The Red Storm traveled across the country this weekend in preparation to play the University of San Francisco Dons of the West Coast Conference. The Dons will be celebrating Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin’s father, Cap Lavin, who was a player for the Dons from 1949-1952. They will also be celebrating their NIT and NCAA championship teams.
The Storm arrived in San Francisco on Saturday night and spent Sunday giving back and volunteering at the San Francisco Food Band. They were also able to visit Alcatraz and AT&T Park, home of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The Johnnies were lucky enough got a pep talk from pitcher Jeremy Affeldt.
The Johnnies come to The City by the Bay on a four game winning streak after a close call against NJIT on Saturday. Down at one point by 14 points and 12 at halftime, the Johnnies were able to hold NJIT to only 14 second half points and pull away for a hard fought victory.
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2012
Location: War Memorial Gym- San Francisco, California
Time: 10:00 PM EST
Radio: WBBR 1130 AM (John Minko, Tim O’Toole)
The Dons come into their matchup with the Red Storm undefeated at home with their only loss coming at the hands of Stanford on a neutral court, the Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors. The Dons tout a big front court, led by Cole Dickerson who in five games is averaging 14.8 points and 15 rebounds a game. Dickerson will be big on the blocks, grabbing 20 rebounds against Montana and it will be interesting to see him matchup with Chris Obepka and JaKarr Sampson.
De’End Parker will be looking to put up big numbers as the 6-6 transfer from UCLA is the leading scorer for the Dons. Parker is averaging 19.4 points and is shooting 53% from the field on the year and a scorching 70% from three on 17 shots. The Dons have a complete team and will be a tough matchup for the Johnnies.
Projected Starting Lineup:
F Cole Dickerson
C Tao Xu
G De’End Parker
G Tim Derksen
G Cody Doolin
Another slow start, a second half run, a dominating performance from a couple of Johnnies and a victory. That has been the formula for most of the games this year for the Red Storm. They will try to put the pedal to the metal in their Tuesday night matchup at San Francisco, sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison was named to his third straight Big East Honor Roll and the fifth of his career. Harrison is the second leading scorer in the Big East at 21.8 points per game. Harrison now has scored 20+ points in seven of his first eight games.
Along with Harrison, freshman forward JaKarr Sampson is coming off a fine couple of games, specifically his 15 point 17 rebound performance against NJIT. Sampson now leads the team, averaging 7 rebounds a game. Phil Green IV, who has been much improved was held scoreless last game and will look to get back on track. Freshman forward Christian Jones logged a DNP against NJIT and will be interesting to see what Lavin is going to do when handing out minutes to the bench.
Projected Starting Lineup:
F JaKarr Sampson
F Sir’Dominic Pointer
G Phil Greene
G D’Angelo Harrison
G Felix Balamou
Keys to Victory
- Broken Record - Steve Lavin knows it, you know it, everyone knows it. This Red Storm team has started slow against lower competition this season. The WCC and San Francisco is no slouch though and starting slow against a team who has two dominate players would be a bad idea. Make good shot selections, play in transition and don’t get too excited. It’s a 40 minute game, don’t lose it in the first half.
- Rebounding!- Cole Dickerson is a beast on the glass. The Johnnies won the battle against NJIT, 48-42, but rebounding will still be a problem. Dickerson will present a problem and will need to be boxed out. Sampson has a knack for grabbing boards and will have to be on his game, as well as Obekpa. Rebounding could decide whether the Johnnies will be facing a long plane ride back to Queens or a happy one.
- Find the Hot Hand- It seems that it’s been someone new each game that has stepped up for the Red Storm. Identify that matchup early and get it going. Harrison will eventually get his but the 2nd and 3rd scorers need to get involved earlier.
Final Prediction: San Francisco Wins, 67-64