John’s 77, Detroit 74
Cincinnati 102, Mississippi Valley State 60
Connecticut 67, Vermont 49
Marquette 64, Southeastern Louisiana 53
Pittsburgh 78, Lehigh 53 1

Wednesday, November 14
Georgetown 68, Liberty 59

Thursday, November 15
St. John’s at College of Charleston 6 – ESPNU……………………. 5:00
Samford at Louisville – BEN……………………………………………. 7:00
Providence vs. Massachusetts 2 – ESPNU…………………………. 7:30
Gardner-Webb at DePaul……………………………………………… 8:30
Villanova vs. Purdue 3 – ESPN2……………………………………….. 9:30

Friday, November 16
Connecticut vs. Wake Forest 4……………………………………….. 6:30
Rutgers at Princeton…………………………………………………….. 7:00
Maryland-Eastern Shore at USF……………………………………… 7:30
Notre Dame vs. Saint Joseph’s 5 – TruTV…………………………… 9:30
Providence vs. North Carolina State/Penn State 2………………TBD
Alabama/Oregon State vs. Villanova 3 – ESPN2/ESPNU……….TBD
St. John’s vs. Auburn/Murray State 6 – ESPN3…………………….TBD

Saturday, November 17
Austin Peay at DePaul…………………………………………………… 2:00
Oakland at Pittsburgh – BEN………………………………………….. 7:00
Seton Hall vs. Washington 7 – ESPN3……………………………….. 7:30
Loyola (Chicago) at USF………………………………………………… 7:30
Connecticut vs. Iona/Quinnipiac 4…………………………………… TBD
Notre Dame vs. Florida State/Brigham Young 5 – TruTV……….TBD

Sunday, November 18
Wagner at Syracuse – BEN…………………………………………….. 1:00
North Carolina A&T at Cincinnati – BEN…………………………… 2:00
Western Michigan at USF – BEN…………………………………….. 3:00
Miami (Ohio) at Louisville – BEN…………………………………….. 4:00
Seton Hall vs. Ohio State/Rhode Island 7 – ESPN2/ESPN3…….TBD
Providence vs. TBD 2……………………………………………………… TBD
St. John’s vs. TBD 6………………………………………………………… TBD

–All times Eastern
–BEN – BIG EAST Network (check BigEast.org for local listings)

Game Key:
1 NIT Season Tip-Off
2 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Bayamon, P.R.
3 2K Sports Classic, New York, N.Y.
4 Paradise Jam, St. Thomas, USVI
5 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Brooklyn, N.Y.
6 Charleston Classic, Charleston, S.C.
7 Hall of Fame Tipoff, Uncasville, Conn.

RECRUITING NOTES:
While many readers are very familiar with who is signing with the current BIG EAST schools, Larry Brown inked three players for his SMU program which will join the BIG EAST next season. Along with three impressive transfers sitting out this season (Markus Kennedy, Crandall Head & Nic Moore), SMU Gets a Crop of New Players Signed to Letters of Intent (Dallas News). The signees are:

Sterling Brown – G, 6-4, 190 – Chicago, Ill. (Proviso East)
Ben Moore – PF, 6-8, 185 – Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook HS)
Yanick Moreira – C/PF, 6-11, 220 – Luanda, Angola (South Plains C.C.)

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The holidays are rapidly approaching, why not get that sports fan on your list something special. Order now for the 2013 Big East Tournament as it will an end of an era at Madison Square Garden this March. Below are links to buy tickets to any all sessions. Order early to secure the tickets to the special sports fan on your list or get yourself that special personalized gift!


NBE BIG EAST REPORT (11/14/2012): BIG EAST OFF TO STRONG EARLY START

November 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

BIG EAST teams went 5-0 Tuesday, giving the league a combined 23-2 record in the 2012-13 season. The .920 winning percentage is the best of any Division I conference thus far.

—Pittsburgh’s win Tuesaday night against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Lehigh sends the Panthers to the championship round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden next week. The Panthers will face Michigan November 21st and will meet either Delaware or Kansas State November 23rd in New York.

Guard Tray Woodall became the third Pittsburgh player to lead the team in scoring in as many games with 23 points against Lehigh. Junior Talib Zanna added 20 points and freshman James Robinson was the defensive star as he limited Lehigh pre-season All-American guard C.J. McCollom to 17 points.

The Panthers face Oakland Saturday before heading to Madison Square Garden for the championship rounds of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
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NBE BIG EAST REPORT: WEEK #1 (11/9/2012)

November 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The curtain will rise on the 2012-2013 college basketball season today and for the BIG EAST conference it will also be the end of an era. With West Vitginia already leaving the conference for the Big 12 and Syracuse and Pittsburgh, who will be followed closely behind by Notre Dame, playing their last season before departing for the ACC, the BIG EAST as we have come to know and love will never be the same.

The conference will grow and survive with the additions next season of Memphis, Temple, Houston, Central Florida and SMU, but make no mistake about it, the dynamics of the tightnit conference have been changed forever.

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BIG EAST ANNOUNCES 2012-2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE MATCHUPS

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Per Big East conference news release…

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference has announced the league opponents and game sites for its men’s basketball teams for the 2012-13 season.

The conference schedule – which comprises 135 regular-season games – will once again yield some of the most-anticipated contests nationally in 2012-13. Nearly 80 percent of the regular-season league games (107 of 135) will include at least one team that reached the NCAA Championship last season. Thirty-seven games (27 percent) will be between two NCAA tournament teams from 2012.

Additionally, each of the 15 BIG EAST teams will play either nine or 10 of its 18 league games against NCAA tournament teams. Each team will face 10 opponents once and four opponents twice. All 135 regular-season conference games will again be televised, either by the ESPN family of networks or CBS Sports.

The decisions regarding repeat opponents are driven by fairness and competitive balance within the parameters of television selections and geographic rivalries. The full 2012-13 conference schedule will be announced at a later date.

2012-13 BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Schedule Breakdown
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MATCH-UPS SET FOR 2nd ANNUAL SEC/BIG EAST CHALLENGE IN 2012

June 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – ESPN has announced the 12 matchups that will be part of the Second Annual SEC/BIG EAST Challenge, which will take place Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2012 at home sites of the participating schools.

The BIG EAST contingent in the Challenge will include Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, South Florida, Syracuse and Villanova (Pittsburgh, Louisville & Connecticut are not participating). Six of the BIG EAST’s 12 participating teams reached the NCAA Championship last season. The SEC has four participating teams that reached the NCAA tournament.

The 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge includes the following matchups:

Thursday, November 29

Kentucky at Notre Dame
Marquette at Florida
South Carolina at St. John’s
Seton Hall at LSU

Friday, November 30

Syracuse at Arkansas
Tennessee at Georgetown
DePaul at Auburn
Georgia at USF

Saturday, December 1

Alabama at Cincinnati
Villanova at Vanderbilt
Mississippi State at Providence
Rutgers at Mississippi

The BIG EAST took the first SEC/BIG EAST Challenge, winning eight of the 12 games in 2011.




2012 NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT SITES & TICKETS

March 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Selection Sunday has arrived. It seems like just yesterday we were reporting on Midnight Madness activities and stories. Many tournament tickets have already been punched, but now fans have a chance to get their tickets at all the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament sites below. Get your tickets now to make sure in your the building to see the greatest sporting event of the year!!

The 2012 NCAA Tournament tips of Tuesday night with the ‘First Four’ doubleheader in Dayton, Ohio. Thursday the tournament will hit full speed with second and third round games being played in the following host cities:

Albuquerque
Columbus
Greensboro
Louisville*
Nashville
Omaha
Pittsburgh*
Portland

Atlanta, Phoenix, Boston and St. Louis will be 2012 regional cities.

The 2012 NCAA Tournament Final Four will be played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans (LA).

Our partnership with TicketNetwork.com allows you to pick the seats you want from their tremendous inventory at great prices. See below for 2012 NCAA Tournament Sites and tickets available:
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UCONN, PITT EARN OPENING ROUND BIG EAST TOURNAMENT WINS

March 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Lauren Kirschman

Big East Tournament Day One

No. 9 Connecticut 81, No. 16 DePaul 67

Last season, Kemba Walker carried the Connecticut Huskies to five wins in five days and a Big East tournament championship. Whether or not the Huskies can move through the gauntlet to earn another title remains to be seen. But if they do win five consecutive contests again, it’ll likely be thanks to Jeremy Lamb.

Lamb led Connecticut with 25 points, four assists and five rebounds in the Huskies’ 81-67 win over DePaul in the first round of the Big East tournament on Tuesday afternoon. Connecticut, the No. 9 seed, started 7-7 from beyond the arc and didn’t miss a 3-point shot until Roscoe Smith was off the mark with 4:40 left in the first half.

The Blue Demons consistently left Connecticut players open on the perimeter, seeming willing to chance the Huskies beating them from the outside. Connecticut took advantage and, after letting DePaul hang around early, closed the half on a 6-0 run that gave the Huskies a 46-33 advantage
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2012 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT TIPS OFF TODAY – - CAN UCONN DO IT AGAIN?

March 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The bright lights of Broadway will begin shining today at high noon as the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament will get underway. Leading off the action will be the #9 seeded UConn versus the #16 seed DePaul. These very two teams opened the tournament last season and the Huskies began their improbable March run of 11 straight wins with a 97-71 win over the Blue Demons. Do they have it in them again?

“Last year we did the impossible,” Alex Oriakhi told the Hartford Courant. “So we know anything is possible.”

Of course, last year the Huskies had Kemba Walker, who had a March run that will live on through the ages. Even without Walker UConn is a team stocked with talent. Sophomore Jeremy Lamb and freshman Andre Drummond could be lottery picks in the NBA Draft this June. Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi played key roles throughout last year’s March run.
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MELO, COOLEY, WAITERS & CLARK EARN BIG EAST BASKETBALL AWARDS

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Courtesy of BIG EAST conference

NEW YORK – Fab Melo, Syracuse’s sophomore center, has been named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.

The league also announced that Notre Dame junior forward Jack Cooley is the BIG EAST Most Improved Player. Syracuse sophomore guard Dion Waiters has won the BIG EAST Sixth Man Award and Georgetown senior guard Jason Clark has been named the winner of the BIG EAST Sportsmanship Award.

Melo, who came to Syracuse from Sagemont, Fla., led the BIG EAST in blocked shots in league play with a 3.7 average. He also averaged 6.1 rebounds. The 7-0, 244-pound Melo is a valued member of the Syracuse lineup. In the team’s only loss of the season, a defeat at Notre Dame, Melo did not play. He is the second straight Defensive Player of the Year winner from Syracuse. Rick Jackson was the 2010-11 honoree.

Cooley emerged as one of the BIG EAST’s best big men this season after making modest contributions a season ago. As a sophomore in 2010-11, he averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds while playing 10.3 minutes per game. This season, the 6-9 Cooley is averaging 12.5 points and owns a rebounding mark of 9.2, which ranks fourth in the BIG EAST. Cooley is a native of Glenview, Ill.
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BIG EAST RELEASES 2011-2012 MEN’S BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS

March 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Courtesy of BIG EAST conference

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Forward Jae Crowder and guard Darius Johnson-Odom of Marquette were two of six players named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, the league announced. The conference’s head coaches choose the all-conference teams. The coaches are not permitted to vote for their own players. The league announced the All-BIG EAST First, Second and Third Teams in addition to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from the All-BIG EAST First Team. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Oppenheimer Funds/BIG EAST Coach of the Year, BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, March 6. The announcement will be made between sessions of the first day of The BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden. The press conference will begin after the postgame interviews of the afternoon doubleheader have been completed. The other league individual awards will be announced Monday, March 5.

In addition to Crowder and Johnson-Odom, the other first-team selections are: Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut, Jason Clark of Georgetown, Kris Joseph of Syracuse and Kevin Jones of West Virginia.

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BIG EAST REGULAR SEASON TIPS OFF

December 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Notre Dame and St. John’s began the BIG EAST portion of the 2011-12 season Tuesday with wins against Pittsburgh and Providence, respectively, on Tuesday night.

Notre Dame extended its homecourt winning streak to 28 games with last night’s win, 72-59 over No. 22 Pittsburgh. The Irish haven’t lost at Purcell Pavilion since Feb. 14, 2010, when they fell 69-68 to St. John’s.

Guard Alex Dragicevich scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Irish on Tuesday night. Dragicevich, who had scored just six points in six previous BIG EAST games before this season, scored 17 of his 22 after halftime, which included making all three of his attempts beyond the three-point arc.

The Irish rallied from a 26-25 halftime deficit by shooting 72% (18-25) after intermission.

“I have been a part of a lot of fun games here,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said after the game. “But this one ranks right up there with the best. To see us play with that swagger in the second half, I guess I just wasn’t sure this group was ready for that.”

Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins also reached double figured for Notre Dame, scoring 15 points a piece. Grant added a game-high nine assists and Jack Cooley helped ND stay close on the boards, grabbing 14 shots off the backboards to go with his eight points.

“We have a week to practice and after a win you always have a little more juice,” said Brey. “It’s just great to be 1-0 in this league, especially at home, that feels good. It’s something to build on and God knows we needed something to build on.”

The Irish play the first of back-to-back road games with a Jan. 4 visit to Cincinnati. Notre Dame has won three straight against the Bearcats, including a pair of wins last season.

For Pitt it was their second consecutive loss after falling to non-conference opponent Wagner on Dec. 23 at the Peterson Events Center.

“We need to play better, we will play better and that’s what we have to work on,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said following last night’s loss. “We are a team that has a lot of things to improve on and we will get there and we know we’ve got things to work on.”

Sophomore Talib Zanna led the Panthers with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the game. Seniors Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson each added 12. Gibbs passed current Pitt assistant coach and former point guard Brandin Knight for 12th place on Pittsburgh’s career scoring chart (1,443 points).

Junior guard Tray Woodall returned to the lineup after missing six games with a groin/abdominal injury, but did not score in 18 minutes.

Last night’s loss was just the seventh time in Jamie Dixon’s nine-year tenure that Pitt had lost back-to-back games. Pitt will try to avoid a third-straight defeat when, like the Irish, they take on Cincinnati in their next game. Pittsburgh has won its last six meetings against Cincinnati. The Panthers are 6-1 against the Bearcats in regular-season BIG EAST play. They will host Mick Cronin’s club at the Peterson Events Center on New Year’s Day.
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Freshman Moe Harkless scored 32 points in his BIG EAST debut to lead St. John’s past Providence last night, 91-67, at Carnesecca Arena. Harkless’ total is the most by a freshman in his first BIG EAST game in league history. The previous mark of 30 points was held by Notre Dame’s Troy Murphy and Georgetown’s Allen Iverson.

“I didn’t even know that,” Harkless said following the game on his record-setting performance. “That’s an honor to even be mentioned with those guys. Being able to break the record is a great feeling.”

For the seventh consecutive game the Redstorm was coached by associate head coach Mike Dunlap as Steve Lavin continues his recovery from prostate surgery.

“We were able to play a team that came in pretty hot and has played some good people, so we are very pleased with that win,” said Dunlap. “We’ve still got to work Amir [Garrett] in and now we have a seven-man rotation.”

D’Angelo Harrison added 25 points and 7 assists in the win and Phil Greene also finished in double figures with 12. In all, SJU freshmen combined to score 77 of the 91 points put on the scoreboard for the ‘Storm.

Up next for the Redstorm is a New Year’s Eve date with defending national champion UConn. St. John’s has won its last two meetings
against Connecticut.

The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Friars, who also had their worst defensive effort of the season, a trait that has plagued them in recent BIG EAST seasons. SJU scored 91 points and shot 56.5% from the field. PC also hurt themselves by turning the ball over 20 times. All in all it was not the performance Friar head coach Ed Cooley was expecting from his team.

“Our kids were just pathetic today in every imaginable way,” said Cooley afterwards. “I thought we were very selfish today. We weren’t tough at all. We just weren’t tough. I could take losing games. As a coach you’re going to lose a lot of games and you’re going to win some games. But you just have to show that passion to compete and we didn’t show that tonight. I’m very disappointed with our execution and our competitive level.”

Gerard Coleman scored 20 points against the Red Storm for Providence, which will look to avoid an 0-2 BIG EAST start when they travel to Washington DC to take on Georgetown at the Verizon Center Saturday. PC has not won at Georgetown since March of 2005.
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Tonight’s BIG EAST Schedule:
Wednesday, December 28
GEORGETOWN at LOUISVILLE – ESPN2……………………….7:00
SETON HALL at SYRACUSE………………………………..7:00
VILLANOVA at WEST VIRGINIA…………………………….7:00
CONNECTICUT at SOUTH FLORIDA…………………………..9:00

Eight more teams begin BIG EAST play Wednesday, including tough tests for the league’s two unbeaten clubs. Top-ranked Syracuse takes a 13-0 record into a 7 p.m. game against 11-1 Seton Hall at the Carrier Dome. While the Orange and Pirates split their two contests last season, the 90-68 drubbing SHU put on SU at the Dome last season will be certainly on the mind of the Syracuse players. No. 4/4 Louisville (12-0) hosts No. 12/12 Georgetown (10-1) on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. U of L is 2-4 against the Hoyas in BIG EAST play.

West Virginia and Villanova also meet at 7 p.m. in Morgantown, W.Va. The Wildcats hold a 10-9 edge in the series in conference regular-season play. No. 9/9 Connecticut plays its first road game of the season when it visits USF at 9 p.m. The Huskies will be without coach Jim Calhoun, who begins an NCAA-imposed three-game suspension. UConn has an 8-1 edge in its all-time series against the Bulls.
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The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament promises to be one to remember. As usual, tickets will sellout, but fans can get yours early at the best prices by following the links below and get that special holiday gift for YOURSELF that you did not receive from your loved ones. Also, buy with our relationship with TicketNetwork and .





SLOW STARTS FOR RUTGERS & ST. JOHN’S SHOW NO QUICK FIX REMEDY

December 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Fans of BIG EAST programs Rutgers and St. John’s were looking forward to the 2011-2012 basketball season for months. Both schools landed impressive recruiting classes not only rated among the best in the BIG EAST but the country.

Now just a month into the season both teams find themselves with identical 4-5 records at the bottom of the current BIG EAST standings. The Redstorm have lost 5 of their last 6. While their schedule has been brutal their stebacks also include a 14-point loss to Northeastern and a loss at Detroit in their most recent outing Monday night. In the days following that loss news surfaced that JUCO transfer Nurideen Lindsey was leaving the team and would find another destination to continue his basketball career.

Lindsey started off quickly for St. John’s as their leading scorer through the first seven games but struggled in the last two, losses to Kentucky and Detroit, with just five points and 11 turnovers. Still on a team with just seven scholarship players the loss of Lindsey will be an impact. In his brief nine-game career he was averagign 12 points, 5 rebounds and a team-high 3 assists a game trying to fill the point guard roll for a player known as a big-time scorer coming out of the West Philly prep ranks and Redlands CC. The timing of the decision sparked criticism from fans, but head coach Steve Lavin indicated it was a mutual decision from both sides to local media.
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MERNAGHS WEEKLY WATCH: TOP 3 PLUS SOME OTHER NOTES

December 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Kentucky

The reason I had Kentucky #1 going into the season was on full display last night against St. John’s.

Yes the Wildcats have the most talent.

Yes, they have great athleticism and skill on offense.

But did you catch what they were able to do defensively?

Our Good Lord, Yahweh, Sweet Jesus, whoever Atheists worship (Bill Maher?) and Allah couldn’t have scored on Kentucky last night.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis bring an impact on D and the rest of the Wildcats all follow suit to avoid having to hang their heads in shame (or hear Cal call them bad names). The amount of late clock situations that they forced the Johnnies into was ridiculous, and yes I know the undermanned group from Jamaica was trying to control their pace some, but there’s a big difference between that and not being able to get a shot off on multiple possessions.
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NATIONAL BASKETBALL EXPERIENCE NOTES – 11/9/2011

November 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

If you follow along all the social networking media today’s news of the day is dominated by the (sickening) scandal unfolding at Penn State which will end the Hall of Fame career of coaching legend Joe Paterno. For the best coverage on the scandal, be sure to check out the Patriot News out of Harrisburg (PA) which has been on this story from the beginning. They are now reporting that PSU President Graham Spanier will either be fired or resign by the day’s end.

The other news of the day dominating the talk on twitter (be sure to follow us on twitter as well) is the beginning of the early signing period for college basketball. Today is the first day when college players can sign for the Class of 2012 and it certainly has been a busy day. One of the best recaps of the action can be found with trhe CBS Sports signing day blog headlined by good pal Jeff Borzello.

One of the biggest news coming from the busy week of recruiting news was that Ricardo Gathers has reopened his recruitment. Riverside’s Gathers Decommits from St. John’s< ?a> (Nola.com) and will now look to sign in the spring.
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RANDOM BIG EAST REALIGNMENT RAMBLINGS

October 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

Wednesday was a big day for the Big East Conference with Men’s Basketball Media Day being held at the New York Athletic Club with Madison Square Garden still being renovated. Of course the topic du jour had little to do with the upcoming action on the courts around the league but rather what the next step will be for a conference hit hard by realignment. Tuesday’s teleconference with commissioner John Marinatto, which was supposed to clear up matters and leave this stage to the players and coaches, did little in that regard.

Media from around the country wanted to hear directly from the coaches how the lack of stability is affecting them from a recruiting standpoint as well as what options may be available to them in the near future. Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey essentially said that regardless of what may happen (Big East expansion to 12 football-playing members or a Big 12 expansion that includes current Big East members) the Irish will be alright, which is to be expected of a school with such a storied football program.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino minced no words on the subject, saying that while he couldn’t imagine the Big East without charter member Syracuse he could imagine the conference without Pittsburgh. And then came the unfortunate analogy that sparked numerous “pot meet kettle” reactions given the coach’s own issue a couple summers ago.
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BIG EAST COACHES’ POLL RESULTS

October 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

From the BIG EAST Basketball Men’s Media Day in NYC:

Big East preseason coaches’ poll (First place votes in parenthesis):

1. Connecticut (7) 209 points
(tie) Syracuse (5) 209 points
3. Louisville (3) 201 points
4. Pittsburgh (1) 188 points
5. Cincinnati 169 points
6. Marquette 155 points
7. West Virginia 132 points
8. Villanova 127 points
9. Notre Dame 114 points
10. Georgetown 104 points
11. Rutgers 75 points
12. St. John’s 71 points
13. Seton Hall 56 points
14. South Florida 43 points
15. Providence 40 points
16. DePaul 27 points

Preseason awards:

Big East Preseason Player of the Year: Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh

Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year: Andre Drummond, Connecticut

Big East Preseason First Team: Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh; Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut; Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette; Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame; Kris Joseph, Syracuse; Kevin Jones, West Virginia.

Big East Preseason Second Team: Yancy Gates, Cincinnati; Alex Oriahki, Connecticut; Peyton Siva, Louisville; Scoop Jardine, Syracuse; Maalik Wayns, Villanova.

Big East Preseason Honorable Mention: Andre Drummond, Connecticut; Shabazz Napier, Connecticut; Cleveland Melvin, DePaul; Jae Crowder, Marquette; Augustus Gilchrist, USF

Today is only media day, but you can get your 2012 BIG EAST Tournament Tickets for yourself or that special fan this upcoming holiday season. The tournament is certain to sell-out to the general public, but all season great seats at great prices will be available through our 2012 BIG EAST Tournament Page. You can begin browsing below:


MERNAGH: THIS BIG EAST MEANT A LOT…SO DON’T SAY IT DIDN’T

October 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

by Ray Mernagh

I’m not sure what to make of this feeling that’s come over me after allowing all this conference realignment mess to sink in. After all, my initial reaction (Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes) was so mature, so enlightened, that it made me feel what’s best described as false pride about how adult my response was. Then a funny thing happened on my journey to accepting this with a rational level of, dare I say, Bilas-like comportment — I got stuck.

I couldn’t write a damn thing about the upcoming season, completely paralyzed regarding any news coming out of the entire world of college basketball. In fact I think I conned myself into thinking it was just my extraordinary amount of work on other sports the last few weeks (freelance variety) that had kept me from my usual barrage of words this time of year.

But that was just me kidding myself.

Denial.

Then Thursday night, while watching college football of all things, it hit me.

This hurts.

I mean, it’s ridiculous to blow up this conference.

Nobody really knows what the end game will be here but one thing is obvious — the Big East that we’ve known for the last several years is soon to be no longer.
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2011-2012 BIG EAST TEAM CAPSULE: ST. JOHN’S

September 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

St. John’s Red Storm
Head Coach: Steve Lavin (2nd year at St. John’s, 21-12 record)
2010-2011: 12-6 BIG EAST, 21-12 overall, NCAA 1st Round

Returning Players:
- Jr. G Malik Stith (3.3 ppg)

Incoming Players:
- Jr. C/F God’s Gift Achiuwa (Orchard Park, NY)
- So. G Nurideen Lindsey (Philadelphia, PA)
- Fr. F Amir Garrett (Los Angeles, CA)
- Fr. G/F Dom Pointer (Roseville, MI)
- Fr. F Maurice Harkless (Queens, NY)
- Fr. C Norvel Pelle (Long Beach, CA)
- Fr. G D’Angelo Harrison (Missouri City, TX)
- Fr. F Jakarr Sampson (Akron, OH)
- Fr. G Phillip Greene (Chicago, IL)

Players Moved On:
- D.J. Kennedy (Graduation)
- Sean Evans (Graduation)
- Justin Brownlee (Graduation)
- Malik Boothe (Graduation)
- Dwight Hardy (Graduation)
- Paris Horne (Graduation)
- Justin Burrell (Graduation)
- Dele Coker (Graduation)
- Dwayne Polee (Transfer)

Stat Notes:
- Last season, Steve Lavin led SJU to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002.
- Obviously, the Red Storm will be the youngest team in the Big East by far and return only Malik Stith, who played 12 minutes per game last year.

Star Watch:
- It will be interesting to see which one of Lavin’s highly touted recruits is most ready for the big time. Dom Pointer, a 6-6 wing with elite athleticism, already has a Big East-style body and may be the best of the bunch.

Newcomer to Watch:
- In addition to Pointer, sophomore junior college transfer Nurideen Lindsey should be another focal point for the Red Storm. Lindsey’s journey to St. John’s has been a long and rocky one but he was a prolific scorer in high school and should be a very intriguing story this year in the Big Apple and the Big East.

Notes: Lavin’s crew will be tested early in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament (11/17-11/18), travel to Kentucky for the BIG EAST/SEC Challenge (12/1), and host UCLA (2/18) in the non-conference.

team capsule compiled by Brian Batko




2011-12 BIG EAST CONFERENCE COMPOSITE MEN’S BASKETBALL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

August 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The BIG EAST basketball conference released their 2011-2012 composite Men’s Basketball Schedule this afternoon. All 144 conference games will be televised either nationally or be ESPN regional. With an incredible 91 percent of all conference games in 2011-12 including a team that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, more than half of the league games will be televised nationally by ESPN or CBS.

It is the fifth consecutive season that all 144 league games will be televised.

“Last year’s historic success proved once again that the BIG EAST Conference continues to be among the most competitive conferences in the country from top to bottom,” said BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto in a statement released by the league today. “With a record 11 teams earning their way into last year’s NCAA Championship, our coaches and players reaffirmed the fact that BIG EAST basketball and excellence are synonymous. Our schools continue to take great advantage of the unparalleled media exposure they are afforded annually from both ESPN and CBS Sports – which is one of the reasons why we are confident that the 2011-12 season will be as exciting as any in our history.”

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