St. John's vs. Creighton
When: Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 2:15 p.m. ET
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Jamaica, New York
How to Watch: FOX Sports 1
How to Listen: 970 WNYM
Chris Mullin and the Red Storm finished up their non-conference schedule with a three-game losing streak against the likes of Incarnate Word, NJIT and South Carolina. The match-ups don't get any easier from here on out as the Johnnies will begin Big East play against Greg McDermott and the Creighton Blue Jays on New Year's Eve.
Creighton (9-4) comes into Thursday's game ranked fifth in the nation in points per game (87.4) as they use a balanced attack led by Boston University transfer Maurice Watson. Watson leads the team in both points (12.5 per game) and assists (6.4 per game) while Geoffrey Groselle manages the paint, shooting 73 percent from the field. The Blue Jays have been tested in the opening two months but have yet to manage a "quality" win after playing Oklahoma, Arizona State and Indiana.
If the Johnnies are going to score with the Blue Jays, they must distribute ball successfully, get out in transition, knock down threes and limit turnovers. Federico Mussini leads the Red Storm with just 2.7 assists per game and commits over three giveaways per outing.
On the plus side, according to the New York Post, Felix Balamou (foot) is expected to return.
Also, according to Zach Braziller and Adam Zagoria, five-star big man Thon Maker and 2017 prospect Hamidou Diallo are scheduled to visit and attend the game on Thursday.
This is a whole different level of play so how will the freshman deal with their first Big East game?
Can the Johnnies get to the free throw line and take advantage of an inconsistent Creighton defense?
How much of an impact will Balamou have off the bench?
Will the Johnnies have any shot of stopping Creighton's three point shooters?