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St. John's vs. Tulane,
12/02/2016 20:00 EDT,
Score: 95 - 75
Point Spread: -4½/-110 St. John's
The set-up: Chris Mullins’ first season at his alma mater was one to forget, as St John’s went 8-24 (1-17 in Big East play), ending the season by losing 22 of its final 23 games. The Red Storm opened 2-0 this season but enter this game on a five-game slide, after losing 79-72 to lowly Delaware State at home last Tuesday. St John’s will look to end their skid tonight when they visit 1-6 Tulane. Tulane is coached by another former NBA guard-turned coach in Mike Dunleavy, who is also trying to resurrect a program that finished last in its conference last season, going 3-15 in the AAC, as well as 12-22 overall.
St John’s: Freshmen guards Marcus LoVett (18.9-4.4-3.3) and Shamorie Ponds (15.3 & 6.1) lead the Red Storm in scoring but the talented backcourt duo haven’t yet learned the phrase, “play well with others.” St John’s enters this game tied for 246th in the nation in assists at 12.7 per game through Wednesday's games.
Tulane: The Green Wave have only played one home game so far in their 1-6 start and did dominate Southeastern Louisiana, 93-76. Guard Kain Harris (12.7) had a career-high 19 points in that Nov. 14 win and is joined in double figures on the season by 6-7 slasher Cameron Reynolds (16.4 & 6.3) and senior guard Malik Morgan (10.4 & 5.6). HoweverTulane ranks 309th in allowing 80.4 PPG and winning too often should not be expected for Mike Dunleavy’s team this season.
The pick: Tulane did win its lone home game but with all of St John’s woes, the Red Strom are leaps and bounds better than Southeastern Louisiana. In fact, St. John's opened the season with blowout wins over Bethune-Cookman and Binghamton plus showed plenty of promise in six-point losses against Minnesota and VCU. This is one St John’s can win and I’ll make them an 8* play.