Our Xavier Musketeers are in a crucial spot right now. We are riding high from wins over Cincinnati and Butler and now the team faces St. John's inside the most famous basketball venue in the world. To get you ready for the game, we talked to Norman Rose over at Rumble in the Garden about his thoughts on the game. Let's get started.
1.) Last week when we played, Sir'Dominic Pointer was a beast with 24 points and playing an absurd number of minutes. How key has the senior been to St. John's success this year?
He's been huge. He's been set free and has gained confidence in his game, using his defense and quickness confidently... and he's found a way to become a matchup problem on offense, assaulting opponents who can't match up. It's not just the confidence - it's that, because of necessity, Steve Lavin has had to play him at power forward and let him play through mistakes, with a great benefit. His rebounding is very, very good for his size and he's been the catalyst for the team's brand of chaos.
2.) Madison Square Garden is the most famous basketball venue ever and that's where we are playing Monday night. This really is not a question, more of just jealously that you all get to play there on a consistent basis.
It's a pretty cool arena.
3.) Who do you think will make the biggest impact on the game for St. John's?
Sir`Dominic Pointer and Rysheed Jordan. Pointer will have to be as impactful as he was in the first meeting, and Jordan needs to play better, because Xavier will likely try to take advantage of his impetuous mistakes.
4.) A lot of bracket people have you all in the dance, but a lot of people are also saying that they are on the bubble and need a big win. In your opinion, what does the Red Storm need to do to make the dance?
Beat Xavier, Marquette, win at least one game in the Big East Tournament. Beating Georgetown would be really, really good - the team only has Xavier and Providence as resume wins... not yet all that impressive.
5.) If you could change the team name away from Red Storm and to something else (and new) what would it be and why?
I don't get too upset about the name change and unlike some who remember the Redmen name, I can understand why it was done. Hard to come up with the name (even if "Red Storm" is both forgettable and... fodder for jokes involving bleeding)... what would another name be, the St. John's Run-DMC's? The St. John's Melting Pot?
6.) Prediction on how this game will go?
I think St. John's handles Xavier's size again - only because Dee Davis' play against STt John's was fairly poor and I don't see that changing.