Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Dan Hurley says it won’t take Rick Pitino long to get St. John’s back in NCAA Tournament
By ADAM ZAGORIAHOUSTON —UConn’s Dan Hurley says it won’t take Rick Pitino long to get St. John’s back in the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s got unbelievable tradition and history, and you have MSG, and you have a basketball-focused conference, and obviously his background as a coach,” Hurley said here at the Final Four. “I don’t think it’s going to take him long to have them potentially back in this tournament, especially with how quickly you can do things now with the portal.”
Pitino is cleaning house on the roster, building around big man Joel Soriano while more than half a dozen players are transferring out, including guards Andre Curbelo, AJ Storr, Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu.
He has met or talked with various transfers including Walter Clayton Jr. (Iona), Chris Ledlum (Harvard) and Nick Timberlake (Towson), while recruiting top Class of 2023 and ’24 stars.
Hurley says it’s good for the Big East when St. John’s and Georgetown are both good.
“I would say not just St. John’s, but having a strong Georgetown and a strong St. John’s means a lot,” he said. “It’s great for the league. Those games have been like at best Quad 2 games and at worst Quad 3 and 4 games, and programs of that stature, in terms of the brand, it’s important for overall strength of the league.
“I think it will make the games more exciting, more eyeballs on it. Viewership will go up. Excitement for the games will go up. I don’t think the league gets as much credit as it probably should get as being one of the top basketball leagues in the country, top two or three every single year. But a strong Georgetown and strong St. John’s will help with that.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.