After dropping their first two games in Maui, St. John's hopes to salvage a victory out of their trip, as they play Chaminade in the 7th place game on Wednesday.
We take a lot at three keys in todays matchup.
1. Avoiding the letdown
This is a spot where it would be hard to blame the Johnnies for starting out slow. The game tips off at 9:30 am, and they are facing a Division II team after two straight losses to ranked teams. Chaminade has kept these consolation games relatively close in past years, and they will surely come out motivated in their final national TV appearance of the season. St. John's should be able to handle this opponent with ease, but it wouldn't be shocking if the Silverswords hung around for a half or so.
2. Continued growth from St. John's
While you never want to lose a game by 10 points, its hard to be disappointed by St. John's effort against Indiana yesterday. After looking unimpressive in a loss to Vanderbilt, the Red Storm were able to stay with Yogi Ferrell and Indiana for most of the game. Federico Mussini and Felix Balamou sparked the Johnnies offense, which as a whole shot 43.8 percent from the floor, and 38.9 percent on 3-pointers. St. John's will need to take the positives from their loss to Indiana, and continue to build on them if they are going to compete in the Big East this year.
3. Step Up the Defense
St. John's will have a major advantage athletically against Chaminade, and the place where they can use this advantage the most is on defense. After allowing 92 and 83 points in their first two games in Maui, Chris Mullin will certainly want to tighten up the play on the defensive end. St. John's should be able to force early turnovers, and turn those into easy points, as they look to build a comfortable lead against the tournament's hosts.