• WELCOME HOME: St. John's fans will get their first glimpse at several new players added to the roster since last season. That list is headlined by 6-foot-8 freshman forward JaKarr Sampson (who will wear No. 14), 6-foot-9 freshman center Chris Obekpa (No. 12) and 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Jamal Branch (No. 0). All three were ESPN Top 100 recruits -- Branch will be eligible in December, after transferring from Texas A&M midseason a year ago.
Also keep an eye on 6-foot-9 junior forward Orlando Sanchez (No. 33), a JUCO All-American who could be a key contributor right away. St. John's will certainly have more size than it did a year ago.
• POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: Both Lavin and new women's coach Joe Tartamella are expected to address the crowd. Both teams will be introduced, and the men's squad will participate in a dunk contest. Hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang will perform, and the even will be hosted by ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor John Anderson.