The Red Storm came into this season with incredible talent, promise, and confidence. The defending Big East Champs added the second best recruiting class in the nation. Fans and players alike dreamt about the Final Four and the National Championship.
But after nine games, the team and their fans aren’t thinking NCAA Tournament. Instead, they are thinking, get it back on track. Why has the season gone bad? I have several thoughts:
#1: Mike Jarvis outcoached??? Mike Jarvis is undoubtably one of the best coaches in the nation and is a canidate for every NBA and big NCAA job that opens up. This was going to be his season. The season where he took the Red Storm to the National Championship and then left as the conquering hero. It was all set up, but he has been badly outcoached in several games this season. Spefically, in the last three losses, and in particular, against Fordham and Hofstra. Bob Hill and Jay Wright exposed gaping holes in the Red Storm, and Jarvis seemed unable or unwilling to change personel and strategy.
#2: Attitude… This team is all about attitude. That attitude was beneficial against Kentucky, where SJU came back from four down in the final 20 seconds. That attitude hasn’t helped since. From Reggie Jessie’s low blow on SirValient Brown, to Omar Cook’s smirk, and the team’s all around whining, this team is becoming unlikeable. And a target for refs.
#3: What they’re missing…This team misses leadership. Tyrone Grant, Erick Barkley, Ron Artest, and Lavor Postell wouldn’t have stood for the one on five mentality that this team has. They would have commanded respect in the locker room. They would enforce their will on this team.
This team has the potential to make the NCAA Tournament and go far. SJU also has the potential to go to the NIT, or worse. This team needs a leader, which Anthony Glover is trying to be. However he needs help. That help should come from Reggie Jessie, the senior. But he has been the worst of the bunch. He hasn’t shown up on the court, and when he has, he has made uncharacteristic mistakes and been immature. This team needs Ron Artest and Erick Barkley. But since they can’t have them back again, this St. John’s squad needs to grow up.