St. John’s ‘enthused by conversations’ with former NBA guard Darrick Martin about assistant job

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In the program’s search for a candidate to replace former assistant Mike Dunlap, St. John’s is “enthused by conversations” with former NBA guard Darrick Martin, a source told NBCSports.com.

Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News reported Monday that the Martin-to-St. John’s deal was done, with other outlets following the lead, but official word is still yet to come.

Martin has ties to the UCLA program, as does Lavin and St. John’ assistant Rico Hines, having played with the Bruins in the early 1990s before beginning a 13-year career in the NBA.

In the NBA, he played for six teams and averaged 6.9 points and 2.9 assists per game.

The final four candidates for the job are Martin, St. Louis assistant Jim Whitesell, De La Salle HS (Calif.) coach Frank Allocco, and St. John’s special assistant Gene Keady.

For a time, Allocco seemed to be the leader, with reports even saying that he was a done deal to join the Red Storm bench back in July.

The vacancy on the bench was created when Dunlap, who joined the St. John’s staff in 2009 when Lavin took over as head coach, left to take the head coaching job with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.

If Martin officially joins the staff in the coming days, he will bring NBA experience that will help in recruiting, as well as developing a young Red Storm backcourt that includes Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch, leading scorer D’Angelo Harrison, and sophomore Phil Greene.

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