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St. John’s hosts Seton Hall: Preview

This will be the first of two games between the Johnnies and the Pirates in the next three days

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch

Time and Date: Saturday, January 22, 2022, at noon ET

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

TV: Fox Sports 1

Stream: Fox Sports Go

Records: Seton Hall (11-5, 2-4) || St. John’s (10-6, 2-3)

Rankings: Seton Hall (#29 KenPom) || St. John’s (#95 KenPom)

This game will be the first of two games between the Seton Hall Pirates and the St. John’s Red Storm over the next three days. The reason why they are playing in quick succession is one to complete their scheduled conference games in due course and two to make up for the fact that the Red Storm and the Pirates were supposed to play each other as the opener to Big East play but was postponed due to Covid protocols.

Originally St. John’s was handed a win by proxy due to the original rules in the Big East for this season was if a team could not fulfill a game on the schedule then a loss would be handed to them via forfeit and a win handed to the opponent.

Thankfully this did not come to pass and now we get two games in three days between these two rival programs.

Last time out for St. John’s things did not exactly go according to plan as the Johnnies fell to the Creighton Blue Jays by a score of 87 to 64. It was a crucial game for Mike Anderson’s team who were coming into the midweek clash fresh off a solid win over Georgetown and in the end, they came up short with some rough shooting throughout the night. The Red Storm in the game shot only 38.6% from the floor in this game and even Julian Champagnie had a particularly rough night going only 7-21 for 17 points.

It seems that there is a cycle of wash, rinse, and repeat for St. John’s. They can play well and beat the teams at the lower end of the conference but struggle further up the conference table. On top of that, it appears that there is a rut in how the Red Storm’s lineup has been constructed in recent games. Although there are positive strides especially with Dylan Addae-Wusu complimenting the play of Posh Alexander at guard there tends to be some but not a whole lot of adjustment in moving guys from rotation to starting positions. The biggest example is currently Aaron Wheeler who emerged recently as a solid player on offense for St. John’s and a much scoring option to accompany Champagnie in the shooting department. Against Creighton, Wheeler had 16 points on the night. It might take a bit of tinkering from here till the end of the regular season to get St. John’s right. The talent is there but it just needs to shine through a bit more.

Seton Hall has fallen into a slump in recent weeks as well. They are currently on a 2 game losing streak with losses coming in recent weeks to DePaul and earlier this week Marquette. It seems more of a case of coming up short rather than being outplayed as despite the recent struggles and overall the issues that the team has faced due to Covid in the conference has not exactly meant smooth sailing on the Big East high seas for these Pirates. Against DePaul, they had a lead but lost in the final minutes of the game and against the Golden Eagles, it more or less came due to a controversial call that tilted the game in favor of Marquette. Then again it also does not help that both these losses came on the road as well though, in the case of playing St. John’s, Madison Square Gardens has been a friendly confine for Kevin Willard’s team.

Even with the recent struggles, this is still an all-around solid team that should be at the top or close to the top of the Big East standings but are just going through the motions at the moment. It would not be surprised if things start turning upward for Seton Hall once again, especially with Jared Rhoden and Bryce Aiken in the lineup. They are two guys who on their day can give the Pirates that added boost to get over the line.

Overall this should be an interesting game to watch as both of these teams have a lot of life in them and can provide an offensive spectacle. Hopefully, this is a fun one, and looking for to the second leg of this affair on Monday.