Obviously I don't know all that goes on in practice or how the players get chewed out.
This blog can't help but wonder if St. John's juniors shouldn't have gotten some long lessons in basic defense in those first three games of the season, where the likes of Brown and St. Bonaventure scored more than 1 point per possession; or when, even in games with decent defensive performances there were lapses (Stony Brook).
Or maybe when Chris Wright went off on the team when they played at Georgetown. In last night's game, Justin Brownlee, defending on one side of the zone, allowed two deep jumpers to be shot without getting a defensive hand up. he might not have been that close, but one would have liked to see effort.
Those early games in the season are designed to hammer out bad habits, work on the fast break, shore up defensive rotations. I think St. John's is better on defense than they were then, but still not good enough. The guards have to get better at stopping a quick athlete with the ball. Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker had their way with St. John's... once again. Boothe with 4 fouls was no check for the speed of Walker.
And the helter-skelter play when they were down 12 with 10+ minutes to go until the end actually really hurt. The Red Storm lost their composure. There were defensive reaches, too many players at the offensive glass (and fewer getting back on defense, which was emphasized in the first half), and rushed shots - looking to draw the foul.
Funny thing is that even though U Conn was getting hot, if the team made them play in the halfcourt until the end (like DePaul managed to do against Marquette), the game would have been closer... and when games get close, teams with losing streaks get tight.
So it goes.