The St. John’s Red Storm dropped their fifth game in a row on Tuesday night to the lowly Delaware State Hornets, 79-72.
In what was a less than memorable performance, the Johnnies led for merely 46 seconds in the 40-minute contest as they took a bewildering loss to one of the worst teams in Division 1. Entering the game, Delaware State was ranked 341st out of 351 teams on KenPom.com, and the Johnnies were projected to win by 20 with a 97 percent win probability.
Bashir Ahmed led all scorers with 19 points. Shamorie Ponds, Marcus LoVett and Federico Mussini each dipped into double figures, scoring 15, 13 and 11 points respectively. On the whole, the Johnnies shot just 38.2 percent from the field on 68 field goal attempts.
What we learned
The Johnnies were likely pretty overvalued this year
We’re seven games into the season, sure, but even the projection that the Red Storm would finish above the Providence Friars in the Big East is looking to be a bit off the mark even with plenty more opportunities to come. The Red Storm’s defense, while still looking solid by most metrics coming into the game, is still in ned of work especially in the backcourt. That, of course, will come with time with young players all over but as of now, at 2-5, the perception of the Red Storm is likely about to take a sharp turn in the opposite direction from where it was prior to this debilitating loss.
Yakwe and Sima continue to struggle
Kassoum Yakwe and Yankuba Sima are itching for breakthroughs, but to this point they’ve yet to arrive. The two sophomore big men for the Red Storm combined for just 11 points and six rebounds on the night, which would be good if it were, well, one player, but for two players who were so impactful last year this decline in play isn’t soothing any wounds or making anyone feel confident. Simply put: Yakwe and Sima have to shore up their play and perform much better or the Johnnies’ struggles will continue on.
St. John’s took an inexcusable loss
Even with the Hornets shooting over 50 percent from the field and from the 3-point line, this situation shouldn’t happen. The Red Storm have plenty of talent and Delaware State hadn’t previously won a nonconference game against a D1 team since December 2014. There’s no telling where this team will go, but if St. John’s can lose to the 341st ranked team on KenPom, then the worst may still be to come.