Can Lavin maintain his personable approach?

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Steve Lavin is hands-on with his new job at St. John’s.

When his new business cards arrived last month, his personal cell phone number wasn’t included on the card. So he, along with a student manager, hand wrote the number on 300 cards.

He’s also taking the friendly route. He’ll engage in conversation with people on the street and shows off his iPhone pictures.

How long that open approach lasts remains to be seen. This Wall Street Journal story includes those personal anecdotes, then delves into the trickiness that awaits Lavin – when the New York media gets impatient with the Red Storm, how will Lavin handle it?

After all, when Lavin last coached, it was 2003. Twitter and Facebook weren’t around. The blogosphere hadn’t exploded yet. Things were a little bit quieter.

“I think Steve’s going to find out it’s a little harder than it was seven years ago. Talk radio has changed some. Bloggers have changed enormously. All the things that can affect your daily life have changed so much,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo told the paper. “Steve’s a great people guy and he’s very genuine, but the landscape has changed so much. Every little thing can get blown up.”

Lavin doesn’t sound worried. He’s trying to build a buzz around St. John’s and energize his “base.”

“This city is our base. If I can’t talk to people here, I’m not doing my job.”

That sounds good, but if Lavin doesn’t win, that energy probably won’t last.

(H/T: College Hoops Nation Blog)

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.