Marquette Golden Eagles (14-10, 5-7) at St. John’s Red Storm (12-13, 1-11)
Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Time: 11am Central
Location: Carnesecca Arena, New York, NY
On Wednesday, the Golden Eagles took down an eh Seton Hall team. I say they are just eh well because they’re really just eh. They came in with high expectations and a loaded senior class, but they’ve slid out of the top 25. Well, behind Markus Howard’s 32 points and Sam Hauser’s double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, the Golden Eagles survived a late comeback and took down the Pirates. Now they enjoy a nice couple days in the city of New York before they take on maybe the hottest team in the country in St. John’s. The Red Storm have beaten two top four teams in the country in the last week. On National Marquette Day, the Johnnies took down No. 4 Duke behind Shamorie Ponds’ 33 points. Just four days later, the Johnnies traveled to the wildest city on Earth in Philly to take on the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats. It was a back and forth game for the most part until St. John’s went up eight just to give it up minutes later. Late in the game, the Johnnies maintained a two to four point lead for the most part in the win over the Wildcats. This team is on fire right now and I don’t see that fire going down anytime soon.
St. John’s Stat Leaders
Points: Shamorie Ponds 20.5 ppg
Rebounds: Justin Simon 7.5 rpg
Assists: Justin Simon 5.0 apg
Steals: Shamorie Ponds 2.5 spg (leads Big East)
Marquette Stat Leaders
Points: Markus Howard 22.0 ppg
Rebounds: Sam Hauser 5.9 rpg
Assists: Andrew Rowsey 4.2 apg
Steals: Andrew Rowsey and Sam Hauser 1.0 spg
Current Kenpom Ranking
St. John’s: #77
KenPom Projection: St. John’s has a 53% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 77-76.
Marquette Last 10 Games: 4-6, with the win over Seton Hall snapping a four game losing streak.
St. John’s Last 10 Games: 2-8, but winners of two straight and possibly the two best wins of anyone in the country this season.
All Time Series: Marquette leads, 19-11.
Current Streak: Marquette has won four of the last five meetings.
I’ve been a life long St. John’s fan. I have been going to games for years now with my best friends, my dad, and my dad’s best friend, who’s like the coolest guy ever, Mike. Shoutout to Mike for all the tickets he’s given me. The Johnnies are probably one of my favorite teams in all of New York and I know this team better than I know myself. This team had some very high expectations going into the season and especially after going 10-2 in non-conference play. Once the Big East started, star guard Marcus LoVett went down with a knee injury and turned the season south. They started 0-11 in the Big East and going to most of those games over winter break was brutal. Blown out by Providence to open up play, having a close game with the Hoyas before Jessie Govan sinks a deep three to seal it and watching them get blown out by DePaul was what I had to endure. Not fun! The team then went on to play Nova and Xavier close, so I knew there was still some life left on the team.
The additions of Marvin Clark II and Justin Simon were what brought the most hype coming into the season. Both transferred from some of the best programs in the country to play for Chris Mullin. Both have been absolute workhorses for the Red Storm and showed why they were able to play at Michigan State and Arizona. Simon can do it all. He’s a fantastic ball handler, finisher and rebounder. He can do pretty much everything but shoot, which is his major flaw. Clark on the other hand is a fantastic three point shooter with the ability to crash the boards and dish to cutting players.
Coming into Wednesday, the Red Storm were winless in the Big East, but had just beaten #4 Duke Blue Devils. The Wells Fargo Center was pretty empty, but there were many people watching the Johnnies take down the number one team in the country. Shamorie Ponds had 26 and led the Johnnies to victory. Justin Simon also had a double-double with 16 and 10 in the win.
Marquette is coming off a quality win over Seton Hall. The Pirates have fallen off over the past couple weeks, but are still ranked 31 in the KenPom rankings. This was a huge win to get the team past their four game losing streak, especially with Markus Howard playing as well as he did. Marquette has a nice schedule heading into the postseason. They have a chance to win every game left, and while it is doubtful they do that, they do have a chance.
As for this game, I don’t know if Marquette will be able to hold off the red hot Johnnies. From the start, I always said they were going to split the season series with both home teams winning. Coming off the big win, I expect Carnesecca Arena to be rocking and the Johnnies hungry to continue making a name for themselves. I expect this one to come down to the wire much like the rest of both teams’ games.
Greg Elliott Watch: The freshman from Detroit has the sixth most blocks by a freshman with 20. Up next is current MU women’s basketball assistant coach Scott Merritt, who had 25 in 2000-01.
Theo John Watch: John recorded five blocks against Villanova before sitting out against Seton Hall to give him 19 on the season. That has him in a three-way tie for the seventh most by a Marquette freshmen with Sam Hauser and Charles Luter. He’s one behind the aforementioned Greg Elliott and six behind Scott Merritt.
Sam Hauser Watch: I feel so bad for the sophomore from Stevens Point. After assembling one of the greatest freshman shooting campaigns in Marquette history, he’s doing the same thing as a sophomore and is being completely overshadowed by Markus Howard yet again. Hauser has 67 made threes, which is the 8th most by a MU sophomore, trailing Travis Diener and Robb Logterman at 69. His 138 attempts from long range are the ninth most by a soph, passing David Cubillan at 116, but it’ll be a while before he gets to Darius Johnson-Odom at 154.
Andrew Rowsey Watch: Rowsey now has 75 made three-pointers on the season, which is tied with Robb Logterman for the fifth most by a Marquette senior and the 10th most in any MU season. He’s up to 182 three-point tries this season, which is the 7th most for a Marquette senior. Next up is Lazar Hayward at 186. Rowsey still needs 11 more attempts to get to the all-time single season top 10 list.
Markus Howard Watch: It’s official: This is one of the best sophomore scoring seasons in Marquette history. With 32 points against Seton Hall, Howard is up to 529, and that is the second most by a second year player. The only one in front of Howard now is the one and only Dwyane Wade at 571. Howard’s 82 made three-pointers are the second most by a Marquette sophomore, trailing only Steve Novak’s 89, and it’s tied with his own total from last year for the seventh most in any single season. Howard’s 213 three-point attempts is now the most by a Marquette sophomore, surpassing Novak’s record of 207. 213 long range attempts in a season is also the sixth 200+ attempt season in Marquette history and the 3rd most in any single season by any Marquette player, trailing only Jerel McNeal’s senior season (216) and Novak’s senior season (259).