St. John’s looking to quickly fix ‘abominable’ defense ahead of Fordham matchup
We put together this basketball team abruptly, St. Johns coach Rick Pitino acknowledged.
If the season can be saved, the team will need to come together and play defense abruptly.
St. Johns has just one more non-conference game a city faceoff with Fordham on Saturday at the Garden before the grueling Big East schedule begins.
If the Red Storm (6-3) have grand plans for Pitinos first season, a defense that Pitino called abominable after an 86-80 loss to Boston College on Sunday would have to iron itself out in a hurry.
In five games (including three losses) against top-100 teams, St. Johns has allowed 79.4 points per game.
Pitino pointed at the thrown-together nature of the team which includes 10 transfers and said he focused on recruiting offensive-minded players, believing the defense would come.
Boston College forward Quinten Post (12) drives to the basket as St. John’s guards Jordan Dingle (3) and Daniss Jenkins (5) defend. APWe tried to get as many good offensive basketball players as possible, Pitino told reporters Friday. The first year Ive coached at every place, it has taken time to put in all the defenses. No matter if it was Boston University, whether it was Providence, the Knicks, Kentucky or Louisville, it takes time, especially when you have all offensive basketball players. I knew that it would take time.
Guard Jordan Dingle called the loss to Boston College a wake-up call.
I think that the biggest thing is, we know that we are better than that, Dingle said. The performance that we put on against Boston College really wasnt who we are.
Fordham (5-5) projects as a possible springboard for the Johnnies.
Boston College guard Jaeden Zackery drives to the basket as St. John’s Jordan Dingle (right) defends. APKeith Urgos group has shot just 41.9 percent from the floor and entered Friday ranked 241st in points per game.
The matchup will be special for big man Joel Soriano, whose collegiate career began at Fordham.
It would be more special for St. Johns if their individuals play like a team defensively.
Coach Ps always been saying its going to take time to get to where we need to be as a team and that time is approaching, said Dingle, whose Johnnies will open their Big East slate against Xavier on Wednesday. But our practices have been intense since day one. I dont think that there is a more physical exertion part, but definitely mentally.
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