It's time for big MJ, with his glossy scalp
and Armani Suits to
split ways with the Johnnies.
Mike Jarvis is in a world of pain. Home loses to Fairfield and Hofstra, the School President on your tuchas about comments made on the radio, a senior starter smoking his way off the team, fan popularity of a present day Mussolini, and a recruiting strategy that would shrink our armed forces to Canadian levels. Yup, thatís wicked bad (borrowing some of MJís New England verbiage).
The Red Storm have started the season slower than a Curtis Johnson wind sprint. Itís apparent that the Johnnies are void of a key ingredient necessary to win: talent. Watching them play is as painful as the Wu-Tang into scenario for the song M-E-T-H-O-D MAN.
But the Johnnies have won, or at least been competitive, without much talent before. So what gives? Why is SJU the laughing stock of major college basketball?
Jarvis is allowed to have an off year here and there. After all, he has won twenty games and gone to the dance in the majority as his years as coach. Jarvis does a respectable job with the Xís and Oís, no better or worse, than the big time D-I coach. (Although their blah play this year may make you think otherwise, Jarvis somehow found a way to win the last few years with only Marcus Hatten and had the Johnnies playing to their potential in the Barkley/Artest years.)
Coach Jarvis trying to impart his
wisdom on Grady Reynolds.
This is more than just an ďoffĒ season. Jarvis has the program going in the wrong direction. Interest is waning by fans, kids donít want to come play for the Redmen, and boosters feel like they are blown off by MJ. Nobody seems satisified.
The crux of the problem is that Javis no longer ďfitsĒ the position. A lot of this has to do with his personality. MJ is not one to be confused with the warm and loveable Louic C. (the Freudian patriarch of St. Johnís basketball).
Jarvis is the businessman. He wears slick suits, speaks with confidence and prestige, and is involved in authoring books and the BCA. All that is really nice and dandyÖif youíre working on Wall Street.
Armani suits arenít going to help you make networks in the amateur city game where the AAU, PSAL and Rucker Park are king. Time and again, Jarvis has struck out trying to keep the best kids in the city by trying to pitch his great character and supreme knowledge.
Despite little current talent, and no pipeline, Jarvis is too thick headed to change his ways. He insists that he is building a program the right way and that results will follow.
Yet Jarvis was wrong on Willie Shaw, giving him a second chance to blow away his career. Grady Reynolds has had a publicized run-in with the law, and three players left the program for various reasons after last year. Clearly the program has seen happier days.
So what needs to happen you ask?
Jarvis is gone after the season. Hopefully everyone can part ways with class. Jarvis will pick up another position that is more suitable to his demand for control (just like at GW). St. Johnís goes after a guy with strong city roots. Possible candidates include Manhattan Coach Bobby Gonzalez, or former St. Johnís and NBA star Mark Jackson.
The Johnnies do have a few capable underclassman in guards Elijah Ingram and Darryl Hill and promising big man Lamont Hamilton. SJU has to land a few city kids each year to keep the program rooted in the city.
Although there may be little hope for this season, the Johnnies will once again rise to dominance. Remember, you heard it here at Littyhoops.