After St. John's biggest win of the season Sunday afternoon against Syracuse, they returned to action Friday night at Carnesecca Arena against the Incarnate Word Cardinals. The Cardinals handled the Red Storm 73-51. Chris Mullin and company have to move on quickly from this loss because they are next in action Sunday at home. The game tips off at noon against NJIT. Here are three takeaways from Friday night's game.
Less than a week after St. John's signature win, they lost to an Incarnate Word team that has only been in Division I for three years. It seems inconceivable that a team could defeat a once Top 15 team in the nation, and then a few days later fall, to a Division I newcomer.
In many ways, this game signified the season St. John's is having so far. Chris Mullin's squad opened the preseason losing to a Division II team and then rebounded to win its first three regular season contests. Also, the scoring is inconsistent. St. John's four times this season has scored 60 points or fewer, but has also scored 100 and 84 points in recent contests. Those offensive outbursts have been coupled with a 48-point showing against Niagara on Dec. 9.
Fox Sports 1 did a nice job of going inside the huddle during the game with Mulling. About midway through the first half during a media timeout, Mullin implored his team to "wake up." The former All-American has to teach his young team to not take days off and underestimate any opponent.
One of the keys for the Johnnies coming into the season was rebounding. Friday it reared its ugly head again.
St. John's was out rebounded by Incarnate Word 33-30. The Southland Conference team's biggest player,who played significant minutes, is 6-foot-7. Theoretically, St. John's should have dominated the boards because of their size advantage. Incarnate Word's leading rebounder was Kyle Hittle, who stands at 6-5.
However, this fits into the inconsistent play. On Sunday against their old Big East rival, Mullin's team dominated the glass 50-36. As heard on the broadcast, the coaches wanted the players to up their effort against Incarnate Word and rebounding is all about which team wants it more.
Bright Spot: Durand Johnson
The graduate transfer from Pittsburgh is really coming on for the Johnnies. He has back-to-back 15-point games. In both contests, he's recorded 7 and 6 rebounds, respectively.
The Baltimore native has yet to post a double-double yet this season. However, he has been all over the stat sheet. Last night, Johnson had 3 assists and 2 steals to go along with his 15 points and 6 rebounds. In the Syracuse game, he chipped in 4 assists and 1 steal to go along with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Johnson will become more important as the season progresses. He is one of only two seniors on this St. John's roster. He'll have to provide leadership and stability for a young team looking to become more consistent.