Steve Lavin—who had missed the last nine games recovering from prostate cancer surgery— took a place high above the court and watched his St. John's team get thoroughly beaten by Louisville, 73-58, last night at Madison Square Garden.
If the sight of his struggling team in front of the Red Storm head coach wasn't very good, at least he could look sideways and see his beautiful wife Mary Ann Jarou.
While the St. John's (7-7, 1-2) team— one of the youngest in the country— goes through growing pains, it is an encouraging sign to see the second-year coach getting closer to court side.
Lavin spoke to the team during the pre-game shootaround and told them to play "scrappy."
Too bad the players didn't hear the first letter "S" and what Lavin saw on the court last night was ready for the litter box.
The Red Storm players shot 14% (on 5-of-35 FG shooting) and went almost 10 full minutes without a score in the first half.
They were 1-for-27 during a stretch and looked totally out of sync with each other.
Louisville ( 13-2, 1-2) used a zone defense to frustrate the Red Storm— who have six first-year players in their seven-man rotation.
The second half was a little better and, after running off six straight points, got to within, 51-39, with 8:36 left in the game. The rally was short lived and the Cardinals defense manhandled the home team for the rest of the game.
The Red Storm team looked totally demoralized and there was little that Lavin— sitting nine levels up—could do.
"[They are] Young guys that aren't one-and-done type guys and you have to develop them," said Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. "They're going to mentally lose faith. They have some very good young players, but when things don't fall, it can get complicated."
Lavin knows his return to the bench might take some time. He said he was tired after coaching back-to-back games in November and knew he wasn't feeling right and will now let nature take its course.
"I'll be going back on the road to recruit Thursday so this was an opportunity on the calender to attend a game and support the team," Lavin said through a spokesperson. "I will continue a modified schedule with duties that include being at practices, recruiting the 2012 class and attending certain games.
If the Storm keep playing like last night, I would would recommend bringing your actress wife— the view will be better.