Saturday, January 1, 2011
St. John's at Providence -- a preview
By Kieran Darcy
St. John's will play its second conference game of the season, and its first game of 2011, at Providence on Saturday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the game will be available on ESPN3.com. The game will also air locally on SNY.
St. John's (8-3) is coming off an impressive 81-71 win at West Virginia on Wednesday night. The Red Storm have shot 60.2 percent from the field in their past two games (the other being a 85-69 home win over previously unbeaten Northwestern). St. John's is now ranked No. 43 in the country, shooting 47.4 percent from the field as a team.
Providence, predicted to finish dead-last in the 16-team Big East prior to the season by Blue Ribbon, is 11-3 thus far. The Friars lost their first Big East game of the season at Syracuse, but they hung tough before falling 81-74 on Tuesday. Their other two losses were by two at Boston College, and by 11 versus LaSalle. They've beaten Rhode Island (by 13) and Alabama (by 12).
The Friars are led by 6-foot-5 senior swingman Marshon Brooks, who is averaging 23.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Brooks has scored at least 25 points in each of their past eight games.
Providence is very young, with a roster loaded with freshmen and sophomore, and likes to go up and down -- it's averaging 80.7 points per game as a team, ranking them 18th in the country. Other players to watch include 6-foot-2 sophomore point guard Vincent Council, a Brooklyn native, who is averaging 15.6 points and 6.9 assists per game; also, 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Bilal Dixon, from Jersey City, is averaging 7.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per contest.