Only two days after their tough loss to Kansas at UBS Arena, St. John’s comes back to Carnesecca Arena tonight to play the Fordham Rams. The matchup, which is against Joel Soriano’s former team that is located in the Bronx, provides the Johnnies with a chance to have a quick turnaround from some recent poor performances.
The Johnnies were behind basically the whole game against Kansas, but ended up cutting the deficit to 3 about halfway through the second half, only to fall apart and lose by 20. This Fordham game is a good opportunity for the Red Storm to show that they are capable of playing for 40 minutes, which is something that they have not done since their first two games.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (Big East, 5-2) vs Fordham Rams (Atlantic 10, 6-3)
When: Sunday, December 5, 2021, 7:00 PM
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, New York
Odds: St. John’s -16.5
History: The Johnnies and the Rams have faced off 88 times, with 66 matchups being won by St. John’s, including the most recent one in 2016
The Rams are a weak team in a solid conference, but have started off this season 6-3, which includes a 22 point win against St. Francis Brooklyn. They are around middle of the pack for D-I teams in terms of team offensive and defensive stats, and have a KenPom ranking of 220 out of 358.
Fordham is not a deep team, as they only have 6 players that average more than 10 minutes per game. They are also pretty small, with 4 of their 5 starters being 6-5 or shorter.
The Rams leading scorer is 6-3 junior guard Antonio Daye Jr, who is playing his first season in the Bronx after three seasons at FIU. In Fordham’s 9 games, he is averaging 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Fordham has another high scoring guard in the form of Darius Quisenberry, a 6-2 grad transfer also in his first Rams season after three seasons with Youngstown State. So far this year, he is averaging 17 points and 4 rebounds, and makes 2.6 threes a game at a rate of 34%.
Fordham’s big man is 6-9 grad forward Chuba Ohams, who has played games in six seasons for the Rams. This year he is averaging 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks, and will be a handful for former teammate Joel Soriano to deal with.
Antrell Charlton is a 6-5 sophomore guard who averages 9 points and 6 rebounds, and shoots 38% from deep. The last starter is 6-4 junior guard Kyle Rose, who averages 7 points and 4 rebounds.
Not a lot of guys see minutes off the Rams bench with 5-10 graduate guard Josh Colon-Navarro receiving the most bench minutes per game with 14.7. 6-10 center Rostyslav Novitskyi, 6-9 forward Abdou Tsimbila, and 6-1 guard Ahmad Harrison have all appeared in at least 8 games but average less than 10 minutes a game.
Keys to the Game
Get Champagnie involved early. Against Kansas, Julian Champagnie barely touched the ball in the first half, but torched the Jayhawks in the second half once given the touches to do so. The Johnnies need to get the ball into the hands of their best player early so he can do what he does best, score.
Get Soriano involved. Joel did not play great against Kansas, but a good game against his former team could be a great stepping stone towards him having a successful season.
Clean up the defense. Recently, the Red Storm defense has not looked as good as it should be, and this Fordham team with a short bench is a good chance for the Johnnies to get back on track defensively with aggressive backcourt defense and not allowing anything easy inside.
St. John’s wins (but not by as much as they should), 82-73.