Before the season began, St. John’s senior guard D’Angelo Harrison told me it would be a “complete failure” if the Johnnies didn’t qualify for the NCAA Tournament this year.
With the NIT Season Tip-Off set to begin Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, the Red Storm has a golden opportunity to notch some significant non-conference wins that could be critical come March.
St. John’s (3-0) will face Minnesota (3-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in one semifinal, with Georgia set to take on No. 10 Gonzaga in the nightcap. The winners will meet in Friday’s championship game, while the losers will square off in the consolation game.
Minnesota, of course, won the postseason NIT championship last April by taking down Larry Brown and SMU.
By CHRIS RUSSELL
NEW YORK — JayVaughn Pinkston made the most of his homecoming.
In his return to Brooklyn, the 6-foot-7 redshirt senior forward went for 15 points and seven rebounds as No. 12 Villanova handled No. 14 VCU, 77-53, in the semifinals of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center.
“Coach [Jay Wright] and I talked about me coming up to play in New York, and play in front of my family,” said Pinkston. “Remember to focus on defense and that’s what I did the first couple of plays.”
By JACK LeGWIN
MONTVERDE, Fla. — Ty Graves, one of the top point guards in the class of 2016, has transferred to Montverde Academy.
Montverde’s next game is Friday, but it remains unclear when Graves will make his debut, sources told SNY.tv.
One of the best pure shooters in the nation regardless of class, Graves will bring a new dynamic for this new edition of Montverde, the ability to take attention off of their big men, Ben Simmons (LSU), Doral Moore (Wake Forest), Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (FSU) and Noah Dickerson (Florida), who team up to create one of the best front courts in the nation.
“Ben and the big guys draw a lot of double teams, so they can kick out to me and I can knock it down from outside,” Graves told SNY.tv. “It’s really a blessing.”
By CHRIS RUSSELL
NEW YORK — In a match-up between two high-powered offenses, No. 19 Michigan and Oregon squared off in the second game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center Monday night.
In a tight contest in which Michigan never trailed, the Wolverines converted on their free throws late in the game to hold on to win, 70-63.
Michigan (4-0) will face Villanova (4-0) in Tuesday’s championship game (10 p.m., ESPN2). The game will follow the consolation game between Oregon and VCU (7:30, ESPNU).
“I have to applaud Oregon. They played so hard, they did a great job,” said Michigan coach John Beilein. “Few times you will see someone give up 18 offensive rebounds and still get a W. We did enough things to win the game.”
Junior guard Sterling Gibbs went off for a career-best 40 points Monday night to lead Seton Hall to an 84-80 victory over Illinois State in the Paradise Jam championship game in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Gibbs went 10-for-14 from the field, including 7-for-9 from beyond the arc, and was also a perfect 13-for-13 from the line. He tied the Paradise Jam scoring record.
“I honestly wasn’t even worried too much about scoring, it was more just trying to get the win and trying to do whatever my team needed me to do,” Gibbs told CBSSports Network. “I just so happened to score a little bit and tried to get everyone involved to get the championship.”
By JOHN PAVIA & ADAM ZAGORIA
Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne, along with Duke assistant Jon Scheyer, watched 2016 forward Harry Giles on Monday, sources confirmed to SNY.tv.
InsideCarolina.com previously reported the development.
The 6-foot-10 Giles is No. 1 player in the Class of 2016 by some media outlets like 247 Sports.
Giles tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus while playing for the USA Under-16 team last summer and missed his sophomore season of high school basketball. He finally returned to the court this May after 11 months of rehab and recovery. Giles has shown some signs of rust which is natural when returning from an injury of that nature.
Texas head coach Rick Barnes announced Monday that sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor has a broken left wrist and is out indefinitely. Surgery is not required and Taylor is expected to return this season.
Taylor broke the wrist Thursday night against Iowa in the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden when he crashed hard to the floor after driving to the basket and encountering 6-10 Gabriel Olaseni.