St. John's experiencing déjà vu - losing streaks

Losing is tough. - Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Recent history shows the Johnnies usually stop losing streaks at four games. Can it happen again?

If there’s one good thing to take away from St. John’s current four-game losing streak, it’s this: history shows they often recover after that fourth loss.

The mainstays in this current group of players are suffering their third four-game skid in the Steve Lavin era. Although former assistant coach Mike Dunlap was at the helm during a pair of those streaks while Lavin recovered from surgery relating to prostate cancer, players such as D`Angelo Harrison, Sir`Dominic Pointer, and Phil Greene IV have played through this before.

St. John’s ended the 2012-2013 regular season on a four-game losing streak, and then lost to Villanova in a first-round Big East Tournament game. The last of those regular season losses was a 69-67 overtime loss to Marquette at Madison Square Garden.

The Johnnies might have won that game had Harrison and Pointer been available; both players were suspended. Harrison had been suspended from the team for conduct detrimental to the team, and Sir`Dominic Pointer sat out after a fight at the end of the Notre Dame loss.

St. John's ended that season 8-10 in the Big East and 16-14 in the regular season.

St. John’s suffered a pair four-game losing streaks during the 2011-2012 campaign after Lavin had to take a leave of absence four games into the season. Overall, that was a particularly trying campaign for the Johnnies. They played with just a seven-man rotation most of the time and often started five freshmen. Long losing streaks can be expected in such scenarios.

The Red Storm’s first four-game losing streak that season happened in January during a nine-game stretch in which they went 3-6. It would’ve been a seven-game skid had they not beat Cincinnati on Jan. 7. That win ended a two-game losing streak that came against Connecticut and Louisville.

After the Cincinnati loss, St. John’s lost to Marquette, Georgetown, South Florida, Villanova in overtime. A win against West Virginia Jan. 25 ended the streak.

The second four-game losing streak came over a two-week stretch in February. St. John’s had just beaten DePaul Feb. 1, but then proceeded to lose games to Syracuse, Cincinnati, Georgetown, and Seton Hall. The Red Storm then went on a three-game winning streak against UCLA, DePaul, and Notre Dame.

St. John’s could certainly use that kind of winning streak right now.

The Johnnies still ended 6-12 in the Big East, 13-18 in regular season play.

Another recent extended losing streak of note came in Norm Roberts’ last season as the head coach. That stretch is worth visiting because the start of the 2009-2010 season mirrors the current one.

St. John’s went 10-2 during the non-conference portion of their schedule. One of those losses was to Duke. But then the Big East season started poorly.

The Red Storm lost three straight to Georgetown, Providence, and Louisville. A two-game winning streak followed that stretch, but then the rug was pulled out from under St. John’s. A five-game losing streak to UConn, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and West Virginia buried the Johnnies in the conference. The Johnnies finished 6-12 in conference, and 16-14 in regular season play.

St. John’s will seek to avoid a five game losing streak against Providence.

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