Another game, another loss for the DePaul Blue Demons. After two straight losses to Xavier and Villanova to begin Big East play, DePaul entered a winnable game against Georgetown. It made sense, both of these teams were at the bottom of the Big East standings and desperately needed a win.
However, it was not meant to be. Despite fighting back and showing some resolve, they were beaten by the Hoyas 90-81 and have now lost three straight games in conference play. The loss has kept DePaul in the cellar of the Big East with a record of 7-8. The loss to Georgetown also means DePaul is the only team in the Big East with a sub-.500 record. Despite being a talented team, they just can’t find a way to get it done. The scary part is things aren’t going to get any easier for this team. But they can take some solace in that their opponents in this next game are also near the bottom of the Big East standings.
The St. John’s Red Storm aren’t a bad basketball team. They have a record of 10-5, which is impressive and pretty good if you consider where they were just last year. Chris Mullin has done a really job of turning this program around and although it was tough during the rebuild, it looks to be paying off. Their start to the season was solid after nonconference play and things were looking alright. But it hasn’t been the case in conference play.
Like DePaul, St. John’s hasn’t won a game in Big East play. They currently sit second to last in the Big East with the tiebreaker being on overall record. It hasn’t been pretty, and a four-game losing streak is something which could mess up all the momentum they made in nonconference play.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 2 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports Network
Radio: WSCR 670 AM (DePaul) || 570 AM WMCA (St. John’s)
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Odds: The Johnnies enter this game as a 5.5 point favorite (via Oddsshark.com)
Record ATS: DePaul (8-6-1) || St. John’s (7-6)
O/U: The O/U opened at 145.5
Last Time They Met
This will be the 50th meeting between the two schools. St. John’s holds a 22-17 advantage and won both meetings last year.
3 Things to Watch
Limiting Max Strus
St. John’s has a pretty good defense, limiting opponents to only 66.7 points per game, good for 63rd in the country. The key for them in this game is to not let DePaul star Max Strus tear them apart. Strus can get hot in a hurry and he’s quickly proved himself to be an X-Factor for this DePaul team. He can get buckets and get them fast. If St. John’s isn't careful, he could light them up.
More from Shamorie Ponds
While Strus is the danger man for DePaul, the same can be said about Shamorie Ponds for St. John’s. Ponds has been really good this season, averaging 19.5 points per game. He’s been the main man for the Red Storm and, like Strus, they need his points for them to win. This makes the key for DePaul to obviously limit Ponds impact and force the other guys to beat you. The problem is that the “other guys” are good as well.
Who can snap the losing streak?
Both teams have losing streaks of three and badly need them to end. Obviously, the winner of this one will feel relieved, but it could be rocky times ahead for the loser. This is a tilt game for both teams.