Steve Lavin spent only 13 minutes on an NCAA interview podium here Wednesday. In the old days, that was scarcely enough to clear his throat. But maybe he's a wiser coach now, a different guy from the one who headed UCLA a lifetime ago.
He's coach of the St. John's team that plays Gonzaga Thursday night here in the NCAA tournament, and though he's coaxed the Johnnies to great heights — six victories over top-25 teams — still, the question nags:
Has he settled on the optimum way to make a living?
"It's been a 23-year magic-carpet ride," he insists, and he meant the whole thing — coaching for Gene Keady at Purdue; getting the UCLA job at 32; charming audiences on ESPN for seven years; and now, scratching the coaching itch again in Queens, N.Y.