Steve Lavin

St. John’s officially announces hiring of former UCLA/NBA guard Darrick Martin as assistant

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St. John’s has officially hired former UCLA guard Darrick Martin to replace Mike Dunlap on its coaching staff, the school announced Friday.

“I have known Darrick personally for more than 20 years, and our staff is pleased he has chosen to become a member of the Johnnies basketball family,” head coach Steve Lavin said in a statement. “With our current team being one of the youngest in school history, the timing is ideal for Darrick to join forces with our staff to assist in our efforts to return St. John’s to college basketball prominence.”

Martin played his college ball at UCLA before joining the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1994. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, averaging 6.9 points and 2.9 assists per game over the course of his career.

“I am really excited for the opportunity to work with Coach Lavin, our staff and student-athletes,” Martin said in the release. “There is a huge comfort level for me, having played for Coach Lavin and knowing Rico Hines coming in. I have met the staff and I am looking forward to working with this talented roster, and helping the student-athletes develop on and off the court.”

Martin joins the staff after Dunlap left in June to take the head coaching job with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. Dunlap had been with the staff since Lavin took over in Queens in 2010.

Martin, a former point guard, will likely be pegged with helping to develop a young backcourt that includes leading returning scorer D’Angelo Harrison, Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch, who becomes eligible in December, and Chicago native Phil Greene.

The school also announced the promotion of assistants Rico Hines and Tony Chiles within the staff.

“Coach Hines and Coach Chiles are clearly deserving of this promotion,” said Lavin. “From the outset of my tenure at St. John’s, these two talented coaches have been tirelessly working alongside me, and their contributions have been vital to our efforts as we diligently work toward putting the Johnnies in position to be a consistent winner.”

The Red Storm finished last season with an overall record of 13-19, including 6-12 in the Big East. Star forward Moe Harkless has departed for the NBA, having been drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2012 draft.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.