Duke Basketball: Blue Devils travel to MSG to face St. John’s Red Storm

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team will head north to New York for their last non-conference game of the regular season to take on the struggling St. John’s Red Storm.

Duke basketball has a chance to pick up a win against a struggling St. John’s team. The Red Storm have dropped their last 11 games, but 8 of those losses have been less than an 8 point margin, including a 7 point loss to No. 1 Villanova, and two losses to No. 6 Xavier by 6 and 5 points, most recently on Tuesday night.

After getting back on track with a 22-point win over a depleted Notre Dame squad, Duke will look to keep rolling ahead of their showdown with North Carolina on Thursday.

In all games this year, Duke has had a massive advantage in the frontcourt with Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr, and look for more of the same on Saturday.

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The Red Storm’s top two big men are Marvin Clark II and Tariq Owens, listed at 6’7, 229 pounds and 6’11, 205 pounds, respectively.

Blue Devil fans will remember Marvin Clark II from the 2015 Final Four as he was a bench player for Michigan State. Clark only scored 1 point in 10 minutes against the Blue Devils.

The Red Storm get out-rebounded by an average of 5.9 rebounds per game, while the Blue Devils take over the glass, out-boarding their opponents by 10.7 rebounds per game, so look for Bagley and Carter to be dominant forces once again.

Foul trouble could play a key role in the Blue Devils getting out to an early lead as St. John’s bench only goes three deep.

However, the Duke backcourt will have their hands full with St. John’s star Shamorie Ponds, who just eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in his career, and averages 19.7 points per game.

Despite Duke not playing a zone defense against Notre Dame, the Red Storm have yet to prove all year that they can consistently score versus that type of defense. If Ponds and fellow guard Justin Simon are getting to the rim with ease, I’d expect Coach K to turn to the 2-3 Zone.

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The Blue Devils are the clear-cut superior team in this matchup, but they cannot look past this pesky St. John’s team, or they will find themselves in deep trouble.