The St. John's Red Storm will be facing former Big East opponent the Syracuse Orange today at the Carrier Dome. Here's what to watch for:
1. How will the Red Storm manage with the lack of frontcourt depth?
In their last test against a significant opponent, Gonzaga managed to take advantage of St. John's lack of frontcourt depth by seizing opportune moments. The Johnnies will seriously have the be wary of their match ups in the frontcourt against the Orange, as they'll be facing off against senior forward Rakeem Christmas and Chris McCullough. Outside of Chris Obekpa, the Red Storm might be severely lacking in these match ups.
2. Victory will come on the glass for the Johnnies
So far, the defensive play of Obekpa and Sir'Dominic Pointer on defense have been crucial for St. John's ability to generate offense off the rebound and create confusion for the opponents. While there are some cracks in the armor, such as the aforementioned frontcourt depth, it can be made up with the play on the boards and off the rebound. Obekpa and Pointer have also been averaging 3.8 and 1.7 blocks per game as well. The Johnnies also have been getting significant contributions from D'Angelo Harrison as well, who has been averaging around 9 rebounds per game this season.
3. Can St. John's play to consistency rather than streaks?
One noticeable trait about this St. John's team is that they have yet to put together a string of consistent play. They've been extremely streaky, pretty much to the point of over-relying on a hot hand to carry them for periods at a time. Even in their victory over Minnesota last week, St. John's looked like a tale of two teams at times on and off the ball. With this being is a marquee test for the Red Storm, they will need consistent play from all of their starters and near consistency from the bench as well. This game, for the most part, should be like any other game the two have played against each other, so St. John's should know what will be coming their way.
Enjoy the game!