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St. John’s returns to the “Mecca” tonight against Georgia

December 9, 2009

Junior Rob Thomas should make his season debut tonight

@ The World’s Most Famous Arena:  New York, New York

St. John’s Red Storm (6-1)

vs.

Georgia Bulldogs (4-3)

Game time:  7 pm

TV:  ESPN 2

Radio:  1130 am

Line:  St. John’s (-11.5)

News and Notes:  The spotlight will be shining on “The Mecca of College Basketball” Wednesday as the St. John’s men’s basketball team faces the Georgia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. as part of the DirecTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational doubleheader.  No. 12 UConn will face  No. 4 Kentucky in the second game at 9:30.   The Red Storm play the first of eight regular-season games at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, though the UGA contest is considered a neutral matchup for NCAA and RPI purposes. St. John’s is 383-254 (.601) all-time at The World’s Most Famous Arena, which has served as a home court for St. John’s basketball for more than 77 years.  The Red Storm posted a 5-7 record at MSG in 2008-09, and is 2-0 in neutral matchups in 2009-10 after wins over Siena and Temple in the Philly Hoop Group Classic.  Georgia has struggled  offensively this season as their 64.6 scoring average is the second-lowest for Georgia in the past 50 years.  They average just four 3-pointers per game, the lowest mark since 1988, the second year of the 3-point shot in basketball.  The Johnnies will be once again without Anthony Mason J.R., and now Justin Burrell is expected to miss 3-4 weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain against Duke.  Redshirt junior Rob Thomas returns to the court for the Georgia game after missing the first seven games with a groin injury. A microcosm of his off-the-court perseverance, Thomas provides “instant offense” for the Red Storm by consistently cleaning the offensive glass. Thomas averaged 6.1 ppg and 3.5 rpg while averaging 13.6 minutes, and 58 of his 101 rebounds on the season were at the offensive end.

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