Rick Pitino has revealed four of his five players for opening night against Stony Brook.
The new coach of St. John will be joined by returning star Joel Soriano and three players: Daniss Jenkins (Iona), Chris Ledlum (Harvard) and Nahiem Alleyne (Connecticut).
The starting small forward will be VMI transfer Sean Conway or Oregon State’s Glenn Taylor Jr.
Jenkins, Ledlum and Alleyne started both exhibition games.
Jordan Dingle, the nation’s leading rebounder, will come off the bench.
The move isn’t all that surprising considering Dingle, a former star at Penn, missed much of the summer and went down with knee, foot and shoulder injuries.
He didn’t play in both exhibition games due to a sprained left shoulder, he returned to practice last week.
“He knows how to play. “He’s 100 percent physical, he’s probably not 100 percent basketball smart,” Pitino said Monday.
“He missed a lot of time in the summer, he missed a lot of time in the fall. He just got into basketball mode. But he will see time in this game of basketball.”
St. John’s will be without UMass transfer RJ Luis, a talented wing who is still recovering from a broken left hand he suffered during practice in Oct. 1.
He is expected to return to practice this week and could be ready to return for the Charleston Classic, which begins against North Texas on November 16.
Soriano drove this summer and went the hardest in practice in his college career.
The big man is below 10 percent body fat, a goal Pitino set for himself after taking the job in March.
“That’s what I’ve learned the most as a player, how to play the game quickly,” said Soriano, a first-team All-Big East All-American selection before the season. “I highly recommend the coach and our coaching staff. I’m also very happy to put everything on display, everything I’ve been learning.”