Looking to carry over the momentum from its first league win of the season, the St. John’s men’s basketball team will head to Providence for a BIG EAST showdown on Wednesday.
Tip-off from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center is set for 8:30 p.m. on FS1 and 570 AM WMCA. Jeff Levering and Donny Marshall will handle the broadcast duties on television while John Minko and Tarik Turner will call the action over the airwaves. The audio broadcast can also be found on TuneIn and Sirius XM.
The Red Storm (12-5, 1-3 BIG EAST) enters Wednesday’s game on the heels of its first conference win of the Mike Anderson Era, as the Johnnies downed DePaul, 74-67, inside Madison Square Garden. St. John’s will look to regain the momentum from a non-conference slate that saw the Johnnies go 11-2 with a pair of marquee wins against West Virginia and Arizona, the former of whom is now ranked no. 12 in the nation and has lost only to St. John’s and Kansas. Anderson’s 11 wins were the most by a first-year St. John’s head coach in non-conference play since the BIG EAST was formed in 1979.
During their most recent win over the Blue Demons, the Johnnies were led by the efforts of redshirt junior guard Rasheem Dunn. Making his first start as a member of the Red Storm, Dunn tallied a season-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting in addition to topping the team in rebounds (8) and assists (5). Dunn, a high school teammate of Shamorie Ponds who played his first two years at St. Francis Brooklyn, was named the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday for the first time. In the Red Storm’s other game last week, the Brooklyn native scored 18 points and collected a season-high nine boards against Georgetown, eclipsing the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career in the process.
Dunn was one of three Johnnies to finish the DePaul game in double figures, as Mustapha Heron and Julian Champagnie regained scoring touches that had been absent the last few games. Heron, who scored just 15 total points on 7-of-21 shooting in his first two games since returning from injury, tallied 15 points in the win over the Blue Demons. Most importantly, Heron snapped an 0-for-9 skid from three-point range by hitting three of his six opportunities from deep. Champagnie, a freshman from Brooklyn, tallied 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting, breaking a streak of four straight outings in which the Bishop Loughlin product failed to score more than six points in any one game.
The Friars, who lost four games out of five during a stretch of their non-conference schedule, have rebounded nicely at the start of BIG EAST Play. After closing non-league action with a win over Texas in the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle, Providence (10-7, 3-1 BIG EAST) won three straight decisions to begin the conference season, topping Georgetown, DePaul and Marquette. The Friars lone loss of the BIG EAST slate so far came in their last outing, a 70-58 home loss to No. 6 Butler on Jan. 10.
The Friars were picked fourth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll after returning five starters from a team that fell to Anderson’s Arkansas Razorbacks in the first round of last year’s NIT.
Senior guard Alpha Diallo leads the Friars in both scoring and rebounding, posting 14.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season. The New York native also tops the squad in steals and blocks.
David Duke, a homegrown sophomore guard from Providence, is averaging 12.0 points per game and is the Friars’ most consistent threat from downtown, sinking 46.2 percent of his three-point attempts this season.
St. John’s and Providence both rank among the nation’s leaders in steals per game, as the Johnnies sit fourth with 10.6 thefts per contest while the Friars rank second in the BIG EAST and 18th in Division I with 9.4 per game. The Red Storm also checks in at no. 4 nationally in average turnover margin (+6.1).
After taking on the Friars, the Red Storm will return home for a Saturday showdown with local rival No. 18/18 Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. on FOX.
For more information on St. John’s University fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: