St. John’s has gone through a tough stretch recently but it will get even tougher this Saturday when defending NCAA champion Villanova comes to town.St. John’s has been reeling as of late, losing their last three games by double digit points all to Big East opponents.
The road will not get any sooner this weekend. St. John’s will next host No.3 seed and defending champion Villanova Wildcats at Madison Square Garden.
Villanova is having another stellar season so far, despite their loss last week to Butler. The Wildcats are 16-1 overall and 4-1 in Big East play.
St. John’s meanwhile are 8-10 and 2-3 in Big East after winning their first two conference games against Butler and DePaul.
On paper, this appears to be a lopsided matchup but don’t sleep on St. John’s. They have gone through an inconsistent stretch so far this season mainly because of their lack of depth and experience.
However,they do have talent, particularly in the backcourt, led by a couple of freshmen in Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett. Both of them are averaging just over 17.5 points per game. They can both light it up from outside and penetrate and drive through the lane.
If St. John’s wants to have any chance of upsetting Nova, both LoVett and Ponds must have big games. If they do, they can give Nova problems on the perimeter.
Villanova is led by Big East Preseason Player of the Year in Josh Hart and March Madness hero Kris Jenkins. Hart is averaging a league-best 19.8 points per game.
This will clearly be the Red Storm’s sternest test but if they can upset Nova or even just keep it close, it will definitely boost up their confidence for the remainder of this season.