Red Storm Back Among The Nation's Elite For The First Time Since March Of 2011

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It has been a while, but they’re back.

On the strength of their decisive win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, St. John’s has jumped back into the AP Top 25 poll for the first time since 2011, settling in at No. 24 on Monday.

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“To receive a national ranking is certainly a benchmark for this team and program. This is evidence that the hard work is paying off,” head coach Steve Lavin told, the school’s official athletics website. “This group of seniors has made steady and measurable progress each year, both on the court and in the classroom. Our senior leaders have an outstanding work ethic and are determined to take the next step with a deserving finish in the postseason. We have a daunting remaining schedule and realize improvement in all facets of the game is necessary, but I sense the team is looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

St. John’s was last ranked in the AP Top 25 on March 14, 2011, holding the No. 18 spot. The program went on to make its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002.

The Red Storm (6-1) are off to an impressive start thanks to balanced scoring and solid defense. St. John’s has four players averaging in double figures on offense, led by D’Angelo Harrison, the reigning Big East Conference Player of the Week.

Harrison is averaging 18.4 points and 8.1 rebounds. The senior guard scored a game-high 24 points in the 69-57 win over Syracuse, the Red Storm’s first victory at the Carrier Dome in 15 years.

St. John’s went 2-0 last week, including a 70-57 victory over Niagara last Tuesday. Over the two games, Harrison shot 48 percent (12-of-25) from the field, 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from 3-point range and 91.7 percent (11-of-12) from the free-throw line.

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Sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan is second on the team in scoring, averaging 15.3 points, followed by senior guard Phil Greene IV and Sir’Dominic Pointer, who are averaging 11.7 and 10.4 points, respectively.

Junior forward/center Chris Obekpa has been a force at both ends of the court, averaging a team-high 9.6 rebounds and amassing a total of 27 blocked shots.

The Red Storm defense has been impressive in the early going, allowing just 62.9 points per game on 36.6 percent shooting from the field.

St. John’s will look to continue its hot start Wednesday against visiting Fairleigh Dickinson and then will take on Fordham on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

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