Friday, December 28, 2007

My First Visit to The Pru Center

Went to the game last night and was surprised to see a lobby so crowded it reminded me of MSG during the glory days of St. Johns. Lots of New Yorkers were there to see the game. I spoke to a few who I knew and they told me they arrived via the path train.

The Pru Center is SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!!! As I went up from the tight ticket sales area to the arena I was shocked. It's bright and open. I loved the Ice Bar. Parking was a breeze and only cost me $15. After I paid I saw another lot next door that charged $12.

The atmosphere in the Pru was electric. It looked like Seton Hall's home court despite all the red. The light show and blue accents with the lights made it seem as if the arena was across the street from Cluck U Chicken in South Orange.

Great place and a recruitment magnet, especially after a crowd such as the one in the building Thursday evening. State of the art!! Recruits must be impressed.

I honestly do feel the SHU Administration needs to do more about half-time activities, etc. That half-time stuff was boring. Also the band seemed nice but where is the dance team? SHU needs a dance team.

Lastly where were the programs? There should be a program that covers the games that particular week. Great money maker and helpful to fans.

The Game

The game was decent but far from exciting. Gaven Grant is very good as is the big frosh on the NC State roster. Costner? I am becoming a huge fan. Not because he had a good game because he really did not. But because he makes folks around him better. He passes and knows the game. But his effort tends to leave alot to be desired. He seemed talented as heck, but just as lazy. Could he look any less interested.

On the SHU side Gause is the poster boy for college sports. He is not thinking NBA or anything else. he just plays to win each time he takes the court. Though he might be lacking in some areas, he is a breath of fresh air during a time when most kids have "Me" syndrome. He will be a great employee for someone one day.

I told folks years ago that Garcia would be good. Just wait until he loses weight and gets in better shape. As he gets into better shape his defense will improve. Right now his O is a bit ahead of his D.

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.

Did not realize until I watched this game that Hazell (sp) is the same kid I met with the legendary "Sundance Kid" years ago. Sundance is the guy I mentioned when I first started this blog. He is now around 53-55 yearts old and still scores 30 in NYC college/pro-am tournaments. Seems Sundance was his teacher in JHS. He also is same kid that played with my old team, Dykeman. He was a spectacular shooter similar to Sundance when he was younger. I think he has a bright future.

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!!!

Larry Davis will be fine. Just needs more strength.

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.

The Coaching

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.

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