clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

St. John’s vs Butler (senior night): how to watch, listen, TV

New, 1 comment

The Red Storm’s home finale.

NCAA Basketball: Creighton at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s has one more home game at Carnesecca Arena — a rematch against Butler, a team that blew their doors off in Indiana this January. A week ago, we would have said “but this is a different St. John’s team!”

Given the last two losses, is the team so different? It’s time to find out, with dwindling chances to make postseason play. Chances that involve essentially winning 3-4 games in a row and hope, or winning the Big East Tournament.

On a night where Amar Alibegovic and Bashir Ahmed are honored for their contributions to St. John’s on the court, maybe the Johnnies can pick up a win — and get them both going for an evening of fun against the firepower of the Bulldogs.

Game Details

Who: St. John’s Red Storm (14-15 I 3-13 Big East) versus Butler Bulldogs (19-10, 9-7)

Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY

When: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 | 9:00 PM

TV: CBS Sports | Watch online

Audio: TuneIn Radio

Last Meeting: St. John’s was beaten 70-45.

Scouting Butler

An interesting thing about the Butler Bulldogs: since the DePaul game in Chicago (just a week before the pasting of St. John’s), the Bulldogs have gotten their defensive house in order... in their wins, at least. In losses to Xavier, Villanova, and Georgetown, the Bulldogs gave up a lot of points, were abused inside the arc and did not force turnovers.

Butler Defense, including 3-game losing streak

Opp W/L Butler Opp ORtg DRtg Def TO% Def 2P% Def 3P%
Opp W/L Butler Opp ORtg DRtg Def TO% Def 2P% Def 3P%
DePaul (A) W 79 67 112.9 95.7 15.7 0.282 0.476
St. John's (NY) W 70 45 106.1 68.2 15.1 0.324 0.238
Marquette (A) W 92 72 126.0 98.6 18.3 0.559 0.278
DePaul W 80 57 106.7 76.0 27.5 0.425 0.250
Xavier L (OT) 93 98 122.4 128.9 16.2 0.667 0.476
Villanova (A) L 75 86 101.4 116.2 10.3 0.585 0.333
Georgetown L 83 87 110.7 116.0 16.7 0.647 0.471
Providence W 69 54 100.0 78.3 15.2 0.313 0.286
Creighton W 93 70 129.2 97.2 16.9 0.621 0.308

In the two games they have won since the three-game losing streak, Sean McDermott has rejoined the starting lineup in place of Paul Jorgensen, who has seen his time reduced slightly.

Still, the team St. John’s will see is largely the same.

Butler is very good at being solid across the board without being spectacular. They handle the ball well, do not commit turnovers, force some turnovers, and will not allow offensive rebounds.

Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin are efficient shooters from all three levels, able to hit jump shots under pressure. Tyler Wideman is an undersized-ish big man who will give St. John’s fits.

McDermott and Jorgensen provide outside shooting, but will get some buckets inside off of good ball movement. Interestingly, their shots inside the arc are generally unassisted — meaning they are taking players off of the dribble.

And point guard Aaron Thompson, who is a poor outside shooter, still needs to be defended — against the Red Storm, he hit his first three-pointer of the season.

Solid across the board does not mean that a solid offensive performance won’t put a win into play. Justin Simon and Shamorie Ponds combined for 10 points, and Ponds went 0/12 from the field. The Johnnies, as a whole, scored 0.68 points per possession, the worst per-possession performances in the Big East this season, we believe. The team shot 32% inside the arc, 24% outside the arc, 57% from the line, and basically, after the first five minutes, put a stink on Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Tariq Owens led the team that night with 13 points; his skill set poses matchup problems for the Bulldogs, whose big men are not as mobile as Owens.

Butler shot 40% inside the arc, though, and the Johnnies offense was the thing keeping them from a competitive game.

This round should be better.

Keys to the Game

Lively up yourselves! In recent games, Chris Mullin has noted that the team has been “really flat” — the Johnnies have to attack with fire, keep their composure, keep the ball moving, and get the athletes into space.

Attack the rim. The Johnnies have quickness enough to attack the rim, and need to get Justin Simon and Tariq Owens into pick-and-rolls. The Butler big men can get into foul trouble, and as a team, Butler does not defend the paint as well as some other Big East teams.

Smart shooting. The Johnnies need to get a good performance out of Marvin Clark II again, but Ponds, Simon and Bashir Ahmed need to be efficient with their shooting as well.

Prediction

Let’s go positive with a 78-70 win for the Red Storm on Senior Night.