The St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball team has lost eight of their last 10 games. Their most recent loss came after having a 19-point lead against rival Seton Hall, losing 68-62. St. John’s is currently 14-12 (6-9 Big East) and ninth in conference standings with five games to go in their regular season schedule.

“If I said I was disappointed, that would be the understatement of the year,” St. John’s head coach Rick Pitino said after the game. “And really it’s not about losing. Even winning, when I watch the film, I see unathletic plays, I see people that don’t handle the ball, that are just interested in taking quick shots. It’s been a disappointing year.”

The Hall of Famer Pitino joined the Red Storm after the school fired head coach Mike Anderson last year following a 17-14 record and a second-round loss in the Big East tournament. Pitino has continuously coached basketball since the mid-70s but is most well known for his stretches coaching at the University of Kentucky (1989-97) and Louisville (2001-17).

Along with coaching at multiple NBA teams and schools with well-known basketball programs, he also was the national team coach for both Puerto Rico and Greece. Before he joined the St. John’s staff Pitino coached at Iona University from 2020-23.

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Over the offseason before Pitino took control of the team, St. John’s lost 11 players to the transfer portal. With Pitino, however, the team was almost fully rebuilt, with 10 players coming in from the transfer portal, two of whom were ESPN Top 100 freshmen Simeon Wilcher and Brady Dunlap. The newly reconstructed Red Storm team had an amazing 12-4 start to the year with wins over conference rivals Providence and Villanova, but have now fallen out of the projected group of teams to make the March Madness tournament.

“I had no choice,” Pitino said about his roster. “We just could take who we could get, who was available, we had no choice. I don’t think we were going to win the first year anyway, because when you rush like that, you don’t see the players. Not a whole lot we can do.”

The St. John’s Red Storm are currently ninth in the Big East conference and have lost their last three games. If they do want to keep their postseason hopes alive, the team will need to win all five games left on their schedule and hope to make a run in the conference tournament.

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