Day 4 of the The Gavitt Tip-Off Games kicks off with St. John’s hosting the Nebraska Cornhuskers. This is the first meeting between these schools, with both of them entering the game 2-0 on the season. The Cornhuskers and Red Storm picked up their admirable records against low-major teams, so this will be both sides’ first major conference test.
Time & Place: 6:30 PM ET, Carnesecca Arena, Queens, New York
TV: FS1 (Brian Custer, Jim Spanarkel)
Radio: 570 AM WMCA (John Minko, Tarik Turner)
Streaming: Fox Sports GO (where available)
Gamblin’ Info: St. John’s opened as a 9-point favorite via OddsShark. The over/under opened at 110 points.
Nebraska: The Huskers are 2-0 after a close win against EIU and a blowout over North Texas. They have been strong on the boards early in this season, placing 59th in the nation in total rebounds (90) and 22nd on the offensive glass (36).
Nebraska has also held in down defensively in the paint. They have managed to place 70th nationally in opponent 2-point percentage (40.4 percent) and fifth in nation in total blocks (18). The Huskers are also 102nd in total turnovers forced (33).
Guard Glynn Watson is the team’s leading scorer at 18.0 points per game. He is followed up by wing player James Palmer, who averages 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Isaiah Roby has been an early inside presence for Nebraska, averaing 11.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game.
Forward Isaac Copeland transferred to Lincoln after two-and-a-half seasons at Georgetown. He’s averaging a modest 8.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game so far.
St. John’s: St. John’s have played a fun, athletic brand of basketball as they made slight work of New Orleans and Central Connecticut. The beat both teams by 16 and 25, respectively.
The defense didn’t play down to the opponent, allowing only 58.0 points per game, 43rd in the nation. The Red Storm managed to swipe 19 total steals, 41st nationally. They are 27th in the country in turnovers forced (42, 21 each game). St. John’s hasn’t squandered those opportunities, either, produced 67 total points off of those turnovers.
Five St. John’s players are currently averaging double-figures, and the team’s 41.2 3-point percentage is 65th in the country. The duo of Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds have not disappointed, and will definitely be needed against Nebraska.
Ponds is averaging 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 2.0 steals a game. LoVett, meanwhile, is averaging 19.0 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. His shooting has been spectacular, knocking 54.2 percent of his field goals and going 53.3 percent from 3-point range.