New York City Bureau
|Steve Lavin and D'angelo Harrison/rantsports.com|
It appears that the marriage between St. John's coach Steve Lavin and the captain of his basketball team, D'angelo Harrison is heading towards an annulment.
Harrison, the 3rd leading scorer in the Big East was suspended for the remainder of the 2012-13 season by Coach Lavin today. The reason why was the often used phrase in college sports, "Conduct detremental to the team". While they're have been rumblings that Harrison was difficult to coach and late to team functions, Lavin has heaped praise on Harrison this season, while making him the captain of the Red Storm at the beginning of the year.
At his press conference today, Lavin sounded like he had no second thoughts about his decision. "There are times as a coach when you have to send a message that you're acting in the best interests of a young person's future", said Lavin to reporters this afternoon, "He'll (Harrison) be able to earn his way back through a strong spring and summer".
Lavin maintained that is just wasn't one incident that caused him to decide to suspend Harrison. As he continues to build the program he sounded steadfast about what expects from his players. "There is a culture you create in a basketball program through standards and expectations that have to be met", said Lavin. "Every kid is different, but there are certain criteria that are the same for everyone."
It's been a news making week on both good and bad fronts for St. John's. They gained a player with the NCAA reinstating Orlando Sanchez, but now have lost D'Angelo Harrison for the season. It's all speculative what Harrison did to warrant this suspension, but for a young team that is still fighting for a berth in the NCAA Tournament, the short term impact might be devastating. Harrison seemed to be popular with his teammates, was usually the first person to speak to the press after games and was even the player featured on the St. John's avatar on their twitter feed.
There is certainly optimism about St. John's basketball future at this time, but when you bring in a high profile coach like Steve Lavin there's usually some serious growing pains. This may be the first real signal to the college basketball world that it's Coach Lavin's way or the highway at St. John's. What's guaranteed is a player won't change the culture of the program now.