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Carroll’s Column: Current Coaching Landscape in College Hoops

Image Credit: Big East Conference/NCAA

NEW YORK– This time of the year for College Basketball comes full circle as programs punch their ticket to the NCAA March Madness Tournament with others moving on from their current regimes at the head coaching position. And it goes to show you, the window for success is small. The start of the college basketball postseason was not kind to three well-known college men’s basketball head coaches.

When St. John’s Red Storm guard Posh Alexander’s three-point shot at the buzzer hit the front rim thwarting an upset of the Marquette Golden Eagles at the Big East Tournament this past Thursday, March 9th, you had the feeling it marked the end of the line for head coach Mike Anderson. 

Mike Anderson – Image Credit: NCAA

The next day, St. John’s gave Anderson, who had four years and $10 million left on his contract, the boot. Clearly, the St. John’s University administration, like the Red Storm fan base, was frustrated with the futility of not making it to the Friday of the Big East Tournament for 23 straight years.  

The Red Storm’s best player, center Joel Soriano, had threatened to transfer out of St. John’s if Anderson was no longer the head coach. My guess is Soriano will stay at Utopia Parkway and Union Turnpike if Rick Pitino or another big name is hired to replace Anderson.

Rick Pitino – Image Credit: NCAA

It was ironic Anderson was watching the breaking news on a television set in Madison Square Garden Wednesday that Syracuse Orangemen coach Jim Boeheim was stepping down after 47 years. 

Jim Boeheim – Image Credit: NCAA

The Syracuse administration must have informed Jim Boeheim this would be his last season coaching there barring a miraculous March Madness run. They were hoping Boeheim would take the diplomatic route of saying he was retiring. Boeheim, who is known for not mincing words, made it clear the decision to step down was not his. That was confirmed when Syracuse sent out a press release that same day announcing one of Boeheim’s assistant coaches, Adrian Autry, would be replacing him immediately. 

The least surprising coaching news last week was Georgetown University’s decision to give the ax to the greatest player in its history, Patrick Ewing. For years, Ewing complained about being passed over for NBA head coaching positions. I thought it was because he was known for his surliness with the media. He would be a bit more approachable late in his playing career but it seemed to be a classic case of an athlete learning to say hello when it was time to say goodbye.  Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas went 2-37 in Big East play over the last two seasons. NBA executives knew what they were doing.

Patrick Ewing – Image Credit: NCAA

My former Queens Chronicle colleague, David Russell, pointed out to me how things came full circle for Ewing. “Villanova finished off his Georgetown playing career by beating them in the 1985 NCAA championship game. This year, Villanova finished off his Georgetown coaching career by trouncing them 80-48 in the first round of the Big East Tournament.”

Another irony for Ewing was that his ultimate coaching embarrassment took place at Madison Square Garden, the site of some of his greatest moments as both a college and NBA star. 

Boomer & Gio Inform WFAN Audience – Importance on Mental Health

Last Tuesday, Gregg Giannotti, one half of WFAN’s popular “Boomer & Gio” morning program, was criticized by a caller, “Bill from Connecticut,” for being “soft” for admitting he suffers from anxiety attacks and goes to therapy. He then proceeded to lecture Bill about how there is no shame in discussing mental health. When Boomer Esiason left the studio when Giannotti was informing the audience about his battles with panic attacks, he let him have it as well. Good for Gio.

New York Yankees announce 14th Annual Hope Week: July 3rd-7th

Image Credit: Latino Sports

The New York Yankees announced the 14th annual Hope Week will take place July 3-7. Hope Week is the brainchild of Yankees media relations vice president Jason Zillo, and its mission is to salute individuals and organizations who go beyond the call of duty to help others succeed in life. They do so with little recognition. 

Davis Garcia Press Conference in New York     

Two undefeated boxers who fight in the 140-pound class, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, will meet in a ring showdown at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, April 22nd. The fight will be televised on Showtime Pay-Per-View. 

Image Credit: Showtime Boxing

A press conference to promote the fight took place in Manhattan last Wednesday. It was slated to begin at 12:30pm ET but did not get underway until nearly two hours later without any explanation being given to the media. Gervonta Davis has developed a reputation for tardiness. His handlers had better lecture him about professionalism.

“Amazin Day” on March 25th

“The Mets” vs “the Met” has been an easy wordplay joke in our town for years. On Saturday, March 25, the Mets will team up with both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Opera as part of “Amazin’ Day.” Anyone wearing Mets apparel will be given free admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while some lucky entrants will receive a pair of tickets to attend the March 25 performance of “Lohengrin” at the Metropolitan Opera House.

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“Champions” starring Woody Harrelson 

Woody Harrelson stars as Marcus Maracovich, an assistant coach for the Iowa Stallions, a fictitious minor league pro basketball team, in the new film, “Champions.” Marcus is arrested by the Des Moines Police Department on a DUI charge. He is sentenced to community service with his task being to become the basketball coach of a team comprised of young adults with cognitive impairments. The cranky Marcus is less than thrilled with the assignment, but quickly comes to enjoy working with the players who call themselves “The Friends.” 

Champions – Image Credit: Gold Circle Entertainment

 “Champions” is reminiscent of 2006’s “The Ringer,” which starred Johnny Knoxville, but that is not a bad thing. The film shows how the players can live full lives despite some handicaps. Woody Harrelson, Kaitlin Olson, Cheech Marin, and Ernie Hudson have terrific chemistry and help make this film a fast and fun way to spend two hours. 

“New Girl” reruns on Hulu and Peacock beginning this April

A benefit of the various streaming services is it gives viewers a chance to watch reruns of their favorite shows on demand. “New Girl,” which ran on FOX from 2011 through 2018, will have all 146 of its episodes available on both Hulu and Peacock beginning next month. The series starred Zooey Deschanel.

New York International Restaurant & Foodservice Show

The annual New York International Restaurant & Foodservice Show (NYIRFS) took place last week at Javits Center, and Queens was well-represented. Whitestone’s Clean Air Group was promoting its latest green technology for removing grease and waste from restaurants. Darren Schochner, director of sales for Jamaica-based Bartlett Dairy, is hoping their new distribution center across from JFK on Rockaway Turnpike will be operational by the end of 2023. 

NYIRFS is an opportunity for healthy food and beverage companies to gain attention. Pikl’ed (, based in East Rockaway, dispensed samples of its pickle juice which is a good alternative to sugary sports drinks as it contains electrolytes, fights inflammation, and has no calories. Not Company ( was promoting its dairy-free and nut-free milks which are ideal for those who suffer from food allergies. Soulless Ginger Ale (don’t ask me how it chose its strange name) prides itself as the soft drink for grown-ups as it has real ginger and just a hint of sugar. 

For more information, log onto

Other exhibitors of note at NYIRFS were Red Jacket Orchards whose natural juice products are sold at various farmers markets in Queens, and Hollander syrups (, which you can think of as an upscale competitor to Bosco, and Fox’s U-bet. 

Wines for Passover

The days when Passover wines automatically meant the sweet Manischewitz which were served at seders for generations, are in the rearview mirror. Yes, good old Manischewitz is still quite popular, but there are new sophisticated options such as Herzog Heritage Malbec 2000, and Shiloh Secret Reserve Petite Syrah 2019. Of course, these wines can be enjoyed throughout the year.

You can read more of Lloyd Carroll’s columns posted weekly on The Queens Chronicle.

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