By Eddie Mayrose
St. John’s Basketball May Be Out of the Norm
If this is where it ends for St. John’s Head Coach Norm Roberts, if yesterday’s loss to Marquette; his 100th, is the one from which he is not permitted to return, he need only to look in his own backyard as the reason he was unable to return St. John’s to the upper echelon of college basketball.
Charged with cleaning up the scandal ridden mess left by his predecessor, Mike Jarvis, Roberts has been every bit the classy, gentlemanly face Red Storm administrators had hoped when he was hired. Despite their lack of success, his teams have been the kind of hard working, blue collar squads appreciated by coaches everywhere. What they lacked, however, was that star player to put them over the top. The player that bails you out on a bad day. The player that brings your school recognition with a successful NBA career. The player that draws the media to practice and the fans to Madison Square Garden. The player that, sadly, toils in High School gyms throughout the Metropolitan area but hasn’t decided to bring his game to Queens. Having gone his entire tenure without recruiting a player that went on the the NBA, Roberts may have had his fate sealed last month, when just 3,500 showed up at the Garden on the night the Johnnies honored the 1985 Final Four squad led by Chris Mullin; the most recognizable player in their history.