Pregame Primer: St. John’s Red Storm

January 8, 2018

The Georgetown men’s basketball team (11-4, 1-3 Big East) will take on St. John’s (10-6, 0-4 Big East) on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Hoyas are looking to get back on their feet after a 90-66 clobbering at the hands of Creighton (13-3, 3-1 Big East) on Saturday.

The Bluejays hit 16 three-pointers on their way to a complete rout of the Hoyas at the Capital One Arena. The Hoyas were unable to keep up with Creighton’s ball movement that produced 33 made field goals on 24 assists, and were unable to get any offense of their own going. Sophomore guard Jagan Mosely was the only Hoya to score in double digits with 11 points. The Hoyas shot 36.5 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from beyond the arc, while allowing the Bluejays to shoot 48.5 percent and 44.4 percent, respectively.

Georgetown’s star duo of junior center Jessie Govan and junior forward Marcus Derrickson were shut down by Creightons defense. Govan was double teamed almost every time he touched the ball, and as a result finished with only seven points in 23 minutes, paling in comparison to his 18.1 points per game average. Derrickson had even more trouble, finishing the game with four points in just 17 minutes, as Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing elected to sit Derrickson for much of the second half. In comparison, Derrickson has averaged 14.5 points and 29 minutes per game this season.

St. John’s is coming off a 17 point loss to Depaul (8-8, 1-3 Big East) on Saturday, and is still looking for its first conference win. Senior guard/forward Bashir Ahmed scored 21 points and grabbed seven boards for the Red Storm against the Blue Demons, while sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds added 15 points and six assists. Ponds leads the Johnnies in points this season, averaging 19.2 points per game, while Ahmed is averaging 12.9.

The 6-foot-10 Govan, the Hoyas’ leading scorer, will have his hands full playing against St. John’s 6-foot-11 redshirt junior forward Tariq Owens. Owens is averaging 8.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks a game. Much of the Hoyas’ success thus far in the season has come when Govan and Derrickson are dominant in and around the paint. Their ability to finish against Owens will be crucial to Georgetown’s offense.

Both the Red Storm and the Hoyas have played DePaul and Creighton in their most recent two games. While Georgetown beat DePaul, but suffered a 26 point loss to Creighton, St. John’s lost big to DePaul, but lost by only seven points to Creighton. This will be the first time the teams face each other since the first round of the 2017 Big East Tournament, in which the Johnnies bested the Hoyas 74-73 after Derrickson’s last second layup fell short. This will also be the first time St. John’s head coach and former legend Chris Mullin and Ewing face each other as coaches, rather than as players. Both played at their respective schools from 1981 to 1985, and were a part of shaping the Big East into a basketball powerhouse. Now both head coaches have returned to their respective alma maters in hopes of rebuilding their programs into the Big East powers they once were.

Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for game day updates and breaking news.

Beth Cunniff
Beth graduated from the College in 2019. She was Voice's alumni outreach manager, and the former sports editor. She accepts her role as a privileged Boston sports fan, but there’s really nothing she can do about it.

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