Talk about two teams heading in opposite directions. St. John’s has won 5 of 6 and recently beat Villanova by double digits, while Providence is on a two game losing streak and recently lost to Seton Hall by 17.
This game takes place Saturday at 2pm EST on FS1.
Key themes to the game:
Take care of the ball – Posh Alexander leads the Big East in steals, and St. Johns leads the Big East in steals. This is game where Breed, Duke, and (potentially) Bynum need to be very deliberate with their ball handling.
Dictate pace of play – St. Johns plays at an extremely frenetic pace. It is imperative that Providence plays at their own pace and not get into a track meet with the Johnnies. If Providence can dictate the pace and keep this game out of the high 70’s/low 80’s, they stand a much better chance of winning.
All defensive efforts focused on Champagnie – I fear that Julian is going to have a monster game. He is an offensive assassin and says little on the court. He lead the Big East in scoring and will certainly be First Team All Big East. This type of player has given fits to Providence all season (Damien Jefferson, Jermaine Samuels, Chidier Bile), and I think Champagnie will have a lot of success against Providence. I’d almost be willing to say that Providence should work on doubling him at every touch and force somebody else on St. Johns to beat them.
Find an Edge – Providence needs to play like they care. In the losses to GTown and Seton Hall, they seemed to go through the motions and lacked any emotions or care about the outcome of the game. Somebody needs to have some pride and show they care out there. If not, the Johnnies will run them off the court.