NEW YORK — Let’s face it. This isn’t exactly a Golden Age for New York-area college basketball. Rutgers and Seton Hall are now a combined 6-24 in the Big East after both programs lost again on Saturday. Rutgers has dropped nine of 10, while Seton Hall has lost nine in a row.
“That’s what we’re getting ready for. We’re not worried too far about the other two games. We got Providence next and our full focus is on them right now.” LAVIN DOESN’T REGRET RED-SHIRTING GIFT Given everything that’s happened with the Orlando Sanchez situation, I asked Lavin if he regretted red-shirting forward God’sgift Achiuwa at all. After all, without both Sanchez and Achiuwa this year, the Johnnies were left without some bulk in the middle. “No, not really because the development of this group is going to be advanced,” Lavin said. “And I’m not sure minutes and playing time and how we would’ve distributed things because [Chris] Obekpas’s development is so critical, and JaKarr [Sampson] and Amir and Dom [Pointer]. So I think with this group developing this young team was kind of the goal. “Obviously, we want to go to the Tournament, too. There’s kind of two objectives there. It’s developing this team to try and win enough games this year to go to the Tournament and have some success in the Tournament., but also next year when the majority come back, if not all of them. I think the challenge if we had played Gift, was I don’t think this team’s development would be as far along both now and next year.” Lavin said the goal is still to bring Gift back next season, when the Johnnies will be a year more experienced and perhaps ready for a deep NCAA run. “Yes,” Lavin said. Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And like ZAGS on Facebook