The Red Storm are on a three game winning streak after they finished up their season series with Rutgers with a win in Piscataway. The Red Storm will have to turn their attention to Seton Hall who comes into the Garden off a win at home against South Florida. But more importantly for the Storm is that last season the Pirates embarrassed them at the Prudential Center winning their only contest of the year 94-64.
After their revenge game against Rutgers on Wednesday, it will be fresh in the mind of the sophomores who played in the game last year that this team embarrassed them and will come out looking to avenge. The Red Storm are one of only six teams that are above .500 in Big East play. Sir’Dominic Pointer has been a catalyst for the Red Storm so far this year and expect him to try and lead the way and avenge the 30 point loss he endured as a freshman.
This is the first time the Pirates will be playing at Madison Square Garden against the Red Storm since a 58-47 St. John’s victory in 2006.
Date: Sunday, January 27th, 2013
Location: Madison Square Garden- New York, New York
Time: 12:00 PM EST
TV: MSG (Eamon McAnaney & Jim Spanarkel)
Radio: WBBR 1130 AM (John Minko)
After a 19 win regular season last year that extended an NIT postseason berth for the Pirates the 2012-13 edition of the squad is currently in the middle of the pack in the Big East. After the graduation of Herb Pope and Jose Theodore this Pirates team is younger and leaning on junior guard Faquan Edwin. Edwin is averaging 17.2 points per game and 5.9 rebounds. Edwin is three points away from joining the 1,000 point club for Seton Hall.
The 6’9 forward Eugene Teague is averaging 11.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his junior season. The Southern Illinois transfer is playing even better in his role at Seton Hall then he did at Souther Illinois. Teague is averaging 28.5 minutes in 19 games so far this season, shooting 54% from the floor and gobbling up almost 3 offensive boards per game. St. John’s will have to put a body on him at all times as he has shown to be dangerous all over the floor.
Projected Starting Lineup:
F Haralds Karlis
C Eugene Teague
G Tom Maayan
G Aaron Cosby
G Faquan Edwin
A three game winning streak is nice but a four game winning streak will be even better for the Red Storm. The youngest team Steve Lavin has ever coached has had some major ups and downs to start the season. Losses to San Francisco and UNC Asheville in the non conference have shown that this team still had things to learn and they have grown before our eyes. Upset wins at Cincinnati and at home vs Notre Dame have shown a different side of this team that everyone should be proud of.
For St. John’s to reach their potential they will have to win these types of games at home against an evenly matched team. They took care of business against Rutgers and DePaul on the road and need to take care of their business this weekend. Sophomore forward Sir’Dominic Pointer has shown up and been leading this team. His double-double lead the way against DePaul and his most complete game of his career, had 13 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and six steals in 37 minutes to lead the way. Pointer is finally showing the potential that had him the highest rated of the St. John’s 2011 recruiting class that included NBA first round pick Moe Harkless.
Projected Starting Lineup:
F JaKarr Sampson
F Sir’Dominic Pointer
G Jamal Branch
G Phil Greene
G D’Angelo Harrison
Keys to Victory
• Eli Cartering- For the Red Storm to pull out a win they will have to stick it to Fuquan Edwin the same way they did to Eli Carter in the two games against Rutgers this season. In two games against the Red Storm, Carter was 4-28 from the field including a 1-14 game last Wednesday. Edwin leads the Pirates in scoring is efficient doing so. The 6’6 guard is shooting 49% from the floor this year. In last year’s win over the Red Storm, Edwin didn’t miss a shot.
• D’Angelo Back in the New York Groove- D’Angelo Harrison was back to being himself against Rutgers with a 7-14 shooting night including being 5-9 in the second half and helping secure the win for the Red Strom. Harrison had 20 points and hit three pointers at a 3-8 clip. Harrison will need to play with the same poise and precision as the Pirates will likely show full court pressure to create a frantic pace and ill advised shots.
• How You Be So Blockless?– Wednesday night Chris Obekpa did not record a blocked shot in 20 minutes of play time. For the first time this season Obekpa was held without a registered blocked shot. He might be limited in his opportunities again as Seton Hall averages 22 three point attempts per game. Look for Obekpa to be needed more to rebound than defend the paint.
• Sampson Counter Punch- Whenever a team starts going on a run, expect JaKarr Sampson to follow. Sampson has had some huge follow up buckets when the opposing team gets on a run, it’s sort of his thing. Sampson had 21 points against Rutgers deflating Rutgers’ hope with his midrange game. Pirates will struggle to matchup against the athletic freshman just as the Scarlet Knights did. Lavin will call Sampson’s number early and often.
Final Prediction: St. John’s Wins, 65-55