St. John’s vs Florida State: Preview, Odds, Prediction
St. John’s rounds out their non-conference schedule tomorrow afternoon when they take on the Florida State Seminoles at the Florida Live Arena. Although tomorrow’s matchup takes place in Florida, it is a neutral game, not a street game as it is part of the annual Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.
The Red Storm have had a full week off since their last game, which was a 13-point win over New Hampshire. In that game, the 21-point favorite Johnnies were very inefficient at shooting the ball, shooting 35.3% from the field and 25% from deep. St. John’s had a very strong defense as they held UNH to just 51 points with 9 blocks and 8 steals as a team. The Johnnies committed just four fouls over the course of the game and held the Wildcats off the field and from deep at poorer shooting rates.
David Jones led the team in scoring against New Hampshire as he had 20 points, 14 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. His frontcourt colleague Joel Soriano contributed another strong double-double with 14 and 14. Substitution AJ Storr provided a solid goal with 13 points for 5-9 from the floor and 3-4 from deep. The Red Storm starting field struggled offensively as Posh Alexander, Andre Curbelo and Rafael Pinzon combined for 10 points at 3-20 from the field.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (10-1) vs. Florida State Seminoles (3-9)
When: Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 2:30 p.m
From where: Florida Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida
TV: Bally Sports/MSG Network
Opportunities: St. John’s -7
Story: Tomorrow’s game will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Exploring the state of Florida
FSU ranks at the bottom of Power 6 teams this season and goes into tomorrow’s matchup in the country with a KenPom ranking at No. 138, while St. John’s dropped a few places at No. 52. The Seminoles have a 3-9 record so far, although they’ve been trending lately as their last two games were wins over Louisville and USC Upstate. Their two most recent matchups before that were both within-ten-point losses to Purdue and Virginia, currently the nation’s top two teams.
Florida State is coached by Leonard Hamilton, who is in his 21st season as the program’s head coach. Last season, Hamilton led an injury-plagued squad to a 17-14 record and an eighth-place finish in the ACC. He was able to give back a good chunk of his squad this season, despite losing some key veterans who accounted for about 50% of last season’s goals.
Hamilton uses a starting lineup that employs four guards and one big. That’s how big 7-4 sophomore center Naheem McLeod, a sophomore for the Seminoles, is averaging 4.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest.
Leading the starting field for FSU is 6-5 junior Darin Green, who has played at UCF for the past three seasons. This year, Green is Florida State’s top scorer as he averages 12.8 points per fight and hits 41.9% of his 6.2 three-point attempts per game. Green will be joined on the starting lineup by 6-7 sophomore Matthew Cleveland, last year’s ACC Sixth Man of the Year, who is currently averaging 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Another starting guard for the Seminoles is 6-5 redshirt junior Caleb Mills, who played his debut season for Houston and started for FSU last season. Mills averages 12.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Florida State’s fourth starting guard was key returnee Cam’Ron Fletcher, but he suffered a season-ending injury against Virginia. 6-6 sophomore Jalen Warley has taken his place on the starting lineup. Warley is in his second season with FSU, averaging 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals per contest.
Off the bench, Florida State’s best players are freshmen, including 6-10 tall Cameron Corhen, who averages 7.3 points and 3 rebounds per game. Their other key bench player is 6-7 guard Tom House, who puts up 2.8 points from the bench in 10.8 minutes. 6-10 forward De-Ante Green and 6-5 guard Chandler Jackson have appeared in 8 and 9 games respectively, each averaging 1.1 points per contest.
key to the game
Good backcourt play. Against a team starting four guards (and following a poor performance from Red Storm backcourt), St. John’s need a good game from all guards tomorrow, putting pressure on defense and knocking down shots on offense.
control the game The Johnnies can’t afford to lose this game, especially right before the Big East game begins. They need to control tomorrow’s matchup by taking an early lead and dictating the pace for the rest of the game.
Stop missing threesomes. Whether it’s making more threes or looking for points elsewhere, St. John’s can’t afford to keep shooting threes if they’re making them at their current rate, having gone five straight games with a three -Had team point percentage below 30.
St. John’s go into the Big East game with an 80-72 win.