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St. John’s vs St. Francis Brooklyn: preview, prediction, how to watch

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St. John’s looks to show their strength with a big win against a struggling team

Nick Bello

Following a close loss to Indiana and an unconvincing win against Fairleigh Dickinson, St. John’s men’s basketball looks to heat up tomorrow night against the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers. The Terriers, who like Fairleigh Dickinson come from the Northeast Conference, are an opponent who will be expected to be easily taken care of by Mike Anderson and the Johnnies.

It will be interesting to see how close to full strength the Red Storm back court is, as against Fairleigh Dickinson they were playing without Tareq Coburn due to illness and Rafael Pinzon due to a finger injury. Posh Alexander did play a team high 35 minutes and tied for the team lead with 17 points, and did so while being a little banged up.

The Johnnies did not receive any AP Top 25 votes in the recently released Week 3 poll, which is something to note because they did receive votes for the Weeks 1 & 2 polls.

The performances against Indiana and Fairleigh Dickinson were enough to take the Red Storm out of AP talks for now, but big wins against St. Francis Brooklyn and NJIT could definitely help their case, and a win against Kansas next Friday could even put them in the conversation to be ranked.

Game Information

Who: St. John’s Red Storm (Big East, 3-1) vs St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (NEC, 0-3)

When: Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 7:00 PM

Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, New York

TV: FS2 | Online

History: The Red Storm and the Terriers have had plenty of matchups, with St. John’s having an all time record of 67-12, and winning the last matchup on December 19, 2018 by a score of 86-52.

Scouting the Terriers

Just like Fairleigh Dickinson and Mississippi Valley State, Fairleigh Dickinson is a very inferior opponent, and this game should not be a competitive one for the Johnnies. The Terriers have suffered losses to Wisconsin, Division I newcomer St. Thomas, and Penn State, none of which by less than 15 points. They have a KenPom ranking of 329 out of 358, and the Johnnies are currently sitting inside the top 50 at 47.

The Terriers are led in scoring by 6-7 grad transfer forward Patrick Emilien, who previously played three seasons at Western Michigan, where he mostly came off the bench. In his first three games with the Terriers, Emilien has averaged 13 points and six rebounds in 34 minutes per game.

The other frontcourt starter for St. Francis is 6-8 senior Serbian forward Vuk Stevanic, who averaged six points and three rebounds last season, but this year has only played 13 minutes per game, totaling four points and five rebounds.

The starting point guard for the Terriers is 6-1 junior Rob Higgins, who has averaged 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 53 games and 31 starts for St. Francis. He is joined in the backcourt by 6-4 grad transfer guard Michael Cubbage, who previously started at Marist, where he averaged 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, and 1.4 steals in his 34 games with the team, as he had his second season cut short due to a broken foot.

The last starter for St. Francis Brooklyn is 6-6 junior guard Tedrick Wilcox Jr., who is a transfer from D-II program Dominican College. Like Vuk Stevaic, Wilcox has only averaged 13 minutes per game as a starter, and has averaged four points and two rebounds per game.

Off the bench, St. Francis Brooklyn’s top scorer is Trey Quartlebaum, a 6-2 junior guard who is averaging nine points and four rebounds in 27 minutes per game. Yes, he is former St. John’s assistant Fred Quartlebaum’s son.

They have some size of the bench in the form of 6-9 forward Jack Hemphill, a grad transfer who played three seasons at Boston University, averaging six points and three rebounds in the 2020-21 season. 6-0 guard Larry Moreno is a solid bench contributor, averaging five points and two rebounds to start his junior season. Bahaide Hadara, a 6-6 guard, has come off the bench in all three games and 6-4 guard Di-Andre Howell-South has played in two, and both have averaged about 12 minutes and four points per game.

St. Francis Brooklyn is a pretty weak team both offensively and defensively, averaging 63 points in their first three games and allowing 82. They do not turn the ball over at a very high rate, but shoot very poorly from the field and especially from deep.

Keys to the Game

Keep the foot on the gas pedal. The reason the Red Storm win against Fairleigh Dickinson did not look as good as it could have was because St. John’s gave their opponent too many opportunities to get back in the game. They can’t do this against the Terriers, and need to assert their dominance by attaining and holding a large lead.

Have defensive energy. The Johnnies were able to build a decent lead early in the first half against Fairleigh Dickinson using a lot of defensive energy and forcing a lot of turnovers. If they play aggressive defense against St. Francis and maintain it throughout the game, the score should not get too competitive.

Give a lot of guys looks. One of the big reasons St. John’s did not win big in their last game was the poor shooting performance by Julian Champagnie. The Red Storm should get different guys looks to showcase their offensive depth, while still allowing Champagnie to do this thing. Spacing the floor from the inside out, the Red Storm are likely to shoot far better than they did in their last outing.

Prediction

St. John’s beats St. Francis Brooklyn handedly with a 95-65 performance.