By Dylan Butler
A trek to Alaska for the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, another trip to Cameron Indoor Arena to face Duke and a home game against Wake Forest are some of the highlights of the 2001-02 St. John’s men’s basketball schedule, released by the school last week.
The schedule also features games against local foes Fordham, Manhattan, Hofstra, St. Francis, Fairfield and Quinnipiac, as well as battles against Connecticut, Miami, Seton Hall, Providence and Boston College to highlight the Big East slate. However, one glaring omission this year are long-time conference rivals Georgetown and Syracuse, who will not play the Red Storm this season.
“Our schedule will again be a formidable one and one our players, coaches and fans have come to expect each year,” St. John’s head coach Mike Jarvis said. “I came to St. John’s and our players come here because we expect to play the best in order to be the best. We have our work cut out for us this year, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
After an exhibition against the Harlem Globetrotters at Madison Square Garden Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m., St. John’s opens the 2001-02 season against Gonzaga in the first round of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout at midnight (EST) Nov. 22. Other teams in the tournament include Indiana and Texas.
St. John’s will play its first home game Saturday, Dec. 1 against Fordham at Madison Square Garden at 2 p.m. A week later the Red Storm will wear the road red uniforms at the World’s Most Famous Arena against Manhattan College and after heading to Niagara on Dec. 11, St. John’s plays its first of six campus home games against Tom Pecora’s Hofstra Pride at Alumni Hall Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.
The Big East slate begins Jan. 2 at Pittsburgh. Other highlights include a Dec. 22 clash at Madison Square Garden against Wake Forest, a Jan. 23 game against Connecticut at Gampel Pavilion, a Jan. 29 game against Seton Hall at Continental Airlines Arena and a Feb. 24 game at Duke.
Ingram commits to St. John’s
When Omar Cook left after his freshman year for the NBA, St. John’s head coach Mike Jarvis was faced with a gaping hole at the point guard position. While Tristan Smith and Marcus Hatten should split duties this year, the Red Storm appears to have found Cook’s permanent replacement as Elijah Ingram of St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, NJ gave his verbal commitment last week.
Ingram is considered by many to be the top point guard prospect in the East and was also recruited by Georgia Tech, UConn and Boston College.
“They’ve been at the top of my list all summer,” Ingram said of St. John’s in published reports.
Ingram is the second local prep standout Jarvis has inked, joining 6-foot-6 forward Tim Doyle from St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay, L.I. Jarvis and the Red Storm staff have their eyes on 6-foot-10 Jason Fraser, a blue-chipper from Amityville, L.I. whose list of finalists includes North Carolina, Villanova, UConn, Louisville and St. John’s.
Former St. John’s standout Rob Werdann named assistant coach of the Columbus Riverdragons
Former Molloy and St. John’s standout Rob Werdann has been named assistant coach of the Columbus Riverdragons in the National Basketball Development League, the club announced last week.
“This is a great step for me,” Werdann said. “My goal has always been to draw from my experience as a player and use it in a coaching situation. I am excited to be involved with the NBA family once again in this ground-breaking year for the NBDL.”
Sunnyside native Werdann, 31, was an assistant coach for the Yakima Sun Kings of the Continental Basketball Association last year. It was his first coaching stint.
Werdann had an eight-year NBA career as player, including three seasons with the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets. While at St. John’s, Werdann established the school record for career blocks (188) before being selected by Denver in the second round of the 1992 NBA Draft.
York’s Jean-Pierre garners CUNY honors
Evan Jean-Pierre, a freshman midfielder on the York men’s soccer team, was named CUNY rookie of the week. The Haitian out of Canarsie High School scored two goals and set up another in the Cardinals 2-0 week. He also had a hand in York’s other three tallies.
York 3, Baruch 1. Freshman Kevin Lee had a pair of unassisted goals and Eduardo Brito netted the game-winner for York (2-0 CUNYAC) in the 35th minute on a pass from Chimela Okoro.
York 6, New York City Tech 1. Evan Jean-Pierre scored two goals and Cheick Kieta added another for the Cardinals.
Queens 3, Bloomfield (N.J.) 0. Senior Deidre McNamara scored just 1:45 into the game and freshman Ana Borges added a pair of goals to lead Queens (3-1) in the non-conference win. Keeper Mary Okolski recorded the shutout.
Queens 2, Molloy 1. Khalida Mashriqi set up Borges, who scored in the 28th and 58th minute to lead the Lady Knights to their first New York Collegiate Athletic Conference win of the season. Okolski made 18 saves for Queens (1-1 NYCAC), who fell to Southampton 5-0 earlier in the week.
Georgetown 30-28-30-30, St. John’s 26-30-22-23. The Red Storm dropped its first home match and conference match to the Hoyas Sunday. Junior Sarah McCrary led the Red Storm (9-2, 1-1 Big East) with 15 kills while sophomore Rosalyn Dang chipped in 12 kills. McCray also had a team-high 22 digs and senior Kristy Mercein added 18 digs. Freshman Jennifer Emelogu recorded a season-high four solo blocks and five kills in eight attempts.
St. John’s 30-21-21-30-15, Virginia Tech 28-30-30-27. Newcomer Mischara Saunders had an impressive conference debut posting a .258 hitting percentage and tallying seven blocks for the match. Dang had 15 kills, sophomore setter Robyn Kurasaki had 12 assists and Mercein added a team-high seven digs.
York 30-27-30-30, Brooklyn 28-30-19-28. Maria Montenegro had 10 kills, five digs and three assists for York (2-2, 2-2 CUNY). Brooklyn College fell to 0-2.
Queens 30-30-30, Molloy 20-7-11. Cassidy Mariano had 15 kills to lead Queens (4-3, 3-0 NYCAC).
Queens 30-30-30, Philadelphia 17-16-15. Noelia Castillo had 15 kills, six aces and five digs and Tana-Marie McMarrow added 11 kills, 15 total attacks, three solo blocks and four block assists for the Lady Knights.
St. John’s golf wins JMU Invitational
Sophomore John DeForest shot a seven-under par 135 to capture medalist honors as the Red Storm won the James Madison Golf Invitational held at Lakeview Golf Course in Harrisonburg, Va.
DeForest fired a five-under par 66 in the first round and held on for a one-stroke win after carding a two-under par 69. He was one of three Red Storm players to finish in the top-10. He was joined by junior Jesse Fitzgerald, who finished seventh and junior Andrew Svoboda, who placed ninth.
St. John’s finished the 36-hole tournament at six-under 562, the first time the team has finished under par since Frank Darby took over the program five years ago.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.