Coupled With Loss Of Sampson To NBA Draft, Lavin Has His Work Cut Out For Him

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One impact player leaving early is bad enough, but two? St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin cannot be a happy man right now.

Not after reports surfaced Thursday that shot-blocking force Chris Obekpa is the latest member of the Red Storm to leave the program.

A 6-foot-9 sophomore forward known for his defensive prowess, Obekpa was granted his release and is expected to transfer, SNY reported.

Obekpa is the latest player to fly Lavin’s coup. Sophomore JaKarr Sampson declared for the NBA draft, and sophomore reserve guard/forward Max Hooper was also granted his release from the program not long after the season ended.

The reason for Obekpa’s departure was not immediately known, but it could have something to do with playing time. He logged just two minutes in the Big East Tournament quarterfinal loss to Providence and just 11 minutes in the shocking defeat to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT.

Obekpa averaged 3.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks this past season. Baylor and Oregon have been rumored as his potential landing spots, reported.

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