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Marquette Basketball Preview Primer: at St. John's

Time for Marquette's first return bout of the season, so let's get ready for the game.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette Golden Eagles (12-7, 2-5) at St. John's Red Storm (7-12, 0-6)

Time: 2:45pm Central
Location: Carnesecca Arena in Queens, NY
Television: CBS Sports Network (tape delay at 5pm)
Radio: 540 ESPN (maybe?)
Live Stats: GameTracker

Marquette Stat Leaders

Points: Henry Ellenson, 15.7 ppg
Rebounds: Henry Ellenson, 9.5 rpg
Assists: Traci Carter, 4.8 apg

St. John's Stat Leaders

Points: Federico Mussini, 12.8 ppg
Rebounds: Yankuba Sima, 6.8 rpg
Assists: Federico Mussini, 2.6 apg

St. John's Injury Note: Yankuba Sima has missed St. John's last three games after breaking his hand against Xavier.  At the time, he was expected to miss 4-6 weeks and it has only been 17 days since the injury occurred.  Kassoum Yakwe has been starting in Sima's place and averaging six points and nine rebounds, including a nine point, 11 rebound performance against the Golden Eagles.

Current KenPom Rankings

Marquette: #116
St. John's: #243
KenPom Predictions: Marquette has a 65% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 71-67.

Since Last We Met: It's been exactly two weeks since Marquette and St. John's butted heads, and in the meantime, the Red Storm have only had two games.  Both turned into losses for St. John's, and neither were a surprise.  SJU was nowhere close to a favorite at home against Georgetown nor on the road against Butler.  Even worse, both games were blowout losses by the final horn, with matching 20 point margins.

Tempo Free Fun: As was the case two weeks ago, Marquette and St. John's are the two least efficient offenses in the Big East during conference play.  St. John's is the worst shooting team in the league, while Marquette is dragging up the back end in terms of turnover rate.  With that in mind, both teams had an eFG% over 50% in the first meeting, but their defensive acumen (#1 and #2 in league play in defensive turnover rate) resulted in a game where both teams turned it over 25% of the time.  It might be a prime time matchup in the World's Most Famous Arena, but the odds of it are that it will be a very ugly game to watch.

St. John's Last 10 Games: 1-9, with nine straight losses.

Marquette Last 10 Games: 5-5, with losses in their last three games.

All Time Series: Marquette leads, 16-10.

Current Streak: Marquette won the meeting earlier this season, snapping a four game winning streak by the Johnnies.

Henry Ellenson Watch: Ellenson's 298 points on the season have him nine points behind Roney Eford for the 10th most points by a Marquette freshman.  If he has a big game against St. John's, Ellenson might be able to catch Rob Logterman in ninth place at 311 points.  His rebounding total for the season is still stuck in second place for a freshman at Marquette, with 84 rebounds separating Ellenson and Bo Ellis.  He's tied Brian Wardle for the 10th most made field goals by a freshman.  Ellenson has moved into the freshman top 10 for free throws made and attempted, tying Todd Mayo for the fourth most makes at 64 and he's just one short of Russ Wittberger for the seventh most attempts at 88.  His next block will tie him for the second most by a freshman, as both Trevor Powell and Tom Copa recorded 29 in their first MU campaigns.  Don't expect Ellenson to set the blocks record though, as Jim McIlvaine is very set in first place with 92 blocks in 1990-91.

Traci Carter Watch: With 91 assists on the season, Carter is three assists behind Cordell Henry for the fourth most assists by a Marquette freshman.  Doc Rivers is third with 112 assists, and that might be the upper range of what Carter can accomplish this season.  Second best is Dominic James with 167 and I don't know if anyone is ever going to touch Tony Miller's 221 in his freshman campaign in 1991-92.

Follow Along On Twitter:

@MarquetteMBB - Official Marquette account
@StJohnsBBall - Official St. John's account
@AnonymousEagle - Hey, that's us!
@rumbleSBN - SB Nation's St. John's site
@becb_sbn - SB Nation's Big East site
@Matt_Velazquez - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel MU beat reporter