St. John's has announced that their sophomore big man Chris Obekpa has injured his ankle and will be out 10-14 days. Obekpa apparently picked up the knock in practice on Monday but was just ruled out for the aforementioned time period after evaluation today. Obekpa is not a dynamic scorer, but he is an elite offensive rebounder and the second-best shot blocker by block% in the nation.
While this is a big loss for the Johnnies, it will probably only affect one of their two games before they play Xavier, as it seems unlikely that they will spit the bit at home against Butler. Their trip to Nova was always going to be a tough task, but it's going to be even more difficult without Obekpa.
Obekpa also figures to be out against Xavier, which could make a massive difference in the game. He played 22 scoreless minutes last time the teams met, but he ripped down five boards (three offensive), block four shots, and pick up a steal. In that game, Matt Stainbrook had 9/10/1 and Isaiah Philmore posted 11/9/2. Jalen Reynolds also came off the bench for 4/2/0 in just five minutes. It's hard to say what the impact of Obekpa's absence will be, but St. John's coach Steve Lavin will have a couple of games before Xavier to get his strategy sorted.