According to a Tweet from CBS/Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Oregon State has drawn St. John’s as their first-round opponent in the 2017 Advocare Invitational this upcoming season. The event, which will take place from November 23rd to 26th at HP Field House in Orlando, Florida, will consist of an eight-team field from around the country. Other first-round match-ups include Nebraska-UCF, West Virginia-Marist and Missouri-Long Beach State.
2017 Advocare Invitational bracket, per sources: West Virginia/Marist, Nebraska/UCF, St. John's/Oregon State, Missouri/Long Beach State.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 24, 2017
While the full official bracket (along with second-round and loser’s bracket match-ups) has yet to be released, a showdown with an up-and-down Red Storm team is a unique match-up for a Beavers team attempting to regroup from last year’s 5-27 campaign. St. John’s will be the first Big East team that Oregon State has faced off against since December of 2014, when they routed DePaul in a 90-59 victory.
The prognosis for the 2017 version of the Red Storm is that the New York school will take another step in the right direction under third-year head coach Chris Mullin and improve on last year’s 14-19 record. Headlined by a duo of freshmen guards in Shamorie Ponds (17.4 PPG) and Marcus LoVett (15.9 PPG), the Red Storm were an excitable, but largely inconsistent group last season. While St. John’s endured some head-scratching defeats to the likes of Old Dominion, Delaware State and LIU-Brooklyn during the 2016-2017 season, they also garnered some eye-opening victories over Syracuse (by 33 points), Butler and Seton Hall. It’s safe to say consistency will be among both the Johnnies and the Beavers main priority in 2017-2018.
As for the rest of the field, West Virginia is the projected favorite to win the event, followed by Missouri, who will have a completely rebuilt roster under first-year head coach Cuonzo Martin. The sleeper team in the field is UCF, who is figuring to become a bigger factor in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) under second-year head coach Johnny Dawkins. The Knights finished 24-12 overall a season ago and made it to the semi-finals of the post-season NIT.
St. John’s is now the Beavers fourth known non-conference foe for the 2017-2018 campaign, along with Saint Louis, Southern Utah and Wyoming.