Following their rout of Rutgers last Friday night, St. John’s now turn their attention to two nights at the Barclays Center for the Legends Classic. The Red Storm will be heading into this one as one of the early pace setters in the Big East. Waiting for them on the court to start off the classic will be the Golden Bears of California and waiting in the wings will be either Temple or Virginia Commonwealth. Will this be another golden night for St. John’s against Cal? Well let’s find out.
How to Watch or Stream
Time: 7:00 pm
Line: St. John’s -13.5
All-time: This will be the first meeting between Cal and St. John’s.
So far in this season St. John’s have a record of 3-0, and are coming off a rousing win against Rutgers as mentioned up above. They played against Rutgers like they have been here before. It was a demonstration in shooting and playing with momentum, though some might say that they got lucky with the three point shot it was definitely an added bonus to have such a hot hand.
The win also showed that Shamorie Ponds can have an off night and everything will be alright with the depth that is now in the Red Storm roster. L.J. Figueroa will certainly be an interesting prospect heading into this game after the night he had last Friday going off for 23 points. Mustapha Heron will also look to keep the hot start to his St. John’s career going in this game.
As for this game, well the Red Storm will be meeting the California Golden Bears in the Legends Classic. It is technically a neutral site game but in actuality will be a home game for St. John’s. It is in interesting match up in terms of scheduling going from Big Ten opposition to a school from the Pac-12 though that interesting point might be limited as the Golden Bears might be well less then golden this season.
So far in this young season, California are sitting on a record of 1-1 and one cancelled game. The cancelled game was to be against Detroit Mercy and was cancelled due to poor air quality from the Butte County wildfires. As for the other two results are a polar opposites of each other. Their lose was a 76 to 59 rout by Yale in Shanghai to open the season and was then followed up by a 80 to 66 win over Hampton. Again quite polar opposites and maybe not much to glean from these result as Yale so far this season has been tough to play against and Hampton have been fairly straight forward in terms of a match up. All five starters ended the night in double digit points against Hampton.
Paris Austin will be the player to watch on the Golden Bears as he has been the player who gets things going for Cal. So far in the season, he is averaging 19 points per game and 4 assists per game, both team leading marks. He is not the best shooter though as that goes to Andre Kelly, who at the moment is shooting the ball at a rate of 77.8 percent over 27.5 minutes per game, so that is another player who St. John’s will have to keep an eye on.
As a whole though Cal might not put up the best of fight as they are averaging 69.5 points per game and allow 71.0 points per game. In comparison, St. John’s averages 81.3 points per game and allow 66.7 points game. It might suggest that St. John’s should be able to get to the Golden Bears. It will be interesting to see how the Golden Bears manage the options that are at the disposal of the Red Storm.
One thing though it would be nice if St. John’s even with these options used their depth as well to so just how well rounded the team is and this game is a good measure for that as it is still early in the season to get a handle on all aspects and also against an opponent from a major conference.
In all though this should be a fun game and presents St. John’s with the option for another big night. After this either Temple or Virginia Commonwealth will be waiting for either team.