Five Steps to Success: How to Fix the Red Storm
by Nigel Chiwaya
Mar 25, 2009 | 6571 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Now that the dust has settled from St. John’s first-round loss in the College Basketball Invitational, we can assess the Storm’s season a little. The team finished 16-18 overall, but only 6-12 in the Big East. They started the year 9-1, but did so against the likes of N.J.I.T., Howard, and Marist. They won their first Big East tournament game since 2003, but were waxed in the second round by Marquette. They were selected to the CBI, their first postseason appearance in six years, but couldn’t hold a late lead against Richmond.

It’s easy to understand why some Red Storm fans think that the glass is half empty, and equally easy to understand why others think the glass is half full. However, we here at the Ledger believe that the Storm can get even better. So with that in mind, here are five steps to fixing the Red Storm.

(1) Play a tougher non-conference schedule

St. John’s 9-1 start was impressive, but the fact that they played cupcakes does not help their case. The Red Storm finished their season with an RPI of 150- not a good way to even get consideration for the NCAA tournament. C’mon, you already play a tough Big East schedule, don’t fight Bugs Bunny as the warm up for Mike Tyson.

(2) Get shooters

We all saw the Storm struggle to get baskets against Marquette in the Big East tournament. Part of that was a superior Eagles team, but a lot of it was a lack of pure shooters on the roster. Most of St. John’s players are of the scorer/slasher type, like Justin Burrell and DJ Kennedy, and even Paris Horne, their best shooter, is on the streaky side. A pure shooter would spread the floor, giving Burrell and Evans more room to work in the middle.

(3) Out play, don’t out work

Both Marquette coach Buzz Williams and Duke head man Mike Krzyzewski said the same thing after the games with St. John’s: they are a hard working team that will out-work you if you’re not ready. However, it’s time for the Storm to out play their opponents. Norm’s team is full of athletes- they need to run their opponents out of the building each and every night.

(4) Pray for a Knicks revival

You might not think of it, but the fate of the Red Storm is tied to the fate of Madison Square Garden’s other men’s basketball team: the New York Knicks. Think about it: when the Knicks and St. John’s were good, New York was a basketball city, and the Garden one of THE destinations for high schoolers. Now? It’s simply the home a mediocre NBA team, the Big East tournament, and the “other” NCAA tournament. The Red Storm need the Knicks to help make the Garden a place of dreams again, and that will go along way towards helping recruits dream of playing home games there.

(5) Don’t fire Norm Roberts

Roberts is getting a lion’s share of the blame for the Red Storm’s season, and as coach, deservedly so. But the one thing that the University should not do is fire Roberts. His teams have not quit on him, they have been held to higher academic standards than those of his predecessor, Mike Jarvis, and before Anthony Mason Jr. went down, the team looked ready to turn some heads.

So there you have it: our plan to fix the Storm. Like many of the best laid plans (and our NCAA bracket), things can go wrong, but we feel like these steps will have St. John’s back in the thick of things before long.

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