Wendell Cruz | USA TODAY Sports

Rick Pitino will lean into St. John’s basketball’s greatest resource — the right to call Madison Square Garden home.

The Johnnies plan to play all Big East game at MSG next season and about a dozen games in total, Pitino told reporters Tuesday. He added he hopes to play at the Garden even more during the 2024-25 season.

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St. John’s only had four games at the Garden this past season, hosting Georgetown, Providence, UConn and Villanova. That approach left a bunch of high-profile home games — Marquette, Nebraska, Xavier, even Seton Hall — on campus at Carnesecca Arena. Yes, it was likely driven by financials. But still. The Garden is the Garden. If you can play there, you have to play there. And Pitino gets that.

Hot take: Pitino will end up being the biggest thing to happen to metropolitan area college athletics in generations. As we wrote yesterday, the Johnnies are going to win, win quickly and win big. Pitino is a sure thing. And he is going to electrify the region once things get rolling. Can you imagine a Big East Tournament with St. John’s in the mix to win it? My lord. And then when the Johnnies go on their first deep NCAA Tournament run? Make the Final Four?

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.