St. John's faces the #6 ranked Georgetown Hoyas tomorrow at 7.00 pm ET at Madison Square Garden.
Low on time, energy, and I am getting to know my new computer... so this will be short, and more will be added tomorrow. You should read Johnny Jungle's preview of the game at Calm Before the Storm.
St. John's plays the last of the very tough games tomorrow, and have a 4 game stretch where they might be competitive-- against Cincy, Providence, Rutgers, and South Florida. I'm sure the fans for all of those teams say the same thing about playing against St. John's.
Meanwhile, Hoya fans should be excited; their team is winning most of its games and are an excellent offensive and defensive team. And yet... there is the feeling that the Hoyas could lose to anyone on any night. The team obviously centers around 7'2" Roy Hibbert. DaJuan Summers has been fantastic, defending and scoring well from the power forward position, and blocking shots and stealing the ball. Summers might be injured, and the son of New York's favorite center, Patrick Ewing Jr, would take his place.
Though he doesn't get to the free-throw line very much, Austin Freeman has been spectacular on offense, hitting 70% of his 2-point shots and 40% of his threes. Jessie Sapp The team's relative weak point is at the point guard position, where Jonathan Wallace continues to be a steady hand, with Jeremiah Rivers as his backup. Jerry Rivers? Doc Rivers' son has the same name as Geraldo Rivera's rumored original name (the rumor is apparently false)?
The stats for anyone on this team might seem underwhelming; but the Hoyas play at one of the most controlled paces in the nation.
Keys to the Game:
Stop Turning the Ball Over. Point blank. This team has to find a way to not have their dribbles and catches interrupted by flailing hands, poorly placed passes, overexuberance to make a play, or my the thin air. Those turnovers disrupt the defense, lose the home crowd (which will be half Georgetown Hoya anyway) and eliminate any offensive confidence.
Like Being at the Bunny Ranch with a Fistful of Twenties... There's nothing to lose now. Someone else has to score. Kennedy has to take those open shots. And if hes not, Paris Horne is also a capable defender... I would not be surprised to see Coach Roberts taking Horne off the bench for a spell. The again, the score will be on the lower side, if Georgetown isn't careful, and Kennedy is better for a lower scoring game with his hustle. But one day Mason's shot won't be falling, and this team might score in the 30's. In the games that the Hoyas lost, they gave up many attempts from the foul line; St. John's has to move to the basket and get the Hoyas out of position, and draw some fouls. And hit those shots.
Hold the Line. The interior defense has to hold their places. Defend the hoop. Make them take jump shots. The perimeter players can't give their men open looks.