MARCH 15, 2002: MARCH MADNESS
Led by Marcus Hatten (above, left), Andrew Glover and Donald Emmanuel, St. John’s earned a No. 9 seed for the NCAA Tournament and lost in the first round to Wisconsin. It would be the last March Madness appearance for the Red Storm until 2011. St. John's finished the season 20-12 overall, 9-6 in the Big East under coach Mike Jarvis. Officially, the team's record is 7-11 after violations were discovered and certain games were vacated as punishment.
APRIL 3, 2003: NIT CHAMPS
Despite struggling during the 2002-03 season, St. John’s qualified for the NIT thanks to forward Anthony Glover, left, and guard Marcus Hatten. And, thanks to Hatten, the Johnnies won the school’s sixth NIT championship by beating archrival Georgetown. The sixth title is an NIT record, including back in the day when the NIT was the preeminent tournament. St. John's finished 21-13, 7-9 in the Big East under coach Mike Jarvis. Officially, St. John's record from this season is 1-13 after wins were vacated because of NCAA violations. However, St. John's did not have to give back its NIT title.
NOV. 25, 2003: SHAW, HATTEN ARRESTED
Senior guard Willie Shaw, left, was arrested on a street corner in Queens and charged with possession of marijuana, along with former St. John's star Marcus Hatten. It was Shaw’s second run-in with marijuana, having tested positive before the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
DEC. 19, 2003: MIKE JARVIS ERA ENDS
Mike Jarvis is fired as head coach, and is replaced on an interim basis by Kevin Clark. The 2-4 start to the season didn’t help matters, but it was more about a program that had run amok. Jarvis was not well-liked among area high school coaches and basketball people, despite his winning record. In five-plus seasons, Jarvis went 110-60, won the 2003 NIT and led St. John’s to the Elite Eight in 1999. After recruiting violations cost St. John’s victories and titles, Jarvis’ official coaching record was 66-60.
FEB. 5, 2004: SEXCAPADE STARTS DOWNWARD SPIRAL
After losing at Pitt, six members of the Red Storm (five players and a manager) went to a Pittsburgh strip joint and negotiated a price for a woman to come back to their hotel room in exchange for sex. The players did not pay, and the woman called the police with rape allegations. Video shot on guard Elijah Ingram’s cell phone proved the rape allegation was false, but the PR nightmare was about to spiral out of control. Ingram, Grady Reynolds, Abe Keita, Mohamed Diakite and Lamont Hamilton were all eventually kicked off the team. It remains the pivotal point on the graph when charting the fall and rise of the Red Storm.
FEB. 10, 2004: INGRAM LEAVES
Point guard Elijah Ingram withdrew from the university for his role in the prostitution scandal on the team’s trip to Pittsburgh.
FEB. 11, 2004: KEITA GETS DUNKED ON
Abe Keita was suspended from the school for one year and permanently removed from the basketball team for his role in the prostitution scandal on the team’s trip to Pittsburgh.
MARCH 3, 2004: PAY FOR PLAY?
Abe Keita announced that he had been receiving monthly payments of $300 from a member of the basketball staff at St. John’s, and filed a civil rights lawsuit against the school that suspended him for one year and kicked him off the basketball team.
MARCH 6, 2004: LEAST WINS IN 85 YEARS
An 89-62 loss to Notre Dame ended St. John’s season at 6-21 overall, 1-15 in the Big East (2-21 after wins were vacated stemming from the Abe Keita pay-for-play scandal). It was the lowest win total for the Johnnies since the 1918-19 team went 0-7.
APRIL 13, 2004: CLEANUP CREW
St. John’s hired Norm Roberts as its new head coach. Roberts, an assistant at Kansas at the time, was given a five-year deal and the task of cleaning up the mess left behind by Mike Jarvis.
NOV. 26, 2004: SELF-INFLICTED PENALTIES
St. John’s penalized itself, including a ban on any postseason games in 2005 and a reduction of one scholarship for both the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. St. John’s also vacated 42 wins and returned 90 percent of the money received from the 2002 postseason in which Keita participated. St. John’s did not have to forfeit its 2003 NIT title.
Villanova Jason Fraser is fouled by dexter Gray and getting additional defensive pressure from Cedric Jackson of St. John's in the first half at Madison Square Garden in New York City Saturday March 5, 2005. (Newsday Photo/ J. Conrad Williams Jr.)
MARCH 5, 2006: SMALL STEPS
Although the team showed improvement in Norm Roberts’ second season as coach, an 82-70 loss to Rutgers capped another sub-.500 season for St. John’s (12-15, 5-11).
MAY 11, 2006: PROBATION
The NCAA Committee on Infractions found that St. John’s had made improper payments to Abe Keita, and the Johnnies were hit with a two-year probation and the loss of one scholarship in 2006-07.
MARCH 7, 2007: SIGNS OF LIFE
For the first time since 1999-2000 -- officially speaking, that is -- St. John’s ended the season with an above-.500 record (16-15, 7-9 Big East) despite losing four of its last five, including a 76-67 season-ender to Marquette. Anthony Mason Jr., right, was second on the team with 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
MARCH 8, 2008: FALLING DOWN
The promise of a season ago is washed away with seven losses in the final eight games as St. John?s finishes 11-19, 5-13 in the Big East.
MARCH 18, 2009: HOORAY FOR THE CBI
The Johnnies lost to Marquette in the Big East tournament (above) earlier in the week, but thanks to the advent of the CBI, yet a third postseason tournament, St. John’s could now say they advanced beyond the conference tournament. But a 75-69 loss to Richmond in the first round of the CBI ended any possible excitement for St. John’s (18-16, 6-12).
MARCH 17, 2010: SOME SURPRISES
After upsetting UConn in the first round of the Big East tournament several days earlier, St. John’s (17-18, 6-12 Big East) went to the NIT and lost in the first round to Memphis.
MARCH 19, 2010: NORM ROBERTS LET GO
After cleaning up the program from the shambles it was handed to him in, Norm Roberts was fired as St. John?s coach. In five seasons, Roberts went 81-101.
MARCH 30, 2010: STEVE LAVIN HIRED
Name after name passed on the St. John’s vacancy. Then along came one of the biggest names around: Steve Lavin. The former UCLA coach and ESPN analyst returned to the sidelines as coach of St. John’s, giving the Red Storm exactly what they needed — a name. A name basketball people understood. A name recruits knew.
FEB. 21, 2011: NATIONALLY RANKED
St. John’s earned the No. 23 ranking in The Associated Press writers poll and No. 25 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The last time St. John's was ranked was on Dec. 5, 2000, when it was 24th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. People have forgotten about those losses to Fordham and St. Bonaventure earlier this season because they’ve been given five reasons to: wins over Duke, Georgetown, UConn, Notre Dame and Pitt, all ranked in the top 13 at the time.
FEBRUARY 28, 2011: RED STORM KEEPS RISING
After yet another win over a top-ranked team -- this one a decisive 81-68 win on the road at No. 16 Villanova -- St. John's soared from No. 25 to No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
MARCH 10, 2011: D.J. TEARS ACL
Senior forward D.J. Kennedy tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a Big East tournament quarterfinal game against Syracuse.
MARCH 13, 2011: BACK IN THE DANCE
Steve Lavin couldn't help but smile when answering questions at the New York Athletic Club about his team's No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. After nine years away from the Big Dance, St. John's returned in Lavin's first year as coach to face No. 11 Gonzaga.
MARCH 17, 2011: DONE IN DENVER
In their first game in the NCAA Tournament, the No. 6 seed Johnnies couldn't get it done inside against 11th-seeded Gonzaga. The immediacy of the loss left the players down, but St. John's finished the year 21-12 and tied for third in the Big East, far above anyone's expectations.
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APRIL 8, 2011: LAVIN DIAGNOSED
St. John's announces coach Steve Lavin, 46, was diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer the previous fall and coached the team all season.
MARCH 6, 2012: HARKLESS TOP ROOKIE Moe Harkless earned Big East Rookie of the Year honors for the 2011-12 season with averages of 15 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. Two weeks later, he declared for the NBA draft. St. John's went 13-19 that season and failed to qualify for any postseason tournaments.
NOV. 3, 2012: LAVIN RETURNS
After missing all but four games in the 2011-12 season while recovering from prostate cancer surgery, Lavin coached the Johnnies to a a 73-55 win over Sonoma State in an exhibition game at Carnesecca Arena, his first game back on the sidelines.
MARCH 1, 2013: D'ANGELO DONE Leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison (17.8 points per game) was suspended for the rest of the season, including the postseason, by coach Steve Lavin, citing a cumulative pattern of immature behavior detrimental to the team. St. John's was 16-11 overall, 8-7 in the Big East at the time, lost its next four games, then went 1-1 in the NIT.
MARCH 12, 2013: BACK-TO-BACK ROY
JaKarr Sampson made it two straight Big East Rookie of the Year awards for St. John's, winning it the year after Maurice Harkless did. Sampson led Big East freshmen in scoring (14.9) and rebounding (6.6) as St. John's finished 17-16 overall and lost in the second round of the NIT.