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Can Mike Anderson Change St. John’s?

Can Mike Anderson Change St. John's?


Anderson has been a long time college coach as an assistant and head coach. He started at his alma mater Tulsa from 1982-1985 as an assistant coach. Then he moved on to Arkansas for a very long time from 1985-2002 having great success. His first head coaching opportunity came at UAB from 2002-2006, where he had great success as well. He accumulated a record of 89-41 making the NCAA tournament three times at UAB. Next, he moved on to Missouri from 2006-2011 going 111-57 ending his last three seasons in the NCAA tournament. Lastly, he went back to his roots at Arkansas from 2011-2019 accumulating a record of 169-102 making three NCAA tournaments with mixed results.


The standard that Anderson brings to a program is very good. He will bring stability to St. John’s, which needs a strong leader for their program. Further, he gets the most out his players as they will compete for every single possession. Next, the guard play of Anderson’s teams is always there and will be a constant for the program. There is the need to be a consistent figure for St. John’s to succeed on a national level and Anderson can bring a steadiness to the program. If there can be a new sense of culture at St. John’s then the next steps can be taken to turn St. John’s around.


Anderson has very good connections throughout the southeast part of the country. Therefore, he must continue to use that pipeline to bring his tough-minded players to St. John’s. Next, the ability to add players in the northeast will be important for building the best roster. Also, utilizing transfers and JUCO players will help significantly developing a complete roster. The ability for Anderson to sell New York City and the toughness to his programs will be vital to success.

Immediate Success

In order for St. John’s to get off to great start Mustapha Heron must elevate his game to the next level. Heron has great physical tools but must improve his overall skill set especially shooting to become a dominant player. Next, LJ Figueroa must continue to develop into a complete player on both ends. Further, pairing Heron and Figueroa in the backcourt will need to become a dynamic duo on both ends. In addition, Eli Wright and Ian Steere must be impactful transfers who will give quality minutes immediately. The tenacious defense and reliable guards will be important for immediate success. Also, Damien Sears will be a big part of making the frontcourt viable. Anderson has pieces in place to have a solid first season to create a pattern of consistency.

Image result for mustapha heron


During his seventeen head coaching seasons, Anderson has never coached a losing season which is remarkable. The ability to get the most out of his players is each season is very impressive. Further, bringing stability to St John’s is key for consistency at a school that needs it. In addition, the returners of Heron and Figueroa will be important to take leadership roles and bring consistent production. Undoubtedly, Anderson gets the most out of his rosters each season and that will bring the most consistency. In addition to this, becoming one of the toughest teams and having great guards will help lead St. John’s to their turnaround.


Now, Anderson is looking to turn St. John’s back into a consistent program who can compete in the Big East. The culture must change, there needs to be a sense of pride and a direct path given by Anderson to turn this around. Mustapha Heron and LJ Figueroa will be the lead players in year one who can help reset St. John’s in the right direction. Next, the new additions of Ian Steere and Damien Stears will be crucial for the success of the frontcourt production. Moreover, recruiting must become a strength of St. John’s bringing in the tough players on the east and south part of the country. Conversely, a culture change needs to be had with program guys coming to St. John’s and players maxing our their potential. Lastly, Mike Anderson has the background of consistency to turn around St. John’s and make them into a consistent winner.


Images Courtesy of, Fayetteville Flyer, Newsday

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