Know Your Opponent: St. John's

For the final leg of their current three-game road swing, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats (12-7, 2-4 in the Big East) will again travel northeast, this time to face the St. John's Red Storm (10-7, 1-4 in the Big East) Thursday night for their first of two match ups this season. Here's everything you need to know about the St. John's Red Storm.

After losing three in a row and six of their last seven overall, head coach Norm Roberts and the Red Storm of St. John's will be looking for a Big East win against a team they believe they can beat. SJU leads in the overall series against UC, 5-3, and the teams split their two meetings last season with each squad winning on their home floor. This year, the Red Storm are 9-3 at home, including a perfect 7-0 mark in Carnesecca Arena, the site of Thursday's game against the Bearcats.

St. John's lost one of their best players, 6-foot-7-inch senior forward Anthony Mason Jr., after just three games this year to a torn tendon in his right foot. Mason had led the team with 14 points per game before an MRI revealed he would be forced to miss the rest of the season.

Picking up the scoring load left behind by Mason is sophomore guard/forward D.J. Kennedy, who averages 13.5 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per contest. Fellow sophomore guard/forward Paris Horne is the only other member of the Red Storm to average double digits scoring with 12.8 points per game. SJU also boasts an additional five players that average at least six points per game.

The Red Storm's lone conference win this season came at home on Jan. 3 in a 71-65 upset win against then-number 10/now-number 19 ranked Notre Dame. The Irish, who normally shoot over 40 percent from three, were held to just 23.5 percent from long range by the Red Storm, while St. John's shot 45.5 percent from beyond the arc themselves. The Red Storm also out-rebounded ND 40-27 and out-scored the Irish 16-7 from the free throw line.

During their most recent loss however, a 76-57 thumping at Villanova on Sunday, a different St. John's team reared its ugly head. The Wildcats were able to shoot over 41 percent on their three-point attempts and over 58 percent overall against the SJU defense, while the offense handed the ball over to Villanova in the form of 19 ugly turnovers.

After having three days off, their tip off with UC will be the first of three games in a week for St. John's. Thursday's match up against the Bearcats is set to air on ESPNU and the big men will jump for it at 9 p.m.


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