RJ Luis told Rick Pitino to change his practice schedule and its paying dividends

The sophomore has been shining for the Red Storm in recent weeks
St. John's v Seton Hall
St. John's v Seton Hall / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

RJ Luis has been somewhat of a question mark this entire season for the St. John's basketball team.

A broken hand sidelined him for the majority of the preseason and then once he made his debut, he was limited to just that one game because of shin splints, which can be chronic.

While Luis has been playing since December 23 despite the shin splints, he hadn't been practicing. He would participate in about 15 minutes of practice before watching the rest on the sideline in order to preserve the stress on his shins.

The practice schedule changed about a month later when he would practice fully two days before a game but take the day before and after the game completely off.

Now, the practice regime has changed again.

Rick Pitino explained after the Red Storm's 91-72 victory over Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals that Luis is practicing every day, and it was the sophomore's idea.

"He came to me and said, 'Coach, this is the important time. This is March, and I need to practice.'"

Pitino asked him how his legs were feeling and the response was simple, "Doesn't matter, I need to practice."

Luis went for 18 points in the Red Storm victory as they punched its ticket to the Big East Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2000.

He seems much more comfortable in the offensive structure and his defense has been progressing, as could be seen in clean steals at the top of the arc off of Jayden Epps and Al-Amir Dawes, clear signs that he has been practicing more often.

"He's a special talent," Pitino continued.

He's averaged 13.5 points over the last six games for the Johnnies and is shooting 53.6-percent (22-of-41) over the course of the last four contests.

RJ Luis will be called upon again as St. John's tussles with top-seed UConn on Friday night (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX) in the Big East Tournament Semifinals.