ST. JOHNíS RED STORM (8-9)
at GEORGETOWN HOYAS (8-8)
Verizon Center Ė Washington, DC
Tip-off: Monday, 6:30 pm ET
Line: Georgetown -7.5, Total: 155.5
St. Johnís will be looking to get back to .500 with a victory over Georgetown on Monday night.
St. Johnís has lost two straight games, but those losses came at the hands of Creighton and Xavier. The Red Storm had actually been playing pretty well prior to those games, as they had won-and-covered in three straight before facing Creighton. One of those victories was over Butler, so this team is clearly capable of playing good basketball at times. Monday represents a good opportunity for them to get a win, as Georgetown has now lost four straight games both SU and ATS. The Hoyas have some talent on their roster, but they have been unable to pull out close games. Two of their past three losses have been in DC, and they are going to need to find a way to start winning on their own home floor. Fortunately for Georgetown, the team has won two straight games against St. Johnís both SU and ATS. One trend that favors St. Johnís when looking at this game is the fact that Georgetown is 4-12 ATS versus teams that are outscoring their opponents by four or more points per game after 15 or more games over the past two seasons. The Red Storm are, however, a miserable 3-13 ATS versus teams that are forcing 14 or fewer turnovers per game in that span.
If St. Johnís is going to find a way to beat Georgetown then the team is going to need some excellent play from some of its impressive guards. The best player on this Red Storm team would be G Marcus LoVett (18.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.8 APG). LoVett is a fantastic scorer, and he recently erupted for 32 points in Saturdayís loss to Xavier. The freshman can score in a number of ways, but he is a very good shooter. On the season, LoVett is hitting 43.7% of his threes and that is on 5.1 attempts per game. Heíll need to find a way to get hot in this one, and so will Gs Shamorie Ponds (17.8 PPG 5.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.8 SPG), Bashir Ahmed (12.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG) and Federico Mussini (8.9 PPG). St. Johnís is a smaller team, so the Red Storm will be counting on its group of perimeter players to shoot it well. All three of those guys hit just about 40% of their threes or better, and St. Johnís canít win this game unless all four of its top scorers are playing well. Ahmed will, however, be different, as he is going to need to rebound well. Ahmed is 6í7íí, and that sadly makes him one of the teamís biggest rotation players. C Tariq Owens (5.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.5 BPG) is the guy that will really need to do the dirty work. Owens is going up against a Georgetown team that is strong inside, so heíll need to hold his own.
Georgetown is looking to end a four-game losing streak and itíll be up to both Gs Rodney Pryor (18.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG) and L.J. Peak (15.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.2 SPG) to lead them to a victory. Both guys are capable of getting hot, but Pryor was miserable against Butler last game. In 24 minutes of action, Pryor was 0-for-8 from the floor and 0-for-4 from three. Heís going to have to snap out of that on Monday or the Hoyas could lose yet another home game. Peak, meanwhile, did everything he could to help Georgetown stay in the game against Butler, but it wasnít enough. He had 21 points, two blocks and two steals in 43 minutes of action. Itíll take another stat sheet stuffing effort like that to help the Hoyas get back on track. Georgetown could also use a solid performance form C Jessie Govan (9.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.1 BPG). Govan is going up against a St. Johnís team that is not necessarily deep with bigs. Govan is very good around the rim, and itís possible heíll get Owens into foul trouble. If that is to happen then Georgetown might just blow St. Johnís out.