St. John's Red Storm
Head Coach: Norm Roberts (4th Season)
Madison Square Garden, 6 p.m. CT
FR G Malik Boothe - 5-9, 185 – 3.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
SR G Eugene Lawrence - 6-1, 210 – 8.1 ppg, 3.5 apg
FR F D.J. Kennedy – 6-6, 208 – 7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg
FR F Sean Evans – 6-8, 242 – 2.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg
FR F Justin Burrell – 6-8, 235 – 11.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg
JR F Anthony Mason Jr. – 6-7, 209 – 13.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
SO G Larry Wright – 6-2, 172, 9.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Coming off of consecutive conference losses at Cincinnati and at home to Villanova, St. John's is looking to redeem itself on Wednesday night at home against No. 24 Marquette. The Red Storm will be hosting the game in "The World's Most Famous Arena," otherwise known as Madison Square Garden, where it is winless in 4 games so far this season. Wednesday will mark the third consecutive national television game for St. John's.
The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series against the Red Storm 8-5. Beginning in 1960, St. John's took five of the first seven meetings against Marquette, but has since lost the last six contests. MU has the 3-1 advantage when playing against them at Madison Square Garden.
Junior forward Anthony Mason Jr., current Red Storm leading scorer (13.4 points per game) and son of former NBA standout Anthony Mason, will likely find himself starting the game off on the bench after missing three games over the past two weeks due to an ankle contusion. Mason Jr. returned to action last Saturday and came off the bench to score 12 points and grab 9 rebounds in a losing effort against Villanova.
Also of note is freshman forward Justin Burrell. Burrell, a native of the Bronx, is St. John's leading rebounder, grabbing almost seven boards a game, and is the teams second leading scorer, averaging 11.7 points a game.
Hall of fame Marquette coach and basketball legend Al McGuire played at St. John's from 1948-1951. McGuire played a total of 81 games for the then St. John's Redmen, and scored 657 points, averaging out to 8.1 points a game over his career.
The Red Storm has bested at least one Top 25 team in each of the last three years under current head coach Norm Roberts, and is still looking for its first top 25 victory of the 2007-08 campaign. Four of its final six opponents are currently ranked in the Top 25 (Marquette, at Duke, at Georgetown, and at Notre Dame). MU will be St. John's third ranked opponent this season.
St. John's presently sits in 13th place in the Big East conference standings, one game behind DePaul and Seton Hall for the final seed in the Big East conference tournament.
Though it looks bleak from its 10-14 overall record and 4-9 Big East conference record, the Red Storm of St. Johns see bright things happening in its future. Of the current 16 man roster, there are 11 underclassmen, including 8 freshmen, four of which have found themselves in the probable starting line-up Wednesday night.
The Golden Eagles hope to build on the momentum created by its 18 point victory over No. 24 Pittsburgh Friday night. The victory upped MU back into the Top 25 in both the AP poll and ESPN/USA Today Poll.
Marquette senior forward Dan Fitzgerald has had great success playing in New York City at Madison Square Garden. In three career games at MSG, Fitzgerald is 13-of-22 (59%) from the field, 9-of-18 (50%) from three-point range, and 8-of-10 (80%) from the free throw line, including two 20 point performances during last years Big East tournament.
Junior Guard Dominic James is coming off of a career high 12 assist performance and senior forward/center Ousmane Barro is averaging 10.2 points and 9.4 rebounds over the last five games.
The Golden Eagles return home to Milwaukee to square off with Rutgers University on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.