The St. John's Red Storm (7-3) will seek to continue their strong play when they open their Carnesecca Arena doors to welcome the Penguins of Youngstown State (8-5) on Saturday afternoon.
In the last home game before the holidays kick off, St. John's will be paying tribute to Lou Carnesecca, the all-time winningest coach in school history, with the fourth "Ugly Sweater Day." The Penguins and Red Storm have only met once in their respective histories - St. John's won 75-65 in 1986.
Tip off is scheduled for a 2 PM start and can be viewed on Fox Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher and Tarik Turner calling the action.
St. John's: 'Resiliency' and Harrison's Quest for the Record
After coming off a tough loss against #2 Syracuse, St. John's played a very solid game against San Francisco, where the Red Storm won 81-57. They started out the game with intensity on both sides of the floor which gave them a double digit lead heading into intermission. They continued that quality of play and ran away with the game.
Wednesday's win was impressive in its own right. Yet possibly even more impressive was the Johnnies' ability to show resilience and excel following the emotional loss to Syracuse three days earlier. Steve Lavin said: "The hangover from an emotional loss like the one we had against Syracuse can sometimes end up beating you twice." From top to bottom and freshman Rysheed Jordan's newly found confidence, the Johnnies did that and will look to do it in tomorrow's matinee as well.
This game tomorrow, will likely be a memorable one for junior guard D`Angelo Harrison. The Missouri City, Texas native tied Willie Shaw for St. John's school record for three point field goals made (151) on Wednesday, and will likely rewrite the record books tomorrow.
"St. John's has a lot of history. A lot of great players," Harrison said. "It feels good to be recognized as just one of them." Knowing D'Angelo's new demeanor on the court, this likely won't be a distraction for him and his teammates.
Scouting Youngstown State
Youngstown State can flat out score. The numbers show it, and it has the St. John's coaching staff's attention. The Penguins are averaging just a little over 81 points a game, which is in the top 40 for all of college basketball.
First year assistant Jim Whitesell, as seen in his pregame video posted by St. John's Athletics, is focused on the backcourt of Youngstown State, mainly Kendrick Perry. The senior guard from Ocoee, FL was voted preseason Horizon League Player of the Year, and has backed up that honor with exceptional numbers in the early going. In the last five games he is averaging just under 28 points and can score in any way.
"[Perry is] really played well. He’s very quick, very elusive and we’ll have our hands full there," Whitesell said. If the Johnnies open up in a man-to-man set, look for Rysheed Jordan or possibly junior Sir`Dominic Pointer to guard Perry because of their length and quickness.
It is important for St. John's to realize the significance of the upcoming games before the New Year. Before the Red Storm meets Xavier on December 31st, Lavin's team cannot afford "bad marks" on their tournament resume. St. John's will take care of business tomorrow afternoon.
St. John's 83, Youngstown State 67
- From the Time Machine: St. John's 'Ugly Sweater Night'
- St. John's vs. San Francisco final score: Jordan's confidence grows, Johnnies handle USF, 81-57
- St. John's looks to bounce back vs San Francisco
- The curious case of Cody Doolin's departure
- Highly-regarded freshman Rysheed Jordan finding a steady path