Tonight at 7 pm—St. John’s at University of Connecticut.
Ahh, Yukon, aka U Conn, aka U-Cons. The home of laptop thieves who stay in school like the departed Marcus Williams and the starting point guard AJ Price. The hated school from the cowtown of Storrs. The mean mugging spawn of Jim "Easy Schedule Like Sunday Morning" Calhoun. St. John’s travels to Gampel Arena tonight for a seemingly insurmountable Big East challenge. They are 13 point underdogs.
The other day, Andy Glockner mentioned in his twice a week podcast that sometimes, in the Big East, there’s just a bad match up team. This is one of those games. St. John’s centers had better play strong and foul free if they want a chance to pull this one out.
PG - #12 A.J. "Laptop" Price 6-2 181lbs 12.9 p/g, 6.2 a/g, 3.8 r/g
SG - #11 Jerome Dyson 6-4 190lbs 15.7 p/g, 4.5 r/g, 2.5 a/g, 36.1% 3pt
SF - #21 Stanley Robinson 6-9 200lbs 11.4 p/g, 6.1 r/g, 53.6% FT, 39.1% 3pt
PF - #4 Jeff Adrien 6-7 243lbs 13.7 p/g, 8.8 r/g
C - #34 Hasheem Thabeet 7-3 263lbs 10.6 p/g, 4.0 blk/g, 1.5 to/g
Keys to the Game:
Play the Way You Know. St. John’s will need to slow down the Huskies, who want to get out and run after every missed basket and especially after every blocked shot (that might help St. John’s too, but I’m not coaching). The Storm need to not get roped into a running game or they will lose against the long and fast Husky athletes. Lawrence and Boothe have to harass AJ Price into a poor floor game, and the team can’t be intimidated by the crowd, which will be even bigger than the Syracuse crowd at the Carrier Dome.
Rebound Like Your Life Depended on It. The Huskies aren’t a great shooting team, but they are an awesome defensive team and an awesome rebounding team. The Red Storm has to battle for every rebound, box out hard, and keep Thabeet and Dyson far from their desired position on the glass. The fewer put backs, the more offensive rebounds… St. John’s might have a chance.
Justin. Burrell needs to not have foul trouble against Adrien, and he has to prove that he can hang with this kind of physical team.