Lavin Trying To Fill Johnnies 'Noah's Ark"

Keith BennettCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2010

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 16:  Head Coach Steve Lavin of the UCLA Bruins talks with Assistant Coach Patrick Sandle during the NCAA game against the Arizona State Sun Devils on January 16, 2003 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Arizona State defeated UCLA 75-64.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

 Of all the Division I head basketball coaches who head out on the July recruiting trail, perhaps none faces a more daunting challenge -or bigger potential windfall-than new St. John's coach Steve Lavin. Looking ahead to the 2011-12 season, Lavin has as many as 10 scholarships to hand out. Not 2,4,6, or 8. "It's a situation where I call it the St. John Noah's Ark," Lavin said in a phone interview. "We're going to need two of every position." More than 75 percent of the St. John's roster will turn over after this coming season, when St. John's will feature nine seniors and expects to compete for a spot in the top half of the Big East. St. John has already signed 6-foot-7 Los Angeles foward Dwayne Polee for next season and is involved with 6-7 Frenchman Remi Barry of Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro High, who is also considering UCLA and Arizona State. If Barry does not qualify, as some expect he may not, St. John's could roll that scholarship over to 2011. The first NCAA Division I evaluation period of the month runs July 6-15, and Lavin will begin his journey by driving Tuesday morning to Hoop Group Elite Camp at Albright College in Reading, Pa. Among the players St John's in involved with who will be featured at that camp are Dix Hills (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills guard Tavon Sledge and South Kent (Conn.) fowards Kadeem Jack, Maurice Harkless and Derrick Randall. College coaches are not permitted to commenton recruitable student-athletes, but Lavin says he wants St. John's to recruit not only nationally, but globally.