Rick Pitino’s white suit provides St. John’s spark in Creighton upset

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Rick Pitino’s white suit provides St. John's spark in Creighton upset

For the first time as St. John’s coach, Rick Pitino broke out the white suit.

As part of the team’s white-out at the Garden, Pitino went back to his Louisville roots by pulling it out.

Saturday afternoon, at the urging of his wife Joanne, he went to a nearby Armani store to find one.


Rick Pitino rocks a white suit for St. John's against the Creighton Bluejays, beating them 80-66.
Rick Pitino rocks a white suit for St. John’s against the Creighton Bluejays, beating them 80-66. Jason Szenes / New York Post

“I couldn’t fit in the old one,” he joked after the Johnnies’ 80-66 upset over No. 15 Creighton. “My players were going to get a big kick out of it, and that’s why I did it.”

They loved it.

When the Johnnies saw the suit, they became even more determined to find a way to knock off the Bluejays.

“We knew we had to win when he came out with the white suit,” Glenn Taylor Jr. said.


Rick Pitino speaks with his team during the second half against Creighton at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
Rick Pitino speaks with his team during the second half against Creighton at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Jason Szenes / New York Post

Added Daniss Jenkins: “You can’t lose. He looked sharp. He was clean. He was 10 out of 10. You can’t lose when coach’s got that on.”

But Pitino isn’t going to keep wearing it. He’ll save the white suit for next season’s white-out.


Pitino and Taylor had a long talk this week about his diminished role.

Pitino wanted to see him attacking more and going after rebounds.

Taylor responded with four points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes, his most action since the Big East opener on Dec. 20. St. John’s outscored Creighton by 22 points in his 32 minutes.

“I said, Glenn, you’re not driving to the basket, you’re not rebounding, you’re not playing great defense. I need you to start doing that, because you’re capable of doing it, you’re a good athlete, and he did it tonight,” Pitino said. “He rebounded, he played great defense, he did a lot of really, really good things. We just had a meeting. I said, ‘Glenn, I need you, man. Let’s go.’ ”

Said Taylor, who had played a combined 18 minutes in the previous four games: “I really just try to fight for my guys on the court, no matter if I play one minute or 20 minutes. I’m trying to do whatever I can on the floor to lead to winning.”


St. John’s hosted top-25 junior prospect Will Riley of The Phelps School (Pa.) on Sunday, according to a source.

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