College basketball is back!
As college basketball gets back to business, so does St. John's, who opened up their 2017-18 campaign by playing host to the New Orleans Privateers. On the floor of Carnesecca Arena, there was much fanfare and prospective hope for this season. With 40 minutes now done and dusted, the Johnnies walk away from Friday with a 77-61 win to start the year.
It was the just the start that Chris Mullin and company needed. New and old faces were able to get right to business against the Privateers. Among the new faces that put in a good effort for the Red Storm tonight were the transfers. Marvin Clark II and Justin Simon, who each had their first starts Friday night, put in heavy minutes on the floor.
Simon, to his credit, finished the night with nine points and four rebounds over the span of 33 minutes on the floor. Clark, on the other hand, definitely kicked off his St. John's career in fine fashion with a 15-point game. His performance was second only to Marcus LoVett's outing tonight. Clark made 5-6 from the field and went 3-3 from the free throw line.
The old faces of St. John's picked right up from where they left off. The aforementioned Marcus LoVett led the way with a dazzling 23 points. LoVett made 50 percent of his 14 field goal attempts, with the overwhelming majority of his shot coming from beyond the arc, going 5-10 with the magic three ball.
Joining LoVett were Shamorie Ponds and Bashir Ahmed. Ponds and Ahmed rounded out the scoring for St. John’s tonight, with Ponds racking up 12 points while shooting 5-15 from the field, and Ahmed had 10. Ponds led the team with seven rebounds and six assists.
It is also worth briefly mentioning that both Marcus LoVett and Marvin Clark II had perfect nights from the foul line tonight and Tariq Owens got of his points tonight from foul shooting.
Speaking of fouls, not much to report other than Kassoum Yakwe had a game to forget. Yakwe saw only eight minutes of action tonight, gathering four fouls in those minutes played. Yakwe also did not score a single basket this game.
As a team, the Red Storm shot the ball at a rate of 45 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range, and 79 percent from the foul line. They were outrebounded tonight with 27 total rebounds to New Orleans' 42 rebounds. Of the points that St. John's scored tonight, 36 came from off turnovers, and speaking of turnovers, the Johnnies swiped the ball 10 times tonight.
As for the Privateers, their leading scorer tonight was Travin Thibodeaux. The Southland All-Defense Team selection from 2016-17 scored 18 points while shooting 60 percent from the field on 10 attempts. New Orleans' secondary scoring options tonight were Jorge Rose, scored 10, and Ezekiel Charles who had eight.
As a team, New Orleans shot the ball at a rate of 39 percent from the floor, 29 percent from 3-point range, and 71 percent from the foul line.
It was a impressive start to the season for St. John's, who now turn their attention to the affairs of this coming Tuesday. They will play host to Central Connecticut on that night. For now, Chris Mullin can briefly bask in a impressive start, with the hope that this carries over into their next few games.