St. John’s blows lead to Seton Hall in season’s worst loss yet

There is no room for ambiguity anymore.

Rick Pitino’s first season will go down as a major disappointment.

My recent setback was the worst yet.

The lead over Seton Hall was widened by 19 points. It was the worst second half St. John’s has played in recent memory.

The Johnnys, sprinting towards a flash of a once-promising season, feel like they’ve reached the finish line Sunday with an ugly 68-62 loss in front of a crowd of 9,584 at UBS Arena.

St. John’s coach Rick Pitino coached his team in Sunday’s loss to Seton Hall. Noah K. Murray – New York State Post

And Pitino added to that with an eyebrow-raising press conference. No one, not even himself or his coaching staff, was immune to criticism.

“My first year I was batting .500, but my first year was always fun. I’m not going to lie, this is the least fun experience of my life,” the Hall of Fame coach said, adding that the Johnny’s were at large. He said this after losing for the eighth time in 10 games, other than getting hit with a shot and kissing him goodbye. Qualify for the NCAA Tournament. “This was very disappointing, just because the game has to be played a certain way based on the fundamentals.

“Actually, it’s not about losing, because when you watch this film, even if you win, you see unathletic plays, people who don’t handle the ball and are only interested in taking fast shots. It’s from.”

Asked if he had second thoughts about taking the job, Pitino said: That’s my team. ”

Things got so bad that the home crowd booed the horns late in the second half.

It was hard to blame them. St. John’s (14-12, 6-9) led by 19 points late in the first half. At halftime, the lead was 12 points.

Then, like many recent losses, everything went haywire. The attack is gone. The defense went back for a foul. No one was able to calm the team down. Just one player after another making mistakes on both ends of the floor.

A 4-1 start in league play feels like it happened years ago, not months.

This is St. John’s fourth loss in five games, with all losses leading at halftime.

“The other team is making adjustments and we have to make adjustments to move the basketball and take good shots. We just lack the toughness,” Pitino said. “We just don’t move our feet defensively. They made 37 free throws. If you throw away the stats, you see that every game. The amount of free throws they make and the free throws we make. The amount of. …In fact, the reason we give up leads is because of all the toughness.

“We lost out on the way we recruited this season. We hired guys that were the exact opposite of how I coached: speed, quickness, fundamentals, strength, toughness. We didn’t do that. It’s a good group, they try hard, but they’re not very tough.”

St. John’s head coach Rick Pitino speaks with center Joel Soriano, 11, during the second half of Sunday’s game against Seton Hall. Noah K. Murray – New York State Post

The second half was even uglier. Seton Hall defeated St. John’s 39-21.

The Johnnies started 1-of-15 from the field, but didn’t get much going, going 8-of-33 from the field in the final 20 minutes.

They only scored two points in the paint before giving up a couple of baskets in the final minutes, but they were outrebounded by four points and sent Seton Hall to the free-throw line 26 times.

Chris Ledlum, 8, blocks a shot from Seton Hall guard Dylan Addae-Usu, 0, during the first half Sunday at UBS Arena. Noah K. Murray – New York State Post

Danis Jenkins, the best Johnny again, had 17 points, six assists, and three steals, and Joel Soriano, who returned from the bench to the starting lineup, added 13 points and 12 rebounds. Al Amir Dawes had 19 points for Seton Hall (17-9, 10-5), followed by Kadary Richmond with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The loss meant St. John’s didn’t have much of a chance to play until the Big East Tournament, something no one would have expected in mid-January.

“Believe me, I’m not disappointed in this record at all. I wish I’d said it this summer. [what would happen]” Pitino said. “I had very high expectations for what we brought to the table, but after spending the summer with them, I knew it was going to be a difficult year. Over .500 during the season. I hope I can leave that behind, but then we’ll see what happens.”

Even that is not guaranteed at this point.

It’s no wonder Pitino called his first season in Queens not very enjoyable.