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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Is St. John's a sleeping giant?

By Kieran Darcy

Steve Lavin
Is Steve Lavin the right man to lead St. John's to the top of college basketball?
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic had an interesting discussion regarding St. John's basketball on ESPN Radio on Wednesday morning.

"Mike and Mike" began by talking about the UCLA coaching vacancy, and a comment made by ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale:

"I don't think UCLA's a great job. Why? Lakers, Clippers, entertainment, Hollywood. If you don't cut the nets down -- they still live in a John Wooden era -- if you don't cut the nets down, you're a failure. Well if I'm an established guy somewhere, why would I want that?"

That prompted Greenberg to bring up two other storied college basketball programs also in major cities: St. John's and DePaul.

Obviously both those programs have struggled in recent years. And UCLA is not the powerhouse it once was. The question is, can they return to the top of the sport?

Greenberg thinks so -- despite the fact that they have to share the limelight with professional teams. And he thinks the coach is the key:

"Can't the right guy walk into your house and sell New York City? Do you want to live in New York City, do you want to be in the most exciting place in the world, play some of your games in Madison Square Garden, have a chance to be a star on the biggest stage in the world?"

"I consider those basketball programs sleeping giants," Greenberg added. "They just need the right guy -- I hope Steve Lavin is the right guy to do it at St. John's, we'll see. They just need the right guy to come in there and turn that negative into a positive, and I think those could be powerhouse programs."

Take a listen to the podcast, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

My two cents? I too believe St. John's can be a powerhouse again. Can Lavin pull it off? That remains to be seen.