Murray State vs. St. John’s, Charleston Classic Semi-finals, 5:30 p.m. EST.
TD Arena, Charleston, S.C.
Things to watch
1. St. John’s had a down year in 2011-12, posting a 13-19 record. Their season ended in a first round loss to Pittsburgh in the Big East Conference Tournament. After missing much of the season last year, Head Coach Steve Lavin returns to his squad with a lot of size, speed and inexperience. St. John’s is 2-0 on the current season, after defeating Detroit 77-74 and College of Charleston 64-53 in the quarter finals of the Charleston Classic, yesterday.
2. Ten of the 13 players on St. John’s roster are underclassmen. The Racers rely heavily on freshmen as well, so the game may come down to the youth on both teams.
3. St. John’s committed just six turnovers in the first round of the Charleston Classic against the College of Charleston. The Racers’ defense relies heavily on intercepting passes and disrupting the opposing offense, so look to see if they can disturb St. John’s excellent ball control.
4. St. John’s sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison leads the team with 21.5 points per game through the Red Storm’s first two matchups of the season. Racer guards Isaiah Canaan, Stacy Wilson, Dexter Fields and C.J. Ford will face a tall task in defending Harrison.
5. St. John’s is a big team with six players 6’7” or taller. Keep an eye on Racer big men Ed Daniel, Brandon Garrett, Erik McCree, Terron Gilmore and Zay Henderson to see if they can hold their own in the paint against St. John’s size and strength.
6. St. John’s junior college transfer Marc-Antione Bourgault has been declared eligible to play by the NCAA and arrived in Charleston this afternoon to join the team. He has been participating in practices, but was not allowed to play in the Red Storm’s exhibitions or first two games of the season. A 6’6” guard/forward swingman from Saint-Malo, France, Bourgault averaged 10.8 points per game at Monroe College in 2011-12. He is expected to make his St. John’s debut in the semi-final matchup against Murray State, Friday afternoon.
7. Murray State junior guard Dexter Fields had to be helped off the court during last night’s victory over Auburn. It appeared as if Fields suffered a knee injury. He eventually returned to the game late in the second half, but keep an eye on Fields to see if he is inhibited by the knee injury.
8. The winner of this game will take on Colorado for the Charleston Classic Championship, Sunday. The loser will face No. 16 Baylor on Sunday as well.
Some information provided by St. John’s Sports Information
Story by Jonathan Ferris, Sports Editor.