W2W4: St. John's vs. St. Francis (NY)

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
12:18
PM ET
Here are three things to watch for in Tuesday night's game between St. John's (3-2) and St. Francis of Brooklyn (0-3) at Carnesecca Arena.

Tip-off is slated for 9 p.m., following a St. John's women's game. You can watch the game via ESPN3.

THE BIG MAN: St. John's will be looking to bounce back from two tough losses on Thursday and Friday at Madison Square Garden, against No. 16 Arizona and No. 18 Texas A&M -- both winnable games.

Junior forward God'sgift Achiuwa led St. John's in scoring (17.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg) in the Red Storm's first three games of the season, but really struggled against both the Wildcats (4 points, 2 rebounds in 29 minutes) and the Aggies (3 points, 3 rebounds in 29 minutes) at MSG.

St. John's coach Steve Lavin said Monday that there were multiple factors which led to Achiuwa's decreased production. "One of them being we played teams that had great depth on their front line," Lavin said. "Another factor is our staff and players need to make a concerted effort to give the big fella more touches -- he only had six shots against Arizona and one against Texas A&M."

THE POINT GUARD: Lavin also said Monday that freshman guard Phil Greene will get another start on Tuesday night against St. Francis. Greene got off to a slow start, but played well at the Garden and started in place of junior Malik Stith in the game against Texas A&M.

"I was really pleased with his play-making skills and the pressure defense he brings to the court," said Lavin. "He's also very opportunistic on the fast break because of his skill and quickness and he has an eager and earnest attitude towards learning. He's been a real plus."

THE OPPONENT: St. Francis, picked to finish 11th in the 12-team Northeast Conference in the NEC preseason poll, is still looking for its first win of the season. But all three of the Terriers' losses have been close, including a 75-71 overtime loss at Seton Hall on Nov. 12.

Travis Nichols, a 6-foot-4 junior guard from Brooklyn, leads the Terriers in scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.7 rpg).

"We have to guard their shooters -- they come out of the locker room launching," said Lavin. "This St. Francis group does a really good job of coming off of ball screens and freeing up their shooters. They often dribble with penetration, looking to kick the ball out -- which is an international style of play. You have to modify and adjust your game plan to that.

"If you look at our team, an area we really struggle in is giving up 3-pointers. This is a great opportunity for us to come into a game mindful of that and see if we can be more effective at defending the 3-point line."
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
Follow Kieran on Twitter »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?