Rick Pitino, the coach of St. John's, stated on Monday that he is not surprised by the criticism that he leveled at his players on Sunday night 

 At a postgame news conference in his first season at St. John's, the Hall of Fame coach questioned his players' toughness and named many by name while describing their athletic shortcomings. 

 "Our lateral quickness and our toughness is just something I've never witnessed in all my years of coaching," Pitino said on Sunday. 

 "We are so nonathletic that we can't guard anybody without fouling." 

 Pitino told Newsday on Monday that he "truly wasn't ripping anybody." 

 "I was pointing out exactly -- in a monotone voice -- why we lost," he said. 

 "When I rip someone, I'm not calm. No one was ripped off. 

 I want my players to hear and read my remarks sometimes. 

 Yesterday, on Sunday, I intended to do that. 

 A record of 12-4 at the beginning of the season was achieved by St. John's, which included victories over Utah, Xavier, Butler, Villanova, and Providence. 

 The wheels have fallen off since then, with the Red Storm falling to ninth place in the Big East and out of the predicted field for the NCAA tournament. 

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