After beating Pitt at home three weeks ago, St. John's appeared to have a good shot to avoid the pileup that is the bottom of the Big East conference. Since then, the Red Storm have lost five straight, including Thursday's 64-41 loss at Georgetown. As Georgetown coach John Thompson III put it, St. John's had "a bad night." Whether the recent collection of bad nights will cost St. John's a chance at the Big East tournament remains to be seen, but if they want to change their fortunes, the Red Storm had better start playing better soon.
In Georgetown, St. John's sees what it hopes to become: a program with an historic past flourishing in just the second year of a head coach. Thompson's hire at Georgetown drew cries of nepotism, but he's done better than most expected. Norm Roberts took over a team that had endured enough embarassing moments, and his team has taken some baby steps. To consolidate those, St. John's needs to finish 12th or higher in the Big East and make the tournament. Of the next four, St. John's could hope to win three, with Syracuse, DePaul and Seton Hall all visiting the Red Storm, and a trip to Rutgers thrown in. If they can't they'll be watching 12 other teams play for the conference title at Madison Square Garden come early March.
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