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St. John’s links: Former coach Steve Lavin possible candidate for Washington; Sima loses coach

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Lavin may be seeking his return to the sidelines.

Marquette v St John's Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images

Former St. John’s coach Steve Lavin has emerged as a candidate for the Washington Huskies vacancy, per The Seattle Times.

Lavin, who left (or was let go from) St. Johns after the 2015 season, has found a comfortable spot in broadcasting. Not only has he been a fixture in the game studio for Fox Sports’ Big East broadcasts, waxing poetic about his former team and other Big East squads - he has also reached national status, gaining a coveted spot broadcasting NCAA Tournament games for the Orlando sessions of this year’s men’s tournament.

That is a comfortable, less-stressful gig than trying to chase down teenagers, convince them to come to play for a University, get them to play at a high, winning level, and dealing with the demands of fans and monied boosters.

Still, many coaches feel that competitive itch. And given the way Lavin ended his St. John’s tenure with some successes, he may want to get back in the game on his native west coast.

And given the number of high-level, well-paid openings out there, Lavin will hear his name pop up. Consider, too, that many coveted coaches will not want to leave for what sometimes feel like very difficult jobs (making Indiana into a perennial national championship, for example) if they have a stable situation in a supportive community.

Oklahoma State coaching change

Speaking of supportive communities, Oklahoma State lost their coach to the University of Illinois job. Brad Underwood, who came off a successful run at Stephen A. Austin, left after a single year to take the Illinois Fighting Illini job after John Groce was let go.

The reasons seem to center around the relationship and salary negotiations between the Athletic Director and the head coach. The HC wanted more money. The AD didn’t want to give it to him. Conveniently, Illinois found a way to message Underwood a salary figure he liked, and Underwood had a new job in a day.

Yankuba Sima left St. John’s after the first semester and has been enjoying himself in Stillwater Oklahoma, waiting for his chance to play ball again.

But he went to join a specific coach for that coach’s pitch.

What now? Does he remain and see who the Oklahoma State Cowboys bring in? That’s always the tough part about college and commitment - it’s hard for a player to know what he’s going to get when he or she gets to the school...