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St. John's, Lavin talking contract extension

Steve Lavin hasn't guided St. John's to the tourney since 2011. Nate Shron/Getty Images

St. John's and men's basketball coach Steve Lavin have begun talking about a contract extension for Lavin, the school announced Friday.

"Steve is coming to the end of the fourth year in his initial six-year contract, and it is an appropriate time to discuss an extension," St. John's athletics director Chris Monasch said in a statement. "We have certainly had preliminary talks and look forward to revisiting the matter at the conclusion of the season."

"We are pleased with the progress our basketball program has made. I look forward to being the coach at St. John's for the long term," Lavin said. "At this point, our full attention is on having a strong finish to this season, which in turn will help our recruiting efforts as we move forward."

St. John's (19-11, 9-8 Big East) finishes the regular season Saturday at Marquette (17-13, 9-8), in desperate need of a victory to boost its NCAA tournament chances. The Red Storm sit precariously on the bubble -- currently the sixth-place team on the outside looking in, according to ESPN.com's Bracketology.

With a loss Saturday, St. John's will probably have to advance to the Big East tournament championship game to have any chance of receiving an at-large bid, and that might not even be enough.

Lavin guided the Red Storm to the NCAA tournament in his first season, 2011, but they have fallen short of the Big Dance the past two seasons.