It’s the dawn of a new age for college hoops; The NCAA hoop scene has cemented its newfound identity. In the past 2 decades we’ve witnessed history of the reputable Big East Conference, the Big East always been exceptional to college basketball for it’s rich tradition and theatrics. The critically acclaimed Big East Tournament has defined some of the brightest moments in sport history, and with it's influences on the NCAA tournament as a whole many can see the consistent emergence it has imposed. We will draw our attention to a historical storied program in St.John's University.
In its heightened prime the St. John's Red Storm not only emerged as a dominant force in college hoops, but also as a top contender in the Big East. During the 1984-85 season legendary Coach Lou Carnesecca guided the Johnnies to a storied finish, the Johnnies completed their season with a 31-4 record and made their first NCAA Final Four appearance. This was a pivotal moment for the St. John's program, but more importantly the Big East for it's dominance (3 out of 4 team were Big East members), Under the Carnesecca campaign the Red Storm captured 2 Big East conference titles, 5 Big East regular season Championships, and 19 NCAA Tournament appearances, It’s safe to safe that Coach Lou and the Johnnies have brought prominence back to Broadway. Coach Lou has left a defining legacy throughout his career at St. John's and still continues to cultivate the community by his charismatic character and exhilarating passion. Lou is currently a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, where he joins current Johnnies Coach Chris Mullin.
Now we fast forward to the present, former Red Storm guard and current coach Chris Mullin is another prominent figure in the Johnnies history book. The Brooklyn native has been a jack-of -all trade. Mullin started his career at St.Johns playing under Coach Lou for 4 year and now in his 3rd season as a head coach he looks to carve out his own legacy while embracing the one that Lou has paved. Coach Mullin and Lou both share a common goal....that is WINNING. In the 4 years that Coach Mullins played under Lou he was a sole contributor to their 1983 Big East title, 3 Big East player of the year awards, and the John Wooden Award. Now Coach Mullin has made the transitioning from taking jump shots to designing sets, and he continues to embrace every challenge that the Big East may bring.
The Johnnies are gearing up for their opening round of The Big East Tournament where they'll square off against Archaic Rival Georgetown coached by the legendary Patrick Ewing. Coach Mullin and Ewing have faced off several times during their playing careers, but now as coaches they look to put on a galvanizing show by re-enacting the old Big East rivalry. The Johnnies will have the home court advantage during their match-up. The Red storm is in quest for their 1st Big East title in over 20 years. Don't count the Johnnies out in January the Red Storm snapped a 11 game losing streak after they defeated #4 Duke in a thriller. The Red Storm then went on to defeat Villanova, Marquette, and DePeaul. Within a week The Johnnies defeated # 1 Villanova and # 4 Duke, All season the Red storm dealt with their fair share of hardships, but in spite of their trials Coach Mullin continues to motivate his guys to rise above adversity.
Now heading into championship week the Red Storm have their eyes set on winning the Big East tournament, and getting a NCAA tournament bid. If the Johnnies win the Big East tournament that would be the 1st time winning it in over 2 decades, no pressure at all because as the #9 seed they can sneak right into the finals. Can Sophomore G Shamorie Ponds and the Johnnies lock in and win 5 games to capture the title or will the tough rigors of the Big East tournament derailed them? Be sure to tune in March 7-11 to catch the Big East Tournament Live from Broadway, it will be bedlam at the Garden. The Red Storm is coming to a city near you.
Figures: Coach Lou "Looie" Carnasecca, Coach Chris Mullin
Thanks to: St. John's University(@stjohnsbball), Big East Conference (@bigeastconf), @ESPN
Artwork: Bounce Apparel (bounce.apparel)