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Big East Media Day: Mullin and St. John’s Not Worried About Preseason Predictions reporter Kayla Machlica talks with Ron Mvouika at Big East Media Day. (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media) reporter Kayla Machlica talks with Ron Mvouika at Big East Media Day. (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)


On Wednesday, select team members from each of the 10 men’s basketball teams in the Big East Conference, their coaches, and Big East representatives and heads gathered with a plethora of media at Madison Square Garden for the 2015-16 Big East Media Day.

The morning started off with a warm welcome from Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman to each team and coach. She specifically recognized Coach Chris Mullin for being the new head coach of the Johnnies, returning to St. John’s, quickly naming his accomplishments, including being a hall of famer and being part of the original “Dream Team”. She also went to mention a new award that was brought upon last year, called the Presidential Award, revolving around the Big East School that excels in sports, academics, and service, which was named to Villanova last year. Ackerman also mentioned how there will be thirty-five new rule changes in the NCAA and named the list of the preseason predictions for each team, putting St. John’s in dead last, tenth.

Graduate transfers, Durand Johnson and Ron Mvouika, and senior Felix Balamou, accompanied by Coach Mullin, were ready to battle the many questions of the media regarding their number 10 spot, the brand new team, and expectations for the season. Mullin began to explain, when asked about being 10th, how the poll and the last place spot would not alter his practice plan today or tomorrow. He believed his vision for the program was a work in progress. Coach Mullin said how he doesn’t care what the Big East coaches think and how it doesn’t motivate them.

“No offense but I never really paid attention to preseason stuff and frankly, it really wouldn’t matter what we’re going to do tomorrow in practice,” said Mullin.  “And that’s really where we’re at, rebuilding and having nine new guys.”

Coach Mullin was also asked how it felt to move back to New York City after being in the Bay Area for 30 years. He explained how he always maintained a residence in New York and how the people in California always told him how he never lost his accent. Mullin went on to say how the move was hard for him and his family, because he was going home, they weren’t, but for the basketball aspect, it wasn’t hard.

When asked about how him and the team were going to fill the shoes of former Johnnies, Ron Mvouika explained, “I don’t really plan to fill no shoes. You know we’re going to come here with brand new shoes and try to do our thing.”

After having multiple coaches and teams create a huge success for the Red Storm over the years, Ron, Mullin, and the rest of the team have no intentions on filling anyone’s shoes, but using their own to do their own thing, while continuing to make history.

“We’re just going to try to pick it up where they left it but OUR way OUR style,” Ron continued. “It’s two different teams, two different coaching staffs and every things different but like I said, we’re going to pick up where they left off.”

Coach Mullin’s first season being the head coach of St. John’s officially begins on Nov. 13 as the Red Storm opens a 31-game regular season schedule against Wagner College at Carnesecca Arena.

The Big East Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll, including first-place votes in parentheses and points:

  1. Villanova (9), 81
  2. Georgetown (1), 70
  3. Butler, 67
  4. Xavier, 55
  5. Providence, 45
  6. Marquette, 44
  7. Seton Hall, 27
  8. DePaul, 25
  9. Creighton, 23
  10. St. John’s, 13

Providence PG Kris Dunn was named preseason player of the year, and Villanova guard Jalen Brunson was named preseason rookie of the year.

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