Hall2012 wrote:SJHooper wrote: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.
I will say, as I believe I have before, I think Mullin was a bad hire. He could very well be a great coach one day, but being a head coach Big East isn't the place to take your first coaching job. It's like a brokerage firm throwing an intern on to the NYSE trading floor on his first day. Mullin would have been much better off taking a job in the MAAC or NEC to get some experience without the weight of the world on his shoulders. Like you said, he obviously knows basketball inside an out, but teaching is a skill that needs to be developed. Drawing up the right play is a skill that needs to be developed. Thinking as a coach is not the same as thinking as a player, and he's trying to learn the job in the most high-pressure situation possible.
But back to Mullin. He's here, whether he should be or not, and in fairness to him I think expectations need to be tempered at first, at least in regard to wins and losses. If the SJU administration wants him to succeed, they need to be patient with him. If they can't do that and want fast results, fire him now and beg Jim Valhoun to come out of retirement.
Bill Marsh wrote:
I agree with your point about patience. Excellent point.
With regard to Mullin's lack of readiness, I disagree. No doubt that there was risk since he'd never actually managed a program before. But it's not the first time this has been done. Sometimes it works and sometimes it fails miserably. But I don't think the failures have to do with the inability to draw up X's and O's. Or knowing the right play for the right situation.
John Calipari never drew up a situational play in his life. It's not what he does. But he's a highly successful coach. Neither has Jim Calhoun, whom I watched up close and personal for years. He's also very successful obviously. These guys are systems coaches and they run their system regardless of the situation.
I think the decision had to do with putting a new face on the franchise. I think they felt that they needed credibility and they needed to reestablish ties to HS and AAU coaches in the city to build a pipeline to the talent base they should own. Bobby Gonzale! Whom you mention, is a great X's and O's coach. I'm sure he could always come up with the right play for the right situation. But that's not what did him in at Seto Hall. Nor is it what did Fran Fraschilla, another great X's and O's guy, in at St John's years ago. Their failures were due to their inability to manage people and to handle the other stresses of the job.
I think that St John's made the calculation that Mullin would be a good leader of young men, who would have the character to represent the university well, who would avoid the pitfalls that brought down Jarvis and Fraschilla. Time will tell if they were right. I don't think there's any question that Mullin knows a ton of basketball. Regardless of whether he's coached before, I don't think that will be his downfall.
One of the things that impressed StJohn's new transfers, Marvin Clark and Justin Simon, was how well the practices were run and how well those practices seemed connected to what the coaches were expecting in game situations. These were guys who were already playing for other college coaches. I think that speaks volumes about what Mullin already has in place. As you said, the process takes time - especially given what Mullin inherited.
NJRedman wrote:This young boy has no idea what being a suffering SJU fan actually means. He mentions he had to sit through the Lavin years and now the Mullin regime. Yeah, I go back to Jarvis so keep quiet with your temper tantrum. I've seen the entire team kicked out of school and watch us play with a bunch of walk ons, kids who I played intramural against were playing UConn, GTown and Syracuse at MSG.
You are asking the new AD who is less than a month in his new role to fire Chris Mullin half way through his second year because YOU think he stinks. Thats not accountability thats emotion. If you think this team would be that much better this year than you don't know much about basketball. To me if everything broke just right and we gelled early at best we'd finish in 6th place and get an NIT birth. That was the BEST CASE SCENARIO!
No go take some provac and leave the rest of us alone.