Evans will get the start versus Gonzaga

DENVER -- St. John's coach Steve Lavin said Wednesday that he plans to start Sean Evans on Thursday in his team's first-round NCAA tournament game against Gonzaga.

Evans will take the place of D.J. Kennedy, who tore the ACL in his right knee in the Big East tournament, and is lost for the rest of the season.

"Particularly because of the size of Gonzaga, I think a bigger lineup is the better way to go," Lavin said. "And we’re losing a top rebounder in D.J., so [we'll] replace him with someone who's been really active on the boards."

Evans played a season-high 36 minutes in St. John's Big East quarterfinal loss to Syracuse, after Kennedy went down less than six minutes in. And Evans finished with a double-double -- 11 points, 12 rebounds.

Evans was a starter for St. John's the past two seasons, and has been coming on strong of late, after not being in Lavin's rotation early in the season.