St. John’s vs. Pittsburgh and Seton Hall vs. Iona to headline the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden

August 31, 2021

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Red Storm of St. John’s and the Panthers of Pittsburgh will meet in the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 18 with Seton Hall facing Iona in the other game of the doubleheader. Monmouth and Colgate complete the field.

Ticket information, television networks, and tip times for the Gotham Classic will be announced at a later date.

For further information about the Gotham Classic, visit gothamclassic.com and follow us on social media @GothamClassic.

The complete schedule for the event is as follows:


Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
December 18
Seton Hall vs. Iona
St. John’s vs. Pittsburgh


Thursday, December 9
Colgate at Pittsburgh
Monmouth at St. John’s

Sunday, December 12
Monmouth at Pittsburgh
Colgate at St. John’s

Sunday, December 19
Colgate at Monmouth

St. John’s (Head Coach: Mike Anderson, Big East Conference) – Reigning BIG EAST Coach of the Year Mike Anderson returns the top two scorers from a team that went 16-11 and finished fourth in the conference last season. Julian Champagnie, the leading scorer in the conference and an All-BIG EAST First Teamer, will lead the Red Storm after testing the NBA Draft waters this offseason. Posh Alexander, the reigning BIG EAST Defensive Player and Freshman of the Year, will look to build upon a rookie campaign that saw him become just the third player in league history to win both awards simultaneously.

Pittsburgh (Head Coach: Jeff Capel, Atlantic Coast Conference) – Pitt returns the backcourt trio of Ithiel Horton (8.9 ppg. – 43 3FG), Nike Sibande (6.9 ppg. – .436 3FG PCT) and Femi Odukale (6.6 ppg., 2.5 rpg., 2.2 apg.) for the 2021-22 season, head coach Jeff Capel’s fourth at the helm of the Panther program. Horton finished last season as a top ACC three point threat, registering 10 double-digit scoring games and nine games with three or more three-pointers made, while Odukale and Sibande finished strong combining to average 28.6 points per game over the final five contests of the season. Also returning to the squad is promising forward John Hugley (5.1 ppg. – 4.3 rpg.), who provides size and strength down low. The Panthers add five newcomers to the squad, including transfers Mouhamadou Gueye, Jamarius Burton, Dan Oladapo. Gueye, the reigning America East’s Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 8.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in two seasons at Stony Brook. Oladapo averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game at Oakland, while Burton provides versatility and leadership to the team after averaging 7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists over 90 career games (56 starts) at Wichita State and Texas Tech.

Seton Hall (Head Coach: Kevin Willard, Big East Conference) – Under 12th year head coach Kevin Willard, Seton Hall has become a perennial contender in the ultra-competitive BIG EAST Conference, which has accumulated 36 NCAA Tournament bids and two national championships since its rebirth in 2013-14. The Pirates are one of only two teams in the BIG EAST to win a regular season and conference tournament title in the conference’s current structure, and they are coming off their sixth straight top-four finish in the league that includes winning the 2016 tournament championship and 2020 regular season title. Looking ahead to 2021-22, the Pirates return four of their top six scorers from last season, add three transfers who have combined for over 1,400 career Div. I points scored and bring in a top-25 rated freshman recruiting class that will help Seton Hall once again compete for another conference championship and NCAA Tournament bid.

Iona (Head Coach: Rick Pitino, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) – Second-year Naismith Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino leads the Iona Gaels with high expectations for the 2021-22 season. Seniors Berrick JeanLouis and Dylan van Eyck and sophomores Nelly Junior Joseph and Ryan Myers headline the Maroon & Gold’s talent group of returners as the team looks to defend its MAAC Championship for the sixth time in March. Three high-major transfers look to make an immediate impact in the program’s success with grad students Elijah Joiner (Tulsa) and Tyson Jolly (SMU) and junior Quinn Slazinski (Louisville) joining the Gaels for the upcoming season. Iona played only 13 games in the regular season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but won four games in five nights at the MAAC Championship to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight time.

Monmouth (Head Coach: King Rice, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) – Coming off a MAAC regular season championship, Monmouth returns 10 letterwinners from a season ago, including All-MAAC selection George Papas. The Hawks have also added on, with three freshmen joining the program alongside a pair of impact transfers. After starting every game for Seton Hall last season, Shavar Reynolds joins the fold alongside North Carolina grad transfer Walker Miller, who played four seasons in the ACC for the Tar Heels. King Rice enters his 11th season on the MU sidelines, with three regular season crowns and 161 wins to his credit. Myles Ruth is back at the point guard spot after starting 14 times as a true freshman, while Nikkei Rutty enters his senior season after shooting 44% a year ago.

Colgate (Head Coach: Matt Langel, Patriot League) – Colgate returns four starters in 2021-22: Nelly Cummings, Tucker Richardson, Ryan Moffatt, and Keegan Records. Fifth-year Jack Ferguson returns as the leading scorer after averaging 12.5 points last season and shooting over 50% from the three-point line. Cummings is coming off Second Team All-Patriot League honors and is the only player voted first or second team returning this year. Richardson, the 2018-19 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, was voted Third Team All-League and has started since his freshman year. Records and Jeff Woodward are also key returning players this season as the rising junior and sophomore combined to average more than 11 rebounds per game last year. The roster for the upcoming season of 14 will include five seniors and one graduate student, making for a championship-experienced team. The Raiders have also played in a Patriot League record setting four straight championship games under 11th-year head coach Matt Langel.

About the Gazelle Group
The Gotham Classic is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized events, such as the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire, the Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper, the Sunshine Slam, the Abe Lemons Classic, the Duke Veterans Day Weekend Showcase, the inaugural Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off, and the College Basketball Invitational. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit gazellegroup.com.

About Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) is a leader in live entertainment. The Company presents or hosts a broad array of events in its diverse collection of venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. MSG Entertainment is also building a new state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian. In addition, the Company features the original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces the Boston Calling Music Festival. The Company’s two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network and MSG+, deliver a wide range of live sports content and other programming. Also under the MSG Entertainment umbrella is Tao Group Hospitality, with entertainment dining and nightlife brands including: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Beauty & Essex, Cathédrale, Hakkasan and Omnia. More information is available at www.msgentertainment.com.

About the Northeast Conference
The Northeast Conference (NEC) is the sponsoring conference of the Empire Classic. Now in its 41st season, the NEC is a NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout seven states. For more information on the NEC, visit the official website at www.northeastconference.org or follow on Twitter @NECsports.

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