Name: Greg St. Jean
Current job: Assistant Coach St. John’s
Previous jobs: Assistant Player Development Coach, Sacramento Kings
Career head coaching record (conference record): n/a
NCAA Tournament Appearances (record): n/a
Evidence of recruiting skills: Has reached out to some possible recruits on west coast, such as McDonald’s All-American Jordan Brown, but unknown if St. Jean was the lead recruiter on any of the signed players.
Items of interest: Players love him enough to start a campaign for him to get the St. John’s job. After all, didn’t Chris Mullin step down? Then surely, his assistant should get a long look. A number of the current and past players have mentioned him, as have former NBA players Jimmer Fredette and Ryan Hollins, and St. John’s superfan Michael Rappaport.
St. Jean was listed on the NABC’s 30-under-30 list. He is the son of former coach/ GM Gerry St. Jean.
On court: Can we assume he has some of the same ideas of Chris Mullin — spacing, guard-heavy lineups, guards who can force turnovers?
St. Jean might have different ideas, and, as a good company man and a man who has known Chris Mullin since a kid, he might do things differently when on his own.
Why he’d be a good fit: St. Jean, who is meeting with Mike Cragg today, has the support of the players, and might be able to hold the team together. He’s energetic and into player development. He’s already familiar with the talent on the court, and knows how to work with them.
While some will consider Mullin’s tenure a failure, this team did put players in positions to get good shots. What if St. Jean ran a similar style, but with a completely new staff? Some help from other experienced coaches? What if he had player development help?
Why it wouldn’t work: Chris Mullin may have “stepped down”, but the consensus was that he stepped down after not coming to an agreement about the worth of the direction of the program.
Bringing St. Jean back would, honestly, make letting Mullin go an unnecessary move. St. Jean was heavily involved in the coaching off the court and often very vocal on the court (other assistants DO shout instructions on the sidelines, btw).
We don’t actually know what St. Jean would be like as a coach. How would he figure out which ideas will work, which will not? How quickly can he change in games (likely faster than Chris Mullin, who leaned on Greg St. Jean for in-game coaching changes).
And St. Jean is not just young, he has no track record of recruiting or years of running a college program under anyone except Chris Mullin. There are questions here that can only be answered by experience.
What’s getting in the way: It seems that many people in power wanted a change. This is not a change. Mostly, Greg St. Jean is kind of a cipher.
Final word: Really? It could happen, and St. Jean is probably a good coach. But the optics would be terrible.