Notre Dame is coming off a loss for only the second time this season. The first time was when the Irish dropped a 79-70 OT thriller to St. John’s. Notre Dame then responded with 12 wins in a row including victories against Kentucky, Purdue and Cincinnati. On Tuesday, Notre Dame will look to begin another stretch of wins against St. John’s in Madison Square Garden.
So far this season, Offensive efficiency has been the name of the game for the Fighting Irish. They are shooting .508 from the field, which ranks them 5th in the nation. Also, Notre Dame shares the ball extremely well averaging 19.1 assists per game. This total ranks them 2nd in the country.
The story is different for the Red Storm. St. John’s is quite pedestrian shooting and sharing the basketball. From the field, they knock down .435 percent of their shots. The Red Storm average 13 assists per game. This total is 170th in the country.
St. John’s has not had a good season thus far. Their best win was in Cincinnati where they pulled off a 53-52 upset victory over the Bearcats. They most recently fell to Georgetown by the score of 67-51.
On paper, this game favors Notre Dame tremendously. D’angelo Harrison is the teams best scorer, averaging 20.6 points per game. However, Harrison plays right into the trap of Notre Dame’s efficient and patient team. He averages more turnovers than assists. In fact, the Red Storm is almost even in the assist to turnover ratio (13-11). Furthermore, St. John’s does not really possess the kryptonite that hampers Notre Dame, a strong athletic interior presence.
Notre Dame should cruise to their 15th victory of the season and 2nd of the Big East conference slate. ‘Should’ is the key word because anything can happen in Big East player. The Red Storm have several talented guards. Notre Dame experience should thwart these individuals but Harrison is the type of scorer that could make it interesting.