After starting the season 12-0 and then losing their last two games, the 10/11 ranked Cards (12-2, 0-1) will try to get back on track Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden when they take on the St. John’s Red Storm (7-6, 1-1). Not that any stretch of the Big East schedule can be called “easy”, but the next four games for the Cards are definitely theirs to lose. That all starts with a road test against the Red Storm, who are 0-4 against ranked teams this season.
St. John’s is 1-1 in the Big East, with a win against Providence (91-67) and a loss at UConn (83-69). They have 4 players that average double figures in scoring. Moe Harkless, a 6’8 freshman from Queens, NY, leads the way with 15.7 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding with 8.3 per game. He has 4 double-doubles on the season, all in his last 6 games. Against Providence, he had 32 points and 13 rebounds.
The second leading scorer is also a freshman. In fact, St. John’s has 9 freshmen on their roster. D’Angelo Harrison is a 6’3 guard from Missouri City, Texas. He is averaging 15.2 ppg. He has scored in double figures in every game except for 2 this season. That is very consistent for a freshman. He scored a season high 25 points against Providence.
It will be important for a lot of UofL players to play well. Other than Russ Smith, anyone who is in the normal rotation did not play well against UK. The Cards need to have a complete game, and need the starters to show they are ready to compete in the Big East. This game could be the start of a nice little winning streak if they take care of business, but that all starts with doing the little things and taking care of St. John’s.
Peyton Siva has to take care of the ball. He has been driving into the lane and getting too deep and either getting his shot blocked, or getting stuck with no where to pass the ball. If he does get too deep and still passes it, it is usually a turnover. He has made his share of flashy moves to get in there and get layups, but he just needs to settle down and run the offense.
Gorgui Dieng has to get more touches. According to Siva and Russ Smith, the gameplan against UK was to get Dieng involved more. Well that certainly did not look like the plan while watching the game. That doesn’t mean he has to shoot it a lot more, but just get the ball inside and hit the cutter or kick it back out for the three. Either way, there needs to be some kind of threat in the post.
The game is on Tuesday at 7:00 pm and will be televised on ESPNU. It can also be heard on WKRD 790 AM.
Also at 7:00 pm, the UofL WBB team (12-2, 1-0) will host Marquette (9-5, 0-1) at the KFC Yum! Center. Shoni Schimmel (14 ppg) , Becky Burke (11.8 ppg), and Bria Smith (10.8 ppg) are the 3 Cardinals that average double figures.
Marquette enters the game on a four game winning streak, but UofL has won 3 of the last 4 games in the series. You can listen to the game on 101.7 FM.