St. John’s hasn’t yet decided what they want to do about head coach Steve Lavin and his future with the team.
The St. John’s Red Storm’s season ended Friday with an NCAA Tournament loss to San Diego State, and with the season over, talk has turned to the future of head coach Steve Lavin. Lavin is entering the final year of his six-year deal with the school, and it’s time to either extend the head coach or let him go.
The New York Post‘s Zach Braziller reports that St. John’s has yet to make a decision on Lavin’s future:
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Lavin has won 60 percent of his games at St. John’s, with an 81-55 record. Lavin took over at St. John’s in 2010, and immediately took the team to a 21-12 record, their best in eight years and the second-biggest year-to-year jump in Big East history. Lavin has also overseen a 38 percent increase in home attendance in his tenure.
Lavin’s tenure since has been filled with high high and low lows. On the one hand, you have the team’s significant improvement when Lavin took over, the high-end prospects he has signed and the three 20-win seasons in four years (he missed almost all of 2011-12 recovering from prostate cancer); on the other hand, Lavin has just one Big East tournament wins, zero NCAA Tournament wins, and several academic problems and other incidents with recruits, including the recent drug suspension of center Chris Obepka, which may have cost them dearly in the tournament.
Either way, the school must make a decision quickly, so as not to jeopardize the recruiting process with uncertainty.
Lavin came to St. John’s after a stint at UCLA; there, he took the Bruins to six straight Sweet Sixteens but was fired after the 2003 season was the first losing year at UCLA in 52 years.
What it really comes down to is whether St. John’s believes they can do better than Lavin. They certainly don’t want a repeat of 2002 through 2010, when the team made zero NCAA Tournament appearances, and had just two winning seasons under Lavin’s predecesor, Norm Roberts. On the other hand, they may have aspirations of winning the Big East and earning high seeds in the NCAA Tournament; things that Lavin just hasn’t proved himself of.
For his part, Lavin sounds confident that he’ll be back. Time will tell whether or not he’s right.
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