How to Watch
Time and Date: February 5, 2022, 12 p.m. ET
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
TV: Fox Sports 1
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Records: St. John’s (12-9, 4-6) || Butler (11-11, 4-7)
Rankings: St. John’s (#87 KenPom) || Butler (#136 KenPom)
Surprisingly despite being over the halfway mark for conference play this will be the first time this season that the Butler Bulldogs and the St. John’s Red Storm will be playing each other. This is due to the first meeting being postponed due to Covid issues. This is also why St. John’s has played three games over the last six days to make up for postponements while also playing already-scheduled games.
Anyhow, heading into this game are two teams that despite being close to each other in the standings feel like they have differing fortunes at this point in the season.
Butler is coming off a midweek loss to Xavier where the Bulldogs put up a spirited fight but ultimately fell short by a score of 68-66 as Zach Freemantle was the deciding factor to turn fortunes in the favor of the Musketeers. Prior to that, they had been on a two-game win streak with victories over Creighton and Georgetown. At the moment they sit at .500 with a record of 11-11. They have a 4-7 record in conference play and yet everything so far might be the better part of the season. From February 20 to March 5, they have to play Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette, and Villanova. Not the easiest stretch to close out the season but hopefully, they can buck their projection.
At the moment they are led by the play of Chuck Harris. Their best secondary scoring option is Bryce Golden, but on the whole, sadly Butler is not littered at the moment with solid offensive talent. Aaron Thompson, who last season was averaging 10.4 points per game, has regressed this season with a scoring average of around 7.7. Though he is leading the team in assists with 3.9 assists per game on the season.
It seems that for Butler to have a say in this game they will need St. John’s to have an off day which could potentially happen as the Johnnies are prone to inconsistent play from time to time.
St. John’s had a busy week with differing results. They had a loss against Providence and a win against Georgetown. Oddly enough neither result was too far off from each other. The game against Georgetown was the most complete game that they have played this season with nearly everyone on the roster leaving some contribution to the game. Perhaps the best contribution of all was Julian Champagnie emerging out of his slump to go off for 27 points against the Hoyas. While the Johnnies were able to play well with a slumping Champagnie his return just adds another layer to a team that when everything is on point can be a tough task.
It especially means that Mike Anderson now has a multitude of players to call who came to step up as well. The benefit of this is it hopefully means that St. John’s can turn the tide on their season.
This will be the first test for that idea though as St. John’s is making the trip to Hinkle, a place that they have not won at since 2014. This time around they hope things will be different for them. Butler might have a game in them and something to prove before the season is over. In all, it should be an interesting game to watch unfold.