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Xavier vs. St. John’s preview

The Musketeers host the reeling Johnnies.

Xavier v St John's Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

XAVIER MUSKETEERS VS. ST. JOHN’S RED STORM

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Sports Network

Watch Online: You can access CBSSN at this link. The following providers have CBS Sports Network available to watch online:

DirecTV NOW, COX, Buckeye Broadband, Hulu, FUBO TV, Frontier Communications, Suddenlink, Optimum, Mediacom, YouTube TV, WOW!, and Verizon

(That will help most of you east coast types tonight)


THE SKINNY

Records: Xavier (16-3, 4-2 Big East) // St. John’s (10-8, 0-6 Big East)

Rankings: Xavier (#11 AP, #12 USA TODAY, #16 KenPom) // St. John’s (#79 KenPom)

Last 5: Xavier (3-2) // St. John’s (0-5)


ODDS

Spread: Xavier opened as a 12-point favorite. The line ticked down to 11.5 in some spots.

Total: 155 or 155.5, depending on where you look.

Records ATS: Xavier (13-6) | St. John’s (8-8)


STATZ

Points Per 40 Leaders: Kerem Kanter // Shamorie Ponds

AST% Leaders: Quentin Goodin // Shamorie Ponds

USG% Leaders: Kerem Kanter // Shamorie Ponds

BLK% Leaders: Sean O’Mara // Tariq Owens


The Xavier Musketeers and St. John’s Red Storm will be locked and loaded for Big East action on Wednesday night. The Musketeers and Red Storm come into this matchup on complete opposite ends of the spectrum.

Xavier has been a bit up and down to start Big East play. After beginning their season with a 3-0 start, losses to the Providence Friars and Villanova Wildcats took them off the rails. Luckily for their sake, they rebounded on Saturday with a victory over the Creighton Bluejays. It was an emphatic win at home, as they took down the 22nd-ranked team on KenPom by 22 points and held them to 70. To put that defensive effort into perspective, it was only the second time all season that the Jays put up 70 or less points. So, Xavier should really feel good about themselves right about now.

For the Red Storm, however, things have been less than stellar. Optimism breathed into Queens at the start of the year thanks to transfers Justin Simon and Marvin Clark II. Those two, combined with Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett, were supposed to make things better for the Johnnies this season. And at the outset, it looked like that. They started off 5-0, and were 8-1 after December 5.

Everything has gone downhill since. The Johnnies are 2-7 since that day and have lost all six Big East games they’ve played. The absence of Marcus LoVett has stung and stung badly. LoVett, regarded as one of the best scorers on the team and the conference, dealt with an injury for that entire time period and was recently shut down. Shamorie Ponds is terrific in his own right, but it’s clear that without Marcus, the Johnnies just aren’t the same club.

It’s tough to figure that the Johnnies stand much a chance against Xavier. The one thing that can absolutely help them is that they can score in bunches. But it’s a matter of “will.” They’ve put up an average of 70.67 points in their Big East affairs. As they face a Musketeers squad who averages 84.9 points per game (22nd in the nation) that looks like it could present a problem.