As New York City moved into Phase One of its reopening on Monday, St. John’s is “optimistic” that it will not only have fans at basketball games next season, but that it will play its normal allotment of games at the Garden and be able to have its players on campus for workouts for its second summer session next month, athletic director Mike Cragg told The Post.
The second summer session is scheduled to start on July 6, and coach Mike Anderson said on Tuesday during a school-run WebEx virtual chat with former St. John’s star Bill Wennington, Cragg and Fox Sports analyst Vin Parise he was hopeful to have his players on campus soon. For that to happen, St. John’s would have to reopen. There is a possibility schools will be able to open in the state by early July with a hybrid approach – some students on campus and others taking courses online, as St. John’s has been preparing to do.
A lot of this will depend on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local government, as Cragg noted the school has yet to send out season ticket sales and renewals for next season. Villanova coach Jay Wright on Tuesday raised some eyebrows when he told reporters, “I can’t see, right now, us having fans [this upcoming season].” But Cragg feels differently, and said the hope is to have all fall athletes on campus in early August.
“We’re optimistic,” Cragg said. “We expect to have fans. And we’ll adjust depending on how many can be in attendance. But there’s no way of knowing at this point.”
As far as whether the virus will force St. John’s to play more games at Carnesecca Arena, Cragg said he still plans to play a “handful of games” at the Garden. The exact number may not be known for a while, as MSG waits on dates for the Rangers and Knicks.
“I expect we’re going to have college basketball,” Cragg said, noting college football will reveal a lot about what kind of season they have in basketball. “I am encouraged every day we’re getting to a better place.”