QUEENS, N.Y.- Due to travel complications related to Hurricane Sandy for Red Storm exhibition opponent Sonoma State, St. John's first men's basketball exhibition contest of the 2012-13 season has been moved from Thursday, Nov. 1, to Saturday, Nov. 3, at 5:30 p.m.
The contest will follow the No. 14 Red Storm women's exhibition contest at 2 p.m., but will be ticketed separately.
The 2 p.m. women's basketball exhibition will feature the nationally-ranked Red Storm against local NCAA Division III squad Farmingdale. Carnesecca Arena doors open at 1 p.m. for this free event. Fans will have to exit the arena temporarily following the contest and re-enter for the men's game with a ticket.
Saturday's men's exhibition contest vs. NCAA Division II squad Sonoma State will pit head coach Steve Lavin against one of his own former coaches in Seawolves' bench boss Pat Fuscaldo. Fuscaldo was a graduate assistant coach at San Francisco State when Lavin was a basketball student-athlete for the Gators during 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.
For its second exhibition, St. John's will welcome the NCAA Division III Concordia Cougars, from Chicago, Ill., and head coach Tyler Jones to Carnesecca Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Jones, a prostate cancer survivor who has told his story on ESPN's "Outside the Lines," has credited Lavin's April 2011 announcement about his battle with the disease as the impetus behind Jones' own diagnosis and successful treatment. The game will have a Coaches vs. Cancer theme, featuring cancer awareness programs and initiatives, and fans are encouraged to "Dress like Coach Lavin" with sport coats and sneakers.
Lavin's returning core includes BIG EAST All-Rookie team member D'Angelo Harrison, combo guard Phil Greene, swingmen Sir'Dominic Pointer and Amir Garrett, and big man God's Gift Achiuwa. Its nationally-ranked No. 8 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 elite group includes West African guard Felix Balamou, French shooter and playmaker Marco Bourgault, Texas A&M transfer point guard Jamal Branch, sharpshooting Harvard transfer Max Hooper, stalwart power forward Christian Jones, top 20 Nigerian center Chris Obekpa, 2011-12 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council AAA Player of the Year and National Prep Championship Tournament MVP JaKarr Sampson and Dominican-born JUCO All-America forward Orlando Sanchez.