St. John’s basketball: Three keys to victory against Seton Hall

St. John's basketball guard Posh Alexander (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball guard Posh Alexander (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /
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St. John's basketball
St. John’s basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball is looking to begin Big East Conference play on a positive note.

Big East Conference play is here and the St. John’s basketball program is on the road to face the Seton Hall Pirates.

Following a comeback victory over Rider, the Red Storm (5-1) will try and muster up the energy to take down one of the preseason favorites in the Big East this season, who have not gotten off to the best start.

Seton Hall (3-3) was able to jumpstart its season following a 19-point comeback victory on the road in overtime against Penn State followed by a blowout victory against Wagner in the Prudential Center.

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Following the loss of Big East Player of the Year Myles Powell, Kevin Willard has struggled filling the role of his senior guard with losses to Louisville, Rhode Island, and Oregon while falling behind Iona at halftime before rallying for a second half victory.

St. John’s hasn’t been crisp through its six games this season, falling to play a complete 40-minute game, only playing well in spurts, most notably early in the second half against Boston College.

Senior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili has been the star for the Pirates this season despite being ejected in the victory over Wagner for a head-butt.

Injuries will play a major factor for St. John’s basketball

Entering Friday afternoon’s showdown, injuries will be at the forefront as Seton Hall will be without Harvard transfer Bryce Aiken (ankle), who has dealt with injuries his entire career, and had to leave the Pirates’ season opener against Louisville and has not played since.

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St. John’s senior guard Rasheem Dunn (concussion) also has not played since the first game of the season but continues to progress in the concussion protocol and has yet to be ruled out for the Johnnies’ first conference game.

Despite no crowds at the Prudential Center, defeating Seton Hall on the road will be no easy task for St. John’s, who will need to play its best game of the season.