NCAA Basketball Betting Preview: A look at Davidson-St. John’s

Holiday Festival Tournament, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Davidson Wildcats at St. John’s Red Storm

Monday, December 20, 2010, 9:20 pm Eastern, TV: MSG
Opening Line: St. John’s -8

Current Line: St. John’s -9
Opening Total: 139 1/2
Current Total: 135 1/2

Money Line: SJU -450 / Davidson +375

St. John's is a 9 point favorite at home agaisnt Davidson in the Holday Festival at MSG.

The 5-4 Davidson Wildcats travel to New York to play in the Holiday Festival Tournament against St. John’s. The Red storm are 5-3 on the season. The winner of this game will play the winner of Northwestern-St. Francis (NY) in the championship game tomorrow night. Davidson has 4 losses on the season to Penn, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and College of Charleston. None of their losses are by more than 14 points. All four of those teams have a chance to go to the postseason. The Wildcats have wins over Nebraska, Western Kentucky, and Charlotte. St. John’s is on a 2 game losing streak with losses at home versus St. Bonaventure 67-66 and at Fordham 84-81. The Red storm were playing without senior guard Malik Boothe in both of those games but he is expected to play tonight. The Red Storm lost their opening game of the season at St. Mary’s (CA) 76-71 in coach Steve Lavin’s debut as coach of the Red Storm. St. John’s then went on a 5 game winning streak including victories over Ball St, Drake, and Arizona St to win the Great Alaska Shootout.

Davidson is averaging 69 points a game on the season. They are allowing 66 points a game. They shoot 44 percent from the field, including 33% from 3 point range. They make 70% of their free throws. Interestingly, the Wildcats have 321 rebounds on the year and have allowed opponents to get 321 rebounds as well. Both rebounding percentages are 35.7 on the year. Davidosn average 12.8 assists and 14.8 turnovers a game. They also average 5.6 steals and 3.3 rebounds a game. Opponents are shooting 41 percent against the Wildcats, and 36% of 3 pointers. Opponents are shooting 66% from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Jake Cohen is the leading scorer and rebounder with 14.7 PPG and 6.7 RPG. Guards J.P. Kuhlman and Brendan McKillop also average in double figure scoring. Davidson doesn’t have a lot of size. The 6’10” Cohen is the tallest player that gets regular playing time in the rotation.

St. John’s is outscoring opponents 74-66 on the season. The Red StormĀ  are shooting 45% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. They do tend to struggle from the free throw line shooting only 63% from the line. The Red Storm average 34 rebounds and 14 assists a game. They also average 9 steals and 3 blocks a game. They turn the ball over less than 10 times a game. Opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field, and making 39 percent of 3 pointers. They are shooting 73% from the free throw line. Though Malik Boothe doesn’t do a lot of scoring averaging only 5.5 PPG he is the team’s leader in assists with 3.8 a game. The offense just wasn’t running as smoothly with him out of the line-up. The Red Storm are lead in scoring by Dwight Hardy with 14.9 points a game. Justin Brownlee (13.6 PPG, 4.3 rebounds a game) andĀ  D.J. Kennedy (11.5 PPG, and 5.6 RPG) also contribute to the scoring.

Neither of these teams have much size, as neither has a player over 6’10”. Both of these teams are very similar statistically. St. John’s should play much better with Boothe back in the line-up. Both of these teams are looking for a win before conference play begins.

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