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TOPIC: Off Season Tidbits

Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351971

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SJUFAN2 wrote:

NCJohnnie wrote: Class of 72 wrote: Those who actually saw him play will certainly remember but as I stated on the day he was announced his coaching record would be imbedded in St. John's basketball history. It's really a shame for all involved in the decision. He left with the worst Big East record in conference history for a St. John's coach (.27). Even Norm Roberts won .31% of his Big East. By contrast one the most criticized coachs in 25 years, Steve Lavin, won .57%. I don't know about web traffic here but never has a coach who accomplished so little gotten so much credit. Those that can't or couldn't separate the player from the coach are denying reality.

What's the point? I don't disagree with the need for a coaching change, but Mullin wasn't the worst and to compare him to Roberts is nuts. Mullin made the dance 1 out of 4 years and might well made it twice but for Lovett's injury/quit. Let's move on and try to take the high road for once.


Its subjective, but its also an interesting debate/dichotomy.

For me, Mullin is the greatest player in school history. Keep in mind, he did what he did BEFORE there was a 3 pt line in college ball. He is St John's basketball because of that, at least to my generation and most of those who saw his magic on the court.

He's also the worst coach we've ever had. His record was awful. His game management and substitutions were so inept as to be considered random. He couldn't build a competent staff. He didn't recruit and actually blew off a couple of key meetings last year with recruits who showed up on campus ready to commit.

To compare him to Norm Roberts is an insult to Norm Roberts. Mullin took over a team that had been to the he NCAA tournament the year before and proceeded to fail to achieve a .500 record in conference even once during his tenure. He never recruited an elite player and failed miserably in building and managing his staff. Roberts took over a team with no players and that was trying to climb out of the Pittsburgh sewer that Jarvis had left it in. Roberts was clearly in over his head and didn't have the cache as a coach to pull in recruits that would have turned things around quickly so he recruited a lot of 2&3 star kids with upside. Those kids went 21-12 (12-6) and made the NCAA tournament in Lavin's first year.

Norm Roberts was not a good coach. But he did try to do things the right way, he did work hard at recruiting and eventually brought in and developed enough talent to give his successor an easy first year. He did his job. He stemmed the bleeding on this program, and turned the ship around. Mullin's job was to build off Lavin's moderate success. He just didn't do that. Not in any way, shape, or form.

I'll always view Chris in a positive light. He's an Icon. He's the best player in my favorite programs semi-storied history. He's the face of the program. But he's also its worst coach. Its really not his fault, but its also not really much of a debate. He'd never coached before and had no idea what the job entailed. He never should have been hired in the first place. His heart was in the right place in taking the job but once he decided he wasn't going to out work every other coach in the league 24/7, 365 days a year he was doomed to failure.

I'm just glad he got out on a high note and before the shit hit the fan. And I pray we never hire a coach who takes his place on the bottom rung of St John's head coaches. That would be the end of this program.

Thank you, SJUFAN2. This post is so spot on that it should be stickied at the top.
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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351972

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Good coach or bad, I view the Roberts era as being the penance the program had to undergo to remove the Stink from the Jarvis regime.

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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351973

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Andrew wrote: For some reason we had attendance that we haven’t seen in years last season. I guess Mullin had nothing to do with that.....


He definitely deserves some credit for the good attendance figures for most of this past season. I applaud him for doing a solid job on that front. His numbers last year are very much in line with what we expect, and what we had in Lavin's last season.

Tell me though, who do you want to assign the blame to for the not so rosy attendance figures in his first 3 seasons after inheriting a team that went to the NCAA tournament?

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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351974

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SJUFAN2 wrote:

Andrew wrote: For some reason we had attendance that we haven’t seen in years last season. I guess Mullin had nothing to do with that.....


He definitely deserves some credit for the good attendance figures for most of this past season. I applaud him for doing a solid job on that front. His numbers last year are very much in line with what we expect, and what we had in Lavin's last season.

Tell me though, who do you want to assign the blame to for the not so rosy attendance figures in his first 3 seasons after inheriting a team that went to the NCAA tournament?


I have no problem with you bashing Mullin, I took Lavin to the cleaners many times and the fact is Mullin was not a good coach. I understand his personal problems but frankly, if they affected his ability to do the job he was paid to do he should have resigned for those personal reasons. Having said that, what does what the team did the preceding year have to do with Mullin's first year since none of the members of that NCAA team were available to him? I guess one could argue Obepka but even that is a huge stretch. There is enough to criticize him legitimately without distorting what he inherited.
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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351975

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To say any coach in SJU history is worse than Roberts is a fun use of hyperbole for some I guess. It's not true and I hope I never live to actually see a coach worse than Norm but I will surely agree that to even be compared to Roberts means you have serious, serious problems as a coach. Mullin had serious issues as a coach. And so now he is an ex-coach. But there were actual high points for any fan of the program. An NCAA tournament berth. Thrilling MSG wins against Duke and Villanova. What did Roberts teams ever do, except find a way to chase away scores of season ticket holders?

The only coach in my lifetime who can challenge Norm, maybe even "beat" him, wasn't even a basketball coach. Rich Kotite might have been a worse coach than Norm. So Roberts has that going for him!
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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351976

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Logen wrote:

SJUFAN2 wrote:

Andrew wrote: For some reason we had attendance that we haven’t seen in years last season. I guess Mullin had nothing to do with that.....


He definitely deserves some credit for the good attendance figures for most of this past season. I applaud him for doing a solid job on that front. His numbers last year are very much in line with what we expect, and what we had in Lavin's last season.

Tell me though, who do you want to assign the blame to for the not so rosy attendance figures in his first 3 seasons after inheriting a team that went to the NCAA tournament?


I have no problem with you bashing Mullin, I took Lavin to the cleaners many times and the fact is Mullin was not a good coach. I understand his personal problems but frankly, if they affected his ability to do the job he was paid to do he should have resigned for those personal reasons. Having said that, what does what the team did the preceding year have to do with Mullin's first year since none of the members of that NCAA team were available to him? I guess one could argue Obepka but even that is a huge stretch. There is enough to criticize him legitimately without distorting what he inherited.


I'm not bashing Mullin. I'm just pointing out to those who can't, or won't see it, that the "emperor had no clothes". If people stop spinning him as something he wasn't as a coach, I'll stop calling them out on their BS...fair?

And you have a very fair point. If someone had mentioned that he'd taken over a team that had lost nearly all of its players then I'd have agreed with that. He did. That's why I really don't hold his first year against him, other than it was foreshadowing of things to come.

My argument was against the claim that he took over a program "in the toilet." He didn't. You would think a guy with his name recognition, player work ethic, iconic local stature, hoops knowledge, and with two ELITE college recruiters on his staff taking over a team that had just been to the NCAA tournament would be a recipe for SUCCESS. Yet it wasn't. It was actually a pretty dismal failure.

You know why I think that it failed, but perhaps I'm wrong. Tell me why you think that scenario above flopped the way it did.

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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351977

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newsman13 wrote: ... He rescinded Gary Payton's scholarship in favor of someone named Broadnax. ...

You make it sound like signing Broadnax was a mediocre afterthought, but he was a highly rated recruit who had already signed a letter of intent (as had fellow backcourt recruit Elander Lewis) before Payton's offer was rescinded. Broadnax, who had averaged 38.9 ppg in his senior year, was rated as high as a Top 40 recruit (as was Lewis); from what I remember, Payton was not. Was picking Broadnax over Payton a huge mistake? Obviously one of the program's worst, but the time it happened, it was a matter of numbers and it didn't seem so bad, let alone egregious.

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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351982

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redken wrote:

newsman13 wrote: ... He rescinded Gary Payton's scholarship in favor of someone named Broadnax. ...

You make it sound like signing Broadnax was a mediocre afterthought, but he was a highly rated recruit who had already signed a letter of intent (as had fellow backcourt recruit Elander Lewis) before Payton's offer was rescinded. Broadnax, who had averaged 38.9 ppg in his senior year, was rated as high as a Top 40 recruit (as was Lewis); from what I remember, Payton was not. Was picking Broadnax over Payton a huge mistake? Obviously one of the program's worst, but the time it happened, it was a matter of numbers and it didn't seem so bad, let alone egregious.

It showed two things...an inability to evaluate talent...and an inability to keep your word to a young man who wanted to come here.

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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351985

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IDRAFT wrote: To say any coach in SJU history is worse than Roberts is a fun use of hyperbole for some I guess. It's not true and I hope I never live to actually see a coach worse than Norm but I will surely agree that to even be compared to Roberts means you have serious, serious problems as a coach. Mullin had serious issues as a coach. And so now he is an ex-coach. But there were actual high points for any fan of the program. An NCAA tournament berth. Thrilling MSG wins against Duke and Villanova. What did Roberts teams ever do, except find a way to chase away scores of season ticket holders?


Norm went 81-101 (.445 winning %) over 6 years. He was 32-70 in conference (.314 winning %). That's after inheriting a team with few players and that had been through the worst scandal in school history. A scandal so bad Jarvis got fired in DECEMBER whcih was absolutely unheard of at the time.

Mullin went 59-73 (also a .445 winning %) over 4 years. He was 20-52 in conference (.278 winning %). That after inheriting a team that had few players, was free of scandal, and that had been in the NCAA that year.

Maybe its a tie for worst coach in St John's history? Even so, which coach came in with HOF credentials, was a GOD in NYC hoops circles, had not just one but TWO elite recruiters, and didn't have to try to resurrect a program that had been driven off a cliff by the previous staff? Even if we were to all agree that they were BOTH horrific and that ranking one worse than the other is merely splitting hairs at a microscopic level to justify personal preference. Answer me this...

Which of those two coaches came closer to meeting expectations and/or living up to their potential in this job?

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Off Season Tidbits 5 months 4 weeks ago #351986

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Let’s just all admit that my sitting on the scorer’s table tirades the first year ended up being pretty damn accurate :)
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