- Kieran Darcy, ESPN Staff Writer
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Lavin will miss his second straight game following the death of his father, Albert "Cap" Lavin, this past weekend.
He left the team Sunday morning, a few hours before St. John's 77-58 loss at Syracuse, after learning of his father's passing. Lavin is in San Francisco with his family.
The coach released a statement on Tuesday, his first public comments since his father's death.
"We are grateful for the heartfelt encouragement, prayers and support received since our father's passing," the statement said. "The thoughtful sentiments and caring messages we received via text, Twitter, email and voicemail from friends, current players, former players, colleagues and college basketball fans have helped to give our family an emotional lift during a challenging time in our lives. Moving forward, it will now be the inspiring memories of my father that will serve as a catalyst to pursue better ways to navigate the 'bittersweet miracle that is life.'"
Assistant coach Rico Hines, who took over in Lavin's place for the Syracuse game, will coach the Red Storm on Thursday night.
"The whole team is really emotional right now," guard Phil Greene said. "We rally around each other and we are just going to have to get through it. We are like family, so we will pick each other up so we are ready to play against Louisville."