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Syracuse vs. St. John's: Garden Visitation Rights

Aren't sure if St. John's player have noticed the New York's College Team campaign? Oh, they've noticed...

"We've seen the cabs. We see everything that says Syracuse on it," senior forward D.J. Kennedy said. "We definitely feel like they think they're New York's team. ...So we're trying to get that back.

"It's a big deal for us. Since we've been here, it's always been a battle between both teams about who is in control of New York. A lot of people say Syracuse is the face of New York. This year, our senior year, we want to show people that St. John's is the face of New York."

You can bet we're going to get everything the Red Storm can give us tonight when the 16-0 Orange "travel" to Madison Square Garden to take on 10-4 St. John's.

Syracuse players are expecting to see "half and half" in the crowd tonight and remain extremely aware of what the Johnnies bring to the table:

They struggle to rebound (14th best in the Big East) and convert 3-point shots (tied for 12th with Providence at 30.8 percent). But when SU players consider the accumulation of Big East minutes on the opposing team’s bench tonight, they see a squad of young men who have grown together.

"There should be a lot of maturity," Triche said. "A lot of strong guys on the team — as far as them being there four years, being 22 years old. They should have great leadership. Guys have been through it. A lot of those guys have been through losing seasons and now that they’ve got a good team, they should be enthusiastic."

St John's coach Steve Lavin is ready for the challenge but respects what the Orange bring to the table:

"We know we have our hands full," said Lavin in an interview on SNY this week. "Just not many good looks when you play against Syracuse because at the basket, in the paint, at the rim they've got those skyscrapers, the length, and so you have to be able to beat them down the floor some in transition, you have to be patient in your second gear, and be willing to probe or investigate for good looks against that zone defense, not settle for launching three-point shots."

Some specific areas of improvement the Orange need to hone in on all relate to how they're shooting the ball. The Orange are currently 188th in the nation in three-point shooting percentage and are coming off an abysmal free-throw shooting display that needs correction.