St. John’s basketball ready to return to action in 2021 debut

St. John's basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball is set to make its 2021 debut following an extended holiday break.

After not taking the floor since December 20, the St. John’s basketball program is finally set to return to action on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Storm (6-4, 1-3 Big East) picked up its first conference victory of the season in its last outing against Georgetown and its opponent on Saturday is no stranger long layoffs.

DePaul (1-2, 0-2 Big East) did not begin its season until December 23 after multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 within its program.

The Blue Demons got off to an impressive start with a 19-point victory over Western Illinois but has since dropped its last two games, both on the road, against Providence and UConn.

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Last Sunday, Dave Leitao‘s team lost a late second half lead to the Friars, eventually falling in double overtime before the Huskies ran DePaul out of the Gampel Pavilion with a 21-point victory.

Saturday’s meeting with the Johnnies will be the final of a three-game road trip for the Blue Demons as Preseason First Team All-Big East guard Charlie Moore leads the way in the young season with 16.3 points per game.

Valparaiso transfer Javon Freeman-Liberty has impressed in his first three games with the Blue Demons with 13.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.

Forwards Romeo Weems and Darious Hall remain potent forces in the paint for DePaul as the duo combine to average 23.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest.

St. John’s basketball must play focused against DePaul

Two weeks ago, the Red Storm were facing a must-win situation against Georgetown and Saturday afternoon is a similar situation.

Against a fellow Big East basement dweller at home, the Johnnies must emerge victorious ahead of a daunting two game road trip against Xavier and No. 11 Creighton.

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It’ll be the age-old question of rest vs. rust when St. John’s emerges from the locker room but the time away from the court should have a positive impact on the team that wants to run, run, run and run some more.

Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00pm EST (FS1) inside Carnesecca Arena.

PREDICTION: St. John’s 84, DePaul 81

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