NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The city’s professional basketball teams leave a lot to be desired, but on the college hardwood, St. John’s is once again making people believe.
Off to their best start since 1985-86, the Red Storm (11-1) climbed two more spots in the AP Top 25 poll on Monday, slotting in at No. 15, their highest ranking since Feb. 28, 2011, during head coach Steve Lavin’s first season.
With the Knicks and Nets a combined 18-44 this season, St. John’s has seized the city’s basketball spotlight, winning seven straight since entering the poll on Dec. 8.
Sir’Dominic Pointer set the pace last week, averaging 17.5 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 steals in a pair of double-digit victories over Long Beach State and Tulane. For the season, the senior guard/forward is averaging 11.5 points and 7.6 boards.
D’Angelo Harrison continues to lead the Red Storm in scoring, averaging 19 points per game. The senior guard scored 21 in 27 minutes during the 82-57 rout of Tulane on Sunday.
With its early non-conference schedule now complete, and with just a six-point loss to No. 7-ranked Gonzaga as its lone blemish, St. John’s will next embark on the opening games of Big East play. The Red Storm will take on Seton Hall on Wednesday at Prudential Center, followed by a game at Carnesecca Arena against Butler on Saturday.
Kentucky remained the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation. The Wildcats (13-0) got all 65 first-place votes Monday, marking the fourth week in a row they were No. 1 on every ballot cast. They have been the top team for all eight polls this season.
Duke (10-0), which was idle last week, remained second. Virginia (11-0) was third and Wisconsin (12-1) fourth. Both are up two spots from last week.
Louisville (11-1) slipped one spot to fifth after its 58-50 home loss Saturday to Kentucky, ahead of Villanova (12-0).
Arizona (12-1), after a 71-67 loss to UNLV, dropped five spots from third to eighth.
Georgetown (8-3) was the only poll newcomer at No. 25, replacing still-undefeated TCU.
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