Rick Pitino took the St. John’s job in the offseason and certainly elevated the trajectory of this program. That being said, the Big East is still a ridiculously tough conference and overnight success wasn’t the likeliest thing. The Red Storm dropped games to Michigan and Boston College that haven’t really aged well and have struggled to make major headway in the Big East in recent weeks, even after a 4-1 start to league play.
This past week, the Red Storm lost 88-77 at Xavier, with the Musketeers avenging an earlier loss in the season. Things didn’t improve this weekend, as St. John’s fell 77-64 to defending champion Connecticut and have now been swept by the Huskies. They have now dropped five of their last six games, though all five were Quad 1 opportunities.
In fact, it’s rare to get a night off in this Big East jam packed with talent. Wins over Utah and Villanova have made the Red Storm 2-7 against Quad 1, with their NET down to 43 at the moment. Their metrics are still there to contend for inclusion in the Big Dance but it’s clear that work has to be done. Losing five of six is not sustainable and the chances for an impact win are lessened in a weak back half of conference play.