Barry Rohrssen: Despite Big Recruits, Manhattan Basketball Coach Must Be Fired

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IMarch 10, 2010

It astounds me that Manhattan College is still considering Barry Rohrssen for a fifth season as the men's basketball coach.

In his first four years, Rohrssen compiled a 42-60 record without one postseason appearance. His fourth season was his worst, finishing 11-20 and in eighth place in the MAAC. Rohrssen finished fifth in the MAAC in his first and third years.

It is time that this guy goes. 

This past year, Rohrssen had a team with a lot of talent. The 2009-10 Jaspers consisted of five seniors and one redshirt junior. Rohrssen had also brought in Rico Pickett from Miami Dade Junior College. Pickett was a top 50 recruit in 2006 and was supposed to be a savior for Manhattan.

Despite this talent, Rohrssen drove the team straight into the ground with horrific coaching.

As a game coach, Rohrssen has not been able to draw up plays to get good shots for Manhattan when it needs them. Manhattan has trailed by one possession with the ball in the final minute of eight different occasions.

When Rohrssen was growing up, his elementary school must have left two letters out while teaching the alphabet—"x" and "o."

With all honesty, I attended 10 Manhattan games this year and saw Rohrssen draw up a play one time. 

Rohrssen has brought in some good recruits over the last two years, which is a legitimate reason to keep him. For the 2009-10 season, Rohrssen beat out UConn and Florida for Rico Pickett, and then signed Mohammed Koita, who originally had committed to UCLA. Rohrssen also signed George Beamon, who averaged 35 points per game as a high school senior.

For 2010-11, Rohrssen has already signed Mike Alvarado, a guard from All Hallows who is supposedly one of the best in New York City; Rhamel Brown, who is a defensive beast; and Joel "Air Jamaica" Wright, who could be the best of this recruiting class.

However, Rohrssen has not been able to develop the talent he brings in.

In his first season, Rohrssen was left with Devon Austin as the only player that looked like he could be a star from the previous season. As a freshman, Austin stepped into a starting role after the suspension of C.J. Anderson, averaging close to eight points per game.

After scoring 12.4 points per game in his sophomore season with Rohrssen, Austin declined and only averaged 11 points per game as a senior.

Rohrssen brought in some solid freshmen in his first year with Manhattan. Darryl Crawford and Antoine Pearson looked like they would be All-MAAC players by the time senior year came around. 

Crawford steadily progressed, although he never reached his full potential. But Rohrssen made the big mistake with Pearson.

Pearson averaged 9.5 points per game as a freshman and was one of the quicker guards in the MAAC. His crossover literally put some players on their backsides. 

Pearson played 30 minutes per game as a sophomore but then began to decline. Rohrssen only played Pearson for an average of 23 minutes per game for his final two seasons as a Jasper. 

In Pearson's rare playing time, he was still able to get to the hoop and create open shots on offense. 

So, even if Manhattan risks losing Rohrssen's big recruits for 2010-11, it does not matter. These players will not get much better, and Manhattan will still not contend in the top of the MAAC until Rohrssen is gone.

I will pose one other way Manhattan can keep Rohrssen and fix all the problems. I do not know how hard/possible this would be, but if Manhattan could bring in an assistant coach that could help develop the players and draw up plays on the bench, there could be a solution.

If Manhattan is not willing to do this, Rohrssen should be fired if the Jaspers ever want to have any chance at winning a MAAC championship.