On Saturday, DePaul plays host to St. John’s for the second time this season. The last time out saw a win for the Red Storm at Madison Square Garden by a score of 74 to 67. It was the first win in conference play for St. John’s with hopeful signs that the Red Storm had turned the corner. Unfortunately the next three games have been a case of close but no cigar with close losses to both Providence and Seton Hall, and a hanging around with Marquette before the Golden Eagles blew the lid off the game late in the second half.
Fortunes have been about the same for the Blue Demons, who two games after their first clash with the Red Storm did pick up an impressive 79-66 win over Butler. Other than that it has been a case of hanging in but not finishing off. They had an great showing in their loss to Villanova, the game immediately after the St. John’s game and recently hang around with Creighton before the Blue Jays blew the lid off that one similar to St. John’s loss to Marquette. It is almost as if these two teams are mirroring each with in conference play so far. It would make sense given that you can mask talent and play over the course of non-conference play, but those masks can easily be pulled off once conference play begin and your true talent level is shown
For both the Red Storm and the Blue Demons it has been a case of something missing. St. John’s consistency on offense and secondary options to go with L.J. Figueroa though in recent games Rasheem Dunn has been slotting in well quite nicely. Mustapha Heron as well had a great game against Marquette, hopefully a sign that he is back to form. DePaul it could be a case of inexperience as this is a younger team that needs time and a little more experience before things flesh out. Still though they have a lot of excellent options that on their day can really shine for the Blue Demons. In particular Paul Reed has been absolutely stellar this season with a double-double average of 16.3 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game, as has Charlie Moore with a 15.9 points per game average and an excellent 6.8 assists per game.
In all this should be a fun game with two teams that play interesting styles. At this juncture it is not a lost season for either team and depending on who wins could hopefully kick start something to start making moves up the Big East standings. It is also interesting that the first time both met neither had a win in conference play and now again squaring off both have one win in symmetrical fashion.
Time: 2:00 PM ET
Streaming: Fox Sports Go (where available)