Yeah, yeah, we know. Philly has 3 teams in the tourney and NY has none:
St. John's is home. Fordham is home. Manhattan is home. Out on the Island, Hofstra and Stony Brook are home. In Jersey, Rutgers is home and so is Seton Hall, after rejecting a bid from the new Collegiate Basketball Invitational.
Iona? LIU? Marist? St. Francis? Wagner? Army? Columbia? Home. Home. Home. Home. Home. Home. Home.
The closest thing we have to a representative anywhere in March is Rider, out of the MAAC, which played Old Dominion in a CBI first-round game last night. And even that is a stretch, because Rider's campus in Lawrenceville, NJ, sits 58 miles from Manhattan, and only 39 miles from the Philadelphia city line....
St. John's never has recovered from Mike Jarvis' spurning of the city. Fordham's best player, Bryant Dunston, went to St. John's Prep, but only one other Ram hails from within the city borders. Only Hofstra has worked the city beat consistently, and its resulting success (save for this season) is no coincidence.
NYC is a tough recruiting beat, and the players here receive enough hype and attention that the difference makers are going to be known by the great coaches, they'll be snapped up. Certainly, Philly is a fertile recruiting ground, but they don't get picked over like NY does. But some of those teams (Iona, Manhattan) will be dancing next year.
NY Daily News - Unlike New York, Philadelphia teams have Big Dance fever
St. John's has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2002, when it lost to Wisconsin in the first round. Hofstra hasn't gone since 2001, and Fordham hasn't since 1992. Columbia needs to go all the way back to 1968, while only two teams from the five boroughs or Westchester - the MAAC's Manhattan (2004) and Iona (2006) - have been selected in the past five years.
It would be good to see New York schools share a similar philosophy, to play doubleheaders at the Garden in an attempt to cultivate interest. It would be a chance to bring fans together and force the larger population to pay attention. But that's unlikely to happen. St. John's plays NEC schools but shies away from Fordham, Manhattan, Iona and Hofstra in the regular season...
"I think college basketball has always been important in this city," Wright said. "The coaches here stay. If you get a good coach and they get a good program, they stay.
"Look at all those coaches - Martelli, Dunphy, Bruiser Flint of Drexel - they've all had opportunities to leave, but this is where they want to be. You don't get a lot of change. Look at John Chaney at Temple or Rollie Massimino over the years, getting to five Final Eights.... Maintaining success is a big deal.
"The coaches here don't necessarily have to have big-name guys, but they want guys who will play hard and play smart basketball and get the best out of their players. We take pride in that in Philly. And the people in Philly take pride in that."
The great coaches in New York City such as Lou Carnesecca of St. John's, Lou Rossini of NYU, Jack Rohan of Columbia and Jim Valvano of Iona are long gone, and with the exception of St. John's, local programs have become a steppingstone for coaches such as Wright, Tim Welsh and Bobby Gonzalez. "Coaches in New York leave," Wright said. "If you're successful in that town, everybody wants you."
The recruiting trail at the city programs is not what it used to be, with many New York blue-chippers leaving town for other Big East or ACC programs.
Here is a decent suggestion - doubleheaders in the Garden. St. John's SHOULD take on more than Hofstra and the NEC teams. The Storm should be spanking Fordham (I'd come back to NY to see the Storm play in Rose Hill gym - "antiquated" but incredible) and playing Manhattan and Iona on a yearly basis.
But a lot of these gripes are some sour grapes of a changing landscape. The old NY programs - where's Clair Bee from Long Island University (who St. John's DOES play regularly) - are just that, old. Each team needs to create its own new tradition and its own cachet. And if schools are living in an old-tymey way of running a basketball program and attracting talent, then they need to change.
I am not convinced that there is a systemic problem with all the teams, just because the area is shut out in this year, though the local Big East schools should consider pouring a little more money in facilities and perhaps even coaches. Just because the howling voices of NY have nothing else to write and compare us to the Illadelph, doesn't mean NY should be just like Philly.
I can't see a renaissance of long-time coaches in NY, because the conferences represented are generally minor; only St. John's, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Fordham are in the top multi-bid conferences. The NEC and America East isn't convincing anyone to stick around quite yet, and Hofstra has done okay in the Colonial.