St. John’s basketball find the formula to turn his season around

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – When St. The John’s season is over, where will Monday’s match stand in the minds of its players and fans? Will this be remembered as the signature victory Red Storm needed to get their season back on track?

For 40 minutes in the hostile setting of Walsh Gym on Seton Hall’s campus, Johnnies looked like the team everyone had expected to be in their 84-63 victory over Seton Hall. Sure, there were a few bumps in the road, but the closest the Pirates ever came to the red storm was early in the first half as they cut their lead to 11-9 after a shot from Myles Cale.

It was far St. John’s best win of the season as they dominated both ends of the field. They moved the ball well and their bench gives an extra spark where head coach Mike Anderson shook up a bit with his starting lineup.

“That’s the team I’ve been looking for,” Anderson said after the win. “It’s the team. Everything is in, and I even told them I’m taking the handcuffs off. You’re not going to hear my voice, just go out there and play. Play hard, play for each other, and I thought they did. “They went out and they just played basketball.”

The comfort and dominance that St. John’s played with on Monday, has not been something that has happened too often this season. A very different Red Storm crew took the field in Saturday’s loss at Garden to the same Seton Hall team while trying to get their fit in Big East games.

The Red Storm had been 0-6 in matches against Quad One opponents on Monday, and they were 2-4 against Big East opponents. That made Monday’s victory even more important on the way into a small gym with a noisy opposing crowd.

Instead of being pushed by the unique environment and the mocking fans – most of the 1,400 attendees were students at Seton Hall – Johnnies stuck to their game plan. More importantly, the team seemed to be responding to Sunday’s program to watch movies as they tried to motivate each other to turn their season around.

Anderson got the team to watch Saturday’s entire loss, and the players openly discussed what to work on.

“We had a lot of votes in that meeting,” Aaron Wheeler said. “Criticizing each other, but that’s what you have to do. We had to figure out a way to get a road victory. No one took anything personally, but we were able to figure things out in that film session.”

Johnnies still have a lot of basketball left with some tough matches ahead on the calendar. They will have a few days to rest before meeting Villanova on Saturday, followed by a busy week of matches almost every other day, starting with Tuesday’s match against Providence.

They will have to use Monday’s victory as a springboard.

“It’s something to build on. That’s something we’ve been working on, ”Anderson said. “I think our defense has been in the right direction and I just thought that even the guys who started have played heavy minutes. I thought the different recipe tonight was the guys who came off the bench. “The key is to keep getting guys to give us positive minutes, effective minutes.”

Anderson later added: “It has to be an energy team, it has to scrape and scratch, and sometimes it may not be pretty for (the media), but it’s beautiful for us.”

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