13) St John’s struggled with hiring a basketball coach; apparently there was an internal divide about who the school should go after. St John’s is located in Jamaica, Queens, which is part of New York City. You’d think it would be a prime job.
The basketball coach at Loyola-Chicago interviewed for the St John’s job, was offered an 8-year contract that doubled his salary, and turned it down. Not many people turn down $2M a year.
Loyola is in the Missouri Valley Conference, the 15th-rated league in America. Ramblers have been in the MVC for six years, going 27-9 the last two years, after going 27-45 in their first four years, when Wichita State was in the Valley and it was a tougher league (#10 league in 2017).
12) Porter Moser is the Loyola coach who turned St John’s down; he’s been a head coach for 15 years at three schools. Here is his breakdown:
2001-03, Ark-Little Rock: 48-34 overall, 25-19 in Sun Belt games. No trips to NCAA’s.
2004-07, Illinois State: 51-67 overall, 22-50 in MVC games, when both Creighton/Wichita were in the league. No trips to NCAA’s.
2012-present, Loyola: 141-125 overall, 6-28 in Horizon games, then 54-54 in MVC. One trip to NCAA’s.
11) 15 years as a head coach, one time in the NCAA tournament, but it was one great time, An 11-seed in 2018, Loyola made it to the Final Four, with three of their four wins in NCAA’s that year by either one or two points.
Big East was the #5 league this season, after being #2 or #3 the previous four years.
10) Then there is Iona coach Tim Cluess, who is 199-108 in nine years as coach at Iona, which is in New Rochelle. According to Mapquest, Iona/St John’s are 19.1 miles apart. Under Cluess, Iona is 124-46 in MAAC games; they’ve made the NCAA tournament the last four years and six of last eight years.
Cluess also coached D-II ball at CW Post (now LIU Post) for four years, going 98-23.
Cluess played at St John’s from 1979-81; three of his brothers also played at St John’s; he knows the NYC/New Jersey area. Not sure why St John’s didn’t hire him, but Cluess took his name out of the running Thursday.
Update: St John’s hired former UAB/Missouri/Arkansas coach Mike Anderson. His teams will play hard and play fast. He’s never had a losing season (two 16-16 seasons) and won 20+ games in 11 of 17 seasons as a head coach.
Elsewhere in the world……..
9) Chargers are going to wear their powder blue jerseys as their home uniform for the 2019 season, which is a smart decision. I’m wondering how many fans come up from San Diego to Carson for Charger home games now; they move into the Inglewood dome in 2020.
8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers might not be too happy with their 2019 schedule; they go seven weeks without playing a home game, and during those 49 days, they’ll travel a total of 20,378 miles to play in Los Angeles, New Orleans, London, Nashville and Seattle.
They play the Giants at home in Week 3, and then not again until Week 10.
7) USC has already added three grad transfers for next season, all kids who can shoot the 3; they shot 37-40-45% from the arc last year, at Akron-Columbia-San Jose State. Trojans have couple of highly-touted freshman big men coming in- they should be a lot better next season.
6) First seven games at the new ballpark in Las Vegas was 9,744, which amounts to seven sellouts. AAA Aviators are the Oakland A’s farm club.
Old ballpark was downtown, next to the Cashman Center; terrific park to watch a game. New park is in Summerlin, right near the Red Rock Hotel, roughly 14 miles from downtown.
5) LSU told athletic director Joe Alleva take a hike; not sure what this means for basketball coach Will Wade, who was suspended by Alleva but was reinstated last week.
4) Baseball injuries:
— A’s put P Marco Estrada (back) on the IL.
— Phillies put OF Odubel Herrera (hamstring) in the IL.
3) In 2015, there were 104 complete games pitched in the major leagues, only 42 last year.
2) Joey Votto popped out to the first baseman Wednesday night, for the first time in his 6,828 major league plate appearances. He still has never popped out to the catcher or the pitcher.
1) New Jersey Jets do not leave the eastern time zone at all during the 2019 season; they even have three home games in preseason, seeing how the Jets-Giants game is a Giants “home” game.
By way of contrast, LA Rams play four games in eastern time zone, a preseason game in Hawai’i and a regular season game in London. Lot of travel for them.