St. John's basketball: Rick Pitino on St. John's

Rick Pitino blows some smoke up the Red Storm's collective tailpipes, according to the Torch (St. John's on-campus newspaper). Is this the regular coaching compliment or are the Red Storm turning the corner? Read more below

"Watch out for St. John's," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino to a group of reporters at last week's Big East media day at the Garden....

Pitino was reiterating what he had heard from UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who had himself gotten the news from some pro scouts who had seen the Johnnies practice.

"Pro scouts!!" Pitino and I had the same reaction.

"They said St. John's isn't what everyone thinks they are," Pitino said of the scouts. "They are young, tenacious, they are very gifted and talented."

Oh yeah? The games will prove whether that is true or not. Pitino may have been serious, or simply paying the usual coaching compliment from the media toolbox next to "well, they're developing", or "they played hard."

I am confident that the team will be better defensively; Coach Norm Roberts has the height he wants, and the team was well below previous defensive standards. There will be more on that in future posts. Whether the coach and his staff can teach a consistent offense remains to be seen.

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