The basketball season hasn't even started yet and the Johnnies seem to be in mid-season form. That's because the drama of the past few seasons has returned to Queens, momentarily at least. Sophomore center Chris Obekpa has been suspended for the Red Storm's two exhibition games for violating school policy.
"We expect our student-athletes to conduct themselves in a responsible manner in representing St. John's University," said head men's basketball coach Steve Lavin. "Chris understands this suspension can serve as a learning experience."
A learning experience probably means Obekpa has some growing to do, be it in the classroom or elsewhere. But, whatever the real reason for the suspension, the take-away for fans is that Obekpa and his 4.1 bpg will be in the starting lineup for the opener against Wisconsin.
Obekpa will continue team practice throughout the preseason and will be reinstated for the Red Storm's season-opening contest vs. No. 21 Wisconsin in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Nov. 8.
Oh yeah, I probably should point out that Obekpa was also banned from the Red Storm Tip-Off. But judging by some of the videos out there, and by just about every other school's tip-off party, Obekpa wasn't exactly punished for missing this one.
Of course, it wasn't just suspensions and awkward dance moves at the Red Storm Tip-Off. Coach Lavin also discussed the team's new motto: "Let's get it in!" (Which has "That's what she said!" written all over it.) Here's Lavin's take on how the inspiring euphemism came to be.
"It's actually from when Ron Artest spoke to our team earlier this fall. That was the theme of his talk. Life presents certain windows of opportunity and you want to make the most of them."
Metta World Peace is back in all of our lives, folks. There's nothing we can do about it.