Mike Dunlap: St. John's Coach Is Perfect Hire for Charlotte Bobcats

Alex KayCorrespondent IJune 19, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 18:  Acting head coach Mike Dunlap of the St. John's Red Storm caoches against the UCLA Bruins at Madison Square Garden on February 18, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The Charlotte Bobcats have hired St. John’s interim head coach/assistant Mike Dunlap to be the new head coach. He’s a perfect fit with an organization that needs to start from the bottom of the barrel and make their way back up.

Dunlap has been coaching since 1980, when he started as an assistant at Loyola Marymount. He has NBA experience as an assistant under George Karl with the Denver Nuggets from 2006-08.

Now he has one of the toughest tasks in the league, getting the 7-59 Bobcats back on track and developing their talented but inexperienced and struggling players.

Fortunately, that is what Dunlap excels at.

Bobcats GM Rich Cho told ESPN’s Andy Katz that the reason they hired the Johnnies assistant was that “a strong emphasis in player development was extremely high on our priority list.”

Considering that the Bobcats have lottery picks D.J. Augustin, Bismack Biyombo, Gerald Henderson, Tyrus Thomas and Kemba Walker all on the roster and under the age of 25, plus the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft, the organization was wise to choose a new coach that has had success working with younger players.

Those players have barely scratched the surface of their potential and need someone who is willing to work with them and be patient, rather than throw them to the wolves in the hopes of winning a few games and keeping their job.

Dunlap isn’t going to have the Bobcats contending for a title anytime soon, but he’s got a lot to work with, and they could be playing in the postseason quicker than many realize.

It’s just going to take time and patience, which is exactly what Dunlap will give these young men.