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Will St. John's Ever Be a College Basketball Powerhouse Again?

John ReyesContributor ISeptember 12, 2008

Last season the St. John's basketball program celebrated it's 100th season, finishing with a 11-19 overall record and 5-13 mark in the Big East.

You can't help but wonder what happened to the once-prominent powerhouse. As it stands now. St. John's is still fifth in all-time wins (1,689) in college basketball history. The only problem is if they are to hold onto the spot, they will have to turn things around really fast.

The St. John's program has been floundering for years now. The team hasn't made an official NCAA tournament appearance since 1999* and doesn't even have its own tag on Bleacher Report. One has to wonder where the program dropped the ball.

Most people blame it on Mike Jarvis, who was coach from 1998 to 2004. Yes, he was coaching the team to its last deep run in the tournament in 1998, but that was with a roster full of former coach Fran Fraschilla's players.

In the reign of Jarvis, the team lost out on top talent that the previous coaches had picked up on. He also left amid NCAA rules violations, as well as a full-blown sex scandal involving players.

Jarvis' rosters usually consisted of mediocre players, and the Johnnies fell to the bottom of the food chain in the Big East. The recent Big East expansion to 16 teams has only been more of a burden to the basketball program.

Norm Roberts, who was hired in 2004, was supposed to resurrect the program, but has had little success up to this point. In three seasons at St. John's, Roberts has totaled a 32-52 record and still has yet to put a guy that can take over a game on the court.

That being said, the question remains: Will St. John's Basketball ever be a powerhouse again?

*- St. John's vacated its NCAA apperance during the 2001-02 season, along with 46 other games during the 2000-01 and 2003-2004 seasons, due to NCAA rule violations.

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