5 Things to Know About: St. John's

The Red Storm has settled over the Carrier Dome. See what the Orange are up against with CuseNation.com inside.

The St. John's Red Storm enter into the Carrier Dome match with the Syracuse Orange with an overall record of 15-8.

In the Big East Conference, they have a record of 7-4, winning as many matches as Syracuse, but losing in the two extra games they have played in conference, playing in 11 conference games so far to Syracuse's nine.

The Red Storm are currently residing by the equator line of the conference in seventh place, while their host, the Orange, have to win to gain shared control of the conference with the Marquette Golden Eagles, who are 8-2 compared to Syracuse's 7-2 record.

Here is what you need to know about the Red Storm that has landed inside the Carrier Dome:

1. Their top scorer: Sophomore guard D'Angelo Harrison

Harrison averages just under 20 points per game, at 18.5. He is a clear four points ahead of his closest scoring teammate, freshman forward Jakarr Sampson, who is averaging 14.5 points per game.

Not only is he attaining the most points on average as any member of the Red Storm, Harrison is taking more attempts from the field than any of his teammates. He has taken almost 50 more shots than Sampson.

Harrison is also the team's best option at the charity stripe of those who reach the line more often, making 78.6% of his free throws.

Following suit, no one on St. John's has taken more attempts from the free throw line than Harrison.

2. The Sampson factor:

Despite being a freshman, Sampson has been one of the dominant offensive threats for the Red Storm, along with Harrison.

Though Harrison has taken almost 50 more attempts from the field, he has only made six more of those attempts than Sampson.

Sampson, in turn, has a better shooting percentage from the field, making just under 45% of his shots to Harrison's 41%.

The freshman also has more defensive rebounds, total rebounds, and average rebounds per game than any of his teammates, including all upperclassmen.

3. On the boards:

Sampson leads all St. John's members with 6.6 per game, weighing heavily on the defensive side, grabbing almost 60 more rebounds on defense than he has on offense.

Fellow freshman, forward/center Chris Obekpa, is the best on the offensive glass for the Red Storm, attaining 52 rebounds to Sampson's 45. Obekpa averages 5.7 rebounds per game.

Five St. John's players grab no less than 4.7 rebounds per game, despite being out-rebounded on average. The Red Storm pull in just about 37 as a team and allow just under 41, Syracuse's average.

Preventing the "freshmen two towers" of Sampson and Obekpa is the best option for the Orange to be more productive on the glass in this match.

4. Beyond the arc:

After facing the best three-point shooting team in the Big East, Syracuse now goes up against one of the worst. Notre Dame, despite a poor shooting night versus the Orange, makes almost 40% of their long range attempts. St. John's resides around the 30%-mark from distance.

Threes are one way opponents work to defeat the Jim Boeheim-patented 2-3 zone.

But, ranked 13th amongst the 15 Big East schools, St. John's does not pose the same threat, on average, that teams like a Notre Dame or Pittsburgh do.

Only three players on the Red Storm have attempted more than 10 shots from three-point range: Harrison, sophomore guard Phil Greene, IV, and sophomore guard/forward Marco Bourgault.

Harrison has taken the most attempts (153), so he is the likely one to shoot from long range if and when it happens.

Bourgault has the best percentage (41.2%), making 14 of 34.

But, look for this match to be played more on the inside as far as St. John's is concerned.

5. Versus the Top 25:

The Red Storm are 2-2 when facing opponents that are ranked in the nation's top 25 at the time of play.

Their two losses came between non-conference opponent from the Big 12, the Baylor Bears, followed by in-conference foe, the Georgetown Hoyas.

Both wins were inside the Big East Conference, first against the Cincinnati Bearcats, then the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

In the two games that the Red Storm lost, they were upended by double-digits.

For those matches that they emerged victorious, St. John's won by slim margins, under 10 points, defeating Cincinnati by one and Notre Dame by four.


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