Teams: Syracuse Orange (3-1) vs. St. John’s Red Storm (5-0)
Day & Time: Tuesday, November 22, 9:30 pm
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Line: For the first time this season, the Orange are underdogs as the Draftkings Line gives St. John’s 3.5 points.
TV/Streaming: ESPN2, WatchESPN
Rivalry: 51-40, Syracuse
Current Streak: 3, St. John’s
First Meeting: The first meeting between these two old New York foes came back in 1912, where the Orange won 25-19. Lew Castle led the way with 10 points.
Last Meeting: A three-point barrage from St. John’s in the first half led to a collapse on both sides of the ball for Syracuse in the second half during the December 2016 matchup between these two teams. The Orange eventually lost 93-60 with Syracuse shooting 25.6% from the floor in the second half while St. John’s shot 69% in the second half. Not nice.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (47th year, 1,102-427) | St. John’s - Mike Anderson (fourth year, 55-41)
Coach Bio: Anderson played his college basketball at Jefferson State CC and Tulsa. He remained with Tulsa after his playing career as an assistant for three seasons before moving to Arkansas to continue being an assistant with Nolan Richardson, the coach that brought Anderson to Tulsa in the first place. Anderson stayed as an assistant with Arkansas for 17 years, including the Razorbacks run to a national championship in 1994. He took over as Arkansas interim head coach for the last two games of the 2001-02 season.
After that season, Anderson went to his hometown of Birmingham to become the head coach of UAB. He immediately made an impact as UAB won at least 20 games with Anderson every year and made three NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet 16 run in 2004. His success with UAB led Missouri to hire Anderson. After two rebuilding seasons where the Tigers won under 20 games, Missouri went to the NCAA tournament in three straight years, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2009.
Anderson’s Missouri success led him back to Arkansas to take over the Razorbacks program in 2011. While Anderson had some successful years and never had a losing season, reaching the NCAA tournaments in three seasons, the Razorbacks missed out on March Madness five times. Anderson would be fired at the end of the 2019 season but he was immediately hired by St. John’s less than a month later to lead the Red Storm. The Red Storm have achieved a winning season every year under Anderson but have yet to make a postseason appearance.
Last Year: St. John’s only lost three games in non-conference play, but all three losses were to Power Five teams. The Red Storm struggled in Big East play, going 8-11 and finishing seventh. St. John’s dispatched DePaul in the first round of the Big East tournament before barely losing to Villanova by one point in the next round.
Last Game: A topsy-turvy game saw Temple blow a 13-point first-half lead and St. John’s nearly blow an eight-point second-half lead. The Red Storm scored the final eight points of the game to get by the Owls with a 78-72 win.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: If someone is going to beat Syracuse from range, David Jones is the one who’ll take up that task. Jones is St. John’s leading scorer with 17 points per game and has the most threes made and attempted for the Red Storm.
If Syracuse Wins: Might as well rename the Barclays Center to the Syracuse Center presented by Barclays.
If Syracuse Loses: Sorry to the older fans, but we’re officially vetoing games against any old Big East opponents.
Fun Fact: Joe Girard’s career high 31 points moved into a tie with Jonny Flynn for 47th on Syracuse’s all-time scoring list.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.