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St. John’s v Creighton - Preview

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To Marcus and Martin: You’re greatly missed.

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow

Game Time: 7:30pm CT

Location: Carnesseca Arena, Queens, NY

TV: FS1 / FSGo

Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 570AM WMCA & 970AM WNYM in New York

Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / Rumble in the Garden - St. John’s

Tweeters:

Creighton - Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Corey Lathrop / Jon Nyatawa

St. John’s: Andrew Padyk / St. John’s MBB / East Coast Bias (RitG) / Rumble in the Garden


Odds & Ends

Creighton opened as a 3.5 point favorite over the Johnnies according to Odds Shark.

Creighton has a 64% chance of beating St. John’s according to Kenpom, with a predicted score of 80-76.


What Happened and What’s Changed

Back in the early days of January, just after the new year was born into our consciousness, Creighton welcomed St. John’s into the CenturyLink Center. On this same night, Markus Howard dropped 52 for Marquette, proceeded to beat Providence, and made history.

By the end of the game, Creighton squeaked by with a 78-71 victory over the Johnnies, with Marcus Foster pouring in 25 points on 10-16 shooting, including 5 treys.

Shamorie Ponds was sort of a gametime decision as he recovered from a knee injury. He started and played, but the left handed super pointguard was clearly a little slow on the uptake. He didn’t shine offensively but instead allowed his teammates to make plays, doling out 5 assists and scoring just 12 on 14 shots. Bashir Ahmed was the star of the night for the boys from Queens, scoring 21 points on 8-14 shooting.

Khyri Thomas proved to be the hero of this affair, hitting a dagger three with 10 seconds left to push the Bluejays lead to 5. Ronnie Harrell extended the lead to 7 after making a couple of free throws.

Chris Mullin exited without making a scene, as his Johnnies did battle with a program hitting their stride and fell just short without Marcus LoVett.

The Johnnies have begun a spiral downward that’d make Donald Trump shake his head in disbelief.

Since that Creighton game, St. John’s has lost five straight. They’ve lost to Georgetown twice, including just this past Saturday in double overtime - though, Shamorie scored 33 and seems to have hit his stride again - while losing close games to Villanova and Xavier, and somehow, in the most St. John’s way possible, getting blown out by DePaul.

Then, there was the bizarre story of Marcus LoVett, who’d been battling an injury but had been listed as day-to-day by Coach Mullin. Everyone in the BIG EAST expected his triumphant return to occur at some point, yet out of the blue LoVett’s father publicly came out and said Marcus was getting shut down for the remainder of the year. There was a lot of silence from St. John’s for the next 24 hours before they released a statement saying he was being shut down.

Meanwhile, in Omaha, the Jays ripped off two straight after facing the Johnnies, beating Georgetown and Butler, before getting rocked on the road against Xavier. They returned to Omaha and buried Seton Hall, but lost rising star forward/center Martin Krampelj in the process. On Saturday they met the frozen rims of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and shot their way out of a quality win against Providence.

Both teams are at a crossroads. St. John’s has come so close to getting a conference win, but haven’t been able to pull it off. Creighton is scrambling to figure out their identity after losing Krampelj. What’s gonna give?

I say a St. John’s victory, finally, is imminent to put themselves in the win column. The Jays are limping their way to a bye week where they can reconfigure things, but it’s going to take a little bit more time and practice before they can regroup properly. St. John’s has had the time to figure out what their identity is after LoVett went out, giving them a bit of an upper hand in the grand scheme of this one. Plus, Shamorie Ponds is getting hot at the right time. This has all the makings of a St. John’s victory.

At least Jordan Scurry got a scholarship.


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