Steve Lavin to St. John’s

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Big East, Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , ,

St. John’s University has decided upon a successor for Norm Robets.  ESPN Analyst and former UCLA Bruins Head Coach Steve Lavin, will be announced as the new head coach in a press conference to take place tomorrow.  The Daily News is reporting that Lavin agreed to a six-year deal worth between $9-9.5 million.  During his tenure with UCLA, Lavin compiled a 145-78 record including five Sweet 16 appearances and an Elite 8 appearance.  He also won at least 20 games in all his seasons at UCLA except for one.

As many know, Lavin is a west coast guy.  He lives in Los Angeles, and most of his recruiting ties are out that way.  he is expected to bring in assistants who will help in recruit in New York and Tri-State area.

It is clear that St. John’s was looking for a big time name that would increase there relevance in the competitive New York Media Market and that would stand out to recruits.  After missing on Florida’s Billy Donovan (it would have killed us to see him go to a BIG EAST school other than Providence… and we don’t think he would do that to us anyway), and Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt, the Johnnies landed on Steve Lavin.

We are unsure how this signing will turn out.  We know that St. John’s is returning all five of their starters and 94% of their scoring from a much improved team.  A change of coach with a group of players who have spent three years in another system can always be difficult.  However, in the future, although he is a west coast guy, he may be able to start winning back some of the recruiting battles in the New York City/Northern Jersey areas from the Seton Hall’s, the Villanova’s, and even from the out of conference powers.  It might be difficult at first, but than again it wasn’t too long ago that St. John’s was a national power.

But this is all getting way ahead of ourselves.  Honestly, besides looking at his track record and his resume we don’t have much to go on here, mostly because back in elementary school when Steve Lavin was coaching, we didn’t watch basketball the same way we do now.  Besides clinics and camps, Lavin has been out of the coaching game for a while now; however, he has stayed very close to the college game.  It will be interesting to see how he does in his return to the sideline with a very experienced team and what kind of mark he can make in the St. John’s recruiting scene.  We wish him well (except against the Friars) and hope that maybe he can get the Johnnies back on their feet.

**Also interesting to note that St. John’s has a home-and-home series signed for next season against UCLA.

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