Fri, 22 Jan 2021

St. John's looks to stay perfect vs. BC

Field Level Media
30 Nov 2020, 03:19 GMT+10

The St. John's Red Storm and the Boston College Eagles are set to meet on Monday night in a non-conference, neutral-court game in Uncasville, Conn.

Boston College (1-1) battled No. 3 Villanova in its opener before losing 76-67. The Eagles then rebounded and defeated Rhode Island, 69-64.

St. John's (2-0) is off to a great start after beating Saint Peter's and LaSalle. Red Storm newcomer Vince Cole, a 6-5 junior-college transfer, was named the MVP of the Lapchick Tournament, won by St. John's. Cole, a two-time junior-college All-American, is averaging 20.0 points and shooting 46.2 percent on 3-point attempts.

Two other Storm newcomers -- freshman Posh Alexander and junior-college transfer Isaih Moore -- were named to the five-player all-tournament team. Alexander is averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 steals and 3.0 assists. The 6-foot-10 Moore is averaging 10.5 points and is leading the team in rebounds (8.0).

"We have to continue to get better," Storm coach Mike Anderson said. "We have to shore up the live-ball turnovers.

"When you have two guys out, you are asking a lot of your newcomers. We have two double-figure scorers who are not even on the court right now."

Anderson was referring to 6-8 wing Julian Champagnie, who has missed two straight games due to a sprained ankle, and guard Rasheem Dunn, who missed the second game due to a concussion.

"Julian will be a game-time decision on Monday," Anderson said. "Rasheem took a spill, got some stitches and is at home. He is going through the concussion protocol."

Anderson said he is grateful to have Cole, who played off the bench in the first game before moving into the starting lineup against LaSalle.

"He has a knack for getting buckets -- he can score," Anderson said. "You got to have guys you can go to (like Cole). He came in with that reputation as a scorer, but he's also getting more in tune on defense. He's just finding his way."

Meanwhile, the Eagles are led by Wynston Tabbs, a 6-2, third-year guard who missed half his freshman year and all of last season due to left-knee surgery. On Thursday, however, Tabbs produced the first double-double of his career, getting 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against Rhode Island.

Tabbs, who had missed 676 days between games, is averaging 13.5 points in two contests this season. He averaged 13.9 points as a freshman.

Up front, Steffon Mitchell is BC's rock. He has made 84 starts and is averaging 9.0 points and 9.5 rebounds this season. Last season, he made the ACC's All-Defensive team.

"Any coach would want a guy like Mitchell," BC sixth-year coach Jim Christian said. "He doesn't need the ball every possession to dictate play."

Rich Kelly, a 6-1 graduate transfer from Quinnipiac, is averaging 10.0 points off the Eagles bench.

One issue for the Eagles, however, is the foot injury that forced guard Jay Heath to miss BC's second game. In the opener, Heath had 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting. He averaged 13.1 points last season, which was second best on the team.

--Field Level Media

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