WHERE: Madison Square Garden, New York City
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. ET
MOBILE: Fox Sports Go
LINE: St. John’s -6.5 (OddsShark)
O/U: 148.5 (OddsShark)
SERIES HISTORY: St. John’s leads, 57-51, and has won the last two matchups.
KENPOM: St. John’s, 78-71, 72 percent
Two of the Big East’s most prolific players, Chris Mullin and Patrick Ewing, will open a new chapter in their storied rivalry, as each will coach his respective alma mater in Tuesday evening’s matchup between the St. John’s Red Storm (10-6, 0-4 Big East) and Georgetown Hoyas (11-4, 1-3 Big East).
The Johnnies enter the game as the only team in the Big East without a conference win to their name. In their most recent game, the Red Storm fell at home to DePaul (8-8, 1-3 Big East), 91-74. Bashir Ahmed led the way with 21 points and Shamorie Ponds added 15 points and six assists, but foul trouble plagued St. John’s, as they surrendered 29 free throw attempts to the Blue Demons while shooting only 14 themselves.
Georgetown, meanwhile, is currently eighth in the conference, but lost by a season-high 24 points, 90-66, to Creighton (13-3, 3-1 Big East) at home on Saturday. Jagan Mosely paced the Hoyas with 11 points and four assists. A lackluster defensive effort ultimately doomed the Hoyas, as they surrendered 16 3-pointers to the Bluejays in the loss.
This game features a contrast in offensive focuses. St. John’s is led by the dynamic backcourt duo of Ponds (19.2 ppg, 4.9 apg) and Marcus LoVett (14.9 ppg). But LoVett has been out since Dec. 2 with a knee sprain and did not practice yesterday, per Zach Braziller of the New York Post. Given Georgetown’s struggles to defend scoring guards throughout the season, LoVett's absence will be especially apparent tonight. Georgetown, on the other hand, relies on its imposing frontcourt pair of Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson. Govan leads the Hoyas in scoring (18.1 ppg) and ranks second in the conference in rebounding (11.7 rpg), while Derrickson provides a steady scoring output (14.5 ppg) and inside presence (7.3 rpg). Derrickson is shooting a blistering 54 percent from the field, 43 percent from deep, and 92 percent from the line on the season.
Should each team stick to its usual starting lineup, the Hoyas will boast a size advantage at every position top open the game. As such, Georgetown holds a +5 rebounding advantage over St. John’s. The Red Storm will need to lean on their stingy scoring defense (68.2 opponent ppg) if they hope to grab their first Big East game of the season.
Prediction: Georgetown 77, St. John’s 71.
Shooting might not travel, but size does. Govan and Derrickson struggled mightily on Saturday and will rebound (pun intended) with strong performances. Without LoVett, St. John’s will struggle to find an offensive rhythm against the much larger Hoyas.