Sunday, December 30, 2007
Of course Rutgers would have more assists if they hit more shots. But to have under 10 assists a game is really a problem. It shows that not only are players missing shots, but there are not many folks passing the rock at the right time.
Anthony farmer leads RU players with 2 assists a game. That's right 2!! I honestly feel this is where Mike Coburn could have helped RU the most.
Seton Hall is just a bit better at around 13 assists a game for the entire team. Harvey leads with 4 a game. I honestly feel he is capable of averaging 6 to 7 assists with a bit more effort.
St. Johns is also at around 13 assists a game. Similar to Seton Hall. Lots in common with those 3 teams.
Not surprisingly Villanova and UConn both average around 18 assists a game.
Maybe it would be safe to say its important to make plays. Good passing guards and shot finishers are very important. SHU has a potential great one in Harvey. But RU and SJU are really lacking in that area. So for kids like JR Inman and Anthony Mason Jr. to score 16 or more is very hard. Ditto Corey Chandler and the big frosh on SJU.
I like the suggestion about changing the name of this blog to what was suggested on the SHU board. Great idea. Just cannot handle the large amount I would have to pay HallDan for the suggestion lol.
One thing that was so clear after watching the games yesterday. THE ATLANTIC 10 IS GOOD!! Did folks watch Dayton and Brian Roberts? Are you kidding me? How was this kid not recruited higher? Well, I guess he went where he was supposed to go. He has really developed into a solid player with NBA possibilities. Heck, I will say he will play in the NBA!!
The Brian Roberts situation shows how you have to recruit kids who can play regardless of rankings. This kid was a 3 star rivals player. Not bad, but not high major either. Attending Dayton has allowed him to develop because he HAS PLAYED.
Speaking of development. I honestly feel Terril Biggs would have been 80% better at a school where he would have played. If he attended Rutgers and played the 4 he would have been very good. Ditto if he attended SHU. Too often kids forget that basketball is a sport they loved because they played. Nothing great and sexy about playing 7 minutes a game. Biggs is the poster boy for what happens when you do not get major minutes. Ditto Lance Thomas. The opposite is JR Inman, and Eugen Harvey. Both have started every game when healthy despite not getting into the NCAA tournament.
What is more important playing the sport you love and being part of a buiding process that might lead to an NCAA birth or sitting the bench on a NCAA team? If you put Biggs and Thomas on RU or SHU both would be significantly better. And I would bet they would be happier.
More on The A10
People need to purchase tickets for the A10 tournament. The semi's should be great with Rhode Island, UMass, Dayton, and Xavier being part of the mix. I mean, the A10 could be tougher on top than the Big east at this point.
Dayton continues to have some of the greatest fans this side of Kentucky. I always heard that Dayton Tickets were often included in divorce settlements. They support the Flyers despite wins and loses.
Is the A10 a mid major conference or a high major conference?
OK gang here is some more controversial material. Coaching Staffs at the 3 local BE teams are significantly different from the programs winning and doing well. Now i do not wish to see anyone lose a job, but staffs locally are not on the same level as others. For example:
West Virginia is surprisng alot of people. But when I saw the West Virginia bench I could not believe what I saw. Huggins has Larry Harris back with him. Larry was a head coach (Hartford), and an Assistant at DePaul, and Cincinnati. Also on the staff is Billy Hahn, ex LaSalle Head Coach and a longtime Assistant to Gary Williams at Maryland. If you think West Virginia is good now, wait until those two guys hit the recruiting trail with Huggins. They will be better than ever before.
Looked at Dayton's bench. Had Anthony Solmon, ex St. Bonnies Head Coach and longtime assistant at various schools including Virginia, and ND.
How about Pitt who added Tommy Harrion to the staff. Jamie Dixon realized he needed a very experienced guy. Tom was head coach at The University of Charleston, and was an assistant at Virginia.
Looked at Arizona and Kevin O'Neal is now part of the staff. Lots of experience and he now is the interim HC.
I can go on and on but I will not do that. But even UNC has the ex HC from Florida State. Mid Majors can have decent staffs, but the larger programs will always need experienced guys to assist the Head Coach.
Watched Rosario who will attend RU next season. HE IS GOOD! This kid will have the same impact as Coutney Chandler. One of the things FHJ is doing besides recruiting Good players is getting tougher kids. I still think a few kids on RU are way to mentally soft for the Big East. They need to think tougher!
Coburn of Rutgers will be a solid BE player in time. But despite what he has done, he looks like a career back-up point based on him not wanting to make plays because he wants to shoot. I really cannot believe he does not realize he needs to be a passing PG and not a shooter. Even if he makes 2 3s in a row.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Lastly where were the programs? There should be a program that covers the games that particular week. Great money maker and helpful to fans.
Mike Davis? Did not play much but from what I saw he still runs the court taking baby steps. Has no one worked with him on this? Nothing worst than a big guy who takes those little steps running the court. But he has alot of potential and as he plays he will get much better. One thing for sure, he is tough.
Laing is a great athlete!! There were a few NBA scouts I spotted in the crowd including Dick McGuire, Even Pickman, and Jerry Powell. They were there to see him, his HS buddy Gaven Grant, Costner, The big freshmen kid on NC State, Eugene Harvey, and others. One mentioned he really likes Laing alot!!!
Harvey is a tremendous player. But is he thinking NBA more than NCAA?
Nutter is better than he looked. Just seems to be trying to be part of the team. he needs to step it up and claim his share of the SHU Pirates. He hurts the team by not being more aggressive offensively.
Here is where folks will have a fit. I think the coaching by Gonzo, as it is with Fred Hill Jr., is good!!! The problem I see is they both need better help on the sidelines. Gonzo, who looks like an animated version Rick Patino with the sharp suits does a good job coaching and encouraging. But in crunch time you need assistance to think situations through. Gonzo has a nice young staff. NC State has an NBA guy as HC, an ex D1 head guy, and 2 career assistants on staff. Remember this is high D1, not St. Francis from Laretto Pa.
Staffing at Arena
My hat is off to Sharpe James for making sure Newark residents got jobs. I heard from one person that part of the agreement was the arena had to hire a certain amount of local people. Nice to see a positive spin on something from the James administration.
Great experience, decent game, great fan potential being in Newark.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Gavin Grant against HS buddy Lang who plays for SHU. How about RU folks upset with the time FHJ spent on Lance Thomas and not get him. Well Louis Orr did the same thing with Brandon Costner. Anyone remember? He was the missing piece according to Orr.
This game is a huge one recruiting wise because its the only game of interest to many in the tri-state area tonight. I am sure the recruits will be out in force. Its a chance to sell recruits based on performance and outcome.
Who wins the game? I honestly feel Seton hall will win based on Guard play and an above average effort from the big folks. I hope to be in the building and watching will allow me to better compare SHU to RU for that future game.
But this is a huge PR game to many!!!
I would love to be in Charlotte NC for the 8th annual Bojangles Shootout sponsored by a local youth group headed up by Dell Curry and others. I think the name is Athletes for Youth or something similar. This great event has some very good local sponsors helping to cover the costs. The field includes Lincoln HS from Brooklyn and St. Benedict's from Newark. If all goes as planned the championship will be those two teams. If this happens I might just fly down for that game enjoy my future home area for a few days.
Who would win that game between two very good teams? Lincoln has great talent and an All American. St. Benedict's has great talent and an All American. Both have good leaders and coaches. Who would I pick as the winner? They both are winners based on the outstanding job that's done each year in the two schools. Both graduate kids and get them into nice colleges. Both are programs and not teams. Both play against the best so they are not running or hiding. So who wins the game? I would think St. Benedict's would win in a close one based on a better presence inside. But Lincoln will fight to the end and those tough Coney Island kids might surprise you.
Nice to see Hackensack HS is doing fine. Scooter Whiting has done so much in the past 15 years to help youth it's a pleasure seeing him getting it done at his old HS. Scooter was a shorter center playing for legendary Bergen County Coach Mel Henderson at Hackensack. All he did was WIN!!! He outplayed bigger, taller, and more talented players all the time. It's no surprise that he is doing well. I am sure Mel Henderson is very proud. I always wondered why a place such as Hackensack, with great facilities and a large student enrollment, did not have a PROGRAM. They won and were well coached in the past, but did not really have a program that sent kids to the D1 level. Teaneck, which is 1 mile away, sent over 7 players to Division 1 over a 4 year period to Hackensacks 1. That will all change now and the Williams kid going to Iona next season is just the start. Scooter understands how to build a program. FYI Scooter is also the Head Football Coach at Hackensack, HS as well. Not sure if any other school in NJ has this arrangement. That would be my only concern in regards to him making Hackensack hoops large.
In New York City it seems Rice HS just keeps rolling along. Now a little history on Rice HS. Rice is located in central Harlem on what was called Lenox Avenue and 124th Street. I know this area well because I grew up 7 blocks away. Just one avenue away (i block really) was where The American Gangster Frank Lucas, who lived in Teaneck, often hung out.
Rice HS when I was growing up was very diverse. Still remember all the different kids from all over NYC and even a few from Westchester getting off the subway at 125th street going to school. They turned out some great teams and players. Still remember the big guy who went on the Georgia from Rice many years ago. Also remember the first great player I ever met from my neighborhood who seemed different off the court based on his great gift of speaking and interacting with people from all walks of life. I could not believe this guy was the same player who made All City in NY (at a time they choose 5 guys city wide as opposed to the 30 or so they do now) 3 years in a row. Yes that person was Dean "The Dream" Meminger who along with Charlie Yelverton (Fordham great) led Rice into the championship with LaSalle Academy who had stars such as John Roach and Tom Owens, who both played at South Carolina for legendary coach Frank McGuire. There were many at Rice that went on to play D1 basketball including Billy Gilbert who now lives in Teaneck, NJ. Billy led the city in scoring and was 1st team All City before attending St. Johns to play for Lou Carnesecca. Billy now runs the Teaneck Biddy Program that has sent very good players to St. Benedict's, Paramus Catholic, and now Patterson Catholic. Though Teaneck is good imagine how good they would be with the players from Teaneck who play for those schools.
Rice continues to be great under Maurice Hicks the current Head Coach. Maurice might have attended Rice, but I am not positive. But he sure coaches there. And does a tremendous job. Maurice first became famous for winning a championship with Brandeis HS of the PSAL many years ago as a young coach who had recently graduated from Loyala of Baltimore. Everyone raved as he did something very unusual. He changed his defense 3 times in one crucial possession that confused the opposing team so much Brandeis stole the crown.
At Rice Maurice has done so well that Nike became a sponsor of the team. Each year they, like St. Patrick's , get new uniforms and lots of sneakers. Only the better teams nationally have real sneaker sponsors. The big 3 in NJ, a few in NY, Oak Hill, etc. Maurice continues to attract kids to Rice despite the fact the gym is the size of a large classroom. They have to find places to practice and play games. Yet, like St. Anthony's, they just continue to win.
Maurice now is the head guy of the NYC Gaucho's from what I understand. Not a coach there, just the administrator of the various programs. Because of this Rice plays games at The gaucho Gym, which when I last visited, was beautiful with the old NY Knicks floor.
No less that 25 D1 kids have played for Maurice Hicks at Rice. He continues to coach and guide his players the correct way while winning championships.
What Happened to Teaneck, Shawnee, Piscataway, Trenton and others who were good?
What happened to these teams? Some say the Catholic Schools are taking all the great young talent. I say ummmmmm! I think in a few cases the coaches seem somewhat burned out. The Teaneck Coach was a great one. He had his team play in NYC during the summer, and ran his club as a program. Teaneck, and the others were household names in NJ Hoops. Teaneck even went to the NJ Group 4 Championship around 6 times in 8 years. But the fire seems gone. I could only imagine how it would be with those kids from Teaneck, which is a small town, who attend Patterson catholic, and St. Benedict's. But than again, years ago kids dreamed about playing for Teaneck. I know my son did. I am sure it was similar at Piscataway when John Celestine played there or Shawnee when they had Malik Allen.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Lets take a look at this situation before we all start playing God and Jury!!!
In our country, which is still the best in the world, we have a saying that a person is innocent until proven guilty. I did not know that we had changed it to guilty until proven innocent! Well that's exactly what alot of folks are doing and continue to do all the time. This is not just about Evans, it's about the way many of us tend to be so high and mighty despite checkered pasts in our own circle of friends and family. How dare fans from a few of the schools recruiting Tyreke Evans to say they do not want him! How does a Catholic University not find compassion for people, especially those not charged or convicted. Even if he becomes accused he is still innocent until found guilty
I guess its about how people/others will view you for taking a kid who was driving his cousin, not his friend, his cousin, and the cousin decided to shoot someone. I am always reminded by many that we have no say who we have in our family. We choose our friends and accept our family. Again we have no say in who we have in our family.
Lets look at this situation a bit closer. A cousin, not a friend, could have requested a ride from Tyreke to the store, a mall, movie, etc. It's his family after all and not just a guy from the hood with a violent rep. So he gives the guy a ride and all hell breaks lose. The question is did he know what was going to happen? Did he know his cousin had a gun on him? I would bet he did not even know!!! So Tyreke innocently gives the cousin a ride without expecting anything to happen. But something does happen and now folks are judging this KID who was only giving his cousin a ride!
I really find it hard to believe that this kid with a great future would intentionally allow anyone in his car with a gun, never mind a person looking for someone to shoot. But again, folks are always looking to exclude based on hearsay and rumors. Funny thing is the school he might have as his first choice will still take him because they would understand that this could be a good kid in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I hope Tyreke looks at all of this as a learning lesson and realizes how shallow many people are. Who are any of us to say we do not want someone based on what a family member does. This would be like folks at North Carolina not wanting Danny Green based on what could be phony charges against his dad. Hell there are a few kids I know of in the BE right now who have a reputation as scramblers. And if you do not know what that is check out the new season of The Wire on HBO. Heck, there were even folks thought to be Kingpins who played in the New jersey Athletic Conference.
If Tyreke had a gun, shot someone, or was CONVICTED of being an accomplice, I would understand the various colleges who are saying they do not want him. But until than it is so short sided and short minded to even make statements such as those without any evidence he was part of the actual act.
It's almost like you and your wife having dinner with your cousin and his wife. Just a casual dinner date. All of a sudden an argument breaks out and your cousin takes out a gun you knew nothing about and shoots the person he was arguing with. Should you pay a price for your cousin?
This is a great way to help Tyreke choose where he will attend and get a better feeling of who his true friends and supporters are. And trust me when I tell you, alot of schools not on his list are calling now to show support while sneaking back into his recruiting picture.
Now on another note, what's the deal with the fancy SUV? Chester Pa.? UMMMMMMMM. That sounds interesting to say the least!!
- A better selection of college games on TV
- A big 5 type set-up for NY and NJ area teams played each season
- A BE vs ? showcase for charity at the new Pru Center
- The return of a real Golden Hoops Tournament at Columbia University
- A national level HS tournament in the NYC area spread over 4 days similar to old Doc Turner tournament in Harlem NY
- Patience for at least this year by area college fans and Alumni
- A speedy Recovery for Dick Vitale
- The fans to return to UConn games
- More fans to show up at Rutgers games
- Fans to support SHU better than 6-7000
- Less cheating in college basketball
- Fair enforcement of college basketball rules
Monday, December 24, 2007
Travel and AAU Teams
Another day in hoops has gone by and I continue to think about great guys who seem always ready to assist kids. Guys like Rich Leary, Brian Crawford, Ed Butler, Jim Salmon, Gary Charles, Stearling Nunley, Herman Snyder (Teaneck, NJ) and Jim Couch. These guys often take hits concerning their intent, etc. What folks do not realize is these guys do alot to help our youth because they care and want to make a difference. But the attacks always come, and they continue to go on like the energised bunny.
I am sure there are more like them all over the NY Tri-State area. I should take time to acknowledge teams that continue to assist area youth. Teams such as the Gaucho's, Riverside, Metro Hawks, Dyckman, NJ Allstars, Newark Rams, Playez, New Heights, Westchester Hawks, and LI Lightening. In addition to having teams, many of these programs provide free SAT assistance, career advice, and even "REAL" Prep School referrals. In fact, New heights does an outstanding job placing young people at some of the top prep schools in America. Schools that send students to the best colleges and universities in America.
Also to all the teams and people not mentioned, I should also say thanks for the great work you do, even if it goes un-noticed at this time. I am sure you are making a real difference.
The Panthers Travel Team
One of the real elite travel programs in the NY and NJ area is the Panthers. They were not always one of the top teams. here is a brief story of how they became a major player on the travel and AAU team circuit.
The Panthers are run by a great guy named Gary Charles. Gary is a systems VP by day at a large NYC bank. Gary takes lots of hits from folks who do not even know him. But he continues to pay for most of his teams expenses from his own pocket because he loves the game and assisting kids. It could be ego, as it is with many. But if it is, it's OK because the end result is what really counts and he is a genuinely great guy!
Gary started his program many years ago in the Roosevelt LI area he lived. It was nowhere near the strong program it is now. I remember watching Gary and his team in small tournaments around NYC because he always arrived from work and coached with suits on. It was a really odd sight watching this little guy with the hat and suit on coaching. But he did his thing and even though they lost alot, he kept bringing teams to play.
As time went on, he became involved with a few folks who provided some advice and even steered a few players his way. He started to win a few more games than usual. All of a sudden many of the LI kids wanted to play because of the exposure his teams received playing around NYC.
Fast forward a bit and Gary now is taking a team to Las Vegas for the annual Biog-Time tournament. This is a huge event with the top teams being wined and dined by the sneaker companies with great hotels and athletic gear. Gary had none of this. They scrapped the money together and made the trip. They stayed in a small Motel near Las Vegas to save money and just played the games and left. Right around that time Sonny Vaccaro was seeking a good person to work with him on the grass roots level. Gary's name and team came up. They met, and Gary went out to proof his team was worthy of sponsorship.
Gary received a little sponsor money initially in the form of limited gear. He still, and continues to this day, paid alot of the bills. But he was starting to attract better players. Players knew Gary would make calls for them and assist them in getting into a D1, D2, or D3 school. And he often did! One player in particular he begged FDU to take. The Assistant at that time Rob Holford, was a good friend of Gary's. Rob also wanted the kid at FDU. But Tom Green, a great Coach and a real gentleman, made one of his greatest errors by turning the kid down. Those who follow the NBA should know the kid as Rob James. Fred Hill, current RU HC should also remember this because he was also on the FDU staff at the time. Rob is now a millionaire with quite an impressive NBA resume.
But Gary's real break came when he did a home visit with Lamar Odom. who was a Freshmen at Christ The King HS at the time. Yes AAU and Travel teams do home visits believe it or not. Lamar has an Aunt who is a brilliant educator. She called all the shots. She liked what she heard and Lamar became a Panther for summer travel when school was out. This was huge because Lamar attracted other kids and gave Gary more credibility. My son happened to play on a local team in NJ called the NJ Jayhawks. Nice little team. but no exposure and just a bunch of solid D3 type guys looking to run and gun. Though my son was a fixture at Rich Leary workouts and even played some with him, he changed to the panthers and playing with Lamar, he looked 10 times better than he was. Lamar was that good and unselfish. They were all young, but 12 out of the total 12 on the team went high D1 for college, even though a few transferred to mid major schools later on. Its all about exposure and playing with good players (see NJ All stars as example).
Fast forward and now Gary goes to Vegas and he stays at the finest hotels with his team. They have better uniforms and sneakers than most HS teams. Gary himself stays in a suite fit for a King as does other top AAU and travel team coaches. Later Gary is put on the staff of the prestigious ABCD camp. Than he becomes a Co-Director and does a great job. He has had no fewer than 100 high major players in his program.
Gary still has the NY Panthers, but also is the President of Grass Roots basketball USA
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Seton Hall Wins!
A win is a win is a win is a win as my old playground coach Leroy Otis use to say when we won games in the Harlem NY Basketball League. Same thing my HS coach Abe Heyman said believe it or not. Of course you want to win in convincing fashion but sometimes it does not happen that way. So you take the W and start to prepare for the next game.
SHU won on Saturday in overtime because they are working hard and play tough when they have to. Please see the picture of Mr., yes MR., Gause on the dictionary next to the word tough! This is why some teams win the close games. Think Harvey and Lang are not tough? They are very tough as are many other SHU kids. I still say it's important to have a good amount of tough kids on your team to supplement finesse kids if you know what I mean.
I think everyone has games against comp they should run over but the game is closer than imagined. The trick is to take the game by any means possible. SHU could have easily lost Saturdays game but the team toughness got them the win.
Still looking at that attendance and shaking my head. 6000? What are they doing to attract fans. They should be giving away 6000 to local youth and Sr. adult programs. Where are the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. They should never have under 10,000. The product is too good for that! This is not a Bobby G thing. It's a SHU marketing and Adm. issue.
I have said it many times. Teams have to create and grow fan bases. get them young and make them look look forward to games.
Folks still upset over the Rider Win. Yes Rider Win, because everyone I spoke to said Rider did not play over their head. They said Rider played so so and won. Not a case of a team coming in and just playing a great game.
Lots of people questioning The RU Coaching staff. Some say FHJ needs an experienced HC to sit next to him. I remember writing on the RU board when he was hired, that I hoped he would bring Tom Green from FDU with him as a coach. Tom has great coaching know how and would be a true asset to FHJ. But I am sure FHJ has his reasons for the staff he has. Hopefully it will work out.
I get on JR Inman as much as anyone. But for a few posters on the RU board to push players as being more important than him is insane. And I could care less that they are doing this in frustration after a few poor performances. JR is still the leading scorer, leading rebounder, plays big minutes. plays out of position, takes the ball out on opposing made shots which takes him out as a first pass option, and never complains. Now all of a sudden if a kid scores some points he is the most improved on the team. Go figure! Fans need to really watch the season as opposed to a few games.
I am still disappointed in JR's lack of leadership verbally and playing/shooting wise. How does Griffin take more shots than your leading scorer? Again when JR gets some ..... this will not happen.
RU guys can applaud all they wish but Coburn is a career back-up. He would have to make a serious turn around to be anything else. Nice little player who plays at one speed and seems to be trying to compete with Chandler for making things happen. ALL HE HAS TO DO IS BE A PASSING PG!! He makes Farmer look special and needed.
Again I say the big fella can be very good. I would bet there are a few NBA teams watching his development closely. He plays with a fire, and competes hard as he runs the floor well. This kid could be an NBA Player one day.
Everyone agrees Chandler has talent. I truly believe in him despite not being blown away when I saw him in HS. But he has made me a believer. My only problem with him, and maybe it's not really a problem, is he seems a bit out to get his and does not have a complete game yet. But again he is a Freshmen. I would love to see him make some great plays and develop into a scoring PG. Just my Opinion.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Or should I say Rider beats Rutgers? It seems like it is the later! What more can be said? I still would like to see Jeron Griffin have a better defined role. Its not that he cannot play the game. He is playing it wrong in my opinion. He is not a distance shooter at this time. STOP!!!!!
I see a few folks are getting upset with FHJ. Nothing unusual here. Most new Coaches building programs go through this. Look back at careers of Dean Smith, Coach K, and even Lou Carnesecca.
I do wish Jeron Griffin WOULD JUST STOP!!! He is a good ball player who just needs to play his role. He in no way should betaking more shots than JR Inman. But JR is partially to blame here.
JR Inman needs to make himself available for passes and shots. Shots on RU should come in this order: JR, Chandler, Farmer, The Big Fella, Griffin. But until JR gets the &^&^% to step up and demand to let the offense go through him, it will never happen.
Sometimes when a kid does not look to shoot, he HURTS HIS TEAM.
I spoke with JR and mentioned to him it will all come together when he rebounds the basketball. I still question JR taking the ball out on opposing team scores. He than becomes the trailer the guards are not good enough to recognize. Thus, he should be up the court already waiting for first pass and 3rd pass for scoring attempts.
Seton Hall Game
I know it is sexy to play in a large arena but why is SHU playing certain games off campus. Games like today deserve to be at Walsh in front of a full house right on top of the opposing teams bench. Save the Pru dates for Big East and other high D1 teams. This would be great especially if they gut the current stands and put in some nice seating. Make it a hard ticket to get. JMHO.
The game today could be a close one. But the difference between SHU and RU is street toughness and a GREAT POINT GUARD who can lead. If the real Eugene Harvey shows up, SHU is dangerous.
I still feel Gonzo is perfect for SHU. He is North Jersey (Though he is from Binghamton NY) and NY all the way. You could see him in a Midwestern airport and know he is on his way to Newark, Kennedy Airport.
It would be great to see a SHU, RU, SJU triple header at the Pru Center against 3 Conference USA teams next season. At least a double header with SHU and RU participating!! For a NJ Charity. Maybe the Team Walker Foundation, etc.
I heard from a certain person who knows a certain person, related to a certain person that a certain high profile HS senior might not attend college in the Midwest next season. maybe he will attend..........................
I hear Norm is not going anywhere!!! But we all knew that.
I hear certain players are considering transfers back to home area schools. Just a rumor but it has some bite. I am still checking this out.
Friday, December 21, 2007
What if Lance Thomas had signed with Rutgers or SHU?
What if Brian Zoubek had stayed home to play college basketball?
What if Terell Biggs had chosen Rutgers?
I bring this up on the heels of last nights game at Madison Square Garden. It was the atmosphere I remember from years ago. It was the old Garden on 50th street and 8th avenue. It was St. Johns vs Georgetown and the player we hated at the time, Patrick Ewing. It was also the Rutgers Team with Phil Sellers pulling up to the garden on two NJ buses with Tom Young, and Art Perry, leading them into the building that was filled to the rafters. I still remember the RU Rah Rah chant. It was a special time.
My question is will NYC area basketball ever get back to what it was> I always say if St. Johns, Rutgers, and SHU are strong along with Villanova, and UConn, every local kid minus a few would be interested in going to school in this area. Last night we saw two teams from outside the NY Metro area sell the Garden out. Most recruits who were there want that atmosphere. Most will have Pitt and Duke on a list if they are recruited by those schools.
Back to the three players mentioned. lance will be so successful in life. NBA bound? Not so sure but I do think he could get an NBA office job and rise through the ranks if nothing else with that Duke degree. Kid is a winner but on that level he is just a role player. Wonder if he wishes he had chosen RU?
Brian Zoubek? This kid was a great HS player who never even considered local schools. He would great at Bucknell. I hope it works out for him but as we all know, Duke is HS All American Headquarters.
Terrell Biggs was at one time the number 1 rated 8th grader in America by Hoop Scoop. I still remember his wonderful Grandfather taking him around. What a wonderful and personable man he was. Think Terrell will stick it out and complete his career as a role player at Pitt? Or will he take his game to a place like Iona College?
Speaking of performers: Dejuan Blair is a spitting image of Elton Branch. They even look like they could be related. That kid is special. I wonder what his rating was from the so called experts?
Saw Miami won again last night. Attendance was around 2000 plus. Are you kidding me? Whats with that program? Where is everyone? Maybe they need Justin Timberlake to perform at half-time. I still cannot figure out why kids go there. It must be the weather, beaches, girls, and parties given by Luke.
LIU beats St. Peter. Does that mean LIU could beat Rutgers? I doubt it! In fact, I would bet if Rutgers played St. Peters 6 more times Rutgers would win 6 out of 6. They would also beat LIU 6 out of 6 times. Sometimes you just have games you should win go in a different direction.
Speaking about losing doi anyone see that South Carolina Upstate beat SMU? South Carolina Upstate? What is that? Do they have a gym and campus? Is it like the University of Phoenix? Maybe the game was played on-line.
Look out for a few entries on local travel team programs and how they got started, etc. I will start with The Long Island Panthers and Gary Charles, the best dressed guy in travel team coaching.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Interesting how fans can love a coach one day and hate him the next. I eagerly wait for a fan to dislike a coach because he cheated to win, or hurt a kid based on politics. I agree that winning is the name of the game, but it takes time. You know whats on your team. You know whats needed. It takes 2 years to produce a winning team via crooked recruiting, taking players just to get over the hump, etc. IT TAKES at least 5 YEARS TO PRODUCE A WINNING PROGRAM!!!! And the best way to start this is by beating 90-95% of the teams you are supposed to beat, and stealing games against those who are clearly more talented. Just as the mid majors want to steal one from the big boys.
I found an interesting web site on the Seton Hall Board called Statsheet.com What a great board. I tested it using my son and sure enough he came up with his 4 year stats from years ago. It is a great resource for everyone. Even though they had my son down as starting 8 games when he started every game for close to 3 seasons . But its a great site and thanks again to the SHU board for posting about it.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
In the future I want to do much more inside stuff without hurting or being too hard on kids. I might have been a bit too hard on a few of the RU kid, especially JR, but that's because I want them to do well so bad. I also want SHU to do well. I am so psyched about attending a SHU game at the Pru Center!! I really look forward to doing that. Believe it or not it's only 55 minutes from my Pa. residence. I plan on being in the house for the NC State Game. I am even looking forward to the food concessions.
I would love folks to just put which school they cheer for when they visit. Just do it once. Thanks
To the fan who joked that I was pushing Mike Davis to RU and Craig Carter/FHJ. You are so wrong based on one thing. I have not spoken to Mike Davis since he was in 8th grade heading to 9th grade and he came to ABCD Camp with Gary Syms (sp) who was his advisor/counselor at the time. Mike Davis does not even know me! And BC must mean Brent Carter. Well I do talk to him and I think he is OUTSTANDING as is his older brother and my former player Craig Carter. But trust me the next kid I will push in any direction is Logan, my soon to be 6 ft 9-6 ft 11 Grandson lol. Hopefully I will be around for that. I know the college recruiter cannot wait. Especially the bad ones. But again, Logan is dancing so much he could be the worlds tallest background singer and dancer.
I see someone put Rodney Parkers Funeral Arrangements on the blog. Thanks a million because this guy was special in a great way. He was from a time when PSAL basketball in NYC was the best. Its getting close to that again with Lincoln, Cardoza, and others. But years ago it was sell outs at the Garden and NJ kids looked across the river in awe thinking about NYC Hoops.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Rodney nurtured many kids including Albert King, who often stayed at Rodney's home to get away from all the college coaches who were calling him. I still remember Rodney telling me about some kid named Smush. Of course that turned out to be Smush Parker, current NBA player.
Rodney was a fixture at high profile games and the ABCD and other camps. He will be GREATLY Missed. Rest in peach Rodney. And enjoy the free season ticket to any game you wish to see.
Speaking of special has anyone caught Danny Jannings from Northeastern? Might be one of the top 5 shooters in America. What about the Bitee kid at Rhode Island? How about Jim Barons son? Both are serious ballers and getting it done in Kingston. Heck, I might go to Kingston RI this winter over Kingston Jamaica.
Underrated teams? try Georgia Southern!!! Talk about getting a home job. Did anyone see them against Florida? They outplayed the overrated gators all game long despite being cheated like the Indians were at Plymouth Rock. They scored more field goals but had 1/4 the free throws taken by Florida. Watch that team in the future. A bunch of kids just balling!
All of this proves what many are now saying, rankings are great for a trophy case display, but after the top tier it means nothing. As I have said in the past, Stevie Wonder could see OJ, Beasly, and others were good. Just as he could see Billy walker was more athlete than player if he looked hard. Rankings mean nothing once freshmen year starts.
Spoke with my guy Larry Gilman today. He read this blog and wants to contribute. In fact he gave me alot of what was written in this post. Talk about understanding the game? he should as the ex USF Asst. That recruited their entire team when they were number 1 in the country. He has some great stories I will share with you in the future. The first one will be about he and Denny Crum getting into a fight over a player. And if you think Denny, John Wooden, and others were not tough guys, stay tuned.
Lots of teams who should win big are getting played tough and close. And even in the big wins score wise, a number of stars are scoring much less despite playing 25 minutes or so.
I am looking forward to attending my first game at the new Prudential Center in Newark.
To 92shugrad, how could I forget the very first recruiting question concerning my grandson Logan. Just think what I will be like. Will I be that crazy guy I was when my son played? I better not!!!! Maybe I will be like Uncle Monte and let the thing go on and on and on and on! In other wards just enjoy the attention. I wonder what he feels when he walks into the gym these days? In all honesty I feel he was really just looking out for his Nephew. Nothing wrong with that.
I will most likely have my Grand sons list cut down to 25 schools by 3rd grade since they now rank 3rd graders. But in the end we most likely will have a reality show on VH1 But the real best thing to do is have a coach like Danny Hurley coach your kid and allow him to handle the recruitment process. But the way my Grandson moves to music, he might be a 6 ft 11 background dancer or singer lol. (I did not say lololololol).
Monday, December 17, 2007
I am now a bit more calm after watching the Varsity vs freshmen team scrimmage last night. I looked forward to that game for a whole week. However, I still feel Coburn is a career back-up (10-15 min a game guy), Griffin does not know how to play and teams leave him kind of open hoping he will shoot. A very good bench guy. I am not as impressed with farmer as I was in the past. He is playing OK, but he is just out there. This kid is a 3 year starter in the dog gone Big East!! He should be on draft lists if he developed as he should have.
JR, oh my guy JR!!! He knows I will reach out to him. He and I talk about commitment and what it takes to excel. It starts with effort and heart. JR is so talented it makes me sick when he does not compete better. As I told him in the past, if he wants to play after college he will hate himself while riding the commuter bus from his parents home to work in NYC. If he does not care, like my son who was not as talented as JR, but really just played to play, it will all be ok. By the way my son did play D1 ball but now is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has done more than I have ever don so I am very proud. Plus Logan, my grand son might be 6 ft 11 and love the game. Right now he is singing and dancing at 4 months old lol (sorry). JR this is a great test for you. Will you go into a shell or keep your head up and get better from the experience. You know you have great money making potential but if you do not mentally step it up, you will be a tall guy on the bus until you make partner, etc.
Chandler is very good with NBA potential. One negative that I wish JR had is he is some what selfish but most stars are! But boy does he have the right skills and desire to be GREAT!! I would put him against any frosh guard in the country!!
Harmady (sp) might be an NBA prospect. he is that good. Runs, jumps, and has that "glad to be in America" attitude. I am telling you if he grew up in Queens with his athletic ability, he would be punching guys out for not getting him the ball. But that's why he is special. He just plays!!!
Byron oh Byron!!! He just has never gotten a break based on injuries, I remember watching him in HS, and folks forget how highly recruited he was. Nelson? Nice little guard who could have stolen minutes if he passed more.
Assists? Am I missing something? Who is making plays?
Fred Hill Jr. I like what I see. This guy will get it done and will become a better coach every game. I love the way he encourages the players. I love his patience. I love how he taught the last 10 minutes. And I loved the way he coached. He knows what he has. He will be in the post season next season. Year after that, it could be NCAA's.
I cannot believe folks are calling for Norm to go. It takes time! I think he is getting good players he just needs a few more. Plus Calipari is not going to SJU and the Hofstra Coach is right where he belongs. Trust me!!!
HS Games at SHU
I am still snowed in my home. Because I live on a lake, the ice froze solid and caused me to miss some great HS games and schmoozing with a few local fans. I am so pissed off. I can taste the Cluck U wings as I type. I guess I will now have to catch some other games as well as the Prime Time Shootout.
Well at least that was a great moment for one of the all-time great fans in the entire BE. Everyone knows Brian and his passion for Rutgers basketball. Congratulations to him and his lovely Fiance!!! Now what happens when the first born son signs with Seton Hall or St. Johns??? Just kidding.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Unfortunately this game was like a Varsity against Freshmen team scrimmage. RU will eventually play NC better. I feel this will happen as early as next season with the new freshmen and Griffin and Farmer coming off the bench. Of course Coburn will be with them.
Going into the BE season it will not hurt to get Pettis into the starting line-up. At least he understands his role.
Not upset with JR's newspaper comment. I like the confidence. JUST BACK IT UP EFFORT WISE!!!!!!!! Not scoring, EFFORT!!! How in the hec k do you make such a statement and not even look to score the first half. THEY THUGGED JR and Griffin all game!
Can someone tell me why RU never involves the big fella in the offense? Kid is an athletic stud! Run the ball his way sometime. I am telling you this. If he was Americanized with his athletic ability, there would be fights in the locker room between him and the RU Guards who according to at least 2 NBA guys, have no clue how to play minus Chandler. And even he has not met a shot he does not like.
I wish FHJ would take Griffin and JR into his lab and do a personalty transplant. damn JR is sickening!! We all know he is skilled and talented but still lacks mental toughness and the quest to be a STAR.
I will not even entertain comments about FHJ as a Coach. What more can he do. Farmer, Griff, and even JR, have let him down. FHJ continues to encourage and teach. Often its not the most talented players that win for you. Its the ones with toughness.
FHJ used the last 10 minutes to teach. RU looked much better. But even if John Wooden coached RU, the final score would have been close to the same. Toughness is the difference in some teams. SHU has tough kids which helps them. RU has nice suburban kids it seems. NC has tough middle class kids and some other types thrown in the mix.
Rest of Season. Play to win and develop. It should be about Corey Chandler because JR refuses to be a star. And that's with effort more than scoring. And why is he always taking the ball out? He needs to be up court waiting to be the first option on offense.
Whats the deal with the guards especially Farmer and Nelson. I give a pass to Coburn although think he is a career role player based on inexperience,
I also think someone should inform Coburn that its ok to go right back to the wing as opposed to ALWAYS just going reverse or opposite. He will be fine in time but at this time he needs to watch a bit more until he learns he is there to pass and make plays.
Back to JR Inman. I hate to say it again but JR is mentally too SOFT! He might be the most talented player but mentally he does not understand what it takes to be a star unlike Chandler who is, acts, and plays like the star he is. JR is not Even involved ON NATIONAL TV. And its his fault nt FHJ. Scoring 26 against weak comp does not count. But he is a great kid and will get a great job after graduating with a good company. Looking forward to seeing him in business league in NYC one day.
Carolina is good and they play as a team of winners who Understand their roles on the team!!
I still think FHJ is doing fine. He just has his hands tied based on talent and TOUGHNESS. Plus RU has some serious issues surrounding selfish and stupid basketball playing. Based on what I have seen, RU will be better when the have next years freshmen class. The starters should be Chandler, Inman (if he can get tougher) The big guy, Rosario, and a Freshmen or JC to be named later. 1st half so bad that that they are now talking Duke vs NC!!!!
Last comment of the 1st half. I still think playing in that barn summer league hurts the development of RU players. They look in awe of NC and seem to be playing scared minus Chandler.
But again what this site will be is a place to get information you might not get other places. Such as why a kid really chose a particular school. Or why certain kids are leaning in a certain direction. I also hope to do stories about college bball celebrities with comments from everyday die hard fans.
But I will continue to do stories about NYC basketball history, Newark NJ High School history, stories on Tom Konchalski (sp), and others. I even will do a story on various AAU squads with history etc.
Please remember I only want folks to read this blog if they like it. It is far from being a real bball publication. Its exactly what it says it is, "LFBall On Hoops." In other words just my opinion! Hopefully Raritan Mike will come around and enjoy what I have written. Check out the short story on Jordan Theodore on the blog.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I also want to comment on all this overrated coaching stuff. I am starting to see its way more about talent than running an offense. I watched Rick Patino, considered a super star coach NOT RUN ONE SET THE ENTIRE SECOND HALF. They looked far from organized. Purdue on the other hand looked very organized with great ball movement and team play.
I remember commenting years ago about certain college teams. How they never ran a play, looked un-organized, etc. Well that's what the better teams do, they just plat! The same goes for Memphis! Its really more about the talent at the HIGHEST LEVEL!
If RU, SHU, or SJU played as Louisville did today folks would be all over the coaches. THEY NEVER RAN ONE SET the entire 2nd half.
I really hope the snow is not bad because I need to be in the house at SHU for the Hoop Group Event Sunday!
Yesterday NJ HS basketball started. Its an exciting time of the year. I will watch closely because at the end of the season myself and a few other serious fans will present our All State, All Area, and other awards. Wanted to make the Teaneck vs Kennedy game, but guess I will see both later in the season.
Thinking alot about Brandon Jennings last night. Is he really the number 1 HS player in the USA? I doubt it even though he is very good. Ratings always get me upset. There is a kid no one knows in 10th grade in a city near you who will turn out to be GREAT! He is not rated, nor is he on an elite travel team. He just has game. The trick is to find him. But watch the NBA draft this year and research some of the players picked in the first round. You will find a few who were not even top 200 players in HS and I am not counting the international players.
Speaking of international players allow me to provide a secrete recipe to get any kid with decent game NBA money as long as he is over 6 ft 9 and can make a lay-up. Ready? Here goes:
When that player completes 10th grade send him back to the country his grand folks are from. Allow him to get involved with basketball in one of those countries. He becomes an 18 year old on a pro team in a foreign place and the NBA notices. Player gets drafted after averaging 9 points playing against men, recieves bonus money, left back overseas to get better, and they are set up for years to come financially despite maybe never even playing an NBA game. Great scam to me!
A poster on the SHU board asked if my grandson Logan will be recruited by SHU. It was funny but reminded me how silly the rankings can be. The best 6th graders in the country? I saw one with the best 3rd graders! When will it stop? I can see recruiters from the Big 8 and SEC hanging around nursery schools looking at the best 4 year olds in the country. I hear the number one 4 year old lives in Queens Village NY and attends to Bugs Bunny Pre School, which just recieved a huge grant from Nike.
Shout out to a few UNDERRATED HS Coaches: Curtis March from Teaneck, Scooter Whiting from Hackensack, Jack Ring from Kennedy, Bill Whitley (if he still coaches) at Paramus, The preppy coach at Rodgewood, Greg Tyne (sp) in East Orange, St. Joes of Monvalle Coach, Jay Mahoney of Bagota, Newark Science Coach. More later........!
Its a pleasure seeing young Jordan doing so well. I am sure he does not remember me but I know him! I remember him going everywhere with his basketball. He never left home without it. I met him and his family through his older brother Kwame, who is a heck of a player himself. Kwame was part of a program in NY I coached with run by the legendary Jim Couch. Well Kwame's Mom and Step Dad along with young brothers always came to practices and games. They are WONDERFUL PEOPLE who understand basketball and correct behavior!
Young Jordan always ran on the court during breaks in the action. Finally he was put on a team and he was soooooooo serious about competing. The basketball was larger than he was but it did not stop him.
Fast forward a few years and Jordan is now playing for one of the younger teams in the world famous Rucker Tournament. He is taken out of the game by one of our coaches, and starts acting spoiled on the side line. All of a sudden his Mom walks across the court, not to defend her son, but to put him in check! She put his butt right on the ground with a knee in his chest. She said to him "YOU WILL NOT HAVE AN ATTITUDE nor WILL YOU EMBARASS THIS TEAM or YOURSELF!" It was a great sight. That was about 6 years ago and he has done nothing less than lead by good example since.
By the way, his Step Dad was on Teaneck's great team with Tony Campbell and others. He was so confident!! I would bet he Still Feels He Could Help The Knicks as he always told us. He was a great Park Shooter.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Oddly, some fan boards are different than others. I read most of the Big East Fan Boards. Here is my take on a few:
Rutgers: Passionate and hungry fans, want it now. Very knowledgeable about the college game!! I love the passion and the way they embrace their school. They love RU!!! Its a great selling point for recruits. Often when I attended games there I observed and loved seeing all the red sweaters that they wore. Their board even gets together at halftime of games.
SHU: Greatest HS fans on east coast and very knowledgeable. Not quite as passionate as RU.
A bit more understanding and patient than most. Loyal to team and will even go out in large numbers to watch recruits play. The core board group could win a national contest about college recruiting, college basketball, etc.
SJU : At one time the best board with Maven and others. Now its so so because the limited amount of new posters with fresh new thoughts. It was a must read years ago. Still has some good posters
Villanova : Always in a war with St. Joe's fans. Especially Helmet !!!! I love that Headsigns guy because he keeps stuff going LOLOL. But the VU fans are loyal and come out in large numbers to support the Wildcats
I had an opportunity to get a seat in the luxury box better known as my family room for the nationally televised St. Benedict's vs Oak Hill basketball game Thursday evening. Nice to see HS basketball on ESPN. Especially match-ups such as this in a packed gym. By the way, the concessions were great in my box with some wonderful pasta, vitamin water, and cookies and milk.
The actual game was interesting but somewhat sloppy in the beginning. Maybe it was the players adjusting to playing a nationally televised game in front of 6000 plus fans. But what ever the reason, the game became better as it continued. It was also the coming out party for Tamir Jackson. He was the difference for St. Benedict's. This is what happens with Good Programs, players (or should I say Playez) step it up at crucial times. This young man did just that and will see his recruitment change overnight. Just hope he remembers what teams loved him first lolol.
Got an opportunity to watch Samardo Samuels and Greg Echenique for the 10th time. Both continue to improve but neither has ever blown me away talent wise like some other national players. I see good solid bigs, but for top 5 or top 10 I expect to see them resemble B.J. Mullens or Greg Monroe. Samuels has talent but needs to finish better at the rim with people on him. Echenique is also very good but still needs some serious work to be a solid top 10 guy. Please do not take my comments as saying these kids are not very good because they are! I am just saying they have never blown this fan with zero clout and NO VOTE for any awards away lolol. However, I think every top program loves recruiting kids from top HS programs. Wonder who would be recruiting Echenique if he attended Ridgewood HS and played AAU for the Rockland Rockets?
Which brings me to my next point, Coaching!!! I AM A HUGE FAN of Danny Hurley. Nice to see him developing kids in a structured program. I just had my first grandson and he was born 23 inches and 10 pounds. The doctors say he could be 6 ft 11 in HS. Crazy how they make such statements this early LOLOL. But God willing I would love him to play for Danny Hurley in HS. I would feel this way even if he lost the Oak Hill game by 25. Danny takes no crap from anyone and RUNS his program just like his dad does at St. Anthony's, kids have to earn the right to wear the uniform.
I am impressed further by Danny because I love seeing many who put him down when he was a player at SHU now have to kiss up to him! I LOVE IT!!!!! And he really has the players best interest at heart. Early in the game when his kids were throwing the ball away, he kept his cool and COACHED and TAUGHT!! I just hope he is still there when my Grandson goes to HS. But the way he is going, he will be a college coach by that time.
Rutgers played a closer game than its fans wanted to see against NJIT. Did those fans think NJIT would just show up and allow RU to run all over them in Newark? NJIT played over their heads and gave RU more than they bargained for. My take? RU won the game and the development and team building process for RU continues. Rutgers has lost ONLY 1 game they were supposed to win according to experts. I always say a good sign of improving programs are those who win 95% of the games they are supposed to win. Right now RU is on track to do this.
Lots of folks getting on FHJ for clapping and cheering his team on. Honestly? I LOVE IT!!!!
Freddy is building his program. He knows what he has to date and what they are capable of doing. No sense in becoming a screamer for the sake of screaming. Scream when a kid is not working hard, when a kid does not concentrate, bad attitudes, etc. He can not scream because a kid who is an average shooter misses a shot. I think Fred is on the right track. I hated the way Gary Waters would frown all the time at kids like that was in a coaches handbook. Fred is getting a rep as a real players head coach and that will pay off big in the future. PROGRAM BUILDING is the name of the game. I really feel RU will steal a few this season as well.
Seton Hall University
What would be better in NY/NJ/ Pa than all the teams being competitive. That's what happened in Philly when the big 5 was the talk of the town. Before a certain person at Villanova who did not understand tradition attempted to get out of playing games at the Palestra. As SHU continues to get better, and recruit more players, the games against SJU and RU will become a hard ticket to get. Ditto RU and SJU talent wise!!
Why would a kid attend SHU? Let me give a few reasons I am sure the SHU coaches give:
- Closeness to NY and Philly
- Great Arena
- nice, yet intimate campus
- learning assistance 2nd to none
- nice alumni network
- great conference
- chance to be part of building program
- great academic program offerings
- close to places where you will find employment
- 1st class training facilities (I think they will be in place soon)
- Excellent coaching, teaching, and motivating
- Opportunity to play
- Great PG in place who PASSES THE BALL
- Great media exposure
A player looking at universities needs to understand the real picture. Playing in Okie Oklahoma in front of 16000 is great. But what about when your playing days are over. SJU made a living off players transferring back years ago. Where will the contacts be?
I remain very interested in watching SHU, RU, and SJU continue to get better and become solid and contending BE PROGRAMS (not Teams).