Xavier Musketeers vs St. John's Red Storm - Picks Of The Days 1/29

Joe Catalano

Sunday, January 29, 2017 6:29 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 6:29 PM UTC

With losses to Creighton, Butler, and Cincinnati, the Xavier Musketeers haven't found much success in inter-conference play. They could see themselves falling out of the rankings with their most recent loss to Cincinnati. The Musketeers must now look forward as the NCAA Tournament is within their grasp and a matchup against the sub .500 St. John's Red Storm might be the cure.

#24 Xavier Musketeers (14-6, 4-3) vs St. John's Red Storm (10-12, 4-5) Picking On the Weak?

At this point, I don't think that this is the case as Xavier is just looking for a victory to get back on track and also pad their record. Their last 3 losses, all to top 25 teams, have come by 10 points or less. This proves that this is still a good team. They just need to close out games against the better teams in the country.

As for St. John's, they're going to be some growing pains as they await next seasons recruiting class, but head coach Chris Mullin will have the Red Storm ready for this game. The fact that the game is played at Madison Square Garden could put a little extra pressure on the Musketeers and St. John's has won 2 out of their last 3 games. This is a great spot for the Red Storm to at least cover as this game should be very competitive.

Containing LoVett and Ponds

The Musketeers have the uneviable task of stopping this two-headed monster in St. John's backcourt as these two freshman have had a ton of success this season and will only get better.

Both players are coming off of 20 plus point games and Marcus LoVett, who leads the Red Storm at 17.2 points and 41.5% shooting from 3-point range per game, has been on fire as of late offensively.

Against Seton Hall and Providence, LoVett is averaging 24 points on 19 of 32 shooting from the field. If this game is close and it should be, look for Marcus LoVett to have the basketball in hands. He's also an 83.8% shooter from the foul line along with Shamorie Ponds is an 81% shooter from the line. Ponds was 4 of 5 from 3-point land against Providence and the shots have been falling for both of these talented freshman. Xavier could be in trouble here.


Size could be an issue as guard Trevon Bluiett has a distinct size advantage over both LoVett and Ponds. At 6 foot 6, Bluiett has been very successful this season as he leads Xavier with 18.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Bluiett is coming off of a monster 40 point performance in a loss to Cincinnati that saw him go 9 of 11 from 3-point territory. Look for Bluiett to bring his best, but will it be enough?

Free NCAAB Pick: St. John's Red Storm +7Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

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