St. John's vs. Indiana
When: November 24, 2015, 2 p.m. ET
Where: Maui Invitational, Maui, Hawaii at the Lahaina Civic Center
How to Watch: ESPN2 or WATCH ESPN
How to Listen: 970 WNYM
The Johnnies had their first major test of the season on Monday against 19th ranked Vanderbilt and while they did not perform well in the first half, Chris Mullin's team cut down the number of turnovers and found their comfort level (somewhat) in the second half. The Commodores are one of the strongest offensive teams in the nation due to their excellent ball movement, outside shooting and talent in the paint so it was a good test for an inexperienced roster looking to develop as the season progresses.
While Federico Mussini (14 points on 5-of-13 shooting) struggled to get his shot off from the perimeter, he showed toughness, attacking the rim and finishing in the paint towards the end of the first stanza.
St. John's will be battling against another potent offensive group in the Indiana Hoosiers, who are averaging 88.5 points per game to start the new year. Tom Crean's unit is dangerous from beyond the three point line with guards Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. leading the way.
Though the Hoosiers rely heavily on the long ball, junior forward Troy Williams and freshman big man Thomas Bryant give the Hoosiers a different dimension when those threes isn't falling. Williams is the most versatile player on the roster, having the ability to play all over the floor because of his athleticism and skill level. Then there's Bryant who uses his motor to make plays on the offensive glass and has the capability to make mid-range jumpers.
The 13th ranked team in the country does have a major weakness though and it's at the defensive end of the floor. Bryant does give the Hoosiers a nice rim protector but with a style of play that is very fast pace this roster exerts a lot of their energy at the offensive end of the floor.
Keys to the Game
While St. John's is going to have a very difficult time winning this game against a hungry Indiana team, they must defend the three point line successfully and create ball movement offensively in order to keep the match-up competitive.
If the Johnnies leave their opponent free to launch beyond the arc like they did on Monday against Vanderbilt (the Commodores hit 12 threes), this could easily be another 30-point thumping. St. John's must be more disciplined defensively, close out on the shooters and get back in transition.
The Red Storm shot a brutal 13 percent from downtown against Vandy and an overall percentage of 30, failing to move the ball like they did in the second half against Rutgers and against UMBC. They don't have a player who can create offensively (LoVett would have helped in that regard) so the best way to score is by working the ball within the motion offense and using penetration to get into the teeth of the defense.