Steve Lavin

Steve Lavin will not coach St. John’s vs. Syracuse after death of father

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St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin will not be with his team when the Red Storm take on Syracuse after the passing of his father, Cap, the school announced Sunday afternoon.

Cap Lavin is a member of the University of San Francisco Hall of Fame and played guard for the Dons in the early 1950s. He was honored at halftime of San Francisco’s win over St. John’s on Dec. 4. The San Francisco Chronicle ran a short feature detailing the basketball-centric relationship with his son on the day prior to the ceremony.

The St. John’s coach is reportedly headed back to California and assistant Rico Hines will take over major coaching duties, along with Gene Keady, Tony Chiles, and Darrick Martin.

The Red Storm make a tough trip to the Carrier Dome Sunday and late news broke that the Orange would be welcoming forward James Southerland back into the lineup after the senior won an appeal and was granted his eligibility. If St. John’s is able to pull the upset without Lavin on the sidelines, it will have won seven of its last eight games and tied for fourth in the Big East.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET.

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

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.