Friday, January 8, 2016

Five players to watch for in Saturday's St. John's/Marquette game

On Saturday, the annual Al's Day game features the St. John's Red Storm (7-9, 0-3 BIG EAST) traveling to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles (11-4. 1-2 BIG EAST) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI.

After dropping its first two conference games, Marquette won on Jan. 5, 65-64 on a last-second block at No. 9 Providence, while St. John's is still in search of its first conference win in coach Chris Mullin's inaugural season.

Here are five players who could have an impact on the outcome of the game.

1) Marquette forward Henry Ellenson:

What can Henry Ellenson not do? 

The standout freshman has wooed fans across the country with his ability to make an impact on all facets of the game.

Ellenson leads the team in points (16.0) and rebounds (9.9) per game.

In 14 out of 15 games this season, Ellenson has scored in double figures and will look to continue the production in Saturday's game.

2) Marquette center Luke Fischer:

The last four games for Luke Fischer have been head-scratching at best, with a field goal percentage of 42.1 percent in the last four games, compared to 66.3 in the previous 11.

In the Providence game on Jan. 5, Fischer put together his worst outing since the Iowa meeting on Nov. 19, with eight points and grabbed four rebounds. 

Fischer's performance will have to improve soon, if Marquette wants to compete for the regular season BIG EAST title.

3) St. John's guard Federico Mussini:

In a season of transition for the Red Storm, Federico Mussini has stepped up to be the floor leader.

Mussini leads the team in points (13.1) and free throw percentage (.851).  

In a 74-66 loss to No. 10 Xavier on Jan. 6, the freshman finished with 19 points, on 5-of-8 shooting from long distance.

4) Marquette guard Duane Wilson:

In an increased role this season, Duane Wilson has thrived and made the most of the opportunity.

Wilson is third on Marquette in points per game with 12.8 and has scored in double figures in the last five games.

5) Marquette guard Haanif Cheatham:

The Golden Eagles were in need of multiple scoring options coming into this season and Haanif Cheatham has answered the call and then some.

The freshman is one of four Marquette players to average in double figures in scoring (10.8).

In four of the last five games, Cheatham has finished with at least 10 points, highlighted by 17 against Seton Hall on Dec. 30.

Game Planner:

St. John's at Marquette

Time: Saturday, 1 p.m. CT

TV: Fox Sports Networks/ Fox Sports Go

Line: Marquette (-11.5)

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.