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On Air: The Official Blog of WSJU Sports

What would you most likely be doing five weeks into your new job? Probably still figuring out how to use the copy machine and awkwardly trying to hit on that girl from payroll you’ve had your eye on. How about making a move for your boss that is considered the biggest in a decade?

Well, that’s exactly what Steve Lavin has done in his short time at St. John’s. Maybe it’s the Hollywood charm, the ESPN name recognition, or the long track record of churning out NBA-caliber talent, but something allowed Lavin to swoop in at the last minute and steal highly touted forward Dwayne Polee Jr.

Rumored to be the best dunker in high school basketball, Polee’s 40 inch vertical leap should have fans at both Madison Square Garden and Carnesecca Arena on their feet this coming season. After averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds, the Los Angeles Times named him City Player of the Year.

But where does Polee fit into the mix? Other than his near-freakish vertical leap, scouts says he has a solid mid-range game and ability to get to the basket. It seems Lavin understands the pieces he has to work with this year, because Polee fits perfectly into the run-and-gun, athletic style the Red Storm already implement.

There is no doubt that this signing is big, not only for the player St. John’s is getting, but also as an indication of the recruiting weight that Lavin’s name carries. If after only five weeks Lavin was able to swipe a Three-Star prospect all the way from the West Coast, imagine what he’ll be able to do with a year.

Everything Lavin is doing continues to make the hiring look more and more ingenious by the day. Not only did the Red Storm upgrade from former commit Ron Roberts, but it puts them in perfect position for next year, when seven scholarships will open up for the filling.

Lavin continues to surround himself with assistant coaches and personnel that have New York ties, all in an attempt to keep talent in the city. Things are really looking up for this program, all courtesy of the man with the slicked-back hair, Steve Lavin.

St. John’s will try to make one more last-second signing, shifting their attention to another California prospect, French-born forward Remi Barry. Scouts say after as little as two years, Barry could be NBA-ready. SNY’s Adam Zagoria reports that, according to an unnamed AAU coach, St. John’s leads Barry’s other choice, California, in the race for his signature.

-Dan

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