“This is a year where we’re positioned to do something special.” — Steve Lavin, Sept. 28, 2013

Hype has turned into hot air. St. John’s NCAA Tournament hopes almost certainly hinge on a miraculous week at the Garden in March. The NIT isn’t even a given.

St. John’s, with its one win over a major-conference opponent in nine tries and zero Big East victories in the watered-down league, was supposed to challenge for a league title, compete with the likes of Villanova and Creighton.

Instead, this season has felt like a winter from the underwhelming Norm Roberts era — similar results except with far more talent in a significantly weaker league.

The roster is flooded with top 50-100 talent, players Steve Lavin received credit for landing. Some are beginning to question whether he’s the right man to lead the program into the future.

“The team is not living up to its expectations, and the talent seems better than its been in 10 years,” a source with ties to the program said. “To me, at the end of the day, accountability always falls on senior management, or in this case the coaching staff.”

At Big East media day, St. John’s had four players — Rysheed Jordan (Rookie of the Year), D’Angelo Harrison (first team), JaKarr Sampson (second team) and Chris Obekpa (honorable mention) — honored, two more than any other team.

Lavin used the words “breakthrough” to describe the erratic team’s play in practice the week after an ugly loss at Georgetown Jan. 4 and “dramatic progress” in its play since. Three more Big East losses followed in which St. John’s inability to execute down the stretch cost it wins.

It has been months of excuses from Lavin about new players and trying to find the right combinations, talking around questions by bringing up other struggling programs when asked about his own.

St. John’s, however, has one new player, Jordan. Transfer Max Hooper (Harvard) practiced last year while another transfer Orlando Sanchez (junior college) was out until the spring semester with shoulder surgery.

“It’s not the players — it’s the coaching,” a college coach familiar with St. John’s told The Post.

In the preseason, Lavin said this team wouldn’t jell until mid-to-late January. Then it became February. Lavin has used nine different starting lineups in 18 games, his rotations inconsistent. The Red Storm have often looked like a collection of loose parts unfamiliar with each other, an offense without any direction.

At the moment, St. John’s has no recruits signed for next season, and will have at least three scholarships open up next season. Though Lavin has frequently landed players in the spring, St. John’s hasn’t been directly linked to any prospects unlike past years. New York City has a pair of consensus top-20 players in Chris McCullough and Isaiah Whitehead, who have signed with Syracuse and Seton Hall, respectively. Whitehead’s high school coach, Dwayne “Tiny” Morton, is expected to join the Seton Hall staff.

With 10 players coming back next season, Lavin has talked about focusing on the 2015 class and top recruiter Tony Chiles’ workload has lightened so he can focus on recruiting. Yet over the weekend, St. John’s wasn’t present for the Hoopall Classic, a high-level tournament in Boston that included players the Johnnies have been linked to in the past, continuing a concerning trend.

“Coach Lavin works on recruiting on a daily basis, and he has a proven track record as a recruiter,” St. John’s spokesman Mark Fratto said. “During his tenure with the Red Storm we have had one class rated No. 3, one rated No. 8 and the highest recruit to sign with St. John’s in more than 10 years.”