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Game Thread: St. John's vs. Villanova

The Johnnies will host one of the top teams in the nation at MSG.

By: Wendell Cruz
By: Wendell Cruz

St. John's vs. Villanova

When: Sunday, January 31, 2015 at 12 p.m.

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

How to Watch: FOX

How to Listen: 970 WNYM

With Rawle Alkins, Shamorie Ponds and nine other recruits expected to be in attendance, St. John's will look to snap their 11-game losing streak and win their first game in the Big East against the 6th ranked Villanova Wildcats. The Red Storm are coming off a rough outing in Newark versus the Seton Hall Pirates, as they were dominated on the boards and out-classed on both ends of the floor in the second half.

If the Johnnies have any shot of pulling off an upset, they will have to produce from behind the arc, improve their shot selection and re-create the magic they had earlier in the season at 'The Mecca' when they knocked off the Syracuse Orange.

The Wildcats are the fourth best scoring team and have the top ranked defense (giving up only 61.7 points per game) in the Big East. They have beaten their opponents by an average of 13.9 points and won 22 straight conference games before Providence shocked Jay Wright's squad at the Wells Fargo Center last week.

As usual, the Wildcats will bring a premier backcourt to New York that includes steady senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, freshman Jalen Brunson and one of the most improved players in America, Josh Hart. Villanova doesn't have great interior depth and without Daniel Ochefu (who is out with a concussion), the Johnnies will have to attack the paint consistently.

How will Kassoum Yakwe play with Ochefu inactive?

Can Federico Mussini, Durand Johnson and Ron Mvouika get the Johnnies out to a quick start on the perimeter?

Will the Wildcats pressure the Johnnies' guards to create turnovers?

Pre-game reading:

Game Preview: St. John's vs. Villanova

St. John's vs. Villanova: A big day for recruiting