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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 month 2 weeks ago #399229

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redmen4life wrote: has anyone here renewed their season tickets?

this is the first time since i finished school 18 years ago that i won't renew. even during the norm years and recession, i made the financial sacrifice to make it work.

but with a new baby its just not worth the risk.


Take care of your family first! Nobody, not Mike Cragg, not CMA, would expect otherwise. You will be back!

For those who are able though, I'd offer that if we really want to help out in a no risk way, renew your season tickets today, and if there is not an in person season, consider letting the money ride towards next season. Even though the net effect to you won't matter much (if you can afford tix in this Covid economy), the money will help the athletic department this season even if you defer the amount towards next season tix

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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 month 2 weeks ago #399230

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Not as informed as Beast or several others here, but my educated guess is that Lavin's car salesman skills were very good and probably better than CMA's, however that doesn't appear to be his style. CMA seems like that old school, straight shooter, no BS kinda guy. That works with some recruits and families, however refusing to guarantee starter minutes from day 1 will hurt chances with many 4 star kids. Because of this, he will have to really clearly develop them a lot and use that to sell the bigger name kids IMO. It's a double-edged sword. Lavin just seemed more suave and slick. I met him a few times and he just has an appeal to him.

Regarding Mullin, I think his star factor helped bring guys in early on. His pitch seemed to be, "Well, what I did stands for itself and I know what it takes to get to and stay in the NBA, because I'm a HOFer". Matt A is really the one who got all those top transfers. Not sure what his pitch was. But I know for a fact that several players were under the impression that Mullin had no idea what he was doing as a coach.

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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 month 2 weeks ago #399232

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Beast of the East wrote:

Rob wrote:

Beast of the East wrote:

otis wrote: St. John's basketball is less of a "mom and pop" show with The Honorables Mike Cragg and CMA on board.


They are both by all means exceptional individuals to be leading SJU going forward. It does not change the fact that they are hampered by the lack of financial resources to upgrade facilities. They both are aware that winning first may improve the financial outlook, but not change the fact that delays in upgrading facilities impede our ability to attract and retain top notch talent. We are on the right path though.


Legitimate question on this, since I don't know the answer (perhaps Beast or another informed poster can respond).

We always discuss our shortcomings in facilities. A few friends of mine are Seton Hall boosters. They too are always complaining about their facilities and believe it has made Willard's recruiting challenging, especially early before they had any success, but even now coming off their best season in like 20 years. And they tell me our practice facilities are 1000 times better than the Hall's. Relatedly, Lavin and to some extent Mullin were able to secure 4 or even 5 star kids, despite our facilities. What drove that success if the lack of top notch facilities is such an impediment? Was it that Lavin was simply such a skilled recruiter he could "paper" over that and/or that Mullin was fortunate with Ponds always wanting to stay home and some of the other 4/5 star kids we landed (Heron, Simon, etc) coming via the transfer route in which facilities may not be nearly as big of a deal for a kid that has seen a Power 5 school and decided the grass is greener?


Hi Rob,

It's a great question, so let me take a swipe at it. I think the most important thing is to have a winning program that gives our players the best chance to showcase their talents to a world wide audience - the NCAA tournament. If you have a top 5 program, our facilities can be at Jamacia high school and it wouldn't hurt too badly. However, if you want to be a top program and are not, the lack of top facilities hurt our chances to attract top recruits.

Yes, Lavin had success recruiting but if you recall, it wasn't sustained, and it wasn't enough. Recruiting at St. John's always seems to be pushing a ball uphill. It's funny, though. Our nearby competitors for students - Hofstra, Adelphi, Molloy, each further from NYC than SJU - all promote and attract students from out of state because of proximity and access to Manhattan. So, for students at least, that's a big plus.

Our practice facilities are first class, and that's also a plus. However, when I toured the basement of Carnesecca Arena last summer, NOTHING had changed over forty years except EVERYTHING was 40 years older. It is a decrepit dungeon. The weight room where athletes work out is down there, and while they were in process of upgrading it, just imagine a recruit walking into a school where athletic exercise facilities rival Equinox, above ground with beautiful surroundings, state of the art equipment and awesome aesthetics. Athletic department offices need to be upgraded seriously as well, and hopefully the Athletic department will unveil a master plan for supporters to get behind.

To your point, I've been told that Cameron is an aged, decrepit stadium, with even less space between bleacher seats than CA. For now, fans cram in shoulder to shoulder and consider themselves the lucky ones who got tickets. After K, we will see if they make a major investment there, and they probably will have to.

The short answer is, Yes, you can build a winning program without first class facilities, but the uphill push is much steeper with a much lower chance of long term success. VIllanova very smartly allocated a ton of money towards upgraded athletic facilities, but importantly, alumni ponied up BEFORE two national championships, with money donated for an overhaul to the Pavillion ($22 million by Finneran in 2014). But to be fair, Jay Wright had already established VIllanova as the class of the league well before then.

The bottom line is that programs can get establish moderate success, or lightning in a bottle intermittent success without first rate facilities. But to build a sustainable, winning program, where recruits coming here see facilities that are as good as anyone's, will take a considerable investment. The sooner we do that, the faster we can build a sustainable, consistent winner.


Let me also add that while Lavin and Mullin have different personalities and coaching styles, both seem much more laid back then CMA. That is certainly not a knock on CMA. In Lavin's case, he went after and got kids that CMA would likely steer clear of. Kids who probably wouldn't fit well with CMA's style of coaching and personality, and wouldn't have an interest in playing for him. That narrows down the pool of blue chip kids who might be the right fit for us. But I firmly believe that we'll see some 4 stars kids, and an occasional 5 star kid, here soon enough. Winning begets winning.
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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 month 2 weeks ago #399235

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Mike Zaun wrote: Not as informed as Beast or several others here, but my educated guess is that Lavin's car salesman skills were very good and probably better than CMA's, however that doesn't appear to be his style. CMA seems like that old school, straight shooter, no BS kinda guy. That works with some recruits and families, however refusing to guarantee starter minutes from day 1 will hurt chances with many 4 star kids. Because of this, he will have to really clearly develop them a lot and use that to sell the bigger name kids IMO. It's a double-edged sword. Lavin just seemed more suave and slick. I met him a few times and he just has an appeal to him.

Regarding Mullin, I think his star factor helped bring guys in early on. His pitch seemed to be, "Well, what I did stands for itself and I know what it takes to get to and stay in the NBA, because I'm a HOFer". Matt A is really the one who got all those top transfers. Not sure what his pitch was. But I know for a fact that several players were under the impression that Mullin had no idea what he was doing as a coach.


Good points. Lavin is probably one of the best salesmen you will ever come across, and it's gotten him very far in life. Lavin brought us some of the best talent we've had in decades. The only issue is some of the 4 of 5 star type recruits he brought in caused headaches or never even made it to campus. So clearly he had to take a shot on some kids who weren't flawless.

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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 month 2 weeks ago #399236

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Room112 wrote:

Mike Zaun wrote: Not as informed as Beast or several others here, but my educated guess is that Lavin's car salesman skills were very good and probably better than CMA's, however that doesn't appear to be his style. CMA seems like that old school, straight shooter, no BS kinda guy. That works with some recruits and families, however refusing to guarantee starter minutes from day 1 will hurt chances with many 4 star kids. Because of this, he will have to really clearly develop them a lot and use that to sell the bigger name kids IMO. It's a double-edged sword. Lavin just seemed more suave and slick. I met him a few times and he just has an appeal to him.

Regarding Mullin, I think his star factor helped bring guys in early on. His pitch seemed to be, "Well, what I did stands for itself and I know what it takes to get to and stay in the NBA, because I'm a HOFer". Matt A is really the one who got all those top transfers. Not sure what his pitch was. But I know for a fact that several players were under the impression that Mullin had no idea what he was doing as a coach.


Good points. Lavin is probably one of the best salesmen you will ever come across, and it's gotten him very far in life. Lavin brought us some of the best talent we've had in decades. The only issue is some of the 4 of 5 star type recruits he brought in caused headaches or never even made it to campus. So clearly he had to take a shot on some kids who weren't flawless.


As we saw in the final season, Lavin was not discriminating when it came to filling a roster. We essentially had 5 guards plus CO in the rotation. Lavin was completely the real deal managing difficult players. Rysheed Jordan recently publicly acknowledged that Lavin came to visit him in prison after neither were associated with the program - and Lavs wasn't exactly in the neighborhood. Both Harrison and Obekpa were royal pain in the asses, but he didn't banish Harrison when he had reason to, and to this day CO thinks the world of Lavin.

I didn't mean to make the thread another referendum on Mullin/Lavin/CMA/Mahoney/Buck Freeman but what the hell.

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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 month 2 weeks ago #399242

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Gee, if we have Buck Freeman in the Mix , how about Joe Lapchick ? I was only a Student in Coach Lapchick ‘s last season where he Won the NIT but , he was pretty much Universally revered as a Coach . Bobby Knight , no shrinking Violet, thought highly of Joe and sought his Counsel often . Knight mentioned it frequently . Lapchick , Hank Iba , etc Lot of great Players that Lapchick Coached here , Leroy Ellis , Kevin Loughery Tony Jackson , Sonny Dove , MacIntyres , etc . Probably missed a few .
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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 month 2 weeks ago #399247

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SLYFOXX1968 wrote: Gee, if we have Buck Freeman in the Mix , how about Joe Lapchick ? I was only a Student in Coach Lapchick ‘s last season where he Won the NIT but , he was pretty much Universally revered as a Coach . Bobby Knight , no shrinking Violet, thought highly of Joe and sought his Counsel often . Knight mentioned it frequently . Lapchick , Hank Iba , etc Lot of great Players that Lapchick Coached here , Leroy Ellis , Kevin Loughery Tony Jackson , Sonny Dove , MacIntyres , etc . Probably missed a few .[/quot

How about Seiden, Alfieri, Paschall, Roethel and Engert?

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Mike Cragg/Twitter 4 weeks 1 day ago #400390

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Mike Cragg/Twitter 1 week 6 days ago #401495

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Mike Cragg/Twitter 5 days 18 hours ago #402337

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Another #AsktheAD session coming up later this morning.

Mike Cragg
@MikeCraggSJU
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Been a while and as we get close to the start of hoops season Folded hands ... let’s wrap up the Fall semester with a
@StJohnsRedStorm
#AskTheAD session later today. Around 11:30 am ... I’ll start answering your questions. Go ahead and submit now ... look forward to it! Red circle⛈

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