STJ Opens 2012-13 Season Tuesday With Detroit In ESPN Marathon :: Red Storm to meet Titans for second-straight season (ESPN, ESPN3, RedStormSports.com).
STJ Opens 2012-13 Season Tuesday With Detroit In ESPN Marathon
Red Storm to meet Titans for second-straight season (ESPN, ESPN3, RedStormSports.com).
Nov. 12, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. -
Steve Lavin and his young St. John's basketball team (0-0) begin the 2012-13 regular season as part of ESPN's fifth-annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Tuesday, Nov. 13. St. John's will meet Detroit of the Horizon League (1-0) at 2 p.m. at Carnesecca Arena on ESPN with a chance to avenge a loss from last season's Dick Vitale Court Dedication game in the Motor City. The matchup is the eighth contest slated as part of the marathon that features 11 live college basketball games in 24 consecutive hours on the primary broadcast network of the "Worldwide Leader in Sports." John Saunders will have the play-by-play call for ESPN, with analysis provided by St. John's legend and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin (1981-85) and former Red Storm head coach Fran Fraschilla (1996-98).
Lavin returns to the sidelines after posting a 2-2 record last season while making a full recovery from prostate cancer surgery (Oct. 6, 2011). Lavin employed a modified schedule in 2011-12 that kept him off the sideline, but provided for two things -- a return to health and stamina for the coach, and the ability to secure the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation per HoopScoop.com. St. John's 2012 recruiting class is comprised of eight standout student-athletes representing five countries, with many who played in the New York area in the past several seasons. The highly-acclaimed group followed a 2011 class ranked No. 3 nationally by ESPN.
St. John's matchup with the Titans is a significant one for guard/forward Sir'Dominic Pointer, who was born in metro Detroit before moving with his family -- including twin sister Miz'Unique Pointer -- to Fraser, Mich., as a junior high schooler. Pointer attended Roseville High School, playing for the Panthers his freshman and sophomore seasons. Pointer wrapped up his prep career at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Titans are 2-1 all-time against St. John's, including the 69-63 Titans win at Detroit on Dec. 5, 2011. 2012 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Moe Harkless led the way for St. John's with 19 points, while D'Angelo Harrison added 15 and Motor City-native Pointer chipped in 10, but it wasn't enough to overcome 21 points by Ray McCallum and 46.2 percent shooting from the Titans. The Red Storm beat the University of Detroit 44-31 on Dec. 18, 1943 at Madison Square Garden, and fell 66-64 in the 1998 NCAA Tournament First Round.
Now in its 52nd season, St. John's is 428-81 (.841) in 509 games and 51-plus years at Carnesecca Arena, which underwent Phase III of its interior renovation in the summer of 2009 as part of the multi-phase upgrade to the facility. The Red Storm are 2-0 in season openers at CA under Lavin, including a 74-59 victory over William & Mary last Nov. 7.
The Red Storm continues a four-game week, next participating in the 2012 DIRECTV Charleston Classic Presented by Foster Grant, held Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 15, 16 & 18, at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. St. John's meets the host Cougars to begin action in the event on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m. in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU. A second round matchup awaits on Friday, Nov. 16, against either Murray State or Auburn at 5:30/7:30 p.m. on ESPN3. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in a championship match on Sunday, Nov. 18.
Detroit comes into Tuesday's matchup with St. John's at 1-0 in 2012-13 after an 88-53 win over Northern Michigan on Friday night. Last season, the Titans went 22-14 en route to winning the 2012 Horizon League Championship and return eight players, including three starters from the conference-winning squad. Coming into the 2012-13 season, UDM received votes in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll.
Junior Ray McCallum, who was chosen as the preseason Horizon Conference Player of the Year for the second-straight year, is the on-court leader for the Titans. After scoring a team leading 15.4 ppg and dishing out four assists per contest in 2011-12, McCallum was named to the 2012-13 Wooden Award Top-50 Watch List. Also earning early-season recognition is senior forward Nick Minnerath, who was named to the All-Horizon League Preseason Second Team.
Leading the Titans on the bench is Ray McCallum, the father of the Titans standout junior guard. The elder McCallum is beginning his fifth year at UDM, with a career record of 67-67 with the Titans after Friday's season-opening victory.