When St. John’s took the court for their Red Storm Tip-Off tonight they were without an important piece. Earlier Friday the school announced that sophomore center Chris Obekpa has been suspended for two games due to a violation of university policy.
The two games will be the Red Storm’s exhibitions against San Francisco State and Humboldt State, meaning that Obekpa won’t miss any regular season action as a result. As a result of the suspension Obekpa was also held out of tonight’s event.
“We expect our student-athletes to conduct themselves in a responsible manner in representing St. John’s University,” head coach Steve Lavin said in the release. “Chris understands this suspension can serve as a learning experience.”
As a freshman Obekpa was the nation’s best shot blocker, leading the country in rejections with an average of 4.0 blocks per game. His 133 for the season set records for both the school and the Big East. The good news for the Red Storm is that they will have him back when they open the regular season against Wisconsin on November 8.
The Red Storm were picked to finish 5th in the Big East this season, but with the return of all five starters (including guard D’Angelo Harrison, who was suspended for the remainder of the 2012-13 season in early March) and the addition of freshman guard Rysheed Jordan and senior forward Orlando Sanchez they have the pieces needed to outperform that prognostication.
LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:
This is peak AAU basketball.
It will never be more AAU than that.
In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.
The crowd was insane for the game:
According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.
Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:
At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:
(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)
The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.
South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.
Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.
The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:
A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:
That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.
But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?