Starting point guards could be out when No. 12 Villanova visits St. John’s
The winner of Tuesday night’s Big East game between No. 12 Villanova and host St. John’s in New York City could be determined in the trainer’s rooms in the days and hours leading up to the 8:30 p.m. ET tipoff.
St. John’s (13-9, 5-6) beat host Butler 75-72 on Saturday, but dynamic Red Storm point guard Posh Alexander missed the final 2:26 with an ankle injury. But he isn’t the only one with that problem.
The status of the starting backcourt for Villanova (17-6, 10-3) is iffy for the same reason. Guard Justin Moore, who averages 15.1 points per game sat out the Wildcats’ 85-74 win over UConn on Saturday with an ankle injury. Point guard Collin Gillespie left that game in the second half after landing on someone’s foot and injuring his right ankle.
St. John’s coach Mike Anderson had no update on Alexander (14.9 points, 5.2 assists) after the win at Butler.
As for Villanova, coach Jay Wright was unsure about Gillespie’s status, other than that X-rays were scheduled for Sunday.
As for Moore, Wright said with a wan smile, “I would love to see him play Tuesday. In his mind, he thought he could play (Saturday), but when he got out there, our trainer said, ‘he can’t move.'”
Wright said junior reserve Chris Arcidiacono would start in Gillespie’s place, although he also indicated there would be a lot of ballhandling by committee, as was the case Saturday after Gillespie was injured.
“I thought Caleb did a great job for us handling the ball,” Wright said of sixth man Caleb Daniels, who made his first start of the season in place of Moore and scored 16 points. “He can play any position. We were really proud of him.
“We’ve just got to make plays through different people,” Wright added.
Arcidiacono had season-highs in points (nine) and minutes (26) but also had one assist and four turnovers against UConn.
The Red Storm, which lost 73-62 at Villanova on Jan. 29, has basically been starting two point guards for much of the season with Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu (9.5 points, 4.2 assists), who is also an excellent ballhandler.
“We’re a team. Next man up,” Anderson said of the possibility of Alexander being out.
The Red Storm have successive Big East road wins within a three-day span for the first time since 2011. St. John’s rallied from an eight-point second-half deficit Saturday to defeat Butler after beating Georgetown on Thursday night.
Against Butler, they won despite being shooting 2-for-18 from 3-point range.
“We only made two threes, but we did a good job of attacking the basket and taking what they were giving us,” Anderson said. “We had open looks. We just didn’t make them.
“We’re trending in the right direction,” he added. “We’re getting more pieces to the puzzle that are stepping up. I always talk about the about the paint on the campus. We’re cleaning it up. … And hopefully, it’s going to be a pretty good picture.”
–Field Level Media