We should have seen Red Storm rising

Steve Lavin is not the sole cause of St. John's success

Updated: March 10, 2011, 2:01 PM ET
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus
Steve LavinRic Tapia/Icon SMISteve Lavin's been great for St. John's but his biggest contributions may come after this season.

St. John's has reached heights that would have seemed unimaginable just a year ago. Not only is Steve Lavin's team a shoo-in for the NCAA tournament, it also is ranked in the Top 25 and playing late into the week at the Big East tournament. Best of all, the Red Storm are apparently now permitted to travel, step out of bounds and fire the ball into the stands -- all with the refs' blessing. Even LeBron can't say that.

This is pretty heady stuff for a program that entered the season having won just 17 of its last 54 Big East games. But before we book this team for a berth in the Final Four, I have a question. Should we have seen this coming?