Lincoln – It will be the Big Red taking on the Red Storm this season, as the Big Ten and Big East conferences announced the pairings for the 2017 Gavitt Tipoff Games on Wednesday.
Nebraska will travel to New York City to face St. John's in Carnesecca Arena on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the first ever meeting between the two programs. The matchup will be televised nationally on FS1, as all eight Gavitt Tipoff Games are televised nationally.
The 2017 matchup is the Huskers' second Gavitt Tipoff Games appearance in three seasons, as NU traveled to Villanova during the 2015-16 season. It could be the first of two meetings between Nebraska and St. John's during the 2017-18 campaign, as both schools are in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, Fla., the following week. The matchups for the Advocare Invitational will be announced later this summer.
Under the direction of Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, the Red Storm went 14-19 in 2016-17, including 7-11 in Big East play. St. John's returns its top four scorers from last season, including guards Shamorie Ponds (17.4 ppg) and Marcus Lovett (15.9 ppg). In all, St. John's returns over 80 percent of its scoring from last season while adding a pair of transfers who sat out last season.
The Huskers, under the direction of sixth-year Head Coach Tim Miles, welcome back 10 letterwinners, including four players who started at least nine games last season. Junior guard Glynn Watson Jr. headlines the returnees, as he averaged 13.0 points per game, while junior forward Jack McVeigh averaged 7.5 points per game. NU also returns Evan Taylor, who started 21 games last season, and Jordy Tshimanga, who made nine Big Ten starts as a freshman in 2016-17. NU will also rely on a talented class of newcomers, including transfers Isaac Copeland (Georgetown), James Palmer Jr. (Miami) and Duby Okeke (Winthrop) and top-150 high school recruits Thomas Allen and Nana Akenten.
The game with St. John's is part of a strong non-conference schedule for the Big Red, which also includes a matchup with Kansas at Pinnacle Bank Arena, an ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup (opponent and locations TBD), three games in the Advocare Invitational as well as the annual intrastate matchup with Creighton.
The Gavitt Tipoff Games are an annual early-season series played between the two conferences and named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the Big East and basketball visionary. Big Ten schools will participate a minimum of four times during the eight-year event.
2017 Gavitt Tipoff Games Schedule
Monday, Nov. 13
Minnesota at Providence – FS1
Tuesday, Nov. 14
Purdue at Marquette – FS1
Wednesday, Nov. 15
Butler at Maryland – FS1 or BTN
Creighton at Northwestern – FS1 or BTN
Indiana at Seton Hall – FS1
Thursday, Nov. 16
Nebraska at St. John's – FS1
Xavier at Wisconsin – FS1
Friday, Nov. 17
DePaul at Illinois -- BTN