WHERE: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
TIME: 8:00 PM EST
TV: Pac-12 Network
SERIES HISTORY: 2nd meeting between two teams (St. John's lead series 1-0)
In the first year of Chris Mullin's coaching career, the St. John's Red Storm did not win their eighth game until February 17.
In his second year, they won their eighth game on New Year's Day.
This year? December 5th.
The progression in the first three years of the Mullin Era has been built from the ground up towards knocking on the door of a possible NCAA Tournament bid.
The Johnnies look to continue their best start since before Mullin came home to coach his alma mater, as they face their toughest test this season: The Arizona State Sun Devils.
Without guard Marcus LoVett, who sprained his knee in practice last week, playing a team like Arizona State will tough. It will be particularly tough due to the strong guard play from ASU in Tra Holder (22 PPG) and Shannon Evans II (18.7 PPG). Look to see if St. John's puts Justin Simon on Holder in order to limit his touches and offense Friday night.
The Red Storm put Simon on Grand Canyon University's leading scorer Josh Braun and limited him to 13 points on just 5-15 shooting in their win over the Antelopes Tuesday night.
The Sun Devils tagged fellow Big East member Xavier in the championship of the Las Vegas Invitational behind 40 from Holder. The 16th ranked team in the nation also boasts a Top 5 scoring offense (92 points per game).
The Johnnies got their first signature win of Mullin's coaching career last season against Butler in Queens. They would love nothing more than to go out West and take down one of the hottest teams in college basketball.