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On Lavin's weak connections to New York City coaches

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John Alber

Yesterday, we wrote about how Steve Lavin's recruiting scrambles hurt the roster and his current team; in truth, the recruiting recently was the equivalent of a student cramming for a semester-ending essay, rather than doing the early research and carefully planning for recruiting.

Many fans also had issue with the lack of local success - and local focus - in recruiting. Steve Lavin's recruiting focused nationally, but left hometown coaches wanting more attention.

No, the talent wasn't great in the city, but Lavin's local recruiting - which could have been the base for role players, starters, and the occasional star - suffered because Lavin's connections to New York City were weak.

The New York Post's piece last night touches on this "Why high school coaches aren’t sad to see Steve Lavin go". The money quotes:

"He was a bit aloof," local talent evaluator Tom Konchalski said. "He should’ve been more visible and visited more gyms and extended his hand."

It rubbed some the wrong way, one coach, speaking anonymously, told The Post. Cardozo coach Ron Naclerio said Lavin never stepped foot in his gym, and his February visit to Christ the King — a national powerhouse that churns out Division I prospects — was his first trip to the Queens school.

"The high school coaches never got to know him," Naclerio said. "I can’t say they didn’t like Lavin, they didn’t know him. He didn’t come around."

Both said he was a "nice man who just never acclimated himself into the local basketball landscape."

The article also mentions this:

...the summer leading up to Whitehead’s senior year St. John’s recruiting efforts on him were tepid. Lavin also failed to land Bronx forward Chris McCullough, losing out to Syracuse. And the staff didn’t show much interest in Whitehead’s Seton Hall teammate, Khadeen Carrington of Brooklyn, who enjoyed a solid freshman season.