St. John’s enjoyed playing at Mohegan Sun last season — where they lost to Arizona State and defeated U Mass — that they are going back for another go-round. This time, they will face the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Boston College, a program that used to be an annual opponent of the Johnnies in the old Big East days.
Football comes between us all, and this is the first time the two teams are meeting since 2008. Boston College has lost the last seven meetings, and the Johnnies will be stepping up in talent class facing an ACC team.
The Red Storm’s Rasheem Dunn did not travel with the team, as he recovers from concussion symptoms from the fall he had last Wednesday. Julian Champagnie reportedly did travel with the team, which is promising for the Red Storm; the 6’8” sophomore was a hard working part of last year’s team, and was expected to contribute heavily to the teams rebounding, scoring, and interior defense.
Whether those players play or not, the Johnnies have a new energy in new players like Posh Alexander; but those players are raw, fresh, new to Mike Anderson’s style. A team like Boston College could take advantage.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (2-0) vs. Boston College (1-1)
When: Monday, November 30, 2020, 6:00 PM
Where: Mohegan Sun, Connecticut
TV: ESPNU | Watch ESPN
Audio: St. John’s website provides free audio for the game.
Tickets: Apparently Mohegan Sun is open, but I don’t think there are tickets for this game, But if you try your luck, let us all know!
Last Meeting: Malik Boothe and St. John’s fell to Boston College, 82-70, in the preseason NIT back in 2008.
Scouting Boston College
You may have heard that Boston College gave Villanova quite a scare last Wednesday. And that happened. The ACC’s multi-year, perennial bottom feeder looked to have some life against the Big East’s best program behind some deft shooting and athletic defense.
Until two thirds of the way through the second half, they started missing shots and went cold.
So far this season, the Eagles have been good at getting shots at the rim off of the drive, solid at not turning the ball over, and good at drawing fouls .Their defensive rebounding numbers — and their defense itself — has rated well, but the big men are not large or imposing.
The BC Eagles did a good job making tough shots against Villanova (also played at Mohegan Sun) and competed defensively inside. Easy shots inside the arc were, for the most part hard to come by for ‘Nova and the second opponent, Rhode Island.
With that said, the Eagles were not consistent in scoring in either game, and looked like they rushed shots in both games, Their ball movement can be very good, and the whole roster is somewhat of a three-point threat. The team is guard-heavy with role players at the forward positions.
Guards Wynston Tabbs and Jay Heath are aggressive scoring guards who can create off the dribble. Heath is more of a jump shooter, but has a quick release and looked good against Villanova... until he hurt his knee and sat out the next game. Tabbs is more of a slasher who draws fouls. Both are ok passers, but tend to look to make a shot attempt when the ball reaches their fingers.
Scouting BC’s players
- Red Storm fans may recognize the familiar face of Providence transfer, Makhi Ashton-Langford. The point guard can get lost in the shuffle, playing a passive role as he would at times with Providence in the game against Rhode Island. But he also displayed determined, sure quickness with the ball in creating shots for stretches in the Villanova game.
- Rich Kelly, a senior transfer from Quinnipiac, is a solid passer who can get cooking from outside the three-point line on a good day. His handle is a little suspect, and St. John’s should be able to force miscues from him.
- Makai’s brother DeMarr Langford is on the team as a slashing wing. Her started in place of Jay Heath after Heath’s injury. CJ Felder, a 6’7” 230 pound player, has the ability and quickness to slash in from the ring and can hit threes, occasionally. Felder has the athleticism to block and alter shots.
- Up front, Steffon Mitchell does not score a lot, but he does some work on the glass. Also up front, former DePaul and Rider player Fred Scott is always eager to show what he can do. At 6’8”, he can shoot inside and out, and can draw fouls. He can be inconsistent.
Keys to the game
Get out on the shooter. The Eagles have taken 46% of their shots from deep. At that clip, they can miss a lot of shots and let themselves back into a game unless...
St. John’s solidifies the attack. The Johnnies have gotten parts of good efforts from their team — Vince Cole’s shooting, Isaih Moore, Greg Williams Jr. going beast mode in the first minutes of the second have against La Salle, Posh Alexander’s ability to chase a lost ball and get it back. Can the Johnnies get all these players — and more — to play at their best at the same time?
Finish the chaos. St. John’s has been strong at forcing turnovers, though Boston College will be another level of challenge. All the turnovers mean less, of course, if the other team finds other extra chances from offensive rebounds after misses. The Red Storm have to continue to be diligent about ending opponent possessions.
Prediction: St. John’s wins 72-66.