Tonight’s game is one last tune-up before a quartet of games that should, in various degrees, be challenging.
The Red Storm have gotten consistently good performances from their two main offensive stars, LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron... but the team is looking for the rest of the squad to get into a rhythm.
The New Hampshire Wildcats, despite a roster that has quite a few newcomers, will not give up under their experienced coach Bill Herrion, a former assistant under Mike Jarvis at Boston University and George Washington. Expect a well-coached team that will try hard not to allow offensive rebounds... which has been an early strength for the Johnnies.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (2-0) vs. New Hampshire Wildcats (2-0)
When: Tuesday, November 12th, 7:00 PM ET
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY
TV: Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports Go.
Audio: St. John’s website provides free audio for the game. That stream can be found by clicking here.
Tickets: You can secure a seat for a low of $30 by clicking here.
Last Meeting: St. John’s has never met the Granite State’s flagship university’s program.
Famous New Hampshire alumni
John Irving (author), Chris Wragge (CBS This Morning), Jackie MacMullan (journalist), Mike O’Malley (actor)
Scouting New Hampshire
Last season, New Hampshire struggled to win five games, and only three of those wins were against Division I opponents (full disclosure: I watched one of those wins live).
This season, they are 40% to that total already, with some freshmen who have become sophomores, plus a big guard in Sean Sutherlin.
Against a college named Curry, New Hampshire only played nine, a sign that depth is an issue for the Wildcats. The m.o. is about the same — they focus on winning the battle on the defensive glass, not allowing offensive rebounds. They defend solidly, take care of the ball, and struggle to score for stretches.
Connecticut forward Nick Guadarrama is a tough, attacking sophomore player with quick hands on defense, the ability to score outside the arc, and good ability on the glass. He is more “strong” than “quick”; given his size (6’5”), St. John’s should be able to slow him down. Second-year played Jayden Martinez, a 6’7” Texas, will also play some inside-out basketball and rebound.
Sutherlin is a new addition who has been on the attack inside the arc. The 6’5” guard has also had six turnovers in two games. Josh Hopkins and Chris Lester are both 6’6” and have taken the bulk of the outside shots for the Wildcats. Mark Carbone, a 6’2” senior, will also pull from outside the arc.
Point guard Marque Maultsby missed the first game and played off the bench on the second. The 6’3” guard has solid athleticism and can get his shot in transition, but he did make mistakes on last year’s team, and tends to pull up for jumpers.
Keys to the Game
Impose the will. St. John’s will obviously want to start with high energy, rotate well, and keep attacking. But the first two games have seen St. John’s powered by early misses and offensive rebounds. Those second-chance opportunities may not be as easy to get against New Hampshire, but the Red Storm need to make those chances happen.
Move the ball. St. John’s has done a good job moving the ball, but there are still improvements to be made in catching and finishing.
Shoot. So far, the Red Storm have taken only 31% of their shots from deep. The team needs to find three-point shooters to step up. This game will be a good practice for getting those shooters in rhythm — and will keep New Hampshire, who will be clogging the insides, loosened up.
St. John’s takes care of business, but in an ugly game. They streak away in the second half, winning 82-67