St. John’s basketball: 3 keys to victory against DePaul in Big East Tourney

St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /
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St. John's basketball
St. John’s basketball guard Montez Mathis (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team looks to spearhead magic March run in The Garden. 

Hopes of a special week are alive in Queens as the St. John’s basketball team looks to erase an inconsistent regular season and create magic at Madison Square Garden in the postseason.

The Johnnies (16-14, 8-11 Big East) have been the definition of ‘close but no cigar’ this year as close losses against upper echelon teams have become the norm.

St. John’s boasts two all-league players as junior forward Julian Champagnie was named to the All-Big East First Team while Posh Alexander was selected to the All-Big East Honorable Mention squad.

This is the second year that duo have been leading the Red Storm but have no postseason victories to show for it.

ALSO READ: St. John’s vs. DePaul Injuries, Odds, Prediction

Champagnie, a freshman during the pandemic shortened 2019-20 tournament, only has two full games under his belt in the Big East Tournament after the Johnnies were bounced in the quarterfinals last season.

St. John’s did not earn a bye this year after its 7th place finish as the team was picked to finish 4th in the Preseason Big East Coaches Poll.

However, this team feels that it has the talent to compete with the top teams in the league and it just needs to show the consistency to do so.

Perhaps everything can go right for this team for four days in March as it did for Georgetown last season.

St. John’s basketball path to success is not easy

While a potential quarterfinal matchup against Villanova (23-7, 16-4 Big East) looms for the Red Storm, St. John’s must first turn its attention to the DePaul Blue Demons (15-15, 6-14 Big East) who await the Johnnies.

DePaul and St. John’s split its regular season meetings but the Blue Demons had the last laugh with its 99-94 victory over the Red Storm in Chicago two weeks ago.

The two teams could be destined for an NIT berth, barring a Big East Championship, as the programs have different outlooks entering Wednesday’s matchup.

St. John’s season has been filled with heartbreak and disappointment with its veteran roster while DePaul has shown toughness and promise under its first year head coach Tony Stubblefield.

The Red Storm must be more focused and pay greater attention to detail if it wants to keep its Garden dreams alive.