Game 16: Georgetown Hoyas (11-4, 1-3) at St. John’s Red Storm (10-6, 0-4)
Series: St. John’s leads 57-51
Where/When: Madison Square Garden/Tuesday 630pm
KenPom: St. John’s 78-71, 72 percent
Line: St. John’s -6.5, o/u 148.5
Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin are once again back at it as Georgetown travels to Madison Square Garden to take on St. John’s on Tuesday. The two celebrated BIG EAST icons will square off for the first time as coaches for the Hoyas and Red Storm.
With the legendary Bill Raftery on the call, those watching on TV can expect to hear many stories from yesteryear with numerous references to the Sweater Game. What Ewing and Mullin accomplished over their careers as players, particularly in the 1984-85 season was unbelievable and will never be forgotten but right now both of these teams desperately need a win in the worst way in an effort to avoid finishing dead last in the BIG EAST this season.
St. John’s is off to an 0-4 with the most recent loss being a blowout home loss to lowly DePaul while Georgetown is just one game better at 1-3. Both teams have shown the ability to hang with some of the league’s better teams. Georgetown lost in 2OT to Butler while St. John’s stayed with both No. 23 Seton Hall and Creighton until late on the road.
Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson led the Hoyas on both ends have been double-double candidates every game. Both will be looking for bounce back performances after the juniors combined for just 11 points and 10 rebounds in the Creighton loss.
BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Jahvon Blair has provided a spark off the bench and may continue to see more time with Jagan Mosely who led the Hoyas with 11 points last Saturday.
Georgetown will once again need to value the ball as the Red Storm are able to force turnovers. St. John’s is sixth in the country in forcing turnovers. In fact, St. John’s is an overall solid defensive team that will likely try and clog the lane and force the Hoyas into taking 3-pointers. This is a strategy that most teams employ against Georgetown which increases the importance of fastbreak points and ball security for the Hoyas. Starting guards Jonathan Mulmore and Jamorko Pickett combine to average over five turnovers per game.
The last time Georgetown and St. John’s met as ranked foes was in 1992.
Scouting St. John’s: With Marcus LoVett out injured since November 26, Shamorie Ponds leads the Red Storm with 19.2 points per game. Bashir Ahmed adds 13 points per game while Justin Simon leads the team with 7.6 rebounds. LoVett continues to be listed as day-to-day although Mullin indicated on Monday that he hasn’t been practicing.
1984-85: For the record Georgetown and St. John’s met four time in the aforementioned season with the Hoyas winning three. Three of the meetings were a match-up of No. 1 vs No. 2 while the meeting in the Final Four featured No. 1 Georgetown vs No. 3 St. John’s.
Prediction: St. John’s 88, Georgetown 83