Rick Pitino Says He ‘Was Not Ripping Anybody’ With St. John’s Criticism | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 10: Head coach Rick Pitino of the St. John's Red Storm reacts during the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Fiserv Forum on February 10, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

After a rant following St. John’s eighth loss in 10 games on Sunday, head coach Rick Pitino explained that he wasn’t “ripping” anybody with his comments.

Speaking with Newsday (h/t ESPN) on Monday, Pitino stood by his comments, explaining that he intended to get a message across to his team after yet another loss.

“I was pointing out exactly — in a monotone voice — why we lost,” he said. “I am not always calm and certainly not when I rip someone … I was not ripping anybody.

“I sometimes want my players to hear my words and read my words. That was my intention [Sunday].”

In his postgame press conference after the loss to Seton Hall on Sunday, Pitino called out his team’s athleticism and toughness. The Red Storm blew a 19-point lead against Seton Hall, sparking the rant.

“If I said I was disappointed, that would be the understatement of the year,” he said. “Our lateral quickness and our toughness is just something I’ve never witnessed in all my years of coaching.

“We are so nonathletic that we can’t guard anybody without fouling. … And really it’s not about losing. Even winning, when I watch the film, I see unathletic plays, I see people that don’t handle the ball, that are just interested in taking quick shots. It’s been a disappointing year.”

Pitino’s first year with St. John’s has not gone the way he had hoped, and he expressed that on Sunday. The Red Storm are 14-12 on the season, sitting about just 8-17 Georgetown and 3-22 DePaul.

Pitino wanted to call out his team and spark something with his comments on Sunday, and now St. John’s will look to respond. The Red Storm will take on Georgetown on Wednesday with the chance to get back in the win column.

First appeared on bleacherreport.com

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