That was the message conveyed by Chris Mullin during Thursday’s Big East coaches call. Just one night removed from an immensely important victory at Providence, Mullin reassured reporters that the best has yet to come.
“Overall as a team, not only my staff and players, but together, we are building that trust and confidence in each other, and a game like last night helps with that.”
Very early in the second half, coach Mullin exhausted his final timeout in what seemed like a final gasp to hang around with the Friars. St. John’s, although on their heels for the beginning of the second half, responded and acted like an experienced team. Many times this season the Johnnies have responded to adversity frantically, rushing their offense and breaking down defensively. Last night St. John’s stayed the course and quieted the Friar faithful by driving to the basket with tenacity.
This was a refreshing sign, and a clear indicator of improvement. Mullin and his staff inherited a disaster following the departure of Steve Lavin. It was clear that St. John’s was going to have to go backward before it could go forward. Last night’s victory at Providence very well could be a signature moment on the path back to basketball relevance. As Mullin touched on during the conference call, the only way to improve is by working hard collectively.
“We are now 4-5 [in Big East play]...really to me it is a testament to the young kids working hard everyday, and believing not what they’re doing, but what we are doing together.”
The upcoming schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Johnnies, as they will host No. 24 Xavier on Sunday night. Just a few days later, St. John’s will square-off with a red hot Marquette bunch, before traveling to Philadelphia for a date with Villanova.
“If you stick to your daily routine, and do it with the right discipline and work ethic, improvement will come.”
Just like Mullin remarked on the conference call, the Red Storm must work hard and stick to what they did against Providence, in order to successfully trek through their rigorous upcoming schedule. Reverting back to old habits can be easy, but for St. John’s to enhance their game they must be diligent in everything they do. Only time will tell just how they follow up a successful evening in Providence.