A few weeks ago, the Big East put the final touches on the conference schedule for the 2014-15 season. A few days later, St. John's finalized their entire schedule for this upcoming season. Ten of the 31 regular season games will be played at the Carnesecca Arena, with ten games with played at Madison Square Garden and another contest at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Johnnies non-conference play begins with a set of exhibition games against Humboldt State and St. Thomas Aquinas before diving into the regular season against NJIT and then turning their attention toward the NIT season Tip-off. The slate of games for St. John's in NIT play will be at both the Carnesecca Arena - against Franklin Pierce on Nov. 17 and LIU-Brooklyn two days later - and at MSG against reigning NIT champion Minnesota on Nov. 26.
Overall, St. John's non-conference schedule is pretty favorable for the most part, but there will be challenges - notably against Gonzaga, Syracuse, and a January Garden match up against perennial ACC favorite Duke. Other than that, the rest of St. John's non-conference opponents are five sub-.250 programs, two which are sub-.300 programs.
The Johnnies begin their 18-game slate of Big East games against Seton Hall at the Prudential Center in Newark on New Years Eve. Their first conference home game will be January 4th against Butler at Carnesecca, followed by a Tuesday bout in the Garden against Villanova.
The toughest stretch for the team from Valentines Day through the end of the season, the Johnnies will play seven games to close out the regular season - at Xavier and Georgetown, three straight home games vs. Seton Hall, Xavier and Georgetown, before ending the year on the road at Marquette and Villanova. While seven games may seem to be a long stretch, it is a difficult one that could determine much of the post season and potential tournament spots for St. John's.
Now it's just a matter of how Steve Lavin and his squad made up of D`Angelo Harrison and Phil Greene IV will handle themselves on the court this season. While they are a veteran squad, they do have the benefit of a reasonable non-conference schedule and a decent stretch in Big East play. St. John's can make the most of this season, but it will just be a matter of how they fair in the actual games.
How will St. John's non-conference schedule prepare them for the tough grind of conference play this season? Let us know how you think the Johnnies will fare in the comments section below.