Steve Lavin says he still has support from St. John’s

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Butler swept the season series with St. John’s with a convincing 85-62 victory on Tuesday night .

In the span of a five weeks, the Johnnies have gone from the top-15 to the bottom half of the Big East standings with a 3-6 record. Steve Lavin took St. John’s to an NCAA tournament in his first season in Queens back in 2011, but hasn’t been back since. Like last season, the Red Storm could be positioning themselves on the wrong side of the bubble come Selection Sunday.

However, Lavin, whose contract runs through next season, isn’t worried about losing support from the university.

“It’s never been an issue. They’ve always been supportive,” Lavin told Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News. “They’ve given us the resources to be successful. So my energy has been on the next recruiting class, the next game. Like most coaches, you focus on things you have control over and the rest kind of takes care of itself.”

“The administration’s been great from start right through to the present,” he added.

Still, Tuesday’s night blowout loss was concerning for a St. John’s team looking for a victory over a ranked opponent. Currently, a pair of wins over Providence and a road win over a Syracuse team at full strength serve as the Red Storm’s best wins.

On Tuesday night, the Red Storm went down early, then showed just how much of an issue their depth is when Chris Obekpa, one of the nation’s best rim protectors and the only true big man in the rotation, was ejected for a Flagrant 2 with 8:27 remaining in the first half.

In the latest College Basketball Talk bracket, St. John’s is projected as a No. 12 seed, playing in the First Four in Dayton. St. John’s still has opportunities to climb up the conference standings and score a marquee win with two games against Georgetown and a regular season finale at Villanova, but with less than a month until March, St. John’s is leaving itself little room for error.

St. John’s hosts Creighton, which defeated the Red Storm on Jan. 28, on Saturday at noon.