Teams: Syracuse Orange (7-4) vs. St. John’s Red Storm (5-7)
Day & Time: Wednesday, December 21, 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Syracuse, - 13
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
St. John’s Blog: Rumble in the Garden
Rivalry: 51-39, Syracuse
Current Streak: 2, St. John’s (wut)
First Meeting: The Orange beat the then-Redmen in a barnburner, 25-19 back in 1912.
Last Meeting: Mike Hopkins suffered a pretty bad loss to the Red Storm last year, despite St. John’s being one of the worst teams in the country. For awhile, we though the 84-72 Madison Square Garden defeat would prevent Syracuse from making the NCAA Tournament. That wasn’t the case, thankfully.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (41st Year, 992-346), St. John’s: Chris Mullin (2nd Year, 13-31)
Head Coach Bio: Mullin is a former St. John’s player who, along with many of the 1980s stars of the original Big East, helped establish the conference as must-see TV during college basketball season. He was a three-time All-Big East player of the year (1983-85), a first-team All-American (1985) and winner of the John R. Wooden Award in 1985. He’s arguably the best to ever play at St. John’s.
Following his NBA career (1985-2001) with the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers, he worked with the front offices of the Warriors and Sacramento Kings, as well as doing some broadcasting work with ESPN, before taking the St. John’s gig in 2015.
Last Year: The Red Storm were unmitigated trash outside of the Syracuse game. They went 8-24 on the season, including 1-17 in the Big East.
Last Game: Penn State torched St. John’s down at MSG, 92-76. The Nittany Lions took a 23-point lead into halftime, then coasted to the 16-point victory. PSU hit 56.5 percent of their threes on the evening, stretching the Red Storm’s defense thin with no chance of recovery.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Freshman guard Shamorie Ponds fits the bill as a player that could give Syracuse some fits. He’s scoring 16.9 points per game this year, and is hitting over 40 percent of his shots from three. Ponds also contributes 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
If you want to look back at last year’s box score, Federico Mussini is still on the team. He scored 17 points against the Orange last year on 5-of-7 shooting from three. He won’t be able to do so again this year because he did not travel with the team to Syracuse.
If Syracuse Wins: Cool. Nice job, guys.
If Syracuse Loses: WAYLP.
Fun Fact no. 1: From 2001 through 2013, Syracuse lost to St. John’s just twice in 17 games. That stretch included separate win streaks of six and nine games. One of those losses was while I was attending SU, because of course. The Orange have lost as many games to the Red Storm in the past two years as they did in the previous 12 now.
Fun Fact no. 2: St. John’s Coach Chris Mullin hasn’t been to the Carrier Dome since February of 1985, an 88-83 win for the Johnnies and then-coach Lou Carnesecca.