Accountability at St. John's

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Accountability at St. John's

Postby SJHooper » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:13 am

Does it exist for us? I had to sit here through the Lavin and now Mullin years constantly told that we were a year or two away. We are in a perpetual cycle of "just wait!", "we are young!", "well, we had some injuries", "we had bad luck", "we played a great team", "this conference is tough", "give it time", "hammer to rock", "trust the process", "we were in some of the games". I've heard every excuse in the book and not nearly enough straight talk regarding results and the lack of accountability. At times I honestly feel like I'm one of the very few SJ fans that demands results at the end of the day. Syracuse felt great, Butler felt great. DePaul is DePaul, we were supposed to beat them. But to act like those 2 wins made up for this dumpster fire of a season is outrageous. People seem to forget the expectations coming into this season. There was chatter of an NIT berth and even a possible dark horse NCAA berth. Reading Redmen I even saw some predicting 21+ wins. Maybe one poster predicted 15 and that was the extreme low end but this is what I believed was doable. We brought in some good recruits and we knew we would likely struggle some games but figured we would be able to take care of business against the LIU/Delaware State/Penn State's of the world. We figured we could snag at least 1 game in the Atlantis tournament but could not even beat ODU.

I wrote to our Athletic Director and I urge you to do the same. I urged him to install accountability and separate emotions from results. We all love Mullin, but it's clear he is not the answer. He got a little break from the pitchforks and torches when we won those 2 big games, but any real college hoops fan knows 2 games is nothing in an entire season. I used to get the feeling under Lavin that he was an awful coach and the only reason they won 20 games a few times and went to the tourney was because of their talent alone. I get the sense that no matter who is coaching this team, we can beat Cuse/Butler on rare occasion just based on talent and red-hot shooting. Our season is akin to failing 10 tests miserably then getting 90's on the next 2 before getting 3 more failing grades. Those two 90's don't even come close to washing away all the failing grades and your final grade will still be very low. So I ask, is anyone else on board? I know most of you are way more optimistic than me (I think to a fault...it goes both ways), so for that crowd, what exactly will it take to get you to realize we are on a train with no conductor?
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Accountability at St. John's

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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby Hall2012 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:05 am

Hooper, for your own sanity you need to try to avoid the extreme highs and lows of your emotions regarding this St. John's team. After a bad loss, the team is a disaster and everyone needs to be fired. After a big win, such as Butler, the team turned a corner and they're gonna finish in the top half of the conference. Fact of the matter is that neither of those are true. Pretty much every relevant player on your team this year is a freshman (and far from Kentucky-type freshmen) and the results you're seeing this year (as many have said here) are pretty much exactly what should be expected - a lot of ups and downs, but likely more downs. The Johnnies are likely going to get run out of the gym a few more times this year. They're also likely to get another big upset win or 2. I think there's a pretty decent chance St. John's will upset Seton Hall this year. If the SJU home game was at Carnesecca instead of MSG, I'd actually be expecting a loss.

Things will get better. Last year was just a wasted season, this year is the start of the rebuild. They're showing flashes of potential but tons of inconsistency. The consistency comes with experience, of which your coach and players currently have none. To expect Mullin (who came into the job with zero head coaching experience at any level) to get into the postseason in his first few years is not realistic. The SJU brass certainly knew this and (as frustrating as it is for the fans) likely view the Mullin era as a long term rebuilding process rather than the quick fix they attempted with Lavin.

Seton Hall did the same thing with Kevin Willard. After the failed Bobby G quick fix that buried the program in PR nightmares, the Pirates turned to Willard for a slow methodical rebuild. The first 5 years brought nothing but a single NIT birth and fans were beyond frustrated, but it paid off in year 6 with a Big East Championship. Now in year 7 they have a realistic chance to defend that title and barring a mass exodus of players leaving early, they should be among the favorites again in year 8. So as much as you don't want to hear "trust the process," it's all you can do.
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby DudeAnon » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:08 am

Its year 2 of a complete rebuild. Patience.
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby DudeAnon » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:16 am

Just think about it relative to the teams you are playing. St. John's has a brand new head coach with almost completely new players. You are competing against programs who have long tenured coaches with a proven formula of winning. It will take time for Mullin to develop the same thing. So you can bitch in 3 years, but before that you are just critiquing the process before its done.
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby SJHooper » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:31 am

Hall2012 wrote:Hooper, for your own sanity you need to try to avoid the extreme highs and lows of your emotions regarding this St. John's team. After a bad loss, the team is a disaster and everyone needs to be fired. After a big win, such as Butler, the team turned a corner and they're gonna finish in the top half of the conference. Fact of the matter is that neither of those are true. Pretty much every relevant player on your team this year is a freshman (and far from Kentucky-type freshmen) and the results you're seeing this year (as many have said here) are pretty much exactly what should be expected - a lot of ups and downs, but likely more downs. The Johnnies are likely going to get run out of the gym a few more times this year. They're also likely to get another big upset win or 2. I think there's a pretty decent chance St. John's will upset Seton Hall this year. If the SJU home game was at Carnesecca instead of MSG, I'd actually be expecting a loss.

Things will get better. Last year was just a wasted season, this year is the start of the rebuild. They're showing flashes of potential but tons of inconsistency. The consistency comes with experience, of which your coach and players currently have none. To expect Mullin (who came into the job with zero head coaching experience at any level) to get into the postseason in his first few years is not realistic. The SJU brass certainly knew this and (as frustrating as it is for the fans) likely view the Mullin era as a long term rebuilding process rather than the quick fix they attempted with Lavin.

Seton Hall did the same thing with Kevin Willard. After the failed Bobby G quick fix that buried the program in PR nightmares, the Pirates turned to Willard for a slow methodical rebuild. The first 5 years brought nothing but a single NIT birth and fans were beyond frustrated, but it paid off in year 6 with a Big East Championship. Now in year 7 they have a realistic chance to defend that title and barring a mass exodus of players leaving early, they should be among the favorites again in year 8. So as much as you don't want to hear "trust the process," it's all you can do.


But that's just the thing...it's not emotion...it's factual. That was the point of this thread. Emotions aside, what are the results so far? Are they what we expected? So far the objective answer to that is not even close. This season has turned into the same feel as last year. A big upset win or two, a handful of games over at halftime, and plenty of 20 pt blowout losses. Under Willard, SHU has never lost more than 13 games. At this point, we would be lucky to win 13. That would mean we somehow get 5 more wins which is very unlikely. Willard won 21 games his 2nd season. This flies in the face of people who say it's impossible to get instant results. I'm sure you will say he did not lose everyone and start from scratch like Mullin did, but the fact of the matter is that Willard's teams at least showed real promise. There's a difference between being a 15-17 win mediocre team and a 8-10 win bottom-feeder. The youth excuse was never valid and if you still think so, did you watch our game vs. PSU who had players just as young and inexperienced? They ran us out of the gym. Youth may be a contributing factor, but it's definitely not the main issue. This mindset again implies that you can only expect teams to be good once every 4 years. That's on pace for 3 berths every 12 years which is very bad. There are tons of coaches out there who consistently win with youth, graduating players, players leaving for the draft or overseas, transfers, JUCO's, 3 star recruits, injuries, etc. No one said it's easy, but many coaches do this. I'm not asking to be a top 10 team, I'm asking to beat teams like Delaware State...some of the absolute worst teams in the country. I'm asking us to play some semblance of a defense. I'm asking us to recruit BIG men and not stick men. It's no longer early in the season, so throw out that excuse too. In a few more weeks, the bracketology will begin to fire up nationally. Yes, Mullin is new to coaching I get it. But that doesn't mean there are zero expectations. The guy is an NBA HOFer, you can't tell me he doesn't know the game of basketball in and out. The problem is that for whatever reason he doesn't teach well if at all. The only things I hear when he is mic'd up are things like "We got this", "Keep banging", etc. That is very concerning. When you listen to him talking to the team and you think to yourself, "hey, I can do that" it doesn't reflect well. The energy level is just very low with the staff except St. Jean. As a head coach it's a basic concept to understand that you should be up at all times running up and down the sidelines, yelling out formations, what players to clue in on, preach fundamentals, etc. Did you see McDermott against us? That's a head coach. I don't see any other coaches sitting down drinking Perrier while we go up in flames. Yes he's a new coach. But he has tons of experience in basketball and it's fair to say that we should still expect better. It really makes you wonder if he even says anything when a guy like Yakwe (hasn't hit a shot all year it seems) is shooting from 12 feet out. They just keep doing it so I have to assume he isn't...or he doesn't care. If it were me, I would take Yakwe out after that and tell him to play within himself...that's not who he is...he's there to rebound, dunk, or lay it up. If he finds himself with the ball 12 feet from the basket, not only would I get in the ear of whoever passed to him, but I would tell the team he's not to get the ball unless he's already in position to lay it up or dunk without dribbling.
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby Bill Marsh » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:34 am

DudeAnon wrote:Its year 2 of a complete rebuild. Patience.


I would call this year one of the rebuild, which started this season.

There's only one starter from last season back in the starting lineup. When Mullin arrived, the cupboard was bare and there was no time to recruit. He cobbled together some players so he could put a team on the floor, but there was no sense that these were building blocks for the future. This year there are.
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby Bill Marsh » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:36 am

DudeAnon wrote:Just think about it relative to the teams you are playing. St. John's has a brand new head coach with almost completely new players. You are competing against programs who have long tenured coaches with a proven formula of winning. It will take time for Mullin to develop the same thing. So you can bitch in 3 years, but before that you are just critiquing the process before its done.


A lot of Fleetwood Mac fans at St John's. They believe in miracles.
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby sju88grad » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:04 am

Hall2012 wrote:Hooper, for your own sanity you need to try to avoid the extreme highs and lows of your emotions regarding this St. John's team. After a bad loss, the team is a disaster and everyone needs to be fired. After a big win, such as Butler, the team turned a corner and they're gonna finish in the top half of the conference. Fact of the matter is that neither of those are true. Pretty much every relevant player on your team this year is a freshman (and far from Kentucky-type freshmen) and the results you're seeing this year (as many have said here) are pretty much exactly what should be expected - a lot of ups and downs, but likely more downs. The Johnnies are likely going to get run out of the gym a few more times this year. They're also likely to get another big upset win or 2. I think there's a pretty decent chance St. John's will upset Seton Hall this year. If the SJU home game was at Carnesecca instead of MSG, I'd actually be expecting a loss.

Things will get better. Last year was just a wasted season, this year is the start of the rebuild. They're showing flashes of potential but tons of inconsistency. The consistency comes with experience, of which your coach and players currently have none. To expect Mullin (who came into the job with zero head coaching experience at any level) to get into the postseason in his first few years is not realistic. The SJU brass certainly knew this and (as frustrating as it is for the fans) likely view the Mullin era as a long term rebuilding process rather than the quick fix they attempted with Lavin.

Seton Hall did the same thing with Kevin Willard. After the failed Bobby G quick fix that buried the program in PR nightmares, the Pirates turned to Willard for a slow methodical rebuild. The first 5 years brought nothing but a single NIT birth and fans were beyond frustrated, but it paid off in year 6 with a Big East Championship. Now in year 7 they have a realistic chance to defend that title and barring a mass exodus of players leaving early, they should be among the favorites again in year 8. So as much as you don't want to hear "trust the process," it's all you can do.


Thanks Hall.....excellent post....

SJHooper....switch to decaf....
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby GumbyDamnit! » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:09 am

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. This year is already better than last in conference. If SJU gets to 4-5 wins in conference that IS a big step forward. Stop with looking in the past. It's a new day. You have one of the most exciting young back courts in the country. Hang your hat on that.
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Re: Accountability at St. John's

Postby SJHooper » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:23 am

The consensus seems to be that there should't be any expectations, hibernate for 5-6 years then maybe we can begin to have some. This is year 2 of Mullin, but it's really year 1...will it be year 5 eventually with people saying "it's really year 3 because XYZ?". The same thing happened with Lavin. X was the excuse one year, then Y the following year...the year after that, Z was the excuse. Much of the fanbase did mental gymnastics trying to explain away his shortcomings. There also seems to be this notion that a positive/optimistic POV is always the correct one and realists are bad people. If I get a serious disease, I don't want the doctor sugar-coating it. I want the truth and I want to know the best way to recover. Now obviously, college basketball is not anywhere near as that serious, but the point remains the same. I remember in the Lavin era, many fans gave ultimatums. If Lavin doesn't get us ____ by ____ then I will admit he needs to go. Then, even when Lavin failed to meet that expectation, an excuse was made for him and the failure continued and the cycle repeated itself. I fear this is deja vu now with Mullin. We have to stop moving the goalposts...if 15 wins is fair to expect this year, that's the expectation. We can't then say "Well, maybe 15 was off base...they are young so 8 wins is ok". By this logic, there are zero expectations and anyone can be coach and get excused for their shortcomings. Let me be very blunt, can I get any takers to agree with this basic expectation for next year? Win 15 games. 1-5....nothing earth shattering. Not even a decent season. Just a bad season with some promise. If I'm off base for asking for 15 wins next year, then what is fair? Again, the youth excuse was packed with dynamite and blown up at MSG when we faced a similarly young PSU team that owned us. I'm all for optimism when warranted and backed by evidence, but I'm just not seeing it. By the way, I am breathing and I'm not about to drive to the Verazanno. I'm simply a big SJ fan as my hobby and I have expectations. I do have a life outside SJ hoops in case some of you were concerned lol.
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