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Syracuse - St. John's Preview

Syracuse students agree: This is really a neutral site game.
Syracuse has owned St. John's the past decade. This we all know. The Orange have won the last ten of 11 and the last five in MSG. It's no surprise. While St. John's was swimming in mediocrity Syracuse consistently was beating the Red Storm. It's also not a shock that in those games Syracuse had a better fan presence than St. John's in the Garden. Now the tides are starting to turn, but this should be at the minimum a 50/50 orange and red crowd. But all crowd issues aside, Syracuse is averaging more points and allowing fewer points than St. John's. Syracuse boasts the best field goal defense in the league and ninth in the country, holding teams to only 37.2%. Obviously that doesn't bode well for St. John's, but neither does their 30.8% success rate from behind the arc. Overall they shoot 46.8 from the floor total, which is good, but they have not faced as good of a defense as Syracuse all season. Dwight Hardy is the Storm's best scorer, averaging 16ppg. But most of those points come from the interior and free throws. Syracuse should not have to worry too much about three point shooting from St. John's. DJ Kennedy is also good slasher and leads the team in rebounding. Either way, despite having ten seniors, and playing much better basketball under new coach Steve Lavin, St. John's is still not as good as the Orange. While every team in the Big East is dangerous at home, Syracuse should consistently find scoring opportunities by causing turnovers in the zone and that will lead to easy transition baskets for the Orange. While this game may be close in the first half, Syracuse should slowly pull away in the second. Look for the Orange to win in the Garden by 13.

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