How to Watch, Stream, and More
Where and When: Saturday, January 19th at Hinkle Fieldhouse
Time: 4:30 PM ET
Watch: FOX (Check your local listings)
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: 570 AM WMCA (St. John’s), CBS Sports 1430 AM (Butler)
All-Time Series: With only 11 games played between the two programs, this is still a relatively fresh matchup for both St. John’s and Butler. Oddly enough though, the first game played between the two took place in 1958, with St. John’s beating Butler by a score of 76-69.
Following that game neither would play each other for another 56 years, when this game became a regular fixture in the new Big East calendar during the 2013-14 season. So much history happened it between the first and second game that it could be its own post about it.
Anyway, as for the record in this matchup, it is a close one. Butler at the moment holds the slim lead of six wins to St. John’s five. If St. John’s wins on Saturday, then it will be dead even again.
In roughly a few weeks time, we will be at the midway point for in the Big East schedule. It is crazy how fast these games have come since the opening tip took place on December 29th. In the span of time since then to now, we are starting to get an idea as to how and what kind of season the Big East is shaping up to be for its 10 teams.
Two of whom, in the form of Butler and St. John’s, have had mixed fortunes so far. Their paths will become much more clear once those paths cross and this game is done and dusted on late Saturday afternoon.
It will be the 12th time that either is facing off against each other, and coming into this game, there is quite the tale of the tape.
The Butler Bulldogs have been relatively shaky so far. 18 games in, they are sitting on an overall record of 11-7 and a 2-3 mark in the Big East. They have had mixed fortunes in their past four games, with either the result being a incredibly close loss or a domineering win. The kicker of this being that those close losses came back-to-back, and in between were the domineering wins.
Both losses might have shown some limitations in the Butler roster as they fell to 76-75 to a solid Seton Hall Pirates team. Then again, the Pirates grinding out a result like that may be nothing new, but that loss for Butler was followed up with a 70-69 loss to the Xavier Musketeers. That loss in turn may have given a bit of gusto to the Musketeers season, although they fell to the Villanova Wildcats on Friday night.
They did rebound against the DePaul Blue Demons with an 87-69 win earlier in the week, which once again gave the Bulldogs an upbeat approach to the weekend. Had they have lost, there might be a change of focus for the Bulldogs, which would revolve around trying to figure what has gone wrong.
Still though, there is a lot of good in this roster, anchored heavily by the play of Kamar Baldwin. Baldwin at this point in the season is averaging an even 17.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. Where Baldwin goes, so do the Bulldogs.
He is not alone though as there is a good supporting case on LaVall Jordan’s roster. Paul Jorgensen and Sean McDermott have both been solid so far on offense, with Jorgensen averaging 12.4 points and McDermott putting up 10.6 points per game. Jordan Tucker is close to Baldwin’s rebound clip with a mark of 5.4 boards per game thus far. Aaron Thompson could be another focal point for the offense, with a assist rate of 4.3 per game.
St. John’s enters this game at 15-3 and 3-3 in the Big East. They have had a tough stretch over their last three games, with losses coming against Villanova last week and then to DePaul over the weekend. The loss to DePaul dropped them out of the Top 25, a crushing blow to be sure. The Johnnies did rebound midweek with a win and an overall great showing against the Creighton Bluejays, especially for Shamorie Ponds, who came back with much fanfare after his absence over the weekend due to a back injury.
Still though, things might not be that rosy for St. John’s at the moment, with the last few games being a bit of a sliding doors moment for Chris Mullin’s team. While their easy nonconference schedule gave them a boost in the win column, it did not do much wonders for their tournament resume. That leaves them with the fact that they need to finish the rest of the season strong. Fortunately the middle of the Big East has fortune abound within the form of some excellent contests that will push and test this Red Storm roster. But naturally before we get there, they must go through Butler, who in the last few seasons has been a bit of a spike in the road for the Red Storm.
This game will be interesting to also see which St. John’s team shows up. Will it be the smooth and well-moving team that played against Creighton? Or the team that showed gaps in their game against DePaul and Villanova?
Overall though, it should be a fun and exciting game. But one more thing from the St. John’s perspective: It will be interesting to see if Chris Mullin can get any action from his bench, which so far has at times been a quiet feature for the Red Storm this season. If he can get some action then it could be an added bonus.
Overall, this should be a great game to watch.