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Open Game Thread: St. John's vs. Syracuse

The Johnnies look to make it three wins in a row in a rivalry game at the Garden.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

St. John's vs. Syracuse

When: December 13, 2015 12 p.m. ET

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Where to Watch: FOX Sports 1

How to Listen: 570 WMCA

Chris Mullin will receive his first sniff of the Syracuse-St. John's rivalry as head coach on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. The Johnnies are coming off two straight wins against St. Francis Brooklyn and Niagara, but this is a step up in competition with the Orange looking like a solid contender in the ACC.

Federico Mussini, who is averaging a team best 14 points per game along with 3.4 turnovers, will need to take care of the ball versus Syracuse's length and aggressive traps out of their steady zone defense. If the Johnnies are going to have a shot to pull off the upset, their ball movement, three-point shooting and ability to maintain control of the ball will be key. Durand Johnson will have to find his groove while Yankuba Sima and Kassoum Yakwe must protect the rim, alter shots defensively and keep Michael Gbinije out of the lane.

Keep an eye on Felix Balamou in this game as he has shown that he can attack the rim more effectively this season, especially in transition. Creating some turnovers, finishing at the basket in transition and playing with energy could keep this game closer than expected.

Will Malik Ellison (foot) play?

How do the Johnnies handle an all-around great player in Gbinije?

Both teams struggle on the glass and don't have a ton of depth but will Mullin's squad be able to limit the three's from 'Cuse?

Pre-game reading:

St. John's vs. Syracuse: Q&A with Michael Burke of Nunes Magician