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St. John's basketball: Norm Roberts to Return in Year 5

I've held off talking about the St. John's coach as if he was already gone. But I figure, with a 10-16 record in his fourth year, no offense to speak of, players rumored to be leaving, no recruits in sight, hardcore Oz style beatings 5 times a year, that St. John's would happily shake Coach Norm Roberts' hand and bring in a top-level coach with a history of winning.

ESPN has been wrong before but... they say he's coming back. And it's corroborated by NY Daily News beat writer Roger Rubin.

Norm Roberts

St. John's, facing growing speculation in the New York metro area that men's basketball coach Norm Roberts will be out after this season, will announce Friday that Roberts will return for his fifth season in 2008-09, multiple sources told ESPN.com.Roberts met with St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch on Thursday and was assured he would return next season, according to a source close to the program. Roberts and Monasch will meet soon to discuss a longer-term contract.

Oh.

Good grief.

Perhaps the meeting will include a "change your assistant coaches" ultimatum (as this blogger describes). That would be a great idea; testing his loyalty, and perhaps giving him a way to step down gracefully, if the offer isn't to his liking.

Why did it take so long for this to come out of St. John's? The news outlets have been mercilessly putting him on "the hot seat" or conversely trying to pretty up 20-point whippings with the color announcer saying "he just needs more time, he just needs more time." We all believe in more time, but dang, what has been proven?

Last year with seniors, the team was barely .500.

Norm has said, in a recent post-game interview, that he can't make freshmen juniors. What about when they're sophomores? Huh? What will they be then?

How is this team going to get better?

Who is going to leave this squad?

Hurdle failWhat indication has been given that this will turn around? Was it the competitive half of basketball against Georgetown, where St. John's Executive VP and COO supposedly attended in an evaluative role? What happened to waiting until the end of the season, as the Athletic Director Chris Monasch stated he would? What kind of Isiah Thomas/ Jim Dolan evaluative techniques are being used here? What has been compelling about Norm's record?

And what a way to announce this before senior day, where some fans might just lose their minds and start booing the scholarship senior, Eugene Lawrence, the first recruit the coach brought in. Granted, there were other recruits, but they all just up and disappeared. Wonder how that happened.

I think I'll follow Missouri a little more for the next year or two. Maybe it's a leap year joke. It's leap day, after all.