When and Where
Time and Date: Friday, December 11th at 4:30 PM ET
Where: Prudential Center, Newark NJ
TV: CBS Sports Network
Records: St. John’s (5-1) | Seton Hall (3-3)
Rankings: St. John’s (#84 KenPom) | Seton Hall (#59 KenPom)
Spread: Seton Hall (-7)
Normally we would not be starting conference play in the Big East until around the new year, but this year will be a bit different. Following a shortened slate of non-conference games the Big East is taking an early plunge into kick starting their conference play in a shortened, play it by ear, sort of format that would take us through the rest of the month.
Kicking things off will be the Pirates of Seton Hall hosting the St. John’s Red Storm at the Prudential Center. The Pirates are sitting on a 3-3 record following the completion of their nonconference games. They were able to play what feels like an actual portion of their scheduled nonconference games, and faced a good challenge in each game with wins against Iona, Penn State, and Wagner and losses to Louisville, Rhode Island, and Oregon.
At this point in the season Seton Hall have been averaging 77.5 points per game and have been allowing 71.8 points per game. Sandro Mamukelashvili and Jared Rhoden have been leading the way in scoring for Seton Hall. Mamukelashvili has been averaging 18.5 points per game, and Rhoden has been posting 15.7 points per game. They have also been the leading rebounders so far, each averaging 7.2 rebounds per game. Shavar Reynolds has been moving the ball well for Kevin Willard’s team so far with 5.7 assists per game. It should be an interesting this game against St. John’s as any game against a big east opponent is an interesting game.
Speaking of St. John’s they are coming into this game having gone 5-1 in non-conference play. The one loss came against BYU and the five wins were against Saint Peter’s, Boston College, Stony Brook, and Rider. Despite the record and a decent start to the season it has not exactly been smooth sailing so far for the Johnnies. They have the talent in Mike Anderson’s second season as head coach, but there have been a lot of rough patches and signs that the team is not gelling well so far. In the games against where the Red Storm should have won with ease they found themselves lagging behind or trying to kick start something on offense. Most notably this issue was apparent against Saint Peter’s on the opening night of the season and against Rider in their final non-conference game.
Still though, there are some eyecatching players for the Red Storm this season with Julian Champagnie leading the way in scoring with 22.0 points per game in his four games that he has played. Newcomers Vince Cole and Isaih Moore have excelled well from making the jump from the junior college ranks, and Posh Alexander has been moving the ball well in his freshman season so far. Hopefully all of this put together means that St. John’s can finally get off the line in conference play as oppose to the last few seasons where they had decent to solid showings in non-conference play before sputtering at the opening tip against Big East opposition.