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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CBKB: Lavin: NCAAs realistic in 1st St. John's season


RACHEL COHEN
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK Steve Lavin says an NCAA tournament berth is a realistic goal in his first season coaching at St. John's.

The former UCLA coach was formally introduced in his new job at a news conference on Wednesday.

The Red Storm will return all five starters and 94 percent of their scoring from this season's squad, which went 17-16 and lost in the first round of the NIT. Lavin notes that St. John's lost several close games, so he believes with "incremental" improvement among the returning players, the Red Storm could make their first tournament appearance since 2002.

Lavin has been an ESPN analyst since UCLA fired him in 2003. He had a 145-78 record with the Bruins, leading the school to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 five times.

Lavin said he hopes to hire his old boss, former Purdue coach Gene Keady, as an adviser.