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Rick Pinto apologized to St. John’s players for critical comments: ‘I’m at fault’

WASHINGTON — Rick Pitino offered gross negligence.

For criticizing his players. For this disappointing season. For everything.

Three days after his comments following the loss to Seton Hall were reported, the St. John’s coach began his postgame press conference Wednesday with an apology.

“I said to the staff, is anyone upset? They said some feelings are hurt,” the Johnnys said at Capital One Arena in the Big East Sands. Pitino said after a 90-85 win over Bag Georgetown, ending a three-game losing streak. “I went right away [to talk to] I told my team that I love you all and I would never do anything to embarrass you. But that’s my fault. I’m at fault. “

Rick Pitino yelled instructions during St. John’s loss to Seton Hall and apologized to his players after the Johnnys’ 90-85 win over Georgetown on Wednesday. Noah K. Murray/New York Post

After St. John’s lost for the eighth time in 10 games on Sunday night, Pitino called this season “the least enjoyable experience of my life.”

He cited the physical deficiencies of some of the Johnny’s players and said St. John’s lost this season because they didn’t recruit players who fit into their system.

This caused an uproar on social media and became a national topic in the sports media world.

“Never say my name. I’m a veteran coach. I say this to all the young coaches in the industry: When you win, show class. When you lose, show class.” Give credit to the other team,” Pitino said, also apologizing to St. John’s fans who were offended by his comments. “I’ve been really, really frustrated this year for a lot of different reasons. But what you have to understand is, I’m the one who hired this guy. [Jordan Dingle]hired this person [RJ Luis]. My staff didn’t hire them. It was all me. It was all me, and I’m really, really proud to have them. I sincerely apologize to them for doing that. I wasn’t ripping them. That wasn’t my intention. But words are important. ”

He later added: “I’ve said this to my team probably seven or eight times this year: You’re not failing. You’re not failing. You’re failing.” Winning or losing is fundamental. ”

If Red Storm players had any animosity towards Pitino, they didn’t show it.

Several players hugged him before the opening tip.

St. John’s defeated Georgetown on Wednesday. Provided by St. John’s Athletics

They got off to a very good start and narrowly won the game, avoiding a second-half collapse like last month.

It was too late to approach.

Georgetown was within three points with 43.8 seconds left, but St. John’s beat the press and Lewis hit a huge slam. Joel Soriano also made two free throws, and the Johnnies ended their losing streak at three.

Danis Jenkins will play defense against Georgetown on Wednesday. Provided by St. John’s Athletics

Jordan Dingle scored nine points, the first for the Johnnys, and five players scored in double figures with 22 points. Lewis scored 19 points and Danis Jenkins added 15 points.

“To tell the truth, [the apology] It meant a lot. But we all know Coach and we all know how much he loves and cares about us and how much he cares about winning,” Dingle said. “I don’t think guys took it too seriously. But there was obviously a lot of talk about it. I think it brought us even closer together as a unit.”

St. John’s (15-12, 7-9) led by 21 points at the half, but could not put Georgetown away. The Hoyas (8-18, 1-14) cruised to a 21-4 victory and began to look like many of Johnny’s recent games, as he ran away after halftime.

But Dingle scored on consecutive possessions to settle St. John’s, and freshman Simeon Wilcher provided a spark off the bench, scoring seven points in the final minutes of the second half. He spearheaded a 12-2 run that gave St. John’s a 17-point lead.

“Our motto in the timeout was don’t play to lose, play to win,” Pitino said. “Don’t milk the clock. Go and score. … Saved [scoring] That’s the key to winning close games on the road.”

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