After a week of meetings - while Twitter wars rage and flame wars erupt on message boards among the die-hards, as we conversed about expectations - it seems that Steve Lavin may have the administration's trust enough to earn an extension, one that Lavin had said was in the works all along.
The Sporting News reports that Lavin, the 50-year old coach of St. John's with one more year left on his contract, is in talks to extend that six-year deal.
Steve Lavin has an 81-55 record (59.6% win percentage) at St. John's, with four winning seasons and one season where he sat in the stands, recovering from setbacks in his cancer treatments.
On the upside, there have been two NCAA Tournament bids - one with the #3 ranked or #2 ranked recruiting class he signed in 2011 when they became seniors. The team has been able to compete, especially once the new, pared-down Big East was formed. And Lavin has been a great face for the program, affable in the media, winning over his players, always good for a funny analogy while teaching his players life skills.
On the downside, fans have found the talented team frustrating, often falling short of expectations; and next year's roster is a mystery. Guard Rysheed Jordan and forward Chris Obekpa are eligible to come back, but both had been considering leaving at the end of the season. And both players have struggled with disciplined choices on and off the court.
Returnees include freshman Amar Alibegovic, who earned spot minutes on a team that went six-deep, and a pair of third-year scholarship players who couldn't get off the bench despite the depth problems. And Adonis Delarosa, a large center with a soft touch, should be eligible.
Whichever side of the fence you fall on with the possibility of Lavin's return, take a breath. (Also, it's just basketball.)
The team next season will have struggles no matter who the coach is. One recruit is signed, another two, including a top-50 guard, have verbally committed. But Lavin has spoken positively about his ability to lure at least two players from Europe and a top-10 forward in Cheick Diallo to campus.
St. John's could have, of course, put an end to this drama earlier. But the administration is doing its due diligence, and looking to make a long-term decision.
Will Lavin get his extension? If so, what players will he be able to bring to campus at this late date? How long will the extension be for?