ST. JOHN’S RYSHEED JORDAN BACK FOR VILLANOVA GAME TONIGHT

By Harry Allison

After suffering its first loss of the season to Seton Hall last Saturday, Villanova plays another tough New York area team, St. John’s, tonight at 9 pm at Madison Square Garden.

And their attempt to win their 14th game will be that much tougher because Philly’s Rysheed Jordan has returned to Red Storm and will play tonight.

Jordan, a 6-foot-4 sophomore who starred at Vaux High School, returned to practice Monday for the Red Storm (11-3) after taking a leave of absence. A news release said Jordan went home to be with family after the death of his grandmother, Roslyn “Bootsie” Walker.

“He’s got a good group of people here that care about him,” St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said Monday. “Sometimes the best remedy for a heavy heart is getting back to doing the thing you love and to be with people that care.”

Jordan missed Saturday’s 73-69 home loss against Butler to be with his family in Philly after the death of his grandmother, the school said in a statement on Monday.

“Rysheed has returned from his home after going through a challenging week,” St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said in a statement. “He will practice with the team today and suit up tomorrow for our game with Villanova.”

No. 24 St. John’s is 11-3 and has lost two straight games. Jordan began the season in the starting lineup but was coming off the bench as Jamal Branch had moved into the starting lineup.

Jordan ranks sixth in the Big East in scoring. He scored a career-high 24 points against Fordham on Dec. 14 at Madison Square Garden. He also ranks fourth in the Big East with 2.1 steals per game.

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