There’s still another game for the Red Storm, after the solid win over a Butler team that had given the Johnnies trouble this season.
But the next opponent, Marquette, has swept the Red Storm... and are ranked in the top-10 in the country.
Also: Marquette has the Big East’s Coach of the Year (Shaka Smart), Player of the Year (Tyler Kolek), and has not won a conference tournament since 1997.
Expect the Golden Eagles to come out firing. Can St. John’s respond in kind?
The Red Storm likely need a win to keep this season going, and will face the #1 seeded Marquette tomorrow if they can pull off the upset.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (18-14, 7-13 Big East) vs #6 Marquette Golden Eagles (25-6, 17-3 Big East)
When: Thursday, March 9, 2023, 12:00 PM
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Odds: Marquette, -6.5
Last meeting: Marquette needed a missed free throw in the last second by St. John’s to come away with the home win against the Red Storm.
Marquette plays exciting basketball — in a sense, in the way that St. John’s does, but with fewer turnovers.
In this case, exciting doesn’t mean that a team cannot give up a 19-point lead, or a 10 point lead in under a minute; both ST. John’s and Marquette share that particularly special trait.
For Marquette and St. John’s, a penchant for forcing turnovers and hunting for steals covers up an inability to consistently get stops that are NOT steals. Both teams also share struggles rebounding the basketball on the defensive end, as opponents can keep possessions going. Both teams have also fouled more than the average team.
Marquette, however, shares and moves the ball well and gets very good shots. The Golden Eagles feature outside shooters all over the floor, though they can be inconsistent.
St. John’s does not shoot as well from outside the arc either, but they also do not take three-pointers. That puts the Golden Eagles at an advantage. But the Red Storm can crash the offensive glass, which gives them a chance to get more shots at the basket.
St. John’s has to be efficient with those chances, however.
Injuries/ Missing players
Marquette is missing no regulars.
St. John’s has been missing Rafael Pinzon after he was suspended for a failure to meet team standards (after a pointed Instagram post about the organization of the Division I basketball teams as compared to his high school coach).
Andre Curbelo missed the last game with a concussion, after receiving an elbow to the face in practice, per his Twitter. He will miss today’s game.
Montez Mathis has been out for the season with a toe injury.
Keys to the Game
Chaos wrinkles defense. How much defensive energy can the Johnnies bring in what may be their last game of the season? High levels of chaos that hearken to the early days of Mike Anderson may throw the Golden Eagles out of their scoring rhythm.
Make shots. Marquette will score for stretches, no matter what. Even if the Johnnies make the game a muck, they will need to make shots, especially from outside the arc, to put pressure on the #1 seed in the league tournament.
Treasure the chances. Low turnovers are key for the Johnnies to frustrate the Golden Eagles and maintain control. Live ball turnovers will lead to big runs by Marquette.
There have been few games this season where St. John’s made enough plays or shots to pull big upsets against a team at full strength. Marquette wins, 92-75.