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St. John's basketball updates, mid-August

I don't know if things are changing yet for the Red Storm basketball program - the results play out on the court.

But the offseason scuttlebutt hasn't been a news outlet/ blog wondering if this is the year the head coach gets fired, or penciling in wins against the Red Storm.

Steve Lavin is making the rounds of the media, using his west coast connections to get in the door with elite ballers, and appearing on things like Andy Katz' summer college basketball special.

There are reasons for excitement, even as we wait for the schedule to come out. St. John's has a public profile. Like always; the old-times often talk about St. John's and the glory days - but there is hope that something is brewing in Queens.

Updates below the fold.

- Steve Lavin wants the Red Storm to use the Knicks' locker room - not the auxiliary locker room in Madison Square Garden.

- St. John's will be part of the 24-hour ESPN college basketball kickoff, playing their first game at St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA at 2 AM on November 16th. I will be taking the following day off.

- Foxsports' Jeff Goodman also reports that Gene Keady will join the Red Storm in the administrative/ operations position that Oz Cross had last year.

- Senior guard Paris Horne played a series of games with an American all-star team in Europe against some national teams and professional French squads from August 6-15. The East Coast All-Stars included Notre Dame's Scott Martin and Stony Brook's Bryan Dougher. Good game practice, and some sightseeing to boot!

- There have been some good words from Rivals' Jerry Meyer and Foxsports' Jeff Goodman about the progress Steve Lavin is making in attracting the attention of impact basketball recruits.

- The Red Storm enjoyed unofficial visits from 2012 point guard Jevon Thomas, 2011 shooting guard Philip Greene, and 2011 forward Tyler Harris. LeBryan Nash, a top-10 forward, will come on an official visit on September 3rd (along with Philip Greene for a return visit). Kyle Anderson, 6'8" guard, was impressed by his visit to St. John's and the plan the staff has to move up in the Big East. However, Mike Taylor from Boys and Girls high school, seems to have eliminated St. John's from his list of potential schools.

- Former St. John's commit Davontay Grace commits to Manhattan College - a school more commensurate with his talent level. He might blow up, but from what I have seen and reports I have heard, Manhattan is a good fit.

- A couple of preseason previews from Rush the Court (by Rob at Ballin Is A Habit) and by South Orange Juice (the former GonzoBall). Check them out; I hope to have mine up in the next week.