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4:30PM EST: St. John's -5.5 (3 Units)
Rick Pitino's got the talent at St. John's and he's getting these boys up to speed with his winning brand of Basketball. Pitino's been successful everywhere he's been, and this is just his next stop. He has one of the better Bigs in the country in Joel Soriano and good perimeter shooting to go with it. They dominate the boards and move the ball well. They're 15th in the nation in rebound rate and 21st in assists per possession. Boston College ranks 116th in rebound rate and the Red Storm hold a significant edge in that department.
Defensively neither team is exactly great. St. John's ranks 108th in effective FG% but BC ranks 178th. They both really struggle to defend the 3-PT line but it's another reason to back the Storm. They both allow opposing teams to shoot over 37% from deep but St. John's is shooting 37.1% from deep this year compared to Boston College's 33.9. The Eagles aren't exactly a 3-PT shooting team either, they rank just 194th in 3-PT attempts per game. They've also played an easy schedule to open the year, evident by their 249th SOS ranking.
The match-up between Quinten Post and Soriano will be a big one. BC runs through Post's 19.2 points per game and St. John's through Soriano's 17.4. The Red Storm can get baskets in other ways while the Eagles are a bit more reliant on Post. Soriano is a big man with a near 20-pound weight advantage on Post. He's a + defender averaging 2 blocks per game, and he dominates the boards. His ability to disrupt Post should lead to some Boston College scoring droughts. St. John's averages 5.6 blocked shots per game.
This game isn't technically a home game but it's being played just 30 minutes away from St. John's university. It's part of Barclay’s showcase and you can expect a packed house for it. Edge goes to the Red Storm for location’s sake.
They're simply the better all-around team. Ken Pom has St. John's ranked 57th compared to Boston College's 98th. St. John's is also ranked 39th in adjusted offensive efficiency by Ken Pom and with the talent they have it's easy to see why. The Red Storm are only going to get better as the year progresses and grow more comfortable with Pitino's style.