A massive non-conference showdown is coming to the St. John’s basketball schedule next season.
In recent years the St. John’s basketball team has not been scared of scheduling major non-conference games and the 2021-22 season will be no different.
Already with the Pittsburgh Panthers on its slate of games for next season, multiple outlets have reported that the Johnnies will host the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big East vs. Big 12 Challenge in the winter.
The game will be played at the new UBS Arena on Thursday, December 2, the new home of the New York Islanders, and it will be the first college basketball game played in the building.
In the updated ESPN Way-Too-Early Top-25 Rankings, the Jayhawks currently sit as the No. 4 team in the country after the latest addition of Arizona State transfer Remy Martin.
St. John’s has seen its entire roster turnover this season but is still waiting on the NBA Draft decision of potential rising junior standout Julian Champagnie, the key factor in determining the preseason expectations for the Johnnies next season.
Bill Self and the Jayhawks are coming off a 21-9 (12-6 Big 12) record with an exit in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament while Mike Anderson and the Red Storm posted a 16-11 season (10-9 Big East) and declined a bid to the NIT over health and safety protocols.
St. John’s and Kansas have played 13 times in the series history with the Jayhawks holding an 8-5 advantage but the two storied programs have not played since 2000.
Norm Roberts, the former Red Storm head coach, is an associate head coach on Self’s staff and the Jayhawks will have Kyle Cuffe Jr. on its squad next season, the son of former St. John’s standout Kyle Cuffe Sr.
Cuffe Jr. committed to Kansas this winter over St. John’s and others while reclassifying into the Class of 2021 in the spring.
Mike Anderson is 1-9 against Kansas in his head coaching career with all ten games coming during his time with the Missouri Tigers.
Other St. John’s basketball scheduling tidbits
St. John’s now has games scheduled against St. Peter’s, Fairleigh Dickinson, NJIT, Pittsburgh, and Kansas so far, although none of those games has been officially confirmed by the program.
All games currently listed will be played at home for the Johnnies, split between Carnesecca Arena, Madison Square Garden, and UBS Arena.
The Red Storm also will play in the Gavitt Games, a battle between the Big East and Big Ten, which will likely be on the road given the team’s heavy home schedule.
The 2021-22 college basketball regular season is scheduled to begin on November 9 and end on March 6.