Fran Fraschilla on St. John’s next hire if they fire Mike Anderson
Think high energy. Think of a grinder. Think of someone who will work tirelessly to bring St. John’s back to national relevance.
Those are the traits Fran Fraschilla believes his old school should recognize if it chooses to part ways with coach Mike Anderson, as expected.
“It will take someone with incredible energy. I’d say a little guy who’s probably on his way and let them grind,” Frascilla told The Post in a phone interview on the eve of the eighth-seeded Red Storm’s first-round Big East Tournament game at No. 9. against DePaul. Wednesday at the Garden. “You need great energy in that place and someone who won’t take no for an answer. Someone that they’re going to be willing to allow to develop and build a program. “
Frascilla, a college basketball and NBA draft analyst for ESPN, wanted to be clear that he was not advocating for Anderson to lose his job after four seasons.
He had no opinion on whether St. John’s (17-14) should keep the 63-year-old coach after finishing eighth in the Big East and missing an NCAA Tournament bid in four years. Big East Tournament crown.
But if St. John’s decides to make a change, he believes it should go the route Providence took when it hired Ed Cooley in 2011.
Under Cooley, whom the current St. John’s president, Rev. Hired by Brian Shanley, Providence has reached the NCAA Tournament six times since 2014 and is a projected at-large team this year, after advancing to the Sweet 16 last March.
A few years ago, Providence built a state-of-the-art practice facility that is the newest of its kind in the country.
“[Shanley] Hired a guy who wanted to be there and was so young that he had incredible energy,” Fraschilla said, referring to the hiring of Cooley. “Ed came from Fairfield. It’s not like he came from Notre Dame or North Carolina.
After a strong tenure at Manhattan, the 64-year-old Frascilla spent two years coaching St. John’s to the 1998 NCAA Tournament.
He recruited the bulk of the 1999 Elite Eight team that Mike Jarvis inherited when Fraschilla left for a job in New Mexico.
St. John’s hasn’t really been the same since. It last reached the main draw of the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
It last won an NCAA Tournament game in 2000. The Red Storm were expected to compete to reach the dance each of the past two years, but they won’t come close unless they win the Big East Tournament.
If St. John’s doesn’t keep Anderson, it will have had three different coaches in the span of eight years.
“Times have changed. When I was coaching in New York in the 1990s, both in Manhattan and St. John’s, the high school talent was still as good as there was in America,” Frascilla said. “There was enough talent at the time, where of the top 10 players in the area, five wanted to stay home and five wanted to go away.
“They wanted to stay home because they wanted to be close to their family, they wanted to play in Madison Square Garden. St. John’s still had a very rich tradition at that time. We were able to really tap into the talent base of the city, in a way that I’m not sure can be done today. “
This has clearly not been done recently.
The recent history of St. John is all the evidence that is needed.
Ultimately, more than a coach, Frascilla believes there needs to be a major shift in the Queens school’s approach to basketball.
Shanley, it should be noted, has said a key for St. John’s is to improve what he called facilities that are not on par with most of the Big East.
“Why do Villanova, Xavier, Dayton, Gonzaga and Creighton get it, and some other Catholic schools don’t? I’ve always wondered,” Fraschilla said. “Often it’s the leadership and the commitment to say we want to make basketball the front porch of the university.
“Not the most important part of the university, but the part that people see first. This was the case for many, many decades, and unfortunately it is not now. … I think there should be more of a commitment to great facilities.