Steve Lavin Expects to Be Extended at St. John's, Says There's a 'Pretty Good Chance' Obekpa & Jordan Return; Craig Randall to Visit | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / June 18.
  • Steve Lavin Expects to Be Extended at St. John’s, Says There’s a ‘Pretty Good Chance’ Obekpa & Jordan Return; Craig Randall to Visit

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    NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-2nd Round-San Diego State vs St. John'sCHARLOTTE, N.C.One day after losing to San Diego State in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said he expects a contract extension and that there’s a “pretty good chance” Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan return next season.

    Lavin just completed Year 5 of a six-year deal and would need an extension to avoid being a lame duck entering next season.

    “We talk all the time [with the administration],” Lavin told reporters. “That’s never been an issue, ever, that’s what’s so funny about that.”

    He added: “In terms of giving it a timeline, that’s never been an issue, but it’s the best contract any coach at this University has ever had….So my focus has never been, hey let’s get a long-term extension. It’s just been continue to do our job and let the university work out their change of leadership. They’ve had three presidents in the last 15, 16 months.

    “It’s not something I’m knocking at their door about. They’ve been good to us, they’ve given us an opportunity to be successful, they’re pleased with our results so that part’s been wonderful.”

    One day after saying he would be surprised if Obekpa — who was suspended two weeks for a violation of team rules — would return, Lavin appeared to reverse course and said both the junior big man and Jordan were likely to return.

    “I also wouldn’t be surprised if [Obekpa’s] back,” Lavin said. “In other words, I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone doesn’t return. You never know, someone might transfer…I think it’s a pretty good chance if everyone returns, but it wouldn’t shock me if someone [left].”

    St. John’s will lose seniors D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Phil Greene IV and Jamal Branch.

    Freshman forward Amar Alibegovic, junior guard Felix Balimou, redshirt sophomore forward Christian Jones and freshman big man Adonis De La Rosa, who sat out this season for academic reasons, all have eligibility remaining.

    St. John’s has three commits in Philadelphia guard Samir Doughty, Louisiana guard Brandon Sampson and Arizona guard Sammy Barnes-Thompkins

    They remain in the final five for Our Savior New American forward Cheick Diallo, a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American who is also considering Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa State and Pitt.

    St. John’s is also recruiting Chicago guard Marcus LoVett, Italian guard Federico Mussini, who will play in the Nike Hoop Summit, and Greek big man Georgios Papagiannis.

    Meantime, Craig Randall, a 6-4 lead guard from Phoenix (AZ) Shadow Mountain, will visit St. John’s soon, his father told

    “We will be setting up the visit,” Craig Randall Sr. said. “Regardless of what happens, St. John’s will remain in play. I think Craig is a good fit.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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