Here is a worry: Providence has a lot to play for. The continuation of their NCAA Tournament streak, currently at four, is a huge motivator, even if the current Providence team doesn’t pop off the page.
Providence cannot afford a loss.
St. John’s, meanwhile, won’t change in a meaningful way in the standings; unless DePaul goes bananas and takes out Xavier, the Johnnies are surely in ninth place, facing Georgetown. Knowing that, will Chris Mullin push Shamorie Ponds to play? Ponds has not practiced and is a game-time decision. (Would he push a player to get back on the court in any scenario?)
Looks like no Shamorie Ponds today vs. Friars pic.twitter.com/49ZU4ptXD9— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) March 3, 2018
On the other hand, the Red Storm have a bit to atone for from the first game. It was defensively bad effort, and not because an active forward took advantage; it was because the Red Storm just didn’t play hard.
“We were horrendous on the ball,” Mullin said then. “Cartwright basically got wherever he wanted to go and broke us down from there.”
“I even told them at halftime that [Providence] was too comfortable, and we were just kind of out there participating... we went out and laid an egg.”
Time to redeem that Big East season-opening performance, at very least, and steal a win, at the best.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (15-15 I 4-13 Big East) versus Providence Friars (18-12, 9-8)
Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Arena, Providence, RI
When: Saturday, March 3, 2018 | 12:00 PM
TV: FSN/ Fox Affiliates | Watch online
Audio: 570 WMCA | TuneIn Radio
Last Meeting: St. John’s was beaten 94-72.