St. John’s vs. Georgetown College Basketball Pick/Preview
NCAA Basketball Spread: Off
Georgetown nearly knocked off Syracuse in the Carrier Dome earlier this week, but the Hoyas dropped that one in overtime. How will the Hoyas respond to a tough loss like that one? St. John’s is an extremely young team, but they do have plenty of talent. The Hoyas beat the Red Storm by 20 on the road, so St. John’s will be looking for some revenge here.
Malik Stith was the only player left from last year’s St. John team, but he left the team citing personal reasons earlier this week. Stith’s departure leaves St. John with a six-man rotation, and all of those six players are in their first year with the program. It has been a rough year for a program that looked to be quickly on the rise before the season started. Steve Lavin put together one of the best recruiting classes in the history of the school, but things turned south from there. Lavin has missed most of the year due to complications from prostate cancer. The team as a whole has shown glimpses of greatness, but as a whole they have been disappointing.
St. John’s lacks an outside shooter, which really hurts their offense. The Red Storm are shooting a miserable 27.9% from beyond the arc as a team. Maurice Harkless, D’Angelo Harrison, and God’sgift Achiuwa are the leaders for this team. Defensively, St. John’s allows opponents to score 70.3 points per game.
Georgetown has been better than most people expected this year. John Thompson III credits the team’s success this year to their tough trip to China in the offseason. The Hoyas got in a fight in China when the local Chinese team went crazy, but in the end it might have turned out to be a good thing for this squad. The Hoyas are now a much closer knit unit, and team chemistry is great. Jason Clark gives the Hoyas a senior leader that St. John’s is lacking. Clark averages 15 points per game, and he shoots 50.4% from the floor. Henry Sims barely saw the floor last year, but he is the Hoyas main post presence this season. Sims averages 11.6 points and 5.7 boards per game. Hollis Thompson is knocking down 48% of his three-point attempts this year, and he really helps stretch the defense.
Georgetown has always been known for their strong half court defense, and this year’s unit fits that mold nicely. This is a team that plays very good defense and is quick to help out when one person gets beat off the dribble. Opponents shoot just 38.8% from the floor against this tough defense. Georgetown is giving up only 58.8 points per game.
St. John’s has really been struggling lately, and it’s hard to imagine them sticking around in this one. Look for Georgetown to cruise to a comfortable win.
Prediction: Georgetown 78 St. John’s 60
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