While I'm kicking it about college basketball, St. Johns officially shit-canned Norm Roberts. I'd put his picture up, but I don't even know what he looks like.
St. Johns is the neighborhood school, so Bokolis takes a passing interest in its comings and goings. SJU basketball has been atrocious for years. So, atrocious, in fact, that they play more games on campus vs the Garden than they used to.
Norm's biggest sin was that he couldn't get anyone to come here. As the story goes, he used to be able to pull when he was at KU and other places where he was an assistant. So, WTF is the problem? Other schools in NYC have no problem pull...
Wait a minute. There are no decent schools in the NYC-area. WTF?!? Bokolis will tell you WTF. First off, no NYC schools have football teams. Columbia? Don't make me cuff you. Even Hofstra- which held it down in D1-AA- shut down its program. Now, there are a variety of reasons why NYC schools couldn't make football work. For these purposes, you need only accept that there is correlation between not having a football program and not being able to recruit basketball players. The important takeaway is that, if you don't have a football team, you're pissing in the wind.
The reasons are the same; housing, booze and poon-tang. 'Round these parts, none are available to the degree acceptable to a 19 year old college student. I've been to KU; when I tell you it is wide open, it is wide open...ample poon and hayseeds with no game. Even on the campus visit, a recruit probably fries his hard drive filing away all the talent.
St. Johns no longer has off-campus housing. Lest you think that the Brothers were jammed up with these kids living the party life, it's because, starting around 1998, real estate (and rental) prices went buckwild. Even the athletes- procured or not- have to live on campus, which is not exactly buzzing at a commuter school.
There is no longer extra exposure by playing in NYC. All manner of games are now on national cable. No one needs to come to the Garden, crap SJU or otherwise. Duke must think that a cupcake at the Garden is a great deal, but SJU can only take so many beatings.
But, you say, you can't beat the NYC nightlife. You sure can't, but what kid, even on the booster's arm, can afford it? Even if they could, they can't get into any place. What happens is, we get these underage Jersey piglets, thinking they've outgrown Hoboken, or Mahwah, or Lodi, or Garfield, or Belmar or wherever- sneaking into the Apple, getting themselves drunk and into some shit, bad things happen and we get the teeth filed on all the rules around here.
And, if these kids were trolling around Manhattan hot spots, camera phones would be running like a muthafucka. So, these guys would have to stay local...yippee!
The neighborhoods surrounding the campus are decent and not as densely populated as other areas of NYC. It certainly isn't the PJs. Since it is a commuter school and has no off-campus housing, it's a challenge to get students to the bar. The only way you get college kids into a bar is with drink specials, which bars facing heightened rents can't typically afford. As a result, there are 3 bars in the immediate area...and one is for old people; uninhabitable, nobody- even the old people- goes there.
Certainly not Bokolis...I once walked in that place and, spooked to see people 5 years older than I am on the prowl, broke thefuck out. But I do go into the other two. The one place is usually quiet (which is partly why I go), except when they have a beer special. Because this guy cards, he gets grimy 23-25 year old guys and barflies-in-training for birds. If you're 23-25 and still haven't outgrown this place for its cheap beer night, you've got problems. You're ruining my quiet night of no footie, no Manhattan or Brooklyn. Get it together.
The other place...Bokolis won't mention the name of the place because, apparently, only the Feds read weblogs. Anyway, it has various nightly drink specials. Not being a beer drinker, Bokolis heads there for the $2 Jameson. Look, you can't beat $2 Jameson. One day, the subject came up as to what percentage of the birds in there are underage. I would have put it at 20%-25%.
Aside- One of the reasons Bokolis doesn't date birds under 23 is that I can't reliably tell the difference between 21 and 16. It would bother me to think I'm kicking it to 21 and find out, you know. But, I am continually amazed as to the openings, without even trying, that are presented to me. I wonder if it's because they know I could buy them more stuff (not that I would) than the college student banging them on the side or because I could put it to them better than said college student. It's a rhetorical question.
Now that I've convinced you that I don't go there to pick up college birds, we asked some alumni from real life and got back that it's about 75% underage...and that the place often gets shut down for this. The guys that run the place are two scuzzy, perv-looking creeps. Nonetheless, truth be told, this place has the better collection of talent. If they're not driving, what's the problem?
Oh yeah, SJU. I think the best kid Norm landed was rated 80th or something. With all that, what top level recruit would want to go to St. Johns? The only worse places to go would be to the service academies.
The comparison is to WVU for two reasons...Bokolis has a plant down there and there are 3 guys from the NYC area on the squad. Assuming you had all your teeth, where would you live? That's another rhetorical question. Morgantown, WV is the number two (Milwaukee) drinking city in the country. As it's been explained, there is absolutely nothing to do there except drink. That's perfect for a college town and, while it's ironic that the head coach is on the wagon (suurrrre he's on the wagon), it presents limitless opportunity to color drunk white girls purple. That's the most important thing nyone learns in college and why those cats are down there.
People are talking up Mark Jackson as the next coach and he wants the job...like he's going to draw talent. Listen, I've dealt with the dude way back when and know him, despite the way he comes off in public, to be a good guy. Nothing tells me he can coach and still less tells me he can pull ballers, let alone in that environment.
Because, nobody seriously thinks that guy can coach, we're not even getting into Huggins being able to buy who he wants to buy. The conditions do not exist to improve recruitment. How do we solve this? Re-instate off campus housing and give tax breaks to bars within said distance of either. For that matter, if they can find the land, give tax breaks to build the housing. Hey, for all the tax breaks given around here, I don't see the problem. Lower the drinking age within 1000 yards of either to 19, of course. Of course, we would have to regulate the driving habits accordingly.
If that doesn't work, we're going to have to import SEC poon...might be cheaper than the tax breaks.
That's all the fuck I got.