When Rick Pitino was talking to Lou Carnesecca after taking the St. John’s men’s basketball coaching job, the 98-year-old school legend had a simple tip for the new Red Storm coach.
That is exactly what the 70-year-old Pitino plans to do, as he revealed during his introductory press conference Tuesday at Madison Square Garden that he will be bringing in six-to-eight new players as he tries to restore St. John’s to prominence.
“A lot of players probably won’t be back on this team, because they’re probably not a good fit for me,” Pitino said. “It’ll be a square peg in a round hole. It won’t work.”
One player who will be back is standout center Joel Soriano, whom Pitino named captain on Tuesday.
“He’s gonna go to heights he never thought he could reach,” Pitino said of Soriano.
Pitino took the St. John’s job after three years coaching Iona.
He waxed poetic about Carnesecca and what he did for the program, which included taking St. John’s to the Final Four in 1985.
“Lou built a legendary program,” Pitino said. “And we will get back to those days by exemplifying everything he taught.”
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