For the second game in a row, the St. Johns Red Storm will be with out their head coach Steve Lavin as they play the No.12 Louisville Cardinals Thursday night in Louisville, Ky. Lavin lost his father Sunday morning and will be with his family in San Francisco, Cal.
Lavin left the team to assistant coach Rico Hines in Sunday’s game against Syracuse. The Red Storm lost 77-58 even with great play by freshman Jakarr Sampson, who had 21 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Tuesday Lavin released this statement:
We are grateful for the heartfelt encouragement, prayers and support received since our father’s passing. The thoughtful sentiments and caring messages we received via text, Twitter, e-mail and voicemail from friends, current players, former players, colleagues and college basketball fans have helped to give our family an emotional lift during a challenging time in our lives. Moving forward, it will now be the inspiring memories of my father that will serve as a catalyst to pursue better ways to navigate the ‘bittersweetmiracle that is life.’
St. Johns would still be in the Big East Conference hunt if they are able to pull-off the upset against Louisville. They cannot give up 11 steals against Louisville’s pressure defense like they did to Syracuse Sunday.
Louisville really needs this win for confidence. as they lost to Notre Dame Saturday in a hard-fought match that went into five overtimes. The Cardinals are hoping they can take advantage of the home-court advantage.
A St. Johns’ spokesman wasn’t sure when Coach Lavin would return.
Tipoff for the Louisville vs. St. Johns game is 9pm (EST) on ESPN.
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