I’m normally not this sad or negative with any of my writing. There’s almost always a positive spin. But since Arizona State beat St. John’s in Dayton, a tragic collapsed has been watched in Queens. Here’s a timeline of events:
3/20/2019: St John’s Loses to ASU
The Johnnies play in a sloppy play-in game vs the Sun Devils. This would be the final game for Marvin Clark II as a senior. People are hopeful, St. John’s has Nate Tabor, a 4-star guard and Valdir Manuel, a top transfer coming to the program. There’s also a chance Shamorie Ponds stays. With the core of LJ Figueroa, Justin Simon and Mustapha Heron, next season had promise.
3/29/2019: Shamorie Ponds declares for the draft:
As expected, the former top recruit would want to test the waters after having a solid season. Although not projected to enter the first round, a solid combine and exhibition games could propel his draft stock in a weak class.
4/1/2019: Matt Abdelmassih leaves for Nebraska
Assistant Coach and top recruiter for St. John’s leaves to take the top Assistant position under Fred Hoiberg at Nebraska.
4/5/2019: Cameron Mack is released from his NLI
JUCO Guard Cameron Mack requested and received his release from his NLI. He was recruited by Abdelmassih, and since coaches are tied to players it makes sense he would leave.
4/8/2019: Rumors begin to circulate that Chris Mullin is leaving the team
This is after Mullin assured people April 6th he would not be stepping down. Rumble in the Garden reported that the relationship between Cragg and Mullin had been becoming closer to stand-off.
4/9/2019: Chris Mullin officially steps down
Boom. A bomb has gone off in Queens. This abrupt announcement has not only the fanbase divided, but the players were left in the dark. No one knew this was about to happen. Players were informed by video conference, and after a few brief statements Mullin was out.
4/9/2019: Potential Names enter the coaching search
Bobby Hurley, Tim Cluess, John Scheyer, Nate James, Ryan Odom, Earl Grant, Kevin Boyle and others are named as potential candidates for the job. Some, like Hurley and Boyle were longshots, however the rest were seen as good candidates with local ties in order to help St. John’s capitalize on one thing. That’s local recruiting, as NY has been a hotbed of talent in recent years. St. John’s has been able to get talent, but only as transfers.
4/10/2019: Simon and Trimble leave the program
Justin Simon, the Big east Defensive Player of the Year, former 5-star recruit and Arizona transfer entered his name and signed with an agent for the NBA draft. Bryan Trimble has entered into the transfer portal.
4/10/2019: Tabor and Manuel open up recruitment
4-star Connecticut Wing Nate Tabor has opened up his recruitment following Chris Mullin leaving. 3-star forward Valdir Manuel has opened up recruiting to see who the Johnnies hire before making a decision.
4/11/2019: Heron, Figueroa, Roberts, Keita, Williams waiting on hire
Mustapha Heron, LJ Figueroa, Josh Roberts, Sedee Keita and Greg Williams are all considering leaving the program based on the new hire.
4/11/2019: Coach search narrows
Bobby Hurley is out at St. John’s citing he and ASU working towards an extension. Tim Cluess is now going to be the focus for St. John’s. They are working towards a deal, but issues over Cluess’s buyout appear to be holding things up.
4/16/2019: St. John’s begins working on a deal with Porter Moses
After bringing Loyola-Chicago to the Final Four last season, Porter Moses has appeared on the potential coaching list for St. John’s. An extremely energetic coach, who is able to improve the roster of teams through solid recruiting. His style of play is slower paced and focused on controlling the pace and the glass. The odds of this working out however are slim. He’s a Chicago guy with Chicago ties, his ties to NY are not well known.
4/16/19: Porter Moses rejects the St. John’s offer
St. John’s is now 0-2 on replacing their head coach. If Tim Cluess does not accept their offer, then Greg St. Jean will most likely be named the head coach for the next year or so.
4/17/19: A lot happens in a short amount of time
Basically everything that can go wrong, does. Tim Cluess is out, and sticking with Iona. James Jones of Yale and Mike Anderson have entered the discussions.
Then, one of the richest booster for St. John’s scorches the earth. On WFAN with Mike Francesa, Vitamin Water CEO Mike Repole torn everyone apart. Said the President and staff were “incompetent, clueless leaders”. He also thought Mike Cragg would be fired over this. Ripped apart how the facilities were bad, no kid wanted to play there. Yikes
4/19/2019: Mike Anderson?????
Ex-Arkansas coach Mike Anderson has been hired to fill the head coaching vacancy. Arguably the weirdest search outside of UCLA. While he may fit St. John’s values as a coach and they may like his style of play, he has very few ties to NYC and the local area. It is critical for Anderson to hire local standouts and prep school coaches. Now he has one job: retain the players in the transfer portal and be active in next year’s recruiting cycle.