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Lavin introduced as head coach of St. John's

With legendary coach Lou Carnesecca, school president Father Donald Harrington and a host of other former players and school officials in attendance, St. John's introduced new head coach Steve Lavin at Taffner Field House on Wednesday.

Lavin, who led UCLA to an Elite Eight appearance and four Sweet 16 trips in seven seasons, was quick to praise Carnesecca, Harrington and athletic director Chris Monasch for making it happen.

"There was never a hitch in the process in terms of crossing the finish line," said Lavin, who referred to his hiring as a "pinch-yourself" moment.

The press conference wasn't entirely a love fest as Lavin got down to business in assessing the strength and potential of the program. Lavin has yet to meet with the players individually, but plans to do so over the next couple of weeks. Lavin will also be tasked with putting together a staff.

"This has all the necessary elements to be able to continue and build momentum and have success," Lavin said.

Lavin, who lauded Norm Roberts for laying the foundation, also stressed that fans shouldn't expect the turnaround to be instantaneous.

"The goals are to make the NCAA Tournament," he said. "And they're incremental goals. You're not going to do it overnight."

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