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Taking a closer look at St. John's last two games: Crossover Examination

The Red Storm split their last pair of games.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday

St. John's started conference play 0-3, similar to last season. On Wednesday, the Johnnies went to the Dunkin' Donuts Center to face Providence, looking to change that.

St. John's controlled the game completely in the first half, leading 42-30 at the break. Providence inched back in the second, but the Johnnies held on to win 83-70 over the Friars.

Jamal Branch, who has averaged 5.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game this season, missed the game due to a finger injury.

D'Angelo Harrison, Phil Greene IV, Sir'Dominic Pointer, and Rysheed Jordan carried the load just fine in his absence though. Harrison and Greene scored 20 points each, a team-high. And Pointer had 18 points and Jordan got 17 points after getting a mere two points in St. John's loss to Villanova.

This was an historical night in Providence, Rhode Island for the Red Storm as Harrison became the third leading scorer in team history and Greene achieved the 1,000 point mark in his career.

Objective Observations

St. John's is a radically different team when Rysheed Jordan is playing. In Jordan's 36 minutes of playing time and his first full game since returning. The sophomore finished with 17 points, two dimes and three rebounds. He was 6-11 from the field and 4-6 from the foul line.

Jordan was one of four St. John's players to finish with double digit points.

Greene and Harrison led the team with 20 points apiece. Both of them shot well from three point range, with Greene going 5-for-8, and Harrison going 4--6 from beyond the arc.

Jamal Branch's injury and Chris Obekpa's early foul troubles forced Steve Lavin to turn to his bench early on in the game, utilizing Joey De La Rosa, Amar Alibegovic, and Felix Balamou.

The three bench players played for a total of 27 minutes in the game and combined for six points and three rebounds.

Alibegovic was the main contributor in this rotation for the Johnnies. More importantly though, all three gave quality minutes and easily transitioned themselves into Lavin's game strategy without there being major adjustments in team play.

St. John's veteran toughness was on full display against Providence. The team only turned the ball over 10 times and shot 51% from all areas on the floor, 59% from three point range, and 76% percent from the foul line.

What does it mean?

St. John's now has their first win of the Big East schedule in the books after starting off conference play with three straight losses. This win was a convincing one, playing extremely well against a solid Providence team on the road.

The Red Storm looked like the team they were in their non-conference schedule, playing a high intensity style of play that fed off of excellent ball movement and more importantly excellent shooting from mid range and at the foul line. As a team, the Johnnies were lights out from all areas of the court.

The most crucial factor in this game was the play of Rysheed Jordan, who in his first full game back from a leave of absence, took advantage of every opportunity thrown at him. Jordan finished the game with 17 points over a span of 36 minutes played.

With the exception of St. John's matchup versus Duke, which will be their final non-conference test, three games in the team's stretch coming up are favorable for the Johnnies to get a few wins and get back into the mix.

With this win in the books, St. John's now turns their attention to DePaul, a 9-9 team with a 3-2 record in conference play, on Sunday at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.

Sunday

  • DePaul defeated St. John's 71-67 on the road in overtime on Sunday, led by Blue Demons forward Myke Henry, who had 19 points and 12 boards.
  • Rysheed Jordan passed to Chris Obekpa late in the game instead of taking a shot of his own, or dishing it to another guard proved to be very costly for the Johnnies.
  • Forrest Robinson of DePaul, hit key free throws in overtime to seal the deal for his team.
  • The contribution overall from Jordan though was astronomical. The guard scored 17 points total in the game.
  • Phil Greene IV also put up 17 points in the loss, and D'Angelo Harrison and Sir'Dominic Pointer scored double digit points too.


After St. John's demolished Providence on the road, it looked like things were turning around, but with another conference loss in the books, St. John's is sitting on a 1-4 record in the Big East.



St. John’s box:



D'Angelo Harrison

44

74

20

11

2-7

0-3

7-9

0

5

1

2

1

2

5


6-2 187 Sr

Phil Greene

43

95

23

17

4-9

1-4

6-6

1

4

1

3

0

3

0

6-4 193 So

Rysheed Jordan

39

94

27

17

5-9

0-2

7-9

0

2

4

4

0

4

3

6-10 236 Jr

Chris Obekpa

35

83

14

7

2-5

0-0

3-4

1

2

0

2

2

3

4

6-6 192 Sr

Sir'Dominic Pointer

29

110

17

10

4-5

0-0

2-4

1

0

2

2

1

0

5

6-9 230 Fr

Amar Alibegovic

16

65

17

2

1-3

0-2

0-0

2

3

0

0

0

1

3

6-3 169 Sr

Jamal Branch

16

95

13

3

0-3

1-1

0-0

0

3

2

0

0

0

2

6-4 192 Jr

Felix Balamou

3



0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

6-5 180 Fr

Myles Stewart

0



0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


Team








4

2


0





TOTAL

225



67

0.92

18-41

.439

2-12

.167

25-32

.781

9

.231

21

.618

11

.550

13

.178

4

.190

13

.178

23



Courtesy of Kenpom.com

DePaul box:


Jamee Crockett

37

65

9

2

0-1

0-4

2-2

3

5

1

1

1

0

2


6-6 205 So

Billy Garrett

35

112

31

20

2-7

1-2

13-13

1

1

2

5

1

2

4

6-6 228 Jr

Myke Henry

32

128

25

19

4-7

3-5

2-2

2

10

2

3

0

0

4

6-10 222 Sr

Forrest Robinson

31

89

19

7

0-1

1-7

4-4

3

3

2

2

0

1

5

6-2 173 Jr

Durrell McDonald

16

112

19

5

0-0

1-4

2-2

0

2

2

1

0

1

2

5-11 152 Jr

Aaron Simpson

31

111

18

13

1-2

3-6

2-4

1

0

0

2

0

0

2

6-8 217 Jr

Rashaun Stimage

14

200

3

2

1-1

0-0

0-0

0

3

0

0

2

1

5

6-11 255 So

Tommy Hamilton

13

11

18

0

0-1

0-0

0-2

1

2

0

2

0

1

0

6-5 190 So

Darrick Wood

12

46

28

3

0-0

1-2

0-0

1

2

0

4

0

0

1

6-5 200 So

R.J. Curington

4



0

0-1

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1


Team








0

2


1





TOTAL

225



71

0.97

8-21

.381

10-30

.333

25-29

.862

13

.382

30

.769

9

.500

22

.301

4

.098

6

.082

26



Courtesy of Kenpom.com

Objective Observations:

  • It was another night and day performance for St. John's. Similar to the previous game, the Johnnies had a strong first half performance, but in the second half and in overtime, they were quiet. Then again it didn't help that DePaul began the second half 4-5 from beyond the arc, after starting the game 3-17 from the same range.


  • At the end of the first, they held DePaul to 19 points and the Blue Demons' had no answer for the Johnnies paint presence .


  • St. John's got back into the mix in the final 10 minutes of the second, with the lead never exceeding three points, and kept in the game during the rest of the second half and into overtime.


  • Two injuries factored into St. John's loss on Sunday.


  • Prior to the game, D'Angelo Harrison suffered a knee injury in practice, but was given clearance to play. This game was his worst of the season, as he struggled to play with an injury. He finished the game fouling out, but was 2-10 from the field and 7-9 from the foul line. Harrison's performance was not his best, but he still had 11 points in the game.


  • Chris Obekpa also fouled out of the game, after playing a cautious first half. Despite being overmatched underneath the basket by DePaul's bigs, he still found ways to contribute, finishing with seven points, three rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.


  • Sir'Dominic Pointer fouled out in overtime at a very crucial moment for the team.


  • A solid portion of St. John's points came from the foul line. As a team, the Johnnies shot 78% from the foul line, compared to their 38% from the floor and 17% from three point range.


  • The best player on the floor was Phil Greene, who had 17 points and shot 6-6 from the foul line. Greene was more active than usual, especially coming off hard screens.

What does it mean?

This past game against DePaul was back and forth, but had a lack of serious execution by St. John's in the second half of the game. The Johnnies ended the first half with a 10 point lead, holding DePaul to just 19 points at the end of the first. DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell made use of his bench and Billy Garrett Jr. had one of his best games this season. And the Johnnies struggled with injuries, lack of offensive execution, and foul trouble.


The best player on the court for St. John's was Phil Greene. He did everything he could to fill the scoring void left by D'Angelo Harrison, but it was not enough to give St. John's the win.


Now with this game in the rear, St. John's is entering a critical stretch of games. The Johnnies will face Marquette, a team looking to get back to .500 in the conference play, on Wednesday, Following the team's game against the Golden Eagles, St. John's will play Duke at Madison Square Garden.


At this point, the Red Storm will need to pull everything together to try and salvage this season. It it not out of the realm for the Johnnies to finish the season with a .500 record in Big East play, but it definitely will be difficult to accomplish.