Greg McDermott sees NCAA Tournament team while watching St. John's basketball

The Creighton head coach had high praise for the Johnnies after its victory
Feb 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  St. John's Red Storm forward Glenn Taylor Jr. (35) hugs
Feb 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA; St. John's Red Storm forward Glenn Taylor Jr. (35) hugs / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

There is postseason hope within the St. John's basketball program and Creighton head coach Greg McDermott believes that hope is justified.

Following the Red Storm's 80-66 victory over the then No. 15 Bluejays, which jumped to No. 12 in the Associated Press Top-25 on Monday despite the loss, McDermott shared his thoughts on the Johnnies and the potential the team could reach.

"I did today," the vetran coach said when asked if he believes St. John's can be an NCAA Tournament team.

"Anyone who watched [saw that] today."

Rick Pitino's squad shot 47.2-percent from the floor and held Creighton to just 23.1-percent from 3-point range.

"Coach Pitino basically had to bring in a new team, so you're not going to be at your best in November and December," he explained.

St. John's started 4-1 in Big East play but would proceed to lose 8-of-10 games before winning its most recent matchups against Georgetown and the Bluejays.

"This league is unforgiving. It's a hard league, especially this year if you are a team that's trying to rebuild and trying to get to the top."

"They can beat anybody on any given night," McDermott continued. "I hope they get the opportunity to do so."

The Red Storm nearly beat Creighton in Omaha, falling 66-65, on a couple of controversial no-calls that went in favor of the home team which began the slide for the Johnnies.

"This is talented team."

However, opportunities to once again prove it is an NCAA Tournament squad are not plentiful for St. John's (16-12, 8-9 Big East).

The team will have its final Quadrant 1 opportunity of the season on Wednesday night (8:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network) inside Hinkle Fieldhouse against Butler (16-12, 7-10 Big East) before closing the regular season against league bottom feeders DePaul and Georgetown.

Another matchup against either the Hoyas or Blue Demons is likely in the opening round of the Big East Tournament before the possibility of matching up against either Creighton, Marquette, or Seton Hall in the quarterfinals.

Most experts believe that St. John's will have to win the rest of its games and reach the semifinals of the Big East Tournament to have a realistic shot at being selected for the NCAA Tournament.