St. John’s Red Storm vs. Stony Brook Seawolves Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 7th 2023

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The instant Rick Pitino arrived to coach St. John’s on March 20, expectations were raised for a program without an NCAA Tournament win since 2000.

After a busy offseason highlighted by a roster revamp, the highly anticipated Pitino era gets underway on Tuesday night when the Red Storm host Stony Brook in the season opener for both teams in New York.

“Everyone is looking forward to it,” Pitino said last month. “There is an anticipation and excitement about us. Now we have to prove it.”

Pitino joined St. John’s after three years at Iona — his first collegiate job since being dismissed from Louisville in 2017 because of an FBI investigation that led to allegations of NCAA violations. Eventually Pitino was cleared in the FBI-related case and led Iona to two NCAA Tournament berths.

The Red Storm went 18-15 overall and 7-13 in Big East play, finishing eighth in the conference in the fourth and final season under Mike Anderson. St. John’s did not reach the NCAA Tournament under Anderson and has played in five tourney games since its last win in 2000.

This season, the Red Storm were picked fifth in the Big East preseason poll and are also among the first four teams to receive consideration for the preseason AP poll.

Pitino reset the roster, and forward Joel Soriano is the only regular starter coming back for St. John’s.

Soriano set career highs with 15.2 points and 11.9 rebounds per game last season to earn Big East Most Improved Player honors. He is now joined on the roster by several transfers, including Jordan Dingle from Penn, Nahiem Alleyne from UConn and Chris Ledlum from Harvard along with Iona transfers Daniss Jenkins and Cruz Davis.

Stony Brook enters its second season in the Coastal Athletic Association after going 11-22 following the transition from the America East. The Seawolves return leading scorer Tyler Stephenson-Moore — who averaged 14.3 points per game last season — and are picked ninth in the CAA’s preseason poll.

The Seawolves are also hoping Aaron Clarke and Dean Noll recovered from their injuries after transferring in last season. Clarke missed most of 2022-23 with a back issue while Noll did not play after tearing his ACL.

“No one has seen us together so that’s no surprise,” Clarke said of Stony Brook being picked ninth in the preseason poll. “But we know what we have together.”

St. John’s leads the all-time series with the Seawolves 9-0.

–Field Level Media

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