St. John's basketball taking things 'day by day' without Rick Pitino

The St. John's basketball program is evaluating things slowly in the absence of Rick Pitino.

Butler v St. John's
Butler v St. John's / Porter Binks/GettyImages

It came as a shock to the St. John's basketball team but its a reality it has to live with right now.

Rick Pitino is not readily available to them after his positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday and adjustments have to be made.

Whether the Johnnies say it affected them in its 15-point loss to Seton Hall, which it trailed by 28 points in the second half, doesn't matter at this point.

"You try not to think about it because you still have a whole game to play, so we didn't try and make a big deal of it," point guard Daniss Jenkins said.

"We just didn't step up to the challenge."

The challenge also included the absence of guard Jordan Dingle, who also tested positive for the virus prior to tipoff against the Pirates.

It left Jenkins to try and lead a young backcourt against a tenacious and veteran group of guards from Seton Hall that the Red Storm could not contain.

The Pirates used a 28-0 run, which bridged the end of the first half and the start of the second half, to separate themselves from the Johnnies, which tied the game at 24 after trailing 13-2 in the opening minutes.

There is no definitive timeline for Pitino to return but the hope around the program is that he starts feeling better throughout the week and is able to coach in its next game on Saturday afternoon (12:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against No. 17 Marquette (12-6, 4-3 Big East)

"I'm hoping the worst is behind us," associate head coach Steve Masiello, who was serving as the acting head coach, said regarding the positive COVID tests within the team.

"We'll take it day-by-day and hope that [Rick Pitino is available on Saturday]...We missed coach tonight, no doubt about it."