St. John's trips up to Hartford to try and knock off the UConn Huskies on New Year's Eve. It's an early tip for all of us, so grab your coffee and let's talk about the team.
The Red Storm may have won two in a row against Connecticut, but the last decade has been an unforgettable parade of beatings by the Huskies. Taking back New York isn't a one-year thing; the Red Storm need to defeat the local programs regularly.
What can a confident Red Storm roster do against the Huskies this afternoon?
See also: Game 13: St. John's at Connecticut (game preview/ keys/ predictions) | 5 questions with the U Conn Blog (the Rumble's responses to their questions) | D'Angelo Harrison beginning to find his on-court swagger
News/ notes/ what to watch for:
Roscoe Smith may be out for the Huskies with a sore wrist. Shabazz Napier has a sprained left foot, and may log fewer minutes; Chicago freshman Ryan Boatright would take some of his minutes. Boatright's style is similar - a quick guard who can generate points in a hurry.
How will St. John's do on the glass? The Huskies are a great offensive rebounding team; even if their shooters are defended well, their forwards will get putback buckets. On the other end, they're vulnerable; the Huskies don't always box out. Sir`Dominic Pointer and Amir Garrett could have second-chance opportunities.
Can St. John's stay in control of the game defensively? Jeremy Lamb is a load to defend. And the Huskies can run off of mistakes.
Will D`Angelo Harrison and Maurice Harkless maintain their offensive performances? As mentioned in the game preview, Connecticut is far better on defense than the Friars are/ were.
Predictions? Early comments?