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September 3, 2010
Is the Metro area curse finally over?
Over the last couple of few years, Metropolitan area major D-1 Colleges were unable to secure talent in their own back yards.
It got so bad that top talent from New York and New Jersey fled out-of-state almost as if schools like St. John's and Rutgers were infected with the ebola virus. But has the Grim Reaper finally moved on?
With the commitment of top tier NY player, Maurice Harkless to St. John's on Tuesday, it seemed to signal the potential beginning of a renaissance. And if you thought that was a fluke, the commitments on the following day of Myles Mack to Rutgers sealed the deal, allowing Metro area colleges to once again dare to dream.
One similarity between St. John's and Rutgers is that they both have new regimes; Steve Lavin at St. John's and Mike Rice at Rutgers. Perhaps it's a change in presentation that's making the difference but somehow some way, top players have brought into the idea of rebuilding the area's damaged reputation.
Another variable could be the level of recruitment displayed by Metro area schools over the summer. Lavin and Rice or their assistant coaches, for example, were quite simply everywhere. Lavin even had an assistant coach in Germany to check out talent.
An argument can be made that the curse actually ended when another Metro area school, Seton Hall, secured Fuquan Edwin and Anali Okoloji early on. While these players are not Rivals.com 4-star players, they were still a big get for the metro BIG EAST by another new head coach, Kevin Willard.
All three coaches are selling no false hopes but hard work and the chance to make a difference. As far how successful these Metro area colleges under new management will be, the jury's still. That and what will be the repercussion if programs don't live up to the hype early on. With that being said, no one can deny that recent events have infused a new energy in the area that has the potential to change the dynamic of local college recruitment for years to come.