St. John Preview
Date: Thursday, November 16th
Time: 5:30 pm CST
Mascot: Red Storm (or Johnnies, depending on who you ask)
Coach: Chris Mullen (3rd year)
2016-17 record: 14-19 (7-11 Big East)
2017-18 record: 2-0
St. John had rough second year under former Red Storm alumni and NBA great Chris Mullen. They finished 8th in the Big East and made it to the quarterfinals in the conference tournament.
While their record did not show it, they did have some pretty decent wins against some tricky opponents. They took down Syracuse in the Carrier Dome early on. They then followed up that performance with a nice win against then #13 Butler back home. Through the rest of the season they traded blows with many titans of the Big East and did pull victories against Marquette, Seaton Hall, and Providence.
While it was a lack luster season, Chris Mullen’s team did show enough growth over the off season to bring hope back to this squad.
St. John is looking up this year. Even with the loss of a few decent contributors from last year they should show improvement. Right now they are sitting at 2-0 with heavy wins over University of New Orleans (77-61) and Central Connecticut (80-55). Both were strong wins and help show that St. Johns has the ability to score and distribute the ball well. As of now there are a total of five players on the squad that are averaging double digits.
Red Storm are a good team, yet small in stature. The tallest being Tariq Owens who is 6’11” any only 205lbs. He is averaging 5 ppg so far this season and has mainly seen action off the bench. The tallest starters are Bashir Ahmed and Marvin Clark III. Both of who top out at 6’7”.
Back this year are leading scorers Shamori Ponds and Marcus LoVett.
Shamori averaged 17.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, and 3.1 apg. The sophomore guard is still producing this year for the Red Storm and is at 16.5 rpg, an amazing 8 rpg, and 5 apg. those 8 rebounds are quite impressive for a player at his position. The Huskers will have to keep him on check if they want to stay competitive in this game.
Marcus averaged 15.9 pgg and 3.8 apg last season. This year he is still already above that level of production with 19 ppg and 3.5 apg.
Chris Mullen’s team is still young with talent and seems to be in the middle of development. The lack of size and ability to get in to foul trouble makes me think that the Huskers can pull this one off. However, they do well in scoring production which makes me think that Nebraska could get in trouble if a scoring drought occurs.
However, they did get beat by Rutgers in the preseason so let’s go with Nebraska 63 St. John 60.
Also, check out the podcast interview I did with www.rubleinthegarden.com. We cover all the above along with some other tidbits you may not have known about the Red Storm.