Men’s Basketball notebook

During the 2010-11 season, the St. John’s men’s basketball team beat six ranked teams, had its first 20-win season in 11 years and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.

You can now add “have an All-American” to the program’s list of accomplishments from the past year.

The Red Storm’s sharpshooting senior, Dwight Hardy, was given All-America honorable mention honors by the Associated Press on March 29. BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, Duke’s Nolan Smith, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, Connecticut’s Kemba Walker and Purdue’s JuJuan Johnson were named to the First team.

Hardy averaged 18.3 points in 34.2 minutes for the Red Storm this year, both team high’s. He was named the Big East’s Most Improved Player and earned District II Player of the Year honors by the United States Basketball Writer’s Association after making its All-District team. Hardy was also named a finalist for the Wooden Award.

Hardy and Burrell to compete in State Farm senior events Hardy and teammate Justin Burrell were invited to compete in the State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships on March 31 in Houston, Texas.

The State Farm Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships consist of three eight-player events, the men’s 3-point contest, the women’s 3-point contest and the men’s slam dunk contest. Hardy will compete in the 3-point competition, while Burrell will participate in the slam dunk contest.

Hardy ranked 12th in the Big East with 62 3-pointers and won Big East Player of the Week three times during the season. Burrell was named the Big East’s Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 22.8 minutes this season. Lavin named finalist for Jim Phelan Award St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin was named one of 16 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award on March 23, alongside 2010 award winner Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Billy Donovan (Florida), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Greg Kampe (Oakland), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Stew Morrill (Utah State), Sean Miller (Arizona), Matt Painter (Purdue), Dave Rose (Brigham Young), Bill Self (Kansas) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).

Lavin was named District II Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writer’s Association on March 10.

In his first year with the Red Storm, Lavin led St. John’s to its most wins since 2002-03 and its first NCAA tournament appearance in nine years. Under his watch, the Red Storm finished tied for third in the Big East after finishing 2009-10 in 13th.