Team preview: St. John's

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 5:25 PM ET
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COACH AND PROGRAM

Norm Roberts knew the challenges would be daunting when he accepted the head-coaching job at St. John's in April.

The Red Storm program didn't just slip. It imploded. And not just on the court.

For decades the unquestioned kings of the New York City hoops scene, St. John's hit rock bottom in 2003-04. That former coach Mike Jarvis couldn't get the best players in town to play for the program had long been evident, a fact underscored by his team's seeming underachievement over the years.

But worse, a pair of scandals, the first involving drugs and the second involving players visiting a Pittsburgh strip club, led to Jarvis' firing in February, making him the first coach in Big East history to be relieved of his duties in mid-season.

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