Anyone looking for an early glimpse of the new-look Rutgers basketball team should circle Saturday, Oct. 21 on the calendar.
That’s when the Scarlet Knights will face St. John’s in a charity exhibition game at Carnesecca Arena on the Red Storm’s campus in Queens, USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey has learned. The tip time is tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Founded by late Rutgers alum and native New Yorker Jim Valvano, the foundation has raised more than $300 million for cancer research.
Rutgers and St. John’s originally had planned to meet in a closed-door scrimmage on that day, but converted it into a public exhibition for a good cause – an increasingly common occurrence across the sport. This will be Rutgers’ third charity exhibition during head coach Steve Pikiell’s tenure. In 2017 the Scarlet Knights beat St. John’s 80-78 at the RAC, a benefit for the Red Cross in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s destruction in Puerto Rico. Last October they beat Fairfield at home 78-65 in a fundraiser for Team LeGrand, the spinal-cord research initiative headed by former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand.
Having the V Foundation as the beneficiary is particularly well-timed because Valvano was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last month.
Adding intrigue to the matchup: The offseason arrival of Rick Pitino at St. John’s, which is a solid candidate to appear in preseason Top 25 rankings after a roster overhaul that includes the arrival of Ivy League Player of the Year Jordan Dingle of Penn, transfers Chris Ledlum (from Harvard) and RJ Luis (UMass), and freshman guard Simeon Wilcher out of Roselle Catholic High School.
The Johnnies also return All-Big East center Joel Soriano, whose matchup inside against Rutgers’s All-Big Ten postman, Cliff Omoruyi, should be fascinating. The Scarlet Knights will debut what is expected to be a more up-tempo, attacking offense with UMass transfer Noah Fernandes – who was backcourt-mates with Luis – running the point.
Ticket information should be made available shortly.
Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at email@example.com.
Read More: Rutgers basketball to play St. John’s in exhibition for charity 2023-09-11 16:42:05