Life as a Big East team continues for the Red Storm tomorrow as they take on another tough opponent at home to start February. St. John’s will host the Providence Friars, who currently sit atop the Big East standings and have an AP national ranking of #15.
Providence has gotten out to a great start to the season, and recently have earned a couple of close wins to ranked Xavier and Marquette teams. They beat the Red Storm by 10 at home when the two teams faced off in early January, and are looking to continue their five game winning streak with a road win.
The matchup with the Friars will be the first of three games this week for the Johnnies, who are coming off an 11-point loss to Villanova where they were down for most of the game and Julian Champagnie registered his second straight game in single figures.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (11-8, 3-5 Big East) vs Providence Friars (18-2, 8-1 Big East)
When: Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 9:00 PM
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, New York
TV: CBS Sports Network
Odds: St. John’s -2
Last matchup: Providence took down St. John’s 83-73 with an explosive second half, where they scored 48 points to recover from their three-point halftime deficit.
Recapping the first Providence game
The Red Storm led 38-35 at halftime, but collapsed defensively in the second half, where they gave up 48 points. The Johnnies struggled with fouls this game, sending the Friars to the line for 30 free throw attempts, 26 of which were made.
Individually in the last matchup, the Johnnies saw a great performance out of Dylan Addae-Wusu, who had 20 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Aaron Wheeler was another player who had a good game, scoring 15 points and grabbing four rebounds — his first of six games where he scored in double digits. Julian Champagnie had a disappointing offensive game, scoring 11 points on 5 for 19 from the floor and 0 for 8 from deep.
For the Friars in the last matchup, it was Nate Watson who led the charge in the win, scoring 22 points on 9 for 11 from the field and grabbing 11 boards. Noah Horchler also had a great game on the glass with 13 rebounds in addition to the eight points he scored. Jared Bynum contributed off the bench for Providence, scoring 18 points in 32 minutes.
Providence Since the First Matchup
For the full scouting report on the Friars, check out our first preview.
Providence has won all four games they have played since taking down St. John’s, beating Georgetown and Butler at home, Xavier on the road, and most recently Marquette at home. They have been efficient offensively in these games, with a field goal percentage of 45.6%, a three point percentage of 38.2%, and a free throw percentage of 77.5%. They have shown their ability to succeed in close games, as the four wins have been decided by margins of eight points, seven points, three points, and two points.
Individually, no player has been the face of Providence’s past four wins, as they have relied on different guys to have good games in each matchup. They have stuck with their short rotation, only playing seven or eight guys or each game.
St. John’s Since the First Matchup
The Red Storm have gone 2-4 since their loss to Providence, beating Georgetown and splitting two games with Seton Hall, in addition to losses to UConn, Creighton, and Seton Hall. The Johnnies looked really good in their wins against Georgetown, competed against UConn and Seton Hall in their loss, and looked beatable in their losses to Creighton and Villanova.
Individually, the Red Storm have had to deal with a lot of struggle from their best player Julian Champagnie, who has not produced well offensively in his last three games. After scoring in double figures, in all of his first 15 games, he has come up short three games in a row, with a field goal percentage of 25% and a three point percentage of 14.3%.
The Johnnies have won the games where their defensive energy was as good as it could be, as their wins contained a lot of forced turnovers and bad shots taken by their opponents. Their losses have seen them giving up open looks from deep and opportunities inside, in addition to some bad fouls being committed.
Keys to the Game
Bring defensive energy. When the Johnnies are able to give their opponent a true “40 minutes of hell” defensively, they are able to win games. A big defensive effort without a lot of fouls committed would give St. John’s a big leg up against Providence.
Contain the inside, especially Nate Watson. If the Red Storm want to beat the Friars, they need a much better game inside than their last. Nate Watson is at the focus of this, as the Johnnies cannot allow him to dominate with inside scoring and rebounds.
Get good looks and take advantage of them. St. John’s has lost games because of their inability to get good looks and inability to capitalize on the looks they get. A Johnnies win would require them to run a good offense that grants them open outside shots and looks at the rim.
Providence extends their winning streak and beats St. John’s in a close 76-72 win. (The Rumble score prediction from the previous game was right on the nose, for what it’s worth.)