RELATED LINK: Veteran Pac-10 reporter Jon Wilner, who covered Lavin’s UCLA teams with the Los Angeles Daily News, offered his candid reactions in March after St. John’s hired Lavin
Class of 2011 standout guard Nick Johnson mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that St. John’s is one of his suitors. So did point guard prospect Josiah Turner. LeBryan Nash, the No. 2 small forward prospect in the country for the Class of 2011, also has St. John’s on his list of favorites.
What in the name of Lou Carnesecca is going on? The Red Storm, known as the Redmen when Carnesecca coached the program to the Final Four in 1985, have not been this popular since, well, Carnesecca was around until 1992.
The most interesting aspect about those three showing interest in Steve Lavin’s program: All are from west of the Mississippi — Johnson at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep Academy, Turner at Sacramento High School and Nash at Dallas Lincoln High School. Lavin has also tendered a scholarship offer to Pueblo High School guard Mike Perez, a Class of 2010 prospect who must first qualify academically to sign with the Red Storm.
You remember that old Pace picante sauce commercial in which cowboys look closely at a label on the sauce bottle and discover it is made in New York City. “New York City?” they ask incredulously. Lavin is making some westerners believe New York City has no bounds.