St. John’s basketball looking for new opponent in MTE after latest opt-out

The St. John’s basketball program is looking for a new team to fill the final spot in its multi-team event.

Scheduling in the 2020-21 college basketball season continues to be a massive headache as Bryant, a program scheduled to compete in the St. John’s multi-team event, has opted out according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

The Red Storm opted out of the Preseason NIT, taking place in the Orlando bubble, because of COVID-19 restrictions and regulations and put together its own event in Carnesecca Arena.

St. John’s, Manhattan, La Salle, and Bryant were set to make up the field, with each team playing one game against every other program in the event.

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Head coach Mike Anderson and the Johnnies already had agreed to play a non-conference game against La Salle this season and also will play Sacred Heart, although that will not take place in this event.

St. John’s will also play Texas Tech in non-conference play during the Big East vs. Big 12 Challenge and another local rivalry game with Fordham, but now the program is tasked with finding another team to join its MTE in Queens to begin the season on November 25.

Watch Stadium comprised a list of all multi-team events taking place this winter, and although the St. John’s event is not listed, there could be a handful of local teams that could replace Bryant, such as Hofstra, NJIT, Niagara, and St. Francis of Brooklyn, all not listed in the scheduled slate of games.

The Red Storm also had agreed to play NJIT this season, but there has been no news regarding that game since the pandemic forced teams to adjust their schedules.

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Whenever St. John’s fills the final vacant spot in its event, it will still have one more game to schedule in its non-conference crop of games as the NCAA is only allowing teams to play seven out of conference games this season.

The Big East Conference plans to try and have its schools play some conference games in December as the league will try and play 20 games among its members in the 2020-21 season.

St. John’s is coming off of a 17-15 (5-13 Big East) season in head coach Mike Anderson’s first year with the program.