Sports

St. John’s Catapults To No. 15 In Coaches Poll

St. John's forward Sean Evans (5) is fouled by Villanova forward Isaiah Armwood, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, in Philadelphia. St. John's won 81-68. (AP Photo/Barbara Johnston)

St. John’s forward Sean Evans (5) is fouled by Villanova forward Isaiah Armwood, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, in Philadelphia. St. John’s won 81-68. (AP Photo/Barbara Johnston)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – St. John’s took a huge step toward NCAA respectability after yet another win over a ranked opponent this weekend. The Johnnies’ hard work is starting to pay off in the polls, too.

The USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll released on Monday rewarded Steve Lavin’s bunch with a huge rise — from No. 25 all the way to No. 15.

“As the players are growing more comfortable, what we’re doing offensively, defensively … then the breakthroughs happen,” Lavin told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton before the numbers were announced. “But really, we had seen the incremental progress all along the way.”

RELATED:
Red Storm’s Lavin: ‘At Least’ 9 Big East Teams Tourney-Bound

Villanova added its name to list of marquee opponents that have lost to St. John’s, an elite group that already included Georgetown, Notre Dame, Duke, Connecticut and Pittsburgh.

“We beat six teams, but we ain’t done yet,” Dwight Hardy said after Saturday’s win.

The milestones keep coming for the Red Storm: They have won eight of nine overall, have won seven straight Big East games for first time since 1999-2000, have five conference road wins, and last week they cracked both major Top 25 polls for the first time in over a decade.

How high will St. John’s climb next week? Let us know in the comments below…

Coaches Rankings
Rank School Votes Prev Rank
1 Ohio State 27-2 760 (17) 3
2 Kansas 27-2 756 (14) 2
3 Brigham Young 27-2 690 7
4 Duke 26-3 671 1
5 Pittsburgh 25-4 622 6
6 Purdue 24-5 612 8
7 Notre Dame 23-5 584 9
8 Texas 24-5 574 5
9 San Diego State 27-2 542 4
10 Wisconsin 22-6 500 12
11 Louisville 22-7 457 16
12 Syracuse 24-6 391 20
13 North Carolina 22-6 367 19
14 Florida 22-6 337 13
15 St. John’s 19-9 284 25
16 Connecticut 21-7 274 15
17 Georgetown 21-8 272 11
18 Arizona 23-6 213 10
19 Villanova 21-8 194 14
20 Vanderbilt 21-7 183 18
21 Utah State 26-3 178 23
22 Texas A&M 22-6 133 17
23 Kentucky 20-8 131 22
24 Missouri 22-7 109 21
25 George Mason 25-5 70 NR
View Complete Poll


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pixy St. Johns Catapults To No. 15 In Coaches Poll