St. John’s has another game against an opponent in flux, one predicted to be an easy-ish victory. It is probably the least imposing game left on the calendar; and West Virginia is coming to New York, undefeated, for a Saturday matinee.
Can the Red Storm concentrate and execute well enough to win, or will they get distracted by thoughts of future foes?
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (6-2) vs. Saint Peter’s Peacocks (1-3)
When: Tuesday, December 3rd, 7:00 PM ET
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY
TV: FS1 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 last played Saint Peter’s in March of 1976, and won that game; the Red Storm (then-Redmen) are 17-0 against Saint Peter’s.
Scouting the Peacocks
Saint Peter’s is very young, and very inexperienced under second year coach Shaheen Holloway. Holloway is working to institute a defense-first identity for the Peacocks, and has done a good job at:
- slowing the game down (a slow pace of 65.8 possessions per game; St. John’s averages 74.4);
- defending inside the arc (allowing only 44% shooting on twos, 54th in the nation);
- keeping opponents from shooting three-pointers.
Where Saint Peter’s struggles on defense is in fouling opponents, and with defensive rebounding. On offense, scoring inside the arc, turnovers and shot selection have been struggles, though they do crash the offensive glass.
The Peacocks will play 12 players in a game, and they have started four different lineups in their four games. Freshman Doug Edert (#2) will take shots, mostly outside the arc.
Senior Quinn Taylor (#24) has been at Saint Peter’s for four years; he’s a solid slasher but a poor outside shooter in his career. He is a good defender.
Senior Naseer Bostick (#4) is a Penn State transfer wing who generates steals and gets to the line. His shooting from the field has been poor so far. Senior Derrick Woods (#20) is the team’s most capable rebounder; he is 6’8” and 225 pounds.
The freshman class is experiencing their growing pains, but should be good plkayers. Highlighted by twin Malian star forwards Fousseyni Drame (#10) and Hassan Drame (#14), both 6’7”, there is talent that is learning how to play efficient basketball at the Division I level. Both Drames have struggled inside the arc but can step out to hit a three. Both are very good defensive rebounders who need to gain a bit more weight to be more effective.
The aforementioned Edert is shooting 47% from beyond the arc. Along with fellow freshman Aaron Estrada (#1), the two are strictly shooters and are not dangerous drivers.
Two New York sophomores — Dallas Watson (#0) from Brooklyn and forward KC Ndefo (#11) from Elmont — plus 7’1” sophomore center Majur Majak (#12) — round out the roster.
Keys to the Game
Don’t let them get comfortable. A lazy or lackluster effort — taking long two-pointers, missing assignments on defense — could give life to a Saint Peter’s team that would love to snag a second win on the season to show their improvement. Smart play from the point guards will be needed.
Move the ball. Against Wagner, moving the ball crisply earned the Red Storm strong shot opportunities and trips to the free throw line. Against a team that will give opportunities to drive (into a set defense), St. John’s should look to make the extra pass and disrupt the Peacocks’ defensive shape.
Grab the defensive rebounds. Saint Peter’s will try to ugly up the game and extend possessions; St. John’s has to end their chances quickly.
St. John’s wins 78-61.