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W2W4: St. John's vs. DePaul

Here's what to watch for when St. John's (18-11, 8-8 Big East) plays DePaul (11-18, 3-13 Big East) on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Tip-off is at noon, and you can watch the game on the CBS Sports Network (with the legendary Marv Albert behind the mic.)

SHORTHANDED: St. John's will be without starting point guard Rysheed Jordan, who will sit after attending his aunt's funeral in Philadelphia on Friday. (Click here to read more.)

Jamal Branch will probably start in Jordan's place and get extended minutes. Branch has only played 13.6 minutes per game this season, but when given a longer look has had some good performances -- most recently his 10-point, five-assist, four-rebound effort against Butler two weeks ago.

St. John's should be able to handle DePaul without Jordan, but next weekend's game at Marquette is another story. Coach Steve Lavin sounded optimistic Saturday that Jordan would be ready to play against Marquette, but we'll see. The Red Storm probably need to win both games to have a legitimate chance of receiving an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

SENIOR DAY: St. John's may have the most diverse group of graduating players in the country this year. Forward Orlando Sanchez (Nagua, Dominican Republic), forward God'sgift Achiuwa (Port Harcourt, R.S., Nigeria) and swingman Marc-Antoine Bourgault (Saint-Malo, France) will be honored before Sunday's game, which is St. John's regular-season home finale (although they still have the Big East tournament).

None of the three have spent a full four years at St. John's, and Sanchez (7.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg) is the only one who has been a major contributor this season. But all three spoke fondly of their time in the program on Saturday.

Achiuwa also said he really likes the way the team has bounced back from a very disappointing loss to Xavier on Tuesday.

"I think based on the practices we've had after that loss to Xavier, we've come back to the gym fired up, and guys are ready to come back to their winning ways," Achiuwa said. "Our practices have been great, and we're back to where we want to be mentally."

THE BLUE DEMONS: DePaul had lost 10 straight games after its 77-75 home win over St. John's on Jan. 14, but then beat Seton Hall by five at home on Sunday. It was also very competitive in its previous game, a 96-94 overtime loss at home to Marquette.

Fortunately for St. John's, DePaul's leading scorer and rebounder, Cleveland Melvin (16.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg) is no longer with the program. Melvin had 16 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots in that win over the Red Storm in January.

Brandon Young is now the main man for the Blue Demons. The 6-foot-4 senior guard is averaging 15.7 points per game. And fellow guard Billy Garrett Jr. is coming on strong. The 6-foot-5 freshman is up to 12.4 points per game, the best scoring average of any freshman in the conference. Garrett Jr. poured in 26 points, including five 3-pointers, in that loss to Marquette.

DePaul is 293rd in Division I (out of 345) in turnovers per game (13.9), 302nd in points allowed per game (75.7) and 328th in field-goal percentage defense (47.9). Yuck.