On Monday night St. John’s plays host to the Binghamton Bearcats on the floor of the Carnesecca Arena for their second game on the season. Heading into this game, St. John’s will be fresh off of hitting the century mark in their victory over Bethune-Cookman last Friday night to kick start their 2016-17 season.
Though it has been one game so far, the Johnnies have shown a lot promise with improvements in play, especially on the fast break and underneath the basket. It is one game though, and now St. John’s turn their attention to their second game and the prospect of continuing to build on. Next up is Binghamton, who in their first game defeated Cornell by a score of 68-62. Much like St. John’s the Bearcats are coming into this season after rather unbearable 2015-16 where they struggled much like St. John’s to an overall record of 8-21 and a record of 5-11 in the America East Conference.
This is the first time that both teams will be meeting each other. For St. John’s this is one of two games that they will be playing this week. On Friday they make the trip up the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a game against Minnesota.
How to Watch or Stream
Game Time: 6:30 PM
TV: FS1 (Brian Custer, and Tarik Turner)
Radio: AM 970 The Answer (St. John’s), WNBF News Radio 1290 (Binghamton)
Stream: Fox Sports Go (Where Available)
Odds: St. John’s open as 13.5-point favorites via OddsShark.
Record ATS: Binghamton (0-0), St. John’s (1-0)
O/U: The O/U opened at 110.
All Time Series
This will be the first meeting between these two programs.
Three Things to Watch For
Fast break: Among the takeaways from St. John’s rout of Bethune-Cookman was the emergence of the fast break, a sight seldom seen last season. While it was the first game of the season, the fact that St. John’s looked comfortable and ready to run from the onset is an encouraging sign going forward. Especially as Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds were the driving force for a St. John’s team that is rearing and ready to go.
Cracking the Bearcats Enigma: Much like St. John’s last season, Binghamton had their struggles down the stretch. Heading into this season, Head Coach Tommy Dempsey has all five of his starters returning for the second consecutive season. So far they are 1-0 on the season with a win over Cornell, which saw them 39.7% on all areas of the floor and 36.8% from 3-point range. The signs are there for an improved team but it is still too early to tell. For one thing it will be interesting to see how St. John’s who are favorites in this game manage.
Getting in Defensive Position: While St. John’s did hold Bethune-Cookman to just 53 points on Friday there was one interesting point of observation on the Johnnies defense, that the guards were often prone to head fakes allowing for the Wildcat players to drive to the basket. Sima, Yakwe, Owens managed underneath to make up for the guards inexperience, but it did show that St. John’s still needs to improve on their defensive position going forward. Good thing we are still in the early stretch that these issues can be mended right away.