City Sports Report

St. John’s looks to 2014-15 season with big expectations in the Big East

D'Angelo Harrison and Steve Lavin

Is this the year St. John’s breaks through and returns to the NCAA Tournament? One quick look around the Big East and it would appear the answer to that is expected to be yes.

It was quite clear at the Big East Media Day on Wednesday, October 22, 2014,  at Madison Square Garden that all of the head coaches in the conference are expecting overall improvement. For St. John’s, they have expectations that run deep in other ways.

The Red Storm were picked to finish third in the conference’s preseason coaches poll behind Villanova and Georgetown, respectively. To finish that high at the end of the season would most likely secure an NCAA Tournament bid, something that’s eluded St. John’s since the 2010-11 season.

The charismatic Steve Lavin enters his fifth season as head coach of the Red Storm. Lavin’s successful navigation of St. John’s in his first season helped restore credibility to the team. It also helped secure a nationally recognized recruiting class. However, it’s been a long road since for Lavin and his core group that features D’Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene IV, and Sir Dominic Pointer.

There has been gradual improvement  for St. John’s every year since that 2010-11 season, the last two resulting in bids to the NIT. Now all that’s left for this group is that elusive bid to the big dance in March. Harrison will be counted on for leadership, the All-Big East First Team guard will be counted on to anchor what’s expected to be one of the league’s deepest backcourts. Reaching the NCAA Tournament won’t be easy in what’s expected to be a competitive race in the Big East standings.  If there is any team in the conference that’s built for the adversity that comes with a season, it’s this seasoned team.

“Adversity, difficult times, we’ve been through it.” – Steve Lavin

Lavin wants his seniors to finish strong, preferably by reaching the NCAA Tournament. It would be an ideal way for his seniors to finish their final chapter in the history that is St. John’s basketball.

You can follow Anthony Rushing on Twitter @AnthonyRushing_

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