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October 13, 2010

Red Storm Tip-Off opens season

QUEENS, N.Y. - New head men's coach Steve Lavin, head women's coach Kim Barnes Arico and the Red Storm men's and women's basketball teams invite all St. John's fans to the 2010 Red Storm Tip-Off, a season-opening celebration scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at Carnesecca Arena.

ADMISSION IS FREE BUT SPACE IS LIMITED. This year's Red Storm Tip-Off is open to the public, with free tickets available for pickup beginning at 2 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the Carnesecca Arena Ticket Office. Free pizza will be available for the first 2,000 students through the doors at 7 p.m., and attendance at the event earns St. John's students +3 MVP points.

ESPN SportsCenter anchor John Anderson will serve as the event's host while New York City's own D.J. S&S - the D.J. of music and entertainment mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs - will get the crowd moving during a night where the 2010-11 men's and women's basketball teams will be introduced, and Lavin and Barnes Arico will address fans about the excitement of the upcoming season. Both teams will hold short scrimmages and the men's team will put on a dunk contest as part of what is sure to be an outstanding evening of contests, giveaways, performances and surprises on St. John's Queens Campus. At the end of the night, one fan will have the opportunity to take home $10,000 by making a half-court shot.

ESPNU announced that the 2010 Red Storm Tip-Off will be included in its four-hour "whip-around" Midnight Madness Special. ESPNU, now in its fifth-consecutive year covering season-opening celebrations on college campuses all across the nation, will focus on the events at St. John's, national champion Duke, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Memphis, Kansas State and two-time defending NCAA women's champion Connecticut. ESPNU will provide studio coverage from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. E.T., while another ESPN college basketball analyst may join the thousands of Red Storm fans expected to be on hand in Queens.

The 2010-11 Red Storm men's squad returns five starters and 12 letterwinners from a 2009-10 team that posted a 17-16 record and reached the first round of the Postseason NIT. St. John's 10-man senior class includes returning scoring leaders D.J. Kennedy (15.1 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 3.1 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game), Dwight Hardy (10.5 ppg, .383 3-point field goal percentage) and Paris Horne (9.2 ppg).

Barnes Arico, the 2010 MBWA Coach of the Year, and her squad are coming off the best season in program history, making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and advancing to the second round in 2010. St. John's finished 25-7 overall, tied the program mark with 12 BIG EAST wins, boasted a 13-1 home record and finished No. 15 in the final AP Poll. With nine letterwinners returning, the squad has been rated as high as 13th in the basketball preview magazines and junior Da'Shena Stevens was named a second team Preseason All-American by the Sporting News.

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