st. john's basketball
Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The St. John’s Red Storm will play a ton of local mid-majors during their non-conference slate, but they also have a date with Kansas.

Danny Small

The St. John’s Red Storm are looking to take a big step forward in the 2021-22 season. In order to reach an NCAA Tournament, they will need to have a signature non-conference win to help sway the committee.

It’s year three for Mike Anderson in Queens and he has his two best players — Julian Champagnie and Posh Alexander — returning for another run.

Let’s take a look at the Red Storm’s 2021-22 non-conference schedule (via St. John’s athletics).

Full Non-Conference Schedule

No. 9 — vs. Mississippi Valley State — Carnasecca Arena
Nov. 13 — vs. Saint Peter’s — Carnasecca Arena
Nov. 17 — @ Indiana — Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
Nov. 20 — Fairleigh Dickinson — Carnasecca Arena
Nov. 23 — St. Francis Brooklyn — Carnasecca Arena
Nov. 27 — NJIT — Carnasecca Arena
Dec. 3 — Kansas — UBS Arena (Big East-Big 12 Battle)
Dec. 5 — Fordham — Carnasecca Arena
Dec. 9 — Monmouth — Carnasecca Arena (Gotham Classic)
Dec. 12 — Colgate — Carnasecca Arena (Gotham Classic)
Dec. 18 — Pittsburgh — Madison Square Garden (Gavitt Tip-Off Classic)

Kansas Looms Large

In a non-conference slate that doesn’t have a ton of high-major games (only three), it’s imperative that St. John’s looks good against Kansas. Stealing a win would go a long way towards building a resumé worth of an NCAA Tournament berth.

Beating the Jayhawks won’t be easy, even if it is the first-ever basketball game at UBS Arena. Kansas is pegged to open the season as a top-five team and a legitimate national championship contender.

Local Flavor

St. John’s will host a number of local mid-majors to kick off the college basketball season. Among the local teams on the schedule are Saint Peter’s, Fairleigh Dickinson, St. Francis Brooklyn, NJIT, Fordham, Monmouth, and Colgate.

This isn’t the most impressive non-conference schedule, to say the least. It’s fun watching the local mid-majors try and knock off the Big East school, but it feels like St. John’s could have built a more rigorous schedule. The opportunities to build a strong case for an at-large are limited.

Only One Road Game

St. John’s won’t turn any heads with their strength of schedule. The lone road game on the schedule for the Johnnies will come in Bloomington against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Once upon a time, that would be a massive challenge, but this isn’t your father’s Indiana. The Hoosiers finished last year 12-15 and fired Archie Miller. Indiana alum and longtime NBA coach Mike Woodson is taking over the program. It’s tough to expect Woodson to turn the program around in a heartbeat.

What is the biggest takeaway from this non-conference schedule drop? The Johnnies are going to need to have a strong season in the Big East to secure a bid to the NCAA Touranment.