St. John’s basketball: Rick Pitino very blunt about Red Storm’s frontcourt

St. John's basketball head coach Rick Pitino (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Rick Pitino (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino is concerned about his team’s depth. 

It’s just two games into the season and the St. John’s basketball team has already hit a massive road block after its 89-73 loss to Michigan inside Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

Rick Pitino was concerned about the team’s frontcourt entering the matchup with the Wolverines, but it was the backcourt that shredded the Red Storm for 47 combined points between Dug McDaniel and Nimari Burnett.

However, despite the explosive evening from the Michigan guards, Pitino is still very worry about how his team is going to handle bigger frontcourts this season.

“We did a good job at putting this team together,” Pitino said following the loss.

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“Where we didn’t do a good job…our frontcourt depth is terrible.”

Joel Soriano, the team’s returning 6-foot-11 center, ended the night with 15 points and nine rebounds but St. John’s was outscored by 22 points during his 25 minutes, the worst +/- rating of anyone on the team.

St. John’s did manage to out-rebound Michigan, 47-39, and pull down 27 offensive rebounds for 33 second chance points.

Pitino has mentioned that the Johnnies would be in serious trouble this season if Soriano ever got hurt and had to miss an extended period of time or found himself in foul trouble during a game.

“We have too much depth in the backcourt and not enough in the frontcourt,” the Hall of Famer added.

St. John’s basketball leaning on undersized forward to fill void

Chris Ledlum, the team’s starting power forward, is just 6-foot-6 and Zuby Ejiofor, the team’s backup center, is still very early in his development and is not ready for the major workload.

“We don’t really have someone to take [Ledlum’s] place. It’s the weakest position we have.”

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The Harvard transfer played a team-high 26 minutes and was just 1-of-7 from the floor with four points and five rebounds but committed four turnovers and had a -21 rating when he was on the floor.

St. John’s will try and respond quickly with three games in four days beginning on Thursday afternoon (1:30p.m. ET, ESPNU) against North Texas (2-0) in the Charleston Classic.

Next. Rick Pitino writes letter to Red Storm fanbase. dark