The Big East Conference Tournament 2012 tips off Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, and this SB Nation New York StoryStream is the place to come for every tidbit of information. For a full schedule with results and updates of the bracket, click here.
After one of the most success seasons in program history last year, the St. John's Red Storm brought in the third-best recruiting class in the nation and hopes were the Johnnies wouldn't miss a beat.
However, after the NCAA ruled a few blue-chip recruits academically ineligible for the Fall semester and head coach Steve Lavin had to go under the knife because of prostate cancer, nothing seemed to go right for St. John's.
Luckily, there's hope for this squad, which enters the Big East Tournament with two All-Big East Rookie selections, guard/forward Moe Harkless and guard D'Angelo Harrison, and a group of very young, hungry players that want to showcase their skills at Madison Square Garden.
Head Coach: Mike Dunlap, interim
Head coach Steve Lavin has been absent for most of the season, as he's trying to recover from prostate cancer surgery. That put Dunlap in a tight spot, as he had to manage high-preseason expectations, a middle-of-the-season transfer of guard Nurideen Lindsey, a late roster add in freshmen forward Amir Garrett, while trying to develop the youngest core of players in the country. With that said, kudos goes out to Dunlap for holding things together and providing hope for next season.
Team MVP: Moe Harkless, freshman guard
On Sunday, Harkless was named to the All-Big East Rookie team and should be almost a shoo-in to win Big East Rookie of the Year honors after 15.5 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. If Harkless is struggling, then its going to be a long day for St. Johns, however, if he's playing well the Red Storm can beat just about anybody.
Playing For: Pride
Unless an remarkable run is put together during the Big East Tournament, then the Johnnies will be watching the postseason unfold from home. Regardless of the results this week, St. John's fan can, at least, have hope that next season will be better.
Breakdown: St. John's is probably the most athletic team in the conference, which is an aspect that can sometimes provide issues for its opponents.
The probably is, the Red Storm rely too much on Harkless and Harrison to do all the work, and for a young program like this that's a lot to ask for.
Without a doubt, when Harkless and Harrison get more seasoning, this will be a very tough team to beat on its home floor. But now, its just hope the madness of March comes early and something miraculous can happen.
Big East Tournament Seed: No. 12, will play the Pittsburgh Panthers in the first round (2 p.m. ET).
Roster and stats:
For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.