The 2019 season has not started off auspiciously for the St. John’s Red Storm. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The Johnnies are 2-0 on the year thus far in their first season under Mike Anderson. Anderson’s team has unsurprisingly gotten out and run, and the benefits have been reaped. They’ve defeated the Mercer Bears and the Central Connecticut Blue Devils, dispatching each by 30 points. Now they’ll be tasked with trying to do the same to the New Hampshire Wildcats on Tuesday night.
While the rest of the Big East teams will be playing in the highly competitive Gavitt Games against the teams of the Big Ten, St. John’s gets a nice, tasty cupcake. The Wildcats are 2-0 as well to be fair, but rank 317th on KenPom so far. They’re not currently projected to do many great things in the America East, as they likely won’t pose much a threat to the likes of the UMBC Retrievers, the Albany Great Danes or the Vermont Catamounts, who St. John’s coincidentally faces next. They were picked to finish last in the America East, and had no players recognized on the Preseason All-America East Conference Team.
That’s not to say that they’re deficient of talent by any means of course. But they are a team that is very thin on depth. Coach Bill Herrion’s team has ‘unleashed’ just seven players in the first two games of the year. As a result, you have a situation where juniors Sean Sutherlin and Josh Hopkins and freshmen Nick Guadarrama and Jayden Martinez have logged a lot of minutes. Senior guard Mark Carbone and senior forward Chris Lester have done so as well, while sophomore Marque Maultsby has played the least amount of minutes, but still has a ‘lofty’ Min% of 27.5.
I would suspect that St. John’s is going to win this game rather handily. The Wildcats’ lack of depth will likely be a problem, as will their ability to defend or lack thereof. Mustapha Heron has been on fire to start the season, and is probable to go off yet again. He’s scored 55 points in the first two games of the year and has shot 17-for-28 from the field, including a deft mark of 10-for-13 from 3-Point Land™. I don’t think anybody on New Hampshire can handle Heron, much less the rest of the team, so this should be a very easy game for the Johnnies to take control of.
Vermont will likely be the team from the America East to give St. John’s fits, if anyone is going to.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
Spread: St. John’s (-20.5)
Moneyline: St. John’s -5000 | New Hampshire +1500