How to watch, listen, and stream
Game Time: Sunday, December 11, 2016, at 12 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Dave Sims, Jim Spanarkel)
RADIO: 970 AM WNYM
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go (Where available)
St. John’s is a 15.5-point favorite over LIU-Brooklyn, per Oddsshark.com.
This will be the 14th meeting between both schools. So far, St. John’s leads the all time series, 10-3. The Red Storm have won five-straight games against LIU-Brooklyn. In their most recent matchup on Nov. 19, 2014 at Carnesecca Arena, St. John’s won 66-53.
What to Watch For
Sima Out, Owens In
This will be the first game for St. John’s in which Yankuba Sima will not suit up in the red and white after news came out on Friday that he is opting to transfer out of the program. Sima was one of the first recruits Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin had brought in since taking over.
The 6-11, 220 pound sophomore center is averaging 6.0 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game through 10 games this season. He’s seen a decrease in playing time in comparison to his freshman season. In what was his last game as a member of the Red Storm, he posted just one point, rebound, assist, and block in 12 minutes of action against Fordham.
Tennessee transfer Tariq Owens began supplanting Sima’s spot in the Red Storm rotation, slowly earning more and more minutes. The 6-foot-11 forward/center is having a productive season so far as a rim protector, averaging 2.6 blocks per game. Most recently, he has racked up 14 blocks over the last three games. He’s not going to light up the scoreboard, just averaging 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds so far, but that might change as he gains a greater role in the St. John’s rotation.
Brooklyn natives, head coach Chris Mullin and freshman phenom Shamorie Ponds, are back in their home borough. While it is Mullin’s second year as a collegiate head coach, he had never coached a game in Brooklyn. He’s certainly been a built a name for himself there as a hooper on local parks and basketball courts; now, he get his first go as a coach.
As for Ponds, he was a 2,000-point scorer at Thomas Jefferson High School, which is located about five miles away from the Barclays Center. As a high school senior, he led Thomas Jefferson to its first PSAL title in 62 years. It’ll be the first time he plays at the Barclays Center since doing so as a high schooler in the Jordan Classic All-America Game, where he scored 17 points and grabbed a pair of steals.
Since senior guard Joel Hernandez went down with a thumb injury, one that he’ll get surgery for, a lot has rested on Jerome Frink’s shoulders. It looked like the Hernandez-Frink tandem would carry the Blackbirds, but now Frink has to produce enough for two. Frink, a 6-7, 230 pound forward, leads the team in scoring and rebounding.
He’s averaging 17.0 points per game and 7.8 boards per game. He is an interior-oriented player, who likes to finish around the basket. He’s shooting 49.6 percent overall, and isn’t all that capable of knocking down open threes. He’s also a liability at the free throw line, only converting 58.9 percent of his foul shots.
He’s the heart and soul of the team, if he doesn’t do well, it’s more than likely LIU Brooklyn won’t emerge with a win.