It's only been two days since St. John' and Steve Lavin agreed to part ways, and a lot of action has gone down. DePaul has moved on from Bobby Hurley and Bryce Drew and hired their former head coach, Dave Leitao - the former Connecticut assistant who spent four middling seasons at the University of Virginia before being let go. St. John's doesn't yet seem to have a candidate in front, but it's hard to know what action is going on behind the scenes.
Here's what's happening around St. John's.
- Richard Pitino, Minnesota's head coach, is not interested in the job.
- Danny Hurley, probably the best candidate for the Red Storm in terms of experience, skill and recruiting connections [see our profile], is likely to stay at the University of Rhode Island.
- Louisville coach, the elder Rick Pitino's name has been floated for the St. John's head coaching gig. [Seems unlikely, says this editor, but apparently this rumor has legs.]
- Manhattan coach Steve Masiello [see our profile] is still a strong candidate for the St. John's job, but Hall of Fame alum Chris Mullin, currently a special assistant with the Sacramento Kings, may be the leading candidate.
Is Bobby Hurley going to re-emerge as a candidate? No intel yet, but the fact that Danny Hurley has likely backed off the St. John's job may mean that Bobby is interested; the brothers supposedly do not want to compete for the same job.
Is Chris Mullin a viable candidate - and is he a step backwards? Not likely, though he will need to hire an experienced X's and O's coach (as Lavin did when he hired Mike Dunlap for two years) and a recruiter to help him get in the door locally and nationally.
St. John's returns Amar Alibegovic, Felix Balamou, partial qualifier Adonis Delarosa and walk-ons Myles Stewart and Jay Henderson. Rysheed Jordan and Chris Obekpa are waiting to see what St. John's does with a new coach before making their decisions to stay or leave, though both were strongly rumored to plan to leave after this season.
Next year will be a struggle, no matter what coach is in place for St. John's.