Whether the Arizona Wildcats are challenged in their non-conference finale could hinge on the health of a key player.
St. John’s star guard Mustapha Heron is questionable for Saturday’s game vs. the Wildcats due to an ankle injury.
A senior, the 6-foot-5 Heron is the Red Storm’s second-leading scorer at 15.0 points per game. The former Auburn Tiger shoots 41 percent from the 3-point line and gets to the free-throw line at a healthy rate, where he shoots 78 percent.
Heron missed his first game of the season Wednesday against Albany. St. John’s won comfortably 85-57, but the Great Danes are 6-7 and the No. 214 team in the country, per KenPom, so take that with a grain of salt.
Per Zach Braziller of the New York Post, St. John’s coach Mike Anderson said afterwards that Heron has not been practicing, though he has done some shooting.
Mike Anderson said Mustapha Heron still not practicing. Has done some shooting. Unclear if he will play Saturday against Arizona. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) December 19, 2019
Adam Zagoria is reporting that St. John’s is hoping to get Heron back against Arizona on Saturday in San Francisco.
.@StJohnsBBall is looking to get @Kingheron5 (ankle) back ‘hopefully Saturday’ vs. @APlayersProgram, per source.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) December 18, 2019
At 10-2, a win over the Wildcats would be a huge résumé booster for the Red Storm, who have NCAA Tournament aspirations in Anderson’s first season at the helm. They have played two major-conference teams so far, beating West Virginia 70-68 at Madison Square Garden and losing to Arizona State 80-67 in Connecticut.
KenPom ranks St. John’s as the No. 91 team in the country, the fifth-best team Arizona has played this season, behind Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Wake Forest.
The Wildcats could be getting reserve forward Stone Gettings back from a concussion, though a return next Saturday against Arizona State seems likelier.
The senior has missed the last four games but recently cleared concussion protocol.