Steve Lavin's first season as head coach of the St. John's Red Storm has been nothing short of spectacular.
After finishing towards the bottom of the conference last season at 13th, the Red Storm have gone 19-9 (11-5 in conference) this year and have reached their highest national ranking in over a decade.
They have consistently proven that they can beat top-ranked opponents both in and out of the Big East and either at home or on the road, as they are currently riding a six-game win streak that includes wins over Villanova and Pittsburgh.
While St. John's is ascending back towards its glory days, Seton Hall, on the other hand, is not. The Pirates are a mere 11-17 overall while posting an unworthy 5-11 conference record. In the new high-octane Big East Conference, Seton Hall is looking more like a middle-of-the-pack Atlantic 10 team.
With that being said, the Pirates have still been able to provide good competition for some of these conference powerhouses and have even stolen a few wins against quality teams such as Syracuse and Alabama.
If the Pirates are looking to snag one from local rival St. John's tonight, they're going to need to get movement on the offensive side of the ball early on in the game. The Johnnies play a very aggressive zone defense, but a little penetration and a few Herb Pope buckets will help to open it up.
They're also going to need to put a big body on red-hot Dwight Hardy and try to tamper with his shot. Hardy has been playing out of his mind recently and is even being considered for Big East Player of the Year.
Failure to do these things will and should result in what would be the Red Storm's seventh straight victory.