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).