Is it actually hard to beat a team three times in one year? St. John’s sure hopes so, because the Johnnies were swept by the Hoyas this season, but in heartbreaking fashion.
The conference tournament is a new season, and the Johnnies have shown glimpses that they can be a high-level team. They have also shown that they can lose to any team, that they have depth issues and that they can make mistakes when Shamorie Ponds is not on the floor.
Which St. John’s team will show up for the game? Will the crowd be a St. John’s partisan crowd?
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (15-16 I 4-14 Big East) versus Georgetown Hoyas (15-14, 5-13)
Where: Madison Square Garden
When: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 | 7:00 PM
TV: FS1 | Watch online
Audio: 570 WMCA | TuneIn Radio
Last Meeting: St. John’s had three players foul out and made numerous mistakes on their way to a double overtime 93-89 defeat.
The Hoyas, since the two teams last met, are 2-8, but their two wins are against Butler and Seton Hall. They have lost to DePaul and Providence along the way, and continue to be a team that has competitive but inconsistent guards along with strong big men.
Wing Jamorko Pickett made the all-freshman team for the Big East, as did Jahvon Blair; Marcus Derrickson made the Big East second team.
Derrickson missed the last Hoya game with an ankle injury, a last-minute scratch of an injury that had been bothering him for a week.
Of course, this could just mean he needed some rest with nothing at stake in the finale.
Maybe both he and Shamorie, as team stars, were being rested as a precautionary measure, so they would be ready to play on Wednesday.
Either way, expect a scrappy effort with the Hoyas being difficult to battle on the glass. Their ability to defend shots, limit turnovers and contest perimeter shots will tell the tale.
About Shamorie Ponds/ Scouting St. John’s
So, he’s not in the promo shoot they do of each team, for what it’s worth. Taken on Monday afternoon.
The Johnnies may need to roll with Bashir Ahmed and Marvin Clark as the scorers, Justin Simon as the playmaker, and Amar Alibegovic as the muscle if he can stay out of foul trouble.
The big lineup is more deliberate, but can cause opponents problems with length. Tariq Owens will have more chances to roam with Alibegovic on the floor.
Bryant Trimble Jr. only played two minutes in the previous game and has not scored in his last two contests. Justin Cole would likely see time if Ponds is out; he was energetic against Providence.
Keys to the Game
Commit to the running game. The Johnnies, with or without Shamorie Ponds on the floor, are best when they are forcing turnovers and getting into the open court with Justin Simon leading the way. Simon’s defense — and the team’s ability to space well in transition — can make a difference.
Limit mistakes. Recent games have seen the Johnnies making critical mistakes and poor passes at vulnerable times; even the Butler win had moments of folly. The Red Storm need to keep the game flowing, clean, and play with fewer mistakes — execute.
Hit shots. Marvin Clark II’s shooting prowess can carry the Red Storms, as can Bashir Ahmed’s. Not that they should be solely looking to hit from outside, but the team will need some big shots to stave off the Hoyas.
Shamorie Ponds returns and the Johnnies get it right this time, knocking off Georgetown 71-67.