St. John’s basketball: Massive opportunity awaits against Indiana

St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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A major opportunity awaits the St. John’s basketball team on the road against Indiana. 

When the regular season schedule was announced for the St. John’s basketball team, everyone knew that Wednesday night would be the first true challenge of the year for the Red Storm.

The Johnnies predictably dumped Mississippi Valley State and St. Peter’s at home in its first two games ahead of its Gavitt Games showdown from Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

Indiana, under first year head coach Mike Woodson, presents a challenge for St. John’s in its home-court advantage at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall as well as the presence of Trayce Jackson-Davis, a Third-team All-American last season.

Jackson-Davis is averaging 20.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game this season while only Pittsburgh transfer Xavier Johnson is the only other player posting double digits on the young season with 13.5 points per contest.

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St. John’s put together a soft non-conference schedule as the Johnnies will play three major conference teams prior to league play.

One of its games will come against Pittsburgh, a bottom feeder in the ACC this season.

The other two non-Big East games are vastly important for the NCAA Tournament hopes of Red Storm, Wednesday night on the road against Indiana and a December 3 home game against No. 3 Kansas at the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park.

“We plan to go out there for a tough battle,” St. John’s star Julian Champagnie said ahead of the showdown.

The Red Storm will have two players with experience in Bloomington, Rutgers transfer Montez Mathis and Purdue transfer Aaron Wheeler, both with experience of winning in Assembly Hall.

“It’s another test,” head coach Mike Anderson said. “We have to continue to get better.”

St. John’s basketball and Indiana looking to build off its strengths

Against Eastern Michigan, a six-point victory, and Northern Illinois, a 36-point win, Indiana surrendered just 55.5 points per game while St. John’s is averaging 105.5 points per contest in its first two blowout victories.

The Johnnies are allowing 65.5 points per game while the Hoosiers are posting 76.5 points per contest this season.

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Undoubtedly two of the major keys of the game will be how Indiana handles the pressure of St. John’s and if the Red Storm can continue its scorching start from 3-point range this year.

Should the Johnnies be able to turn the Hoosiers over and make its perimeter jump shots, St. John’s could be returning to Queens with its biggest victory of the season.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. in Bloomington and can be seen on FoxSports1.

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