Archive for March, 2011

Buying What Steve Lavin’s Selling?

Posted on March 3, 2011. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Steve Lavin.  St. John’s.  Steve Lavin.  Madison Square Garden.  St. John’s.  And back to Steve Lavin.  Because that’s where it all began for the Red Storm.  We’ve heard a lot about it, right?  You could probably recite the rhetoric and pass a sobriety test. 

“Only one other team in the country has beaten six ranked teams, Texas.  Senior, Dwight Hardy has averaged more than 25 points in his last nine games.  St. John’s will be in the tournament for the first time since 2002.  Steve Lavin has swag.  Want them backwards now?  Officer?”

Steve Lavin Coaching 'Em Up

The new coach has swag.  That’s why New York City’s unexpected favorite sons are winning . . . because they bought in.  All in.  The brand name pedigree of Steve Lavin made the more mature players in the program take notice.  Former Coach with six consecutive NCAA appearances and an overall record of 145-78 at UCLA?  As in John Wooden and Ben Howland UCLA?  Cha CHING.  And if these guys don’t remember him as a coach, they do from watching and listening to Steve Lavin as he was calling the games.  On ESPN.  Cha CHING.

So in addition to the name-dropping power of UCLA, Lavin has the additional ESPN credibility builder.  Add in the age a.k.a. maturity of the players, national coverage of the Big East and mystique of playing in the Garden.  Smack dab in the hub of America’s largest city.  Cha CHING.  Would you like a receipt?  Sounds like a sell to me.  And if you’re still not sure:

Success-starved New York City basketball fans will adore you.

Fans of Big East detractors will adore you too.  America loves the underdog.

You want an opportunity to catch the eye of the Association?  Hello ESPN.

As seniors, this is it.  Not only is it your last chance to impress NBA scouts, it is your last journey wearing that uniform.

WHO’S WITH ME!

Notice that’s not a question.  Because there is NO QUESTION that the AD of St. John’s made the ideal choice.  Even though the program has the 7th most wins in NCAA history (bet you didn’t know that), St. John’s has not been regarded as a top level coaching job lately and their recent history has been anything but pretty:
 

  • Norm Roberts: 32-70 in Big East play, 81-101 overall, one NIT appearance where they were ousted in the first round in 2010.
     
  • Kevin Clark: Named interim coach in 2003 after Mike Jarvis was fired.  His only season was the worst in Red Storm history, 6-21 overall and 1-15 in Big East play, and was highlighted by an on-the-road team sex scandal resulting in school suspensions, expulsions and players kicked off the team.
  • Mike Jarvis: Although he had some success with an overall record of 110-61 and several postseason runs, his coaching staff reportedly paid players, leading to a forfeiting of 43 wins during his time, including the 2002 NCAA appearance and the 2003 NIT Championship.  He was fired amidst these off-the-court scandals.  A black eye on the program.  

Enter former UCLA Head Coach and ESPN Analyst, Steve Lavin. 

Can I bag that up for you?

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