Against Georgetown, the St. John’s Red Storm saw a winnable game and... inexplicably lost it. The Hoyas might have won without the Red Storm mistakes, but, much like the last Creighton game, the loss was in large part because of self-inflicted wounds.
There is not enough time to read Angela Duckworth’s book, “Grit”, but the Johnnies need to maintain perseverance and optimism, to pull out a victory in the Big East.
No time like the present, with a wounded Creighton squad coming to town, one that St. John’s had on the ropes in Omaha.
All the drama of being winless in the Big East aside, St. John’s has a chance tonight. More on the game and how to watch, below.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (10-10 I 0-8 Big East) versus Creighton Bluejays (15-5 | 5-3 Big East)
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY
When: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | 8:30 PM
TV: FS1 | online
Audio: 970 AM WNYM; TuneIn Radio
Last Meeting: St. John’s collapsed down the stretch after building a ten point lead in the second half in Omaha, falling 78-71.
Since we last saw Creighton...
Last five games: W W L W L
We have written about St. John’s struggles, as has the New York Post.
Creighton has taken a major knock as well. emerging forward Martin Krampelj, who scored 14 points and took down 11 total rebounds (nine defensive) has been sidelined with a torn ACL in his left knee. (Krampelj has had torn ACLs in each knee in the past as well.)
For the Bluejays, replacing their third-leading scorer isn’t simple. Krameplj was devastating against St. John’s in the pick and roll, fast, quick, and able to play above the rim.
His replacements, Toby Hegner and Manny Suarez, bring more bulk to the court, but less quickness.
The results against Providence were mixed. The Bluejays struggled to make shots around the basket, and failed in execution late in the game, coming away with a road loss.
But the veterans on the team know what it’s like to rebound from the loss of a star player. Last year’s team saw Maurice Watson go down with a knee injury, but still won enough games against the rest of the Big East to make the NCAA Tournament.
Keys to the Game
Defend the perimeter/ pressure. St. John’s best skill is defensive pressure. With Justin Simon stepping up and Shamorie Ponds more healthy than he was in the first game against Creighton, more pressure on the ball, in spurts, could yield positive outcomes. That said, Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas are excellent guards.
Defend inside. Without Krampelj, who scored 10 of his 14 points on a crushing run in the second half against the Johnnies, St. John’s needs to shut down scoring at the rim from drives - and from post moves from Hegner and Suarez, who did not play in the first game. Both are large men who can get position.
Make shots. Defense will set the tone, but this team needs to make threes, move the ball and get comfortable shooting. The team will need Shamorie Ponds to get loose from Thomas, to play point guard, and the find the likes of Marvin Clark II and Bryan Trimble, Jr., for long shots.
St. John’s gets their first win in Big East play, 78-74.