There is no other way to say it: The St. John’s Red Storm has had a season fans and people directly involved would like to forget.
However, that hasn’t stopped Steve Lavin from backing the program and his players. Despite the suspensions of D’Angelo Harrison (multiple issues) and Sir’Dominic Pointer (throwing punches), Lavin has everyone’s back.
Following quotes are credited to ESPN:
“I wish we had 22 or 23 wins at this time of year and we were blitzing through the Big East,” Lavin said. “I wish we didn’t have the incident at Notre Dame in terms of the fight. I wish my father didn’t die. I wish a lot of things — (that) D’Angelo wasn’t suspended. But in every season, if you’re in teaching or coaching or parenting, expect the unexpected. And it’s how your respond to it and how you move forward.”
“And so the overall direction of the program, as I’ve said all along, I really feel good about. I like where we are, and where we’re headed.”
“When I look at the big picture of where we’re going, the culture we’re establishing, the standards that we expect from our kids — we’re doing the right things,” Lavin said. “And the Notre Dame game was unacceptable, and the fight there was unacceptable, and we don’t condone that — and that’s a valuable lesson as well, as we move forward.”
“We could have offset the loss of Harkless if Sanchez was eligible this year, because they’ve very similar players — matter of fact, Orlando’s probably farther along in his development than Harkless because he’s older, more mature,” Lavin said. “The combination of both losing Harkless early and then not having Orlando’s services this year clearly set us back.”
“Marquette is an example of a program — that’s where we want to be,” Lavin said. “We hope in the next couple of years to get to a point where we can, on an annual basis, be positioned to do special things come March.”
“We think it’s closer than some may realize,” Lavin added. “We’re not that far away in my mind of being a very competitive program on an annual basis. We’ve still got work to do, and we’re not naive to the challenge ahead. But I like where we’re headed.”
What else would you expect Lavin to do here. It is not like he can come out and tell the world that the program stinks. Although, I agree with the majority of his assessments. Lavin is still doing a great job recruiting, his team (when together) plays hard, and the only reason they haven’t been able to gel is because the lineup (including Lavin) is never together for long stretches.
Nobody has gone through more in the last two years than Lavin. Assuming, hoping that the man in charge of the program has no more worldly-obstacles to navigate in his personal live — I think it is safe to say the program will be just fine.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone