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Shamorie Ponds (2) and St. John's head coach Chris Mullin.

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St. John’s looks strong in 6-0 start to 2018-19 season

Chris Mullin remembers the days when he led a St John’s team that was consistently ranked in the Top 20 and competed with Georgetown and Syracuse for the Big East title.  Some might say the early days of the Big East offered some of the most exciting and competitive basketball we’ve ever seen at the college level.  The rivalries and battles of Big East basketball were fast and furious and included tossing oranges at the backboard, fist fights and shoving matches and culminated with Georgetown coach John Thompson wearing a Lou Carnesecca look alike sweater.

Now the head coach, Mullin’s Johnnies have all new faces and the third-year coach hopes to carry on the tradition of New York school yard basketball and Big East dominance.  St John’s is led by senior guard and scoring machine Shamorie Ponds (Brooklyn, NY) who’s averaging 23.3 per game.

The Johnnies have four players scoring double figures, including junior guard Mustapha Heron (18.2), L.J. Figueroa (15.8), and redshirt senior transfer from Michigan State, Marvin Clark II averaging 10.2 per contest.

This year’s St John’s team is not built strictly around offense, although Mullin is obviously an offensive minded head coach.  The defense has an impressive 54 steals through just six games, showing off faster hands than a NYC subway pick-pocket-er.

The Johnnies fast start has them ahead in the mythical conference standings, pre-league play.  Georgetown, Butler, and Creighton are all off to 5-1 records to start the season.  Villanova, last years NCAA Champions, seem to have lost a step after losing four key players and have started the season 5-2 including a blow out revenge loss to Michigan.

St. John’s next game is a non-conference matchup against Georgia Tech in the Hoophail Miami Invitational held at the American Airlines Arena.  Game time is 12 noon on Saturday.  Tech comes into the game 4-1, sporting a three-game winning streak.

For you St John’s fans, get those Louie Carnesecca sweaters ready, it could be a season from the past.

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