A decade ago it would have been unheard of for a St. John's-Georgetown game not to be on TV. Now a matchup that would have once been featured on ESPN has been relegated to ESPNU which my cable provider, the Dolan Family's own Cablevision, does not carry. For the first time I can say without sarcasm, thank you Charles and Jim Dolan. If your company carried the U, I would invariably force myself to sit through at least an hour and a half of that game or until G'Town opened up a 25 point lead, whichever came first(probably the latter). Instead my night is now free to watch AMC's double header of Enter the Dragon and Karate Kid. (I don't care if Simmons singlehandedly played this movie out, I still mark out for it.)
It's time for Norm Roberts to go. St. John's has been unwatchable for years, thanks in large part to the ultimate fraud, Mike Jarvis, but the program during Stormin' Norman's 5 years has not made any type of progress. Norm has brought in only one recruit that other notable programs were interested in; Justin Burrell. The team is miserable in the half court set, sloppy when running the court, lazy when playing defense, and lacks a player with better shooting range than the Duck Hunt gun. Under Norm, St. John's has not played one important game, and the program has not had a meaningful game since the 2003 NIT championship (if that even counts as meaningful).
His stubbornness is equally as frustrating. Norm insists on playing Eugene Lawrence despite his proclivity for committing turnovers, his ugly shot, the receedingist hairline in the history of man, and decision making that rivals the ESPN HR Department. He insists on sitting Larry Wright, the one guy who can almost consistently hit an open shot because he has defensive lapses. Hey Norm, when the team scores 12 points in a half in a Big East game, it might be time to put some guys on the floor who can actually put the ball in the hoop.
So, who's next to coach SJU? There were some rumors regarding Pitino. Not likely. Calipari? Over Louie Carnesecca's non-cancerous ridden body (Coach Cal as an assistant for Pitt used to tell recruits that Louie had cancer). Paul Hewitt? He's another name that has been routed in and out of the rumor mill, but he's good friends with Norm and while he would be an upgrade (who wouldn't) he's not a knock out hire. Whoever the next coach is is walking into a very tough situation. Few current recruits can remember a time when St. John's was not just relevant, but competitive. The AAU bridges that were burnt by Jarvis have not been fully rebuilt. Lastly, a small Catholic school does not have the resources to compete with the big time state schools in the Big East, so a the new coach better have an established name or be an extreme go-getter.
Ok, I'm not wasting any more time on this post because besides Tremont and myself I don't know anyone who still cares about this once historic program.