Rysheed Jordan may miss Xavier game

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
7:57
PM ET
Update: Rysheed Jordan will play, but will come off the bench.

NEW YORK -- St. John's guard Rysheed Jordan may not play Tuesday against Xavier due to the death of a close female relative.

Jordan was home in Philadelphia on Monday to attend the wake, and was expected to return to New York on Monday night.

"I'll get together with Rysheed and approach the situation in an appropriate manner based on how he is navigating through this emotional minefield," St. John's coach Steve Lavin said. "It's difficult to speculate how a person is going to respond to losing someone they are so close to."

The Philadelphia Daily News reported that a murder-suicide took place in North Philadelphia on Saturday -- a 30-year-old female victim was shot by her 40-year-old husband, who then turned the gun on himself. A brawl then broke out outside the house where the bodies were discovered, and video footage from the local ABC affiliate shows several participants in St. John's clothing, including one person wearing Jordan's No. 23.

All this took place as Jordan was playing in his first college game in his hometown, scoring 13 points in St. John's 57-54 loss to Villanova on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

Jordan, the preseason Big East Rookie of the Year, is St. John's third-leading scorer (8.9 ppg), leading assist man (3.1 apg) and has been a key part of the Red Storm's recent run of success. He has scored in double figures in six of the team's past nine games, as St. John's has won nine of 11 to get back in the NCAA tournament picture.

As of Monday, St. John's (18-10, 8-7 Big East) would be one of the Last Four In, according ESPN.com's Bracketology.

Tuesday's game is a critical one. Xavier (18-9, 8-6 Big East) is another team on the NCAA tournament bubble. The Musketeers defeated the Red Storm in Cincinnati on Dec. 31, 70-60.

St. John's forward Orlando Sanchez, who missed the Red Storm's loss at Villanova on Saturday due to the birth of his baby daughter, practiced Monday and should be available Tuesday. The same goes for center Chris Obekpa, who played against Villanova despite still recovering from a right ankle sprain and bone bruise.

"[Obekpa] looked good in practice today," Lavin said. "I wouldn't say he's at full strength, but he's at about 85 percent. His progress is encouraging."
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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