McBroom and Lancona Leaving SLU


Rebuilding a team is tough when your team’s running away.

Austin McBroom, the once highly-praised point guard and leader of the Billikens, will move on to his third collegiate program. McBroom contributed important minutes to last year’s team, and carried high expectations as one of the only returning players. With games of 24 and 26 points in the first 6 games of the season, and then a stand-up performance in the first VCU matchup, McBroom was coming into his own and being the leader the fans expected.

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Behind the scenes, things were very different. Disagreements with the coaching staff plummeted his minutes average, and essentially dropped him out from the rotation. Jim Crews claimed McBroom’s absence was caused by their desire “to be longer in the lineup”, a blatantly false statement. In an earlier article, I called for McBroom to funnel the time he puts into Vine and Instagram into his basketball game. That didn’t happen. He was an excellent player for SLU, but didn’t have a spot in next year’s rotation. An unfortunate situation, but not unexpected nonetheless.

Following McBroom is close friend and fellow Californian Tanner Lancona. I’ve been highly critical of Lancona, and that’s not something I’ll be apologizing about. He never seemed to fit into what Crews tried to run, and couldn’t figure out how to play within the flow. Better for him, and for the program, that he ships off.

Neither have announced their next stop, and we’re still waiting on an official statement from Jim Crews. It’s been rumored (just by Twitter, which is as trustworthy as a Bill Belichick injury report) that McBroom and UCLA may have mutual interest. Set to graduate in May, Austin can take advantage of the graduate school rule, allowing him to play immediately at a university that offers a program not offered here at SLU. Lancona will have to sit out the mandatory year, but still should draw considerable interest. The schools I think best suited for both are any of the UCs: Irvine, Davis, etc.

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Unfortunate as this may be, it needed to happen. Someone needed to throw a glass of water in Jim Crews’ face (metaphorically, although I know there are fans that would line up to do it), and wake him up to the fact that he’s losing the locker room. Couple these departures with the dismissal of Grant Hollander earlier in the season, and Grandy Glaze’s absence from anything team-related after a controversial blog post, Crews can’t feel comfortable. Rumors continue to swirl about other possible departures, with the most talk surrounding Brett Jolly and Miles Reynolds. Across Twitter, SLU players lined up to express their gloom over McBroom’s departure, which could cause future rifts between coaches and athletes. At the end of the day, this team hasn’t and won’t buy in to Crews’ system. And when a system’s broken, you don’t wait for it to fix itself. You eliminate the broken part. If SLU AD Chris May needs help figuring out what’s broke, feel free to send him this article and my email, I can give him a hand.