W2W4: St. John's vs. Fordham

Here's what to watch for when St. John's (5-2) plays Fordham (4-2) on Saturday, in the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival. (It's the first St. John's game of the season at MSG.)

Tip-off is scheduled for approximately 1:30 p.m. (20 minutes after the conclusion of the Stony Brook-La Salle game, which tips at 11 a.m.), and you can watch on MSG.

GOT RUST? St. John's hasn't played a game in a week, since their come-from-behind 69-58 win over Georgia Tech in the consolation game of the Barclays Center Classic. And they don't play another game until next Sunday, Dec. 15, hosting No. 4-ranked Syracuse at MSG.

That makes this game even more important. A loss to Fordham means St. John's will probably go nearly three weeks without a win, leaving a bad taste.

This will be the 85th meeting between St. John's and Fordham, dating back to 1909. St. John's leads the series 63-21.

HEAD TO HEAD: St. John's freshman guard Rysheed Jordan got all the hype, but Fordham freshman guard Jon Severe has severely (no pun intended) outplayed Jordan to this point.

Severe, a Brooklyn native who played at Christ The King and was named New York's Mr. Basketball as a high school senior, is tied for 10th in the nation in scoring, averaging 23.2 points in his first six collegiate games. He's averaging four 3-pointers per game, and shooting 42.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Jordan, a Philadelphia native who was ranked the No. 17 overall player in the Class of 2013 by ESPN Recruiting, is averaging just 4.2 points in his first seven collegiate games, shooting 23.5 percent from the field.

THE RAMS: Fordham, picked to finish 11th in the 13-team Atlantic 10 in the conference's preseason poll, is off to a 4-2 start for the first time since 2006. Coach Tom Pecora appears to have turned a corner in his rebuilding project at Rose Hill.

Severe isn't the only high-scoring guard on the Fordham roster. Senior Branden Frazier, also a Brooklyn native, is second on the team in points (18.8 ppg), and tops in assists (5.2 apg). He's also averaging 6.5 rebounds. Sophomore guard Mandell Thomas is averaging 15 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

The Rams have won two in a row, including an impressive four-point win at Manhattan on Nov. 26 -- the Jaspers were picked to win the MAAC conference this season. Their losses were at No. 4-ranked Syracuse (by 15), and versus Sacred Heart (by 12).

Fordham entered the week ranked second in Division I in 3-point field goal defense, at 18.9 percent. St. John's was already one of the poorest 3-point shooting teams in the country -- 300th in 3-point makes per game (4.6), and 306th in 3-point percentage (29.1).

But offensively, the Rams are ranked 269th in overall field-goal percentage (42.1).