clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What to know: St. John’s men’s basketball vs. Boston College preview, keys, and odds

The Red Storm take on the Eagles as part of a NABC Brooklyn Showcase quadruple-header

St. John’s Red Storm Guard Jordan Dingle (3) dribbles the ball past Sacred Heart Pioneers Guard Kyle McGee (10) during the first half to the College Basketball game between the Sacred Heart Pioneers and the St. John’s Red Storm on December 6, 2023, at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, NY. Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After taking care of a 35-point win over Sacred Heart on Wednesday night, the Red Storm make the short trip to Barclays Center to take on the Boston College Eagles as part of the NABC Brooklyn Showcase quadruple-header.

The Eagles are currently 7-3 and ranked 98th in KenPom. In their last game, they knocked off Holy Cross by a score of 95-64 after being tied early in the second half. Boston College only have one win against a top-100 KenPom opponent this season, a 68-61 home win over Richmond.

Game Information

Who: St. John’s Red Storm vs. Boston College Eagles (7-3)

When: Sunday, December 10, 2023, 4:30 p.m, or thirty minutes after the conclusion of Colorado vs. Miami (FL) at 2:00 p.m.

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

TV: ESPNU

Odds: St. John’s (-5.5), O/U at 151.5

Scouting the Eagles

Head coach Earl Grant is slowly, but surely building up Boston College basketball. In his third year at Chestnut Hill, he’s beginning to amass talent to have the Eagles realistically competing in the ACC’s middle class. It starts with an aptly-named man in the middle, the crafty Quinten Post.

After he earned ACC Most Improved Player honors from an impressive second half of an injury shortened 2022-23 season, he’s carried that momentum into his fifth collegiate season. The big man is averaging 19.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game, ranked for 5th most among ACC players in each category. Post is also a creative playmaker (19.0% assist percentage) and dangerous three-point threat (45.7% from three on 35 attempts). The Eagles will live and die by Post’s contributions this season.

Point guard Jaeden Zackery (12.9 ppg) is morphing into a quintessential floor general in his third season. Zackery is one of only six players in the country with an assist rate of 24 percent or more, a steal percentage of 4 percent or more, and a turnover rate of 14 percent or less. His disciplined play has allowed Boston College to control tempo and stay competitive every game they’ve played in this season.

Charleston Southern transfer Claudell Harris Jr. (13.1 ppg) has served as a deep-range bucket getter, as he’s made two or more threes in six games this season. He also displays great defensive instincts, here he is swooping in for the steal and bursting down the court for a slam against NC State.

The supporting cast is also intriguing. Sophomore Devin McGlockton (8.8 ppg) is emerging as a nice inside-the-arc contemporary to Post, shooting 64 percent on twos. Bench mercenary Mason Madsen is starting to percolate after a slow start, scoring a combined 32 points and eight threes in his last two games after averaging 3.8 points per contest in his first eight games. Four-star recruits Prince Aligbe (6.6 ppg) and Donald Hand (6.5 ppg) ooze potential on a team typically starved of high-school talent.

Keys to the game

Post-ing up - The similarities between Quinten Post and Joel Soriano are abundant. Two offensively-gifted bigs with international roots who transferred to their current school after flying under the radar in their first two seasons, won their conferences’ respective Most Improved Player awards in their senior year, and have taken their play to another level in their fifth season of college ball. This is a big time test for Soriano, and this game could be decided on whether he can outperform Post.

Attack Zack(ery) - Jaeden Zackery has displayed great discipline in one-on-one situations, especially on defense. Daniss Jenkins has had turnover issues early in this season, so St. John’s should look to create mismatches against him in the pick and roll and get Zackery out of his element.

Ding’ the bell - Jordan Dingle is steadily finding his form, going 7-for-11 in his last game against Sacred Heart. Against a Boston College team that allows 37 percent shooting from three, he could stay sharp from three in this matchup.

Prediction

This isn’t Jim Christian’s Boston College, this Eagles team can compete. Remember, this team was 9-11 in the ACC last season and they have clearly improved since. There are some dynamic playmakers on this team that could reasonably keep pace with St. John’s. I still believe that this Red Storm team is starting to reach its desired standards, and we will see that on display in Brooklyn. St. John’s wins, 78-67.