With the St. John’s Red Storm off until they play the Fordham Rams on December the 7th, we decided now would be as good a time as any to tackle something that has been bothering me for a pretty long period of time. The whole, “this guy or that guy or all the guys are NBA level players” and how folks try to use their lack of success on the college level, while using “their” narrative of that player having NBA level talent, as a way to knock Steve Lavin — or really, his ability to coach on the hardwood.
First thing is first. I’m not saying Lavin is the greatest on-the-court coach since James Naismith, but dismissing his previous successes and only assuming he did pretty swell with the UCLA Bruins because of landing top-tier recruits is just silly. Getting great recruits matters, this is truer than any single thing that correlates to college hoops success, but someone has to actually coach them. Like, you know, make sure they live up to some level of their talents.
Still — maybe because fandom or the need to blame — I continue to read about certain St. John’s players and how their lack of individual success is because of Lavin and how the team would do better if Lavin knew how to use them correctly — because they are NBA level players.
Here is the thing. Some of the players are super-duper talented. But, please, let’s try to be realistic. If St. John’s had four or five NBA players I think they would have been ranked in the preseason top-10. I mean, there are people who are literally paid to scout players on the college level to see how they might translate to the NBA. Those people talk to college people and coaches, who rank the teams. Yet, no one outside of the St. John’s fanbase thinks this team is loaded with NBA players.
I read message boards, other sites and follow Twitter to keep a strong grip on what the fanbase thinks of St. John’s. So, it’s a little disheartening that so many of the fans truly believe that this team has that much talent. It’s great to be a positive thinker, but some of you are being just flat out delusional. That’s why we are going to tackle each of the St. John’s players who have supposed NBA talent.
This isn’t an effort to troll my own fanbase. It’s simply my way of trying to get some of you to realize that this St. John’s team is not loaded with NBA level players. You can disagree with me, but time will tell who is right. I mean, regardless of Lavin’s system and some of your guys’ blame on him for these players lack of success, if they could play the NBA knows and will find them.
If not, well, they will all go to whatever place cool, eligibility-less college players go after they graduate (hint: I heard it’s some place called Europe. I think that place is somewhere by North Dakota).