St. John’s basketball knows it has daunting task in Big East Tournament

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team knows it will have a daunting task ahead in the Big East Tournament. 

The season has not gone according to plan for the St. John’s basketball team and its draw in the upcoming Big East Tournament was not kind, either.

The Johnnies (16-14, 8-11 Big East) are slotted as the No. 7 seed at Madison Square Garden this week, setting up a first round matchup against No. 10 seed DePaul (15-15, 6-14 Big East), which just knocked off the Red Storm in Chicago, 99-94, two weeks ago.

If St. John’s were to win, No. 2 seed Villanova (23-7, 16-4 Big East) would await in the quarterfinals while either No. 3 seed UConn (22-8, 13-6 Big East) or No. 6 seed Seton Hall (20-9, 11-8 Big East), assuming the Pirates beat the lone winless team in the conference No. 11 seed Georgetown (6-24, 0-19 Big East) on Wednesday, would emerge in the semifinals.

“It is going to be a grind, honestly,” Julian Champagnie said when previewing the week ahead.

However, the Red Storm are not thinking about what potentially lies ahead before its first postseason game of the year.

“We always pride ourselves in the next game is the biggest game on our schedule so obviously we are only worried about DePaul,” Chamapagnie said when asked if it could be easy to look ahead for a third meeting with the crown jewel of the conference.

Champagnie, who was named to the All-Big East First Team for the second season in a row, could be in his final weeks in a Red Storm uniform as an NBA Draft decision looms once again for the Brooklyn native.

“I think it’s our coaches job to look past DePaul and figure [a game plan out].”

“As players we have to worry about what is in front of us and DePaul is in front of us…we are focusing on beating DePaul. That is our main goal right now.”

St. John’s basketball hoping to close out games better in postseason

In the 14 losses this year for the Red Storm 11 have been by ten points or less.

“It’s a new season. Everyone is 0-0,” head coach Mike Anderson said.

The Johnnies have struggled to make free throws this season as well as executing in its half-court offense late in a game.

The Red Storm are statistically the worst free throw shooting team in the Big East at 67.5-percent.

Securing defensive rebounds in crunch time have also been a trouble point for St. John’s this season.

“I still think we have a lot left in the tank,” Aaron Wheeler said.

St. John’s will have a chance to show how much they do have left in the tank at approximately 7:00 p.m. EST (FoxSports1) on Wednesday night inside Madison Square Garden against the DePaul Blue Demons.