St. Johns Red Storm: 5 Potential Steve Lavin Replacements

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Jan 21, 2015; Jamaica, NY, USA; St. John’s Red Storm cheer team during the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s Red Storm won 60-57. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Johns Red Storm was able to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second time in five years under Steve Lavin in 2015. It was their first appearance since 2011, his first with the team. Their potential success as an underdog was torpedoed before the tournament even began, as starting center Chris Obekpa was suspended for a violation of team rules. That left the already tight rotation of the Red Storm extremely short handed, as Sir’Dominic Pointer was the tallest player in the starting lineup at 6-feet-6 inches tall.

With the loss, the Red Storm fell short of the ridiculously high expectations people in the school have for the once storied program. Even with that, there were talks of the Red Storm and Lavin working towards a contract extension, and being extremely close to becoming official. Things must have changed quickly, because Lavin and St. John’s agreed to part ways this past weekend.

That leaves St. John’s in a weird predicament, as the future of Obekpa and scoring guard Rysheed Jordan were already up in the air for different reasons. They were expected to be the building blocks of the Red Storm for next season after this season was senior-laden. Not only could those two now move on, any recruit the Red Storm planned to bring in could decommit. That seems to have happened already, as ESPN Top 100 SG Brandon Sampson re-opened his recruitment with Lavin leaving.

That is a big blow to the program, as whoever takes over as the new head coach could be looking at a serious rebuilding project. With their top recruit seemingly now gone, and their two best players in Obekpa and Jordan possibly leaving for the NBA, there could be very little to work with in Queens next season.

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That could also been seen as a positive for whoever comes in, as they will be afforded some time to rebuild the program. Without any building blocks currently, the new head coach should be given at least 3 recruiting seasons to put something together before any questions are raised about his job security. In addition to that, without many holdovers, they will be able to shape the team and players quicker to their philosophies.

There is no way of sugarcoating it though. St. John’s is not the destination it once was, as it’s location isn’t ideal, and the expectations from higher ups in the school are outrageous compared to what is capable of currently being delivered. Even with that, this program does have some history and with the right person in charge things could turn around. Also, who wouldn’t love coaching some of their games at The Mecca of Basketball, Madison Square Garden.

Who might that person be? Here are five potential replacements St. John’s could bring in for Lavin.

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