St. John’s is back in action, this time hosting the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut.
Last Friday, the Johnnies downed New Orleans in an unimpressive first victory. However, fans should not lose hope. This team continues to work towards becoming one cohesive and sound unit.
“Togetherness,” said Marcus LoVett when asked about this teams differences from previous. “We are more together than anything, honestly. These guys bring so much energy to our team that we can all build from. So, we just have to keep building, staying strong in practice, and listening to what our coaches have to say.”
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (1-0) vs. Central Connecticut Blue Devils (0-2)
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY
When: Tuesday, November 14th, 6:30 PM ET
TV: FS2 or Fox Sports Go
Audio: St. John’s website will provide free audio for the season opener. That stream can be found by clicking here.
Tickets: You can secure a seat for as low as $3 by clicking here.
Last Meeting: These two last did battle in November of 1990. In that contest, St. John’s scored a program record 135 points.
Scouting Central Connecticut
The Blue Devils have had a bit of an odd season so far. According to the Hartford Courant, Central’s head coach and UConn star Donyell Marshall remains ‘on leave.' Per the Courant, Marshall and one assistant have been under investigation by the school. In the absence of their head coach, the Blue Devils have lost to Hartford and Rutgers by a combined five points.
Central Connecticut’s close losses do not adequately indicate how poorly they have played so far.
Offensively, they have had issues limiting turnovers. So far this season, about 24% of their possessions have ended in a turnover. Additionally, the Blue Devils have struggled to take good shots. Almost 13% of their shots have been blocked this year. Also, they have failed to get to the foul line efficiently. Only about 15% of their points come from the charity stripe. On top of that, the team has collectively shot a paltry 61% on their foul shots.
While the team has struggled offensively, junior wing option Tyler Kohl has thrived. After two games he is averaging 22 points while shooting 46% from the field and 43% from deep.
Defensively, the Blue Devils have unsuccessfully forced turnovers. Only 15% of opponents possessions have been a turnover, which is relatively low. Furthermore, Central Connecticut blocks only 7% of opposing shots, another small figure. This provides the Red Storm an opportunity to tuneup their frontcourt before more significant contests.
Keys to the contest
Rebound: The Johnnies were manhandled on the glass by New Orleans. The Privateers had no player over 6-foot-9, and they outrebounded St. John’s by fifteen. The Red Storm will have to improve upon that if they hope to sustain success.
Keep Clark going: Forward Marvin Clark proved to be a useful threat against New Orleans. He finished with 15 points, three rebounds, and two assists. If he can remain a versatile scoring threat in the Johnnies frontcourt, the St. John’s offense can produce at a higher level.
Shot the three: The Johnnies hurled up 30 three-point shots last time out. They converted upon 12 of those, adding up to a 40% conversion rate from deep. The Red Storm have to keep spacing the floor by proving to be a three-point shooting threat.
While the Red Storm did not look incredible against New Orleans, I still believe they are a far superior opponent in this matchup. I would anticipate a sound Johnnies victory.
St. John’s: 95
Central Connecticut: 78
KenPom: 99% chance of victory for St. John’s