St. John’s basketball opts out of Preseason NIT amid COVID concerns

Rasheem Dunn of the St. John's basketball team (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rasheem Dunn of the St. John's basketball team (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball has officially opted out of the Preseason NIT amid COVID-19 concerns.

Fans can officially cross one event off the St. John’s basketball non-conference schedule as the Red Storm will not be taking part in the Preseason NIT amid coronavirus concerns, according to multiple reports.

The idea of the Red Storm not traveling to the college basketball bubble in Orlando because of quarantine rules and regulations was first reported by Zach Braziller of the New York Post and then confirmed by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports on Monday morning.

St. John’s was scheduled to join Texas Tech, Cincinnati, and Arizona in the event, as the Wildcats made a return following the Pac-12’s decision to allow all sports to resume action in early November.

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The conference previously canceled all sports through January 1 because of the virus.

Braziller also has reported that the Red Storm are planning to play local non-conference games before Big East play begins as the conference still is trying to finalize a 20-game league schedule.

Head coach Mike Anderson and the Johnnies are scheduled to play Texas Tech this season in Lubbock, Texas as apart of the Big East vs. Big 12 Challenge, which is still on track to be played on campus, most likely with the absence of fans or a very limited capacity.

Prior to the delayed college basketball season, St. John’s also scheduled games against Sacred Heart and La Salle, both which were scheduled to be played at Carnesecca Arena.

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Obviously the status of those games are yet to be determined, but both could be played under the local requirement the program wants its opponents to have with Sacred Heart located in Fairfield, Connecticut and La Salle in Philadelphia.

St. John’s is coming off of a 17-15 season (5-13 Big East) in which the Red Storm were leading No. 1 Creighton at halftime of the Big East Tournament before the season was canceled.