Once a former NBA point guard, Darrick Martin stands to become new assistant coach at St. John's. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)
Steve Lavin lost one assistant coach to the NBA. Less than three months later, the St. John's coach has reached into the same professional ranks to name a replacement.
After basketball tactician Mike Dunlap made the jump to the NBA when he was hired off the St. John's bench to lead the Charlotte Bobcats, Lavin is expected to hire Darrick Martin as his successor according to a tweet from Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News. Martin, who was a 13-year NBA veteran after graduating from UCLA soon after Lavin was hired as an assistant to then-Bruins coach Jim Harrick, most recently worked in the front office for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors, two organizations he once played for as well.
In Martin, Lavin gets a young sideline presence that is a stark contrast to the experience and career of Dunlap, but someone whose background is just as attractive. By hiring a former NBA player, Lavin will be reinforcing his track record and belief that he can get a player to the NBA regardless of his coaching record or the player's rank in a recruiting class. Maurice Harkless serves as living proof after the Queens native left the Red Storm after one year under the tutelage of Lavin and Dunlap, and will now be one of the faces of a rebuilding Orlando Magic franchise after the Philadelphia 76ers moved him to Orlando in the four-way trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers shortly after being drafted.
Martin is expected to work with the Red Storm guards in his new capacity, a stable that is led by the team's leading scorer from last season, sophomore sharpshooter D'Angelo Harrison. The new coach will also work with combo guard Phil Greene and Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch in addition to the backcourt players signed in Lavin's recruiting class last spring, a group that includes Felix Balamou and Marco Bourgault.
A Daly Dose Of Hoops will continue to monitor this breaking news, with updates to be posted as soon as they become available.