Friday, December 04, 2009
Like almost every other metro-area team, the Johnnies have fallen off the face of the earth. Coach Norm Roberts has restored stability to the program. While stability is important considering that NCAA violations under Mike Jarvis forced the Johnnies to relinquish that 03 NIT Crown, it only goes so far for a program as storied as St. John's.
It's criminal that the NYC metro area is a college basketball wasteland considering that the area seeds so many national powers with players. West Virginia, Kansas, Cincy and Kentucky are amongst the programs to have benefited from metro players in recent years. Sure, kids want to go away to college, but surely some must want to stay at home. And players from outside the area must want to come to play for a program that plays its home games at Madison Square Garden.
What's ironic is that this fallow period for St. John's comes during an era where the school has invested massive sums in building dorms in making a transition from a commuter school to a campus-based school. This should be an added bonus for recruiting, but Roberts has yet to even get the Johnnies back in the NIT. Inexcusable.
This season likely represents Roberts' last stand, and so far he's doing the best he can with the team off to a 6-0 start, including a win over back-to-back March Madness members Siena.