Rick Pitino hopes that people will be patient with St. John’s basketball as it works through the kinks in the early season. He has a lofty goal for the Red Storm and encourages his fans and haters to stay the course.
The 71-year-old watched UConn play Indiana with his team on Sunday. There is a lot of chemistry with the reigning national champions because most of the Huskies’ roster has been together for at least a year.
That is not the case with St. John’s.
The Red Storm looks like a team that is still figuring itself out during their first five games. They lost to Michigan by 16 at Madison Square Garden last Monday and lost by seven to Dayton at the Charleston Classic on Friday. They also beat a good North Texas team by one in a gritty battle on Thursday and dominated a strong Utah side in the third-place game on Sunday.
Pitino and St. John’s saw the way that UConn operated. He called them an “offensive machine” and said that he hopes his team will find a similar groove while urging patience.
Rick Pitino shared a cool moment with one of his new players.
Among the many talented transfers to join the Red Storm during the offseason was former Virginia Tech and UConn guard Nahiem Alleyne. He is expected to be an important depth piece for Pitino, if he does not blossom into a prominent rotation player.
Alleyne did not play much, or particularly well, during the first four games of the year. The fifth-year senior called a meeting with his new head coach prior to Sunday’s game against the Utes.
Pitino thought that Alleyne was going to complain about playing time. He assumed that there was going to be a conversation about how to get more minutes and how to get back in the lineup.
That was not the case!
Alleyne apologized to Pitino for his play and said that he “didn’t come here to play like that.” The latter, while baffled, greatly appreciated the candid discussion and rewarded him accordingly.
Alleyne played 17 minutes against Utah. It was the second-most time on the court this season. He recorded 10 points, three assists, one rebound and one steal.
Pitino’s St. John’s players are bought-in to what he is building. They believe in the vision.
Just be patient!