St. John’s basketball ready for clash of styles against West Virginia

St. John's basketball center Joel Soriano (David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball center Joel Soriano (David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports) /

It will be a major contrast of styles when the St. John’s basketball team battles West Virginia.  

Friday night in Morgantown promises to showcase two very different playing styles when the St. John’s basketball team, with its high powered offensive attack, goes head-to-head against West Virginia’s defensive resilience.

As both teams seek momentum and prestige, the clash is more than just a matchup of numbers; it’s a battle of strategies and determination.

The Mountaineers (3-3), led by interim coach Josh Eilert, acknowledges the challenge of facing a Hall of Fame coach in Rick Pitino, emphasizing the need for a controlled and steady approach against St. John’s full-court pressure. Learning from their previous game against SMU, in which they struggled against pressure defense, West Virginia aims to control the pace and make more efficient offensive decisions.

With St. John’s known for an up-tempo style and West Virginia seeking a slower paced contest, the game is expected to be a strategic battle of wills.

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West Virginia forward Quinn Slazinski, familiar with Pitino’s coaching from his time at Iona, emphasizes the importance of a well-executed plan to break St. John’s pressure defense.

The Mountaineers enter the matchup with offensive challenges, averaging only 62.7 points per game and shooting 38-percent from the field, Eilert emphasizes the importance of controlling the game with efficient offense, especially considering the team’s limited margin for error.

St. John’s basketball ready to showcase full roster

St. John’s boasts a robust offensive lineup, averaging 79.8 points per game.

Center Joel Soriano, a pivotal player for the Red Storm, leads in points (16.2), rebounds (10.3), and blocks (1.8).

The team’s offensive depth was highlighted in their recent 91-45 victory over Holy Cross, where guard Daniss Jenkins‘ playmaking skills and guard RJ Luis‘ defensive efforts contributed significantly.

Forward Chris Ledlum, dealing with a stomach virus, is expected to play, while Luis, recovering from a broken hand, is anticipated to start against West Virginia.

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Ledlum’s absence from practice and weight loss due to the illness could impact the Red Storm’s performance, adding an element of uncertainty to the game.

The game promises an intriguing matchup of contrasting styles and strategic approaches.

With St. John’s offensive firepower and West Virginia’s defensive resilience, the Big East vs. Big 12 Battle is poised to deliver an intense and competitive basketball showdown.

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