Seton Hall celebrates after defeating in-state rival Rutgers on December 15th Photo Credit: Seton Hall Basketball
Tomorrow’s St. John’s vs. Seton Hall game will be one of the best games to open Big East Play. Before we tune in from our homes or make the trip to the Prudential Center, let’s take a look back at how well they performed through nonconference play.
The St. John’s Red Storm will come into tonight’s game as one of the few undefeated teams left In college basketball with a record of 12-0. Many believe that the Red Storm aren’t worthy of a top 25 ranking despite being undefeated, but that doesn’t mean there is plenty of growth in this team compared to last year. In many of their wins against Cal, VCU and Georgia Tech, the Red Storm had to fight back from being down to win those games. If this were last season, the Red Storm would have lost all of those games. We witnessed the Red Storm’s wins against VCU and Cal in the Legends Classic, and from there we learned that they are more mature an resilient as compared to last year teams. Shamorie Ponds is playing the best basketball of his career averaging 20 points, 4 rebounds and six assists per game.
One weakness that could probably affect them tonight is their lack of defense. It’s a sure thing that the Red Storm can outscore their opponents, but they also tend to allow a lot of scoring as well, they have to keep Seton Hall in check from the jump if they want to continue this streak.
St. John’s won the Legends classic back on November 20th with an 87-86 win over VCU in over time. Photo Credit: Legends Classic
St. John’s is an NCAA tournament team in our eyes, but for them to make that a reality to everyone they have to have a strong start in Big East Play and that starts tonight against the Pirates. The Red Storm hasn’t won their 1st conference game since Chris Mullin’s second season in 2016-17 when they began conference play 2-0.
As for Seton Hall, a 9-3 record in non-conference play with signatures wins against Kentucky and Maryland make up for a severe loss to Saint Louis at home, but one we learned about the Pirates is that they figured things out game after game and that should scare the rest of the conference. We all know what Myles Powell is going to bring to the table but one player who has impressed throughout the non-conference part of the season is Myles Cale. Let’s take a look at their signature wins over Maryland and Kentucky. Against Kentucky, Cale scored 17 points but hit the game-winner to beat the Wildcats at Madison Square Garden On December 8th. Two weeks later Myles Cale came up huge in the 78-74 win over Maryland with a career-high 23 points. Cale’s resurgence proves bar they are more offensive weapons on this Seton Hall team outside of Powell. Sandro Mamukelashilvi has shown his ability to shoot from outside in the 72-66 win over Rutgers. His improved shooting ability speaks volumes because he stretches the floor and makes the Pirates unguardable on the perimeter.
Tonight, bragging rights, a 1-0 start to Conference play and a chance at entering the top 25 will be at stake for both teams. The questions remaIn Who wants it more and who is for real? We’ll find out when the final buzzer sounds tonight at 10:30 pm in Newark.