St. John's suspends Chris Obekpa

NEW YORK -- St. John's sophomore center Chris Obekpa has been suspended for the Red Storm's two exhibition games, plus their season tip-off event Friday night, for an unspecified violation of university policy.

Obekpa, who led the nation in blocks per game as a freshman (4.03), still will be allowed to practice with the team, and is expected to be reinstated for their regular-season opener against Wisconsin on Nov. 8.

"We expect our student-athletes to conduct themselves in a responsible manner in representing St. John's University," coach Steve Lavin said in a statement released by the school. "Chris understands this suspension can serve as a learning experience."

Obekpa, who also averaged 3.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 26 minutes per game last season, may not miss any regular-season games. But this is still an inauspicious beginning to Year 4 of Lavin's tenure at St. John's – a critical juncture, with the Red Storm missing the NCAA tournament the past two seasons.

Year 3 ended with leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison suspended by Lavin for the final six games of the season for conduct detrimental to the team. Harrison has been reinstated to the squad this year.