After St. John’s biggest win of the season, the Red Storm will continue to be without a lighting bolt.
Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Rothstein, sophomore Federico Mussini will miss his third straight game today. The Italian, who is averaging 9.7 points per game, has been out due to an infection.
Earlier this season, Chris Mullin’s team appeared to be in for another mediocre campaign. Following a 92-76 defeat to Penn State on December 18, St. John’s was 5-7 with horrific losses to Delaware State and LIU Brooklyn sitting on their resume. However, signature victories over Syracuse and #13 Butler have breathed life into a program hoping to rebound from an 8-24 disaster last year.
A key factor in the Red Storm’s success lies in the maturity of its underclassmen. Four of the top five scorers are freshmen or sophomores while 70.7 points per game are produced by first or second-year players. Freshmen Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett are both averaging over 16 points per game for the young squad.
Mussini, a 24-game starter as a freshman, turned a corner in December. He began the month with four double-digit point performances, two more than the prior month. Upon his return, the Big East will know whether New York’s college is a conference contender.
During Mussini’s absence, St. John’s has received big lifts from Ponds and junior Bashir Ahmed. In the past two games, the freshman phenom is scoring 23 points per game while Ahmed has upped his production to 20 points per game.
Today, the 7-7 Red Storm are faced with a trap game in Chicago. St. John’s takes on DePaul, who took Villanova to the final horn in their Big East opener. Following Sunday’s contest, games with #10 Creighton and #17 Xavier will test the freshmen and sophomores.
– P. Wesner