Steve Lavin and St. John’s ‘mutually agree’ to part ways

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St. John’s announced on Friday afternoon that Steve Lavin and the university have “mutually agreed” to part ways.

Lavin had been with the program for five seasons.

“Coach Lavin returned high expectations to our men’s basketball program and represented St. John’s in a positive way,” Chris Monasch said in the release. “We appreciate his commitment to the program and to our student-athletes over the past five years. Our student-athletes represented the University well, especially our five-member senior class who excelled on the court, inside the classroom and within the community.”

The Johnnies were 21-12 this past season, going 10-8 in the Big East and reaching the NCAA tournament, where they lost in the opening round to San Diego State.

Expect to see a number of high-profile coaches get in the mix to replace Lavin. Rhode Island head coach Danny Hurley will likely be in the mix, sources told NBCSports.com. Hurley was a storied high school coach in New Jersey before heading to the collegiate ranks. Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello and Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino are two more names to keep in mind, while Chris Mullin will likely get a look as well.

The departure of Lavin has already changed the outlook for St. John’s 2015-16 season. According to Ben Love of Scout.com, four-star Class of 2015 shooting guard Brandon Sampson has re-opened his recruitment from the Red Storm. Since Sampson committed after the November signing period, he has no obligation to stick with St. John’s.