Saturday, April 10, 2010

disappointment and more

When Steve Lavin was introduced as the new Basketball Coach at St. Johns University everyone was excited and feeling he would take the Red Storm to heights they have not been in many years. Much of this had to do with the potential dream team coaching staff he was talking about. Now it seems that the staff of Lavin, Slice, Leitao, Grosso, and Young, which would have been a world class staff, is being replaced by Lavin, Tony Childs (who really is a GREAT Addition), and Rico Harris which is a addition I will never understand unless he is bringing 2 top 10 players with him to St. Johns.

The staff at St. Johns seems to be turning into a A10 or MAAC quality staff except Tony Childs and even he does not have experience getting top 20 HS players. What the heck will Rico Harris bring to NYC? Are you kidding me? It makes Lavin start to seem like a smooth talker and showman. Was Leitao ever in the mix? Was Slice using this to get an extension or raise from Manhattan? How could Grasso not be considered? He and Childs together could have been special even though they would still need lessons on how to get the top guys......... if you know what I mean.

If Dunlap comes it will help and restore some credibility in my eyes. But all this hiring guys over the many great college coaches and recruiters with NYC ties is unbelievable. In fact if they were smart they would hire Ron Neclerio, take him out to buy 3 suits, and make him coordinator of basketball operations and skills director, which is a name I just made up lol. Or they could make him Director of player development. He would be a magnet for many kids because he is really loved by all the good area players. Remember I am saying he needs to be part of the new St. Johns Basketball program and not necessarily one of the 4 coaches who are on the road.

Also concerning me is the treatment of Ron Roberts from New Jersey. This kid can play and has a tremendous upside. Steve Lavin should really want this kid because not only is he a good player, he seems to be a good citizen. To part ways sends a horrible message and one associated with sneaky underhanded programs. St. Johns under Norm Roberts and others including Louie stood for CLASS with a capital C. Kids might transfer but for the most part it was kids transferring in and not out. If Lavin runs off the current players it will be a real disappointment. Why would he? Maybe because everyone knows the talent is there to win next season and if he does not he will look bad. If he does it will be with Norms players.

I hate to go from being so upbeat about Steve Lavin being hired to feeling so low. But it is like someone promising to bring you take out from Peter Lugars Steak House and they arrive with Burger King food off the dollar menu. I honestly felt St. Johns was back with this hire. In fact I thought they would have the best staff in the area. But right now it seems like the will not be the center of attention many thought they would be.

I for one want to see St. Johns back in the mix for an NCAA tournament bid in the very near future. I also want St. Johns to start selling out Madison Square Garden again. It can happen. But to get there Steve Lavin has to now walk the walk since he has already talked the talk.


Again I say RU has a right to do what they wish with Fred Hill Jr. But the way he was let go was sneaky and under handed. They should have done it weeks before and paid him. waited for an excuse to let him go in a money saving effort. Who says corporate America is not alive and well on college campuses?

Fran Frishcilla would be outstanding at Rutgers. One thing different between Jim O'Brien who I also like alot and Fran is Fran will win quicker. Fran would in the words of many old timers "TURN IT OUT." He will have a very good staff and recruit as if his life depends on it. He also happens to be a very good coach and very personable. The RAC will rock and so will the games in Newark against Seton Hall.

Seton Hall

Many people and programs have the glitter and excitement on paper. That's nice on paper. Others have substance which takes you farther especially when it comes to winning basketball games. Everyday I am more impressed with the Coach Willard at Seton Hall. He and his staff seem to have substance above glitter. They will not be Broadway right away, but could get there very soon. This hire looks better everyday because he did not come in talking dream team coaching staffs. So all we can see is good and impressive people joining him and a program with some substance. Think those kids will not benefit from Coach Holloway?

Quick story. Still remember Coach Holloway as a senior at St. Patrick's. In a scrimmage game against Teaneck he had his way with a young Teaneck guard named Brandon Constantine. At time outs and after the game he took time to point out things to this kid he did not even know. He was actually teaching and coaching without realizing it. Brandon went on to have a great career at Teaneck and I am sure part of the reason was what he got from the scrimmage and words of advice from a true HS All American

Hey maybe Ron Roberts will look at SHU? I know if Fran goes to Rutgers he will be all over this kid.


Fordham_57 said...

Fran Fraschilla was doing a great job at St. John's and yet they let him go. The only stories I ever got were: Number l. The cahones story. Number 2. The fact that he was arrogant and abrasive.
Unless he was relentlessly abrasive, there must have been more to the story because he was doing an exceptional job with St. John's at the time, and the program was looking up.
Maybe you know more to it than that? In any case, unless I were in full knowledge of the facts it would be caveat emptor if I were RU.

Fordham_57 said...

Re: RU

Wouldn't it be nice if RU stopped the political shenanigans and lived up to their contractural obligation with Fred Hill.
Secondly, stop being vindictive and let Rosario go. With all the turmoil surrounding their program, do they really need more with these charges of tampering (even if they are valid).

LFBall said...

I know Fran well and most of the stuff said is false or exagarated. Fran is also very personable. Maybe he rubbed someone wrong. He would make Rutgers an eastern power even if they played at the RU Barn facility.

Though not on FHJ Christmas gift list, I still feel RU looks bad by the way they handled him.