Friday, November 17, 2023

Pitino "Overly Disappointed" As SJU Downed By Dayton


St. John's Head Coach Rick Pitino on Friday afternoon. @StJohnsBball.

St. John's is out of the Charleston Classic, as Dayton pulled away late to earn an 88-80 win on Friday afternoon. St. John's will face Utah in the third-place game on Sunday night, while Dayton will play Houston in the championship game.

St. John's Head Coach Rick Pitino said he was "overly disappointed" in his 2-2 Red Storm team, and that, Right now, they are losing because they are not paying attention to their job."

One thing is clear about St. John's four games into the season, that they are not great down the stretch, as was the case in this one, as Dayton put up 50 points in the second half.

St. John's led this one 40-38 at the half, and it was neck-and-neck into the second half, with St. John's up 59-58 on a Joel Soriano basket with 11:46 left in the game.

Dayton responded with an 9-0 run and an elongated 15-4 run capped by a three-point play for Nate Santos at the 7:02 mark that made it 73-63.

The closest St. John's got down the stretch was when a Daniss Jenkins basket made it 76-70 with 4:59 remaining. Another Santos three-point play, with 1:33 left, put Dayton up 84-72 and basically sealed the win. 

Dayton was led by DaRon Holmes II, who had 21 points on 6-for-14 shooting, including 1-2 from behind the arc, with five rebounds and an assist. Santos had 18 points, including 13 in the second half, on 6-8 shooting, and he made his one three-point attempt, with five rebounds and three assists.

St. John's was led by Soriano, who had 21 points on 8-13 from the field, including one made three-pointer on his lone attempt, with nine rebounds. Jordan Dingle had 14 points (5-10 FG, 1-2 threes), with two rebounds and an assist. Jenkins had 12 points (5-13 FG, 2-8 threes), with eight assists and three rebounds.

Pitino Postgame: St. John's Head Coach Rick Pitino gave this opening statement: "I wasn't overly disappointed with Michigan (referring to Monday night's loss), but I am overly disappointed tonight. We are losing because we can't pay attention to the scouting report. We have guys that just care about offense and they don't know how to defend. Not in terms of effort, the effort is fine, in terms of paying attention to the scouting report and how things are played. It's amazing from coming off the strong side, to giving a three, to the way you're playing the big guy on a pick-and-roll. It's a one-point game and we totally break down and don't play it correctly in a one-point game. Then it's a four-point game and we don't play it correctly. It's frustrating because the effort's there, they want to win, they're good guys, but they can't absolve a scouting report which is so disappointing. We'll just get onto the next game. [In the Charleston Classic] there are no weak teams so we got a hell of a game, but we're just not paying attention to scouting at all and that's what college basketball is all about."

On the team's performance in the first half: "They were doing a terrific job and then they backed it off, got lazy and didn't play the pick-and-roll correctly. Look, it's just going to take time with these guys. They've never guarded in their lives, with the exception of Nahiem [Allyene]. They need to learn to play that way or they are going to keep losing. It's all about defense. You can't beat a Dayton, you can't beat a Utah, you can't beat a Houston unless you match their defense. You can't keep trading buckets and tonight, we did it again. We were playing great basketball and in the second half just relented and didn't play it correctly. Now give them credit, their big guy played fantastic. He was great in taking us off the bounce. He's really a power forward playing the five spot. A tough matchup, but you have to move your feet."

On second half: "I think they are giving great effort. I think the bench was giving us a lift a little bit. We are making key mental mistakes defensively. Offensively, it's just going to take time to gel, but it's all going to come together...Right now, they are losing because they are not paying attention to their job. There are like 10 blatant errors of not doing your job defensively and if they make a shot doing it that way, then it's on us."

On the team's focus with a quick turnaround: "Well, you have no walk through, obviously...You make a great point. If you are a team that has been together, you know all your defensive rotations, you know all the terminology. They're all new, so you're walking through in a ballroom, trying to get them to understand. You're 100% right. If this was a team that was together coming back, they know exactly how everything is going to be played and that's what cost us. We have a day to prepare for a tough team, whoever it may be." (Houston-Utah followed SJU)


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