After a chaotic coaching search, St. John’s has finally found its man.
The Red Storm announced on Friday that former Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson would be the school’s replacement for Chris Mullin. Anderson, 59, was let go by Arkansas after an 18-16 season, which ended in a loss in the second round of the NIT.
Mike Francesa began his show on Friday by reacting to the news of Anderson’s hire. Francesa was not as pessimistic about the appointment as some other members of the media have been.
“They salvaged a very bad situation with a professional coach,” said Francesa. “You can cut two ways with Anderson … the bad part of the resume is: he’s 59-years-old, he doesn’t know a thing about New York and he just got fired. The good part of the resume: He has been coaching for 17 years, before that he spent a lifetime on the bench as Nolan Richardson’s assistant. He carried on Nolan Richardson’s system. He was known to be a terrific NCAA Tournament coach early in his career, because his best jobs he ever did were at UAB.”
Anderson coached eight seasons at Arkansas and made the NCAA Tournament three times. Prior to that, he coached at Missouri for five seasons, making the NCAA Tournament three times, which included an appearance in the Elite 8. Prior to Missouri, he coached four seasons at UAB, making the NCAA Tournament three of the four years.
Still, he will have his work cut out for him with St. John’s.
“He has got to get a bunch of players. Some people might like his style, okay. He’s walking into a tough situation. But I’m not going to sit here and tell you that they hired a guy who is an inept coach, because he’s not. He never has been.”
“Now it’s about the things he has to overcome. He is a guy who has a very defined system. We know what it is, we’ve watched it for years and years … but he might as well have landed on Mars as well as being in New York City, and that’s a big factor.