Rick Pitino erupts after latest St. John’s loss: ‘This is the most unenjoyable experience of my lifetime’

Rick Pitino’s first season at St. John’s isn’t done yet, but he sounds completely over it

Rick Pitino’s first season at St. John’s isn’t done yet, but he sounds completely over it. (Wendell Cruz/USA Today)

Rick Pitino is not happy at St. John’s.

The longtime basketball coach laid into his Red Storm team and the St. John’s athletic department on Sunday after they fell to Seton Hall 68-62 at UBS Arena. The Red Storm blew an early 19-point lead and shot just shy of 34% from the field as a team while committing 15 turnovers. It marked their third straight loss and eighth in their last 10 games.

While the season — Pitino’s first with the program — isn’t even over yet, he sounds completely done.

“This is the most unenjoyable experience of my lifetime,” he said, via NJ.com “This has been so disappointing.”

Pitino has been coaching throughout the college basketball world for decades now, and he’s seen plenty of bad teams in his career. He was hired at St. John’s ahead of the season after a successful three-year stint at Iona, which marked his first job back in the sport after his tumultuous exit from Louisville in 2017.

But Pitino seemed to take shots at everybody he could Sunday, including the university’s athletic department.

“Do we have sh***y facilities? Yes, we do,” Pitino said. “But we’re doing something about that. But that’s not the reason we’re losing. Having sh***y facilities has nothing to do with guarding.”

Pitino also called his players out directly, some by name, and said that they are “so unathletic that we can’t guard anybody without fouling.”

“Joel [Soriano]’s slow laterally, he’s not fast on the court,” Pitino said. “Chris Ledlum is slow laterally, Sean Conway’s slow laterally. Brady [Dunlap’s] physically weak, Drissa [Traore] is slow laterally.”

The 71-year-old coach also blamed his staff’s “lost” recruiting efforts for their struggles. He added 12 new players at St. John’s after taking the job, though he’s clearly thinking he targeted the wrong type of player.

“We kind of lost this season with the way we recruited,” he said. “We recruited the antithesis of the way I coach. It’s a good group, they try hard, but they’re just not very tough. … It’s not the job. You could be at Missouri and recruit slow players. Believe me, it’s not St. John’s.

“We had to put together a team at the last second. We will never, ever do that again.”

St. John’s has five games left in the regular season before the Big East tournament, starting with a matchup with Georgetown on Wednesday. The Red Storm hold a 14-12 record and sit in ninth in the Big East, ahead of only Georgetown and DePaul. Those two teams have won just a single conference game between them this season.

“I’ve been disappointed the entire year,” he said. “I’m sure [Georgetown coach] Ed Cooley is disappointed. I’m sure the DePaul coach is disappointed. When you lose, everybody’s disappointed.”

For Pitino, it sounds like March — specifically the end of it — can’t come soon enough.

First appeared on sports.yahoo.com

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