Friday, March 4, 2011

VIDEO: Steve Lavin got ejected

Jeremy Hazell had 31 points and Fuquan Edwin went for 19 as the Pirate knocked off the Johnnies 84-70 at the Prudential Center. The loss really hurts St. John's chances for getting one of the top seeds in the Big East Tournament. If Louisville beats West Virginia and Syracuse can knock off DePaul at home, Steve Lavin's team will end up as the fifth seed.

But that isn't the most exciting part of last night's game. Lavin got himself ejected (h/t bubbaprog):

"I'm not proud at all of the poor display of conduct on the sidelines, and I apologize to our players and St. John's and our fan base and basketball fans at large," Lavin said in the locker room after the game. "I set a bad example."

The Johnnies were unhappy with a lot of calls. The game was chippy, it was physical, and it was everything you would expect out of New York vs. New Jersey. So while Lavin didn't exactly set the best example, he did prove to his players that he has their backs when calls aren't going their way.

That wasn't the end of the nastiness, however.

With less than 10 seconds left, Seton Hall got a steal and Justin Burrell fouled a player going in for a dunk very hard. He was called for an intentional and then thrown out of the game when he glared at the player he had hit after the fact. The two teams had to be separated following the incident.

"I'm very encouraged, not disappointed whatsoever," Lavin said. "My message in the locker room was that ... it's a great wake-up call, like smelling salts or getting punched in the mouth. And that's the beauty of sports -- that if you don't bring it every night, if you don't bring the brass knuckles and the A-level effort, you're gonna get beat."

I've never liked the idea of a team "needing a loss." You can learn just as much from a win as you can from a loss.

But Lavin's reaction to the loss was perfect. His ejection is going to be what folks are talking about (see this post as an example). And he will use it as a teaching point -- 'see what happens when you are too nonchalant?' -- to drive home to his players that they must come to play every single day.

There is no such thing as a good loss. Teams don't "need to lose." In this blogger's humble opinion, that idea is a myth.

But that doesn't mean a coach can't use a loss to drive home a point.

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