The St. John's Red Storm continue play tonight in the Coaches vs. Cancer/2K Sports Classic vs. Lehigh at Carnesecca Arena at 7 p.m. on ESPN2/WatchESPN.com. St. John's won their opener after trailing at halftime against William & Mary on Nov. 7.
Head coach Steve Lavin has been recovering from surgery for prostate cancer, but returned to practice on Nov. 8. No timetable has been given for his return so
I expect to see assistant coach Mike Dunlap Bang out of Nowhere! Steve Lavin will be coaching the Red Storm again tonight. He did a great job in making adjustments in the first game. St. John's has a very limited roster in terms of numbers and experience at this point in the season.
The Red Storm will face a Lehigh Mountain Hawks team from the Patriot League which was picked to finish second in the conference during the preseason. Lehigh is coming off a 16-15 2010 season. The Mountain Hawks did reach the semifinal of the conference tournament. They return four starters and 76.9% of their scoring and 78.4% of their rebounding from last season. The all-time series is tied 1-1 but the teams have not met since 1930. Lehigh hasn't beaten a Big East team since a 2008 win over Rutgers.
St. John's had four players reach double figures in scoring on Monday and were led by guard Nurideen Lindsey who scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Lehigh hasn't played yet this season but their player to watch is Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year CJ McCollum. The Junior guard had 21.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg last season.
As it is still early in the season, I think St. John's should be able to keep their pressure up on Lehigh to force turnovers and easy baskets in transition as they did against William & Mary. Unlike the first game, McCollum can do things on the court which nobody on the Tribe could and he can be a difference maker in a close contest. We're hoping it doesn't come down to the wire for St. John's.
If you have a chance to watch this game with us, drop some comments down below.