The St. John's Red Storm were effectively waxed in their first game of the 2015 Maui Invitational by the Vanderbilt Commodores to the tune of 92-55.
The vaunted Commodores from the SEC took it to the young Red Storm squad with a boisterous shooting performance to open play in the annual event. The 'Dores were led by double figure performances from Luke Kornet, Jeff Roberson, and Nolan Cressler who had 13, 11 and 10 points respectively. Camron Justice also added 11 points of his own.
As a whole, Vandy shot 53.2 percent from the field on 62 field goal attempts, and 48 percent on 25 3-point attempts.
Three things we learned from the Maui opener:
1. St. John's first test did not end well.
Captain Obvious reporting in. This just in: St. John's struggled against a high-caliber high-major team. Getting away from that, these kinds of games were to be expected this season for the Johnnies in Chris Mullin's first year as head coach. The Rd Storm looked outclassed in every facet against a more experienced Vanderbilt club, who should go on to be a threat in the SEC as well as the nation when March rolls around. The Red Storm have some more building up to do to get where they want to be. The good news is that this was expected to be the norm in 2015. Sometimes, you just get a can of whoop ass opened on you. That's what happened on Monday afternoon.
2. Mussini was held in check.
Federico Mussini did wind up landing in double figures for the fourth consecutive game this year with his 14 points scored against the Commodores on Monday afternoon. With that said, his shot was certainly off. Those 14 points were scored on 13 shots and was a dismal 1-for-5 from the perimeter against the Commodore defense. Mussini came away with two turnovers on the day, his lowest single-game output on the season as he was able to keep the ball intact against the good guards that Vanderbilt trotted out. But given that Mussini shot just 3-14 in his prior effort against Rutgers, it appears that the Italian point guard is going through some growing pains in the realm of college basketball.
3. Vanderbilt is a dangerous team.
To shy away from the BIG EAST and go national here, Vanderbilt displayed a prodigious effort on offense and defense this afternoon against the youthful Red Storm. This type of performance is especially eye-popping when glancing at the scoring margin, having held St. John's under 60 points. It's the second time this season that the Commodores have entered the 90-point threshold, having done so against Gardner Webb last Monday. The Commodores used a balanced attack against St. John's, with a staggering 12 players getting at least two points. And their best player got into foul trouble and was not even able to impose his will. Look out for this 'Dores team going forward.