Pregame Primer: St. John’s Red Storm

January 19, 2018

On Saturday, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (12-6, 2-5 Big East) will take on the St. John’s Red Storm (10-9, 0-7 Big East) at the Capital One Arena. The Hoyas and Red Storm currently sit at 8th and 10th, respectively, in the Big East standings and look to pick up a win in what have been difficult seasons to this point.

The Hoyas last played on Wednesday, when they took on the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (17-1, 5-1 Big East) and suffered a brutal 88-56 loss on their home court. It was the first time since 1974 that they lost by more than 30 points. Junior center Jessie Govan compiled 12 points and six points, while junior forward Marcus Derrickson added eight points and eight rebounds. However, the dynamic frontcourt duo shot 7-20 from the field, good for just 35 percent. All five of the Villanova starters scored in double digits, as well as sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo, who scored 13 off the bench. Most impressive was junior guard Jalen Brunson, who had 18 points and seven assists, and shot 7-11 from the field and 4-7 from 3-point range. Overall, the Wildcats shot an impressive 17-33 (51.5 percent) from 3-point range.

St. John’s is coming off a 88-82 defeat at No. 11 Xavier (17-3, 5-2 Big East). Sophomore guard Justin Simon racked up a career high 28 points, nine assists, and six rebounds. Sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds also contributed 18 points. The Red Storm, however, could not stop Xavier’s duo of senior forward Kerem Kanter and senior guard Trevon Bluiett, who scored 22 and 23, respectively. Kanter also grabbed 13 rebounds, and recorded his third double-double on the season.

The Red Storm will be looking for revenge in D.C., as the Hoyas took a tight 69-66 victory on January 9 at Madison Square Garden. In that game, Govan punished the St. John’s frontcourt, scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Derrickson also added 17 and eight. On Saturday, look for St. John’s to get creative on defense against these two big men. Despite junior forward Tariq Owens’ 6-foot-11 frame, he weighs in at just 205 pounds compared to Govan’s 270, and was unable to handle Govan last time.

The Hoyas will likely be focused on locking down Simon and Ponds. The two are scoring for a combined 31.7 points per game this season, and Georgetown has had trouble defending scoring guards like Brunson, Syracuse’s Tyus Battle, and Marquette’s Andrew Rowsey this season. Georgetown guards senior Jonathan Mulmore, junior Kaleb Johnson, and sophomore Jagan Mosely will have to stick with Simon and Ponds, and force the Red Storm to play through their front court, which isn’t as strong.

Tip off is set for 12:00 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. It can also be streamed on Fox Sports Go. Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day updates and breaking news.

Tristan Lee
Tristan is the Voice's sports executive and a senior in Georgetown College. He mostly covers Georgetown's football, basketball, and baseball teams.

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