St. John’s has officially named Mitch Richmond, the NBA Hall of Famer who spent last season on the sidelines as a special assistant, to the four-man assistant coaching staff.
St. John’s also promoted graduate assistant Luca Virgilio to assistant to the head coach. Virgilio, who studied economics and business administration in Italy, is credited with helping to make the contacts that allowed St. John’s to recruit many European players such as Federico Mussini and Richard Freudenberg.
The program has also added Chris Huey as a graduate assistant; he was a video coordinator for the Santa Clara men’s basketball team. According to his bio, he has experience in video coordination and tracking statistical trends.
Mitch Richmond takes the place of Barry “Slice” Rohrssen, the associate head coach who left after just a season. A well-regarded recruiting assistant and former head coach at Manhattan College, Rohrssen had less input on team strategy and recruiting than he originally was brought in for, and left after receiving a buyout of his remaining years of the contract.
Mitch Richmond had worked in the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors front offices with Chris Mullin for years.
The question for fans will be what Richmond brings to the table as a coach. He was often seen speaking to Mullin on the sidelines, and the head coach obviously values his opinion. But he has not yet had a record of running practices, coordinating offenses and defenses, or recruiting.
That is not to give an opinion on his candidacy, but to remark that he is an unknown on a staff that does not have deep college-level experience outside of Matt Abdelmassih, who spent five years on the sidelines at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg.
But on the margins, it does also seem that St. John’s could be looking to bolster their staff with younger people who understand the modern world of statistical analysis - which is heavily used on the NBA level.