Thursday, January 31, 2008

SHU Wins

Well someone on the SHU board said I am always wrong with my predictions. Another said he would love to bet me. Good thing I am not a betting man because the first person was correct. SHU beat RU in an overtime game that they should have won in regulation. Do not get it wrong, SHU played well enough to win in regulation but two very suspect foul calls allowed RU to position itself for a end of regulation basket to send the game to overtime.

The game itself was sloppy and not all we expected or hoped it would be. Some of the players were outstanding and some were just soft and bad, especially on the RU side. Eugene Harvey and Brian Laing were all they were advertised to be. Jamar Nutter showed up and left Jamar home. The bigs on SHU really are not polished yet but they accept their roles well. Hazell had a great 1st half and Larry Davis played his role. On the RU side Coburn and Chandler were outstanding. More on this later. Hamady was very good as well. I am so impressed with him. He will definitely play in the NBA one day as will Chandler if he continues to develop. FIG were nothing short of horrible. Especially JR and griffin. They both played scared again!! I even thought at one point FHJ instructed his guards to shoot and not pass to the two of them.

Crucial overtime moment when JR gets a offensive rebound under his basket and passes out!!! Is he crazy or just soft? He was 4 feet from the basket for heavens sake. He was Thugged so much that he started to look to set pics (picks?) as opposed to demanding the ball inside or outside. Griffin was just Griffin this game. Too bad because he really hurt RU along with JR Inman. What is happening to those kids? How do you disappear in games like this? Why did Laing show up and play so well? What's the difference. Difference is mental toughness, heart, and ability as opposed to ability and no heart and definitely no mental toughness.

Back to SHU. Kids on SHU have to love the game and understand it takes heart to compete and win. Despite a few wins, many on RU do not understand this. On the SHU side they do. Harvey, Laing, Nutter, Gause, Hazell, They all love the game and play all the time in neighborhood parks. I would bet you JR, Farmer, Griffin, rarely do this. They are at the Barn on the RU campus playing soft competition. All 3 had to let freshmen lead them. They are now the role players at RU. They should have wanted to play this game so bad they could get no sleep. What a sad performance.

My hat is off to SHU and those kids. They came into the RAC and won in overtime. You would think the RAC fans would have made it so loud they would just want to get the game over. Not them. They destroyed RU in the overtime. And they won without big people because they were very ineffective.

Now about little Mike Coburn. I did not feel he could again play as well as he has played the past two games. Well I WAS WRONG and I EAT CROW. The kid was OUTSTANDING!!!!!! He is making me and alot of people I know believers. Corey Chandler? Wow again!!!!! Those two young freshmen are more talented at the same stage than Quincy Douby and Webb were as freshmen. I really think you will see Chandler take over games alot in the future. Hamedy is the third player in the RU puzzle who will make RU fans smile in time. These 3 kids are the real backbone of the RU team and the true future. Add a JC guy with strength who can score down low, Rosario, Jackson, and the big Prep School Kid Morris, and RU is a different team next season. FIG will have to have a great summer to be important parts of the new RU Program.

Bobby G coached a hell of a game. The changing D had RU totally confused. His subs were on point and his troops played hard and well enough to win in Regulation. FHJ did not have his best day. Not bad, but not his best. I really think the sub of Hamedy for JR at the end of Reg when Hamedy got the rebound and was fouled was a questionable sub. Before it happened I thought he would be fouled on the rebound. JR in the same spot gets that easy rebound and hits the two free throws. I also think RU should have handled the press better. That was really bad. and a reflection on preparation by the coaching staff.

Lastly. This might be petty but FHJ needs to wear something red. He is the HC of THE STATE U of NJ!!! Not Monmouth College, FDU, etc. If the fans can come out in red so can he. It looks stupid when he shows up with the brown ties and suits. It would have lifted the crowd up if he came out in a scarlet blazer and tie. Place would have went crazy. This is why Bruce Pearl is such a fan favorite. Even Huggins had on a GOLD SUIT and Shoes tonight (but they lost). Its called school spirit and schools, especially state schools have the head coaches do this. Petty I know but it would not hurt.

Again I eat crow over my prediction. RU went back to the old RU. And remember I said 2 weeks ago I would have had SHU by 12.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday January 30th

Good Morning everyone. Before I get into my match-ups between RU and SHU I need to discuss a few items with everyone.

What is the deal with expanding the Rutgers Stadium and leaving the RAC just as it is with no visible improvements. The sound, and tight seats alone need to be improved from all I hear. At a time when RU has to compete against programs with GREAT FACILITIES, FHJ and his staff have to sell his program without a practice facility, or even plans to update and slightly expand the arena. Seating could stay the same but a larger facility allows larger seats and room for some corporate boxes. Think Dominick Cheek is not comparing facilities?

Part of a schools marketing department's responsibility is to market sports teams. Football and basketball, and even women's volleyball. They have to get games on TV!! How in heavens name does the two largest and most well known men's basketball teams in NJ play a game that is not available to everyone in the state of NJ? Little kids should be able to watch and grow up SHU and RU fans hoping to one day play for one of the two schools. If I see that Michigan is on TV one more time this season I will throw up on the spot! But guess what, it helps enrollment and markets the school. Bad job by who ever is responsible.

Is it just me or does Jerry Wainwright (Great Guy) look like a cartoon character chewing his gum on the sidelines? I mean he looks very odd to say the least. When he smiled at the end of the last game against RU he looked like a totally different person.

I have to give props to St. Anthony for being number 1 in the country without even having a real gym. Small school, no gym, inner city kids, and THEY ALL GO TO COLLEGE!!!! I realized last night that I rarely hear about a St. Anthony Kid going to junior college. This is why Bob Hurley is a Hall of Fame Coach !!! Its about more than basketball.

Here are my match up Predictions for the game tonight with SHU taking on RU.

Laing vs Inman

We will see JR come out and play good ball by rebounding well and being part of the offense early. Laing will be fired up and take the ball right at Rutgers and spend time on the FT line. Both will have decent first half stats. 2nd half will see JR play better than the first half but Lang will be consistent. End of the day it will be even performance wise. But effort and production advantage to Laing

Harvey vs Farmer

Farmer will hit some early shots and Harvey will counter by scoring and getting his teammates involved with easy buckets from great passes. 2nd half more of the same with Harvey exhibiting emotion and vocally leading his team. Harvey outplays Farmer but the scoring output is equal.

Garcia/Davis vs Hamady/Joynes

Garcia is the better scorer out of all mentioned AT THIS TIME. He comes out and gets a few put backs. Mike Davis enters the game and plays well also. But Hamedy is a madman on the court, especially if he stays out of foul trouble. he blocks shots and dunks a few to fire up the RU crowd. Joynes neutralizes Davis and has a bucket or two as well. Though Garcia is the more polished offensive player at this time my edge here goes to Hamedy if he can stay on the court.

Davis vs Coburn/Chandler

No contest against Chandler who is head and shoulders better than Davis. But against Coburn straight up Davis will be able to shoot over him and make things happen. Not sure Coburn is ready for this big of a game nor am I convinced he can hit the shots he hit against Villanova again this season. But Coburn is a real competitor and will give his all. However in a game such as this advantage is even with these two guys, but in a match-up with Chandler advantage to Chandler by alot.

Hazell vs Griffin

Advantage HAZELL. This kid has played in tight games all his life. He will step up to the challenge and have a great game. He could be a difference maker!!

Nutter vs Griffin

What Nutter shows up is the question. If Jamar shows up SHU will be very good. But if Jamar (the cool guy) shows up he will be a non factor. My bet is Jamar shows up and plays well. As a 5th year guy he has the experience to understand what needs to be done on both ends. Advantage Nutter. But Griffin has a decent game.

The Gause Factor

If he is 100%, heck if he is 80%, he will make a difference defensively. But because this is his first game back and he is really not Superman, contrary to what many of us believe, I see him playing a very limited role in this game.

The Coaches

The entrances alone will be worth the price of admission. Bobby G will come running out from the locker room high fiveing everyone in sight to many boo's from the RU faithful. FHJ will surprise everyone by entering with a scarlet red blazer and matching tie. He will get a standing ovation and a spot on the Fashion Patrol TV Show lol.

BG vs FHJ will be as good as the actual game. FHJ is coming off a great coaching effort against Pitt. BG always seems into the game and does a great job. This will be a game of runs with chess moves being made by both sides. The coaching started Monday with each coach attempting to get a psychological edge by telling their team how much the game means, what the other school thinks of them, etc. They also have broken down film until the wee hours of the night. At least I know SHU has even if BG was home in bed lol.

But what makes this more interesting is the coaches understand it is bigger than the score. It is about school contributions, recruiting, and recognition. And I have a strange feeling these two coaches, though respectful to each other, really do not care for each other. I would not put it past them to get into a shouting match, and exchange very cold end of the game handshakes.

The Fans

The RAC will be Back!!!!!!

The End

Hard to call because on paper SHU is really the better team. However RU has played well for 3 straight games. If the RAC is what it is capable of being, it will be hard for SHU to escape with a win. But any letdown by the fans or the RU Team and SHU escapes with a victory. My call? Two weeks ago I would have said SHU by 12, now because of how RU is playing I think
Rutgers steals one by 7 points based on home court advantage!!!!!!! CHANGE IN POST at 1:11 PM based on a strange feeling I have. RU now wins by 4.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Tidbits

Hey everybody. It's Tuesday and that means it is only one day for the huge game between Rutgers and Seton Hall. I could call it the championship of New Jersey but St. Peters fans would have a right to protest in front of my home. But this game is so huge that the Governor should attend. I can see good ole Bob M sitting next to him whispering lol.

The Match-ups

Lang vs Inman

Finesse and skills against toughness and skills. Will Lang Thug JR and have his way? Or will JR have the game he is capable of having using his skills and shooting over Lang? My pick here is (will be posted Tomorrow Morning)

Harvey vs Farmer

Is Brooklyn in the house? Will farmer step his game up to compete with Harvey who is due for a great game after scoring 2 points in his last outing? Will Farmer be focused and a true leader? (Tomorrow)

Davis vs Chandler

Davis is a great shooter but is more of a RU type player personality wise while Chandler is a tough inner city type with heart who seems more of a SHU fit. Both are very talented but who will have the big game? (Tomorrow Morning)

Harmedy vs Garcia/Davis

Athletic big guy vs two big tough kids. Will Harmedy need assistance from Joynes early? Will he stay out of foul Trouble? Garcia and Davis could be brut type players but is Harmedy up for the challenge? (Tomorrow)

Nutter vs Griffin

Which Nutter will show up? The soft one who plays cool or the competitor who was on everyone's recruitment wish list? Can Griffin hit some shots early and not over shoot if he is having a bad shooting game? Will he defend and rebound? (Tomorrow)

Line-ups could be different if RU goes with 3 guard line-up.

Harvey vs Coburn

Coburn has the heart but does he have the ability to handle a hungry Eugene Harvey?

Farmer vs Nutter

Who will have the better game?

The Coaches

Bobby G vs FHJ

This will be a war from stare downs on the sidelines, to phony pre game talking to cold end of the game handshakes. Does anyone actually think these guys would enjoy having dinner together? How about sitting together enjoying a St. Benedict's game? I am just as eager to watch these two on the sidelines as I am in watching the actual game. Will it get ugly?

The Atmosphere

My FORECAST IS FOR A SELLOUT AND NOISE. Might even be a scuffle or two in the seats.

Game time is 9 PM and everyone in the NY Metropolitan area who loves basketball will watch or listen. Especially those rising 10th and 11th graders and their advisers.

PS Merge of the SHU Board came on and rightfully reminded me I had left hazell out of the mix. All I can say is he might go off for 30 after that slight that was not intentional. Wow, stupid me lolol.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

IT'S ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone has to be excited about the SHU vs RU match-up this week. If people are smart they will order tickets today before the scalpers get them in their hands. This game could be huge in the state of NJ. Like NC vs Duke although those teams are really more talented. But this could be the start. Over the coffee dispenser and water faucet at companies all over NJ, the talk will be SHU vs RU.

Not only are these two teams competing for a "w", they are also competing for recruits. They are competing for the right to say who beat who this season. They are competing about basketball atmosphere. RU Fans need to do all they can to fill the RAC. SHU Fans need to do all that is possible to obtain tickets and prove SHU fans support their team.

Yes this is bigger than many realize. A RU Victory makes this season a special one for another day. A SHU Victory solidifies the Pirates as the best D1 Team in the tri-state area.

Maybe I better get to the phone to order my ticket right now. It could be a special day to say the least!!!

Seton Hall University vs RU

Big Game going on right now between SHU and Cincinnati. Every basketball fan in the tri state area should be pulling for SHU to win this game. With a SHU victory the game at the RAC on Wednesday will be huge!!!

The state of NJ will be really into the match-up on Wednesday at the RAC with a SHU victory. No doubt the place will be sold out. Scalpers are probably purchasing tickets already. The RAC will be rocking for this huge game, especially for Rutgers.

Here is how the game will look on Wednesday. Both teams will come out charged up. It will be very physical under the basket and RU will definitely need to go alot with the Joynes and Harmedy (sp) front line. SHU is a bunch of tough kids but RU will be coming off a 3 game high counting the way they played at DePaul.

The Coaches will really be into the game. I would not be surprised to see a shouting or pushing match between the two Head Coaches LOL. The end of the game hand shakes will be very cold.

All the recruits in the area will try to be at this game. Even those who have committed. This game will have serious recruitment implications.

I am even excited about this game. I might even attend just to enjoy the atmosphere. Now all we need is for SHU to win today!!!! Lets Go Pirates!!!!

Sunday January 27, 2008

GREAT WIN by Rutgers!!!!!!!! I guess you gotta believe!!!! Now about that game.

Mike Coburn my hats off to you. Have you been reading my blog? You seem to be passing alot more than when you seemed to be competing with Corey Chandler scoring wise. But I will have to say you have stepped it up. I still need to see more before I say you are BE Starting material on a BE contending team. But you are definitely moving beyond the role player category.

I have to say that this RU Team belongs to Corey Chandler. Sometimes you just cannot hold good players back. This kid can create off the dribble and shoot from the outside. Plus is is TOUGH!!! Lastly, this young man WANTS TO BE A STAR!!! You have to want it to get it! I guess everyone needs to just sit back and relax while watching this kid continue to develop into what might be the best guard in Rutgers history if he stays four years because he really is good!!!

Byron Joynes also seemed very good last night. That's the Byron I thought RU had when he came in from HS. I loved when he played with the big fella in the same line-up. They looked very good together.

Harmedy (sp) could be a 1st round draft choice in time. He has alot of Sam Delambert(sp) in him. He runs, plays hard, dunks, and can hit the short J. But his biggest thing is his great emotion. He really gets after it, as coaches love to say.

RU Fans are really enjoying the Win but though pieces seem to be falling into place RU is still a team not quite ready for prime time. Remember i said QUITE!!! Folks are ready to Make FHJ BE Coach of The Year after Weeks ago questioning if he was the right guy for the RU job. Fans lol. We change back and forth so much. What happens when RU loses again. It will be back to the same things I would bet. Upcoming games including SHU will be tough. You Gotta believe but you also Gotta be Patient.

Lastly. I think RU Player roles are really changing. If RU was the Jackson Five, Corey Chandler would now be Michael, and the others would be the Jackson's. Or is they were Gladys knight and the Pips, Corey would be Gladys and the team would be the Pips. JR is now more like Jermaine even though he has Michael talent. But again, you have to want it while playing Team Basketball!!

One last thing. I loved the last timeout FHJ took. He COACHED his team to a victory. No doubt about it. I honestly think he totally out coached Jamie Dixon. FHJ was the real star of the game in my book.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday January 26, 2008

The weekend is here and there are lots of good games to watch. But as I explored the various message boards on the Internet as I do on a frequent basis, I came across one of the most interesting comments I have seen this year. A poster on the Rutgers board feels the Scarlet Knights will be a final 4 team next season with the new recruits. He is receiving heat from various boards over his posts.

To go from the bottom of the Big East to the Final Four would be one of the greatest turnarounds in sports history. His comments are close to hysterical. I even laughed. But now allow me to present another angle.

Though we laugh at those kind of comments, they are not really insane or 100% impossible. What we see is a TRUE FAN as opposed to a fair weather Fan who changes daily or each game. Fans such as the person who made the comment are the backbone of sports teams going back 100 years. The Brooklyn Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and many others had loyal fans who believes in a team when others did not. How about the NY Mets and the "You Have To Believe" stuff in 69 (?). You get 300 fans like the one who made the statement and it would be a start of something positive and consistent. And I am not talking about a Crazy Club lol.

This comment was a refreshing one during a time when we are so impatient for greatness. It's also refreshing because a Fan should believe in his or her team through thick and thin. Even in Kentucky, where they wanted Tubby gone, Fans are so loyal they travel cross country to watch the Wildcats play despite many living on fixed incomes or low salaries. That is also loyalty.

I feel Rutgers will have a very hard time making the final 4 in 09. In fact they will have a hard time making the NCAA or NIT tournament. The recruits coming in are good but not program changers ala Greg Odom and company at Ohio State last season. But they should be improved! Small steps to program building the right way. But I also remember Slick Ricks Providence team with Billy the Kid and a bunch of other role players. YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!!

And for his loyalty and positive outlook, I award RUTGERS AL, Fan of the Month on the LFBall on Hoops Blog. A true fan to say the least. Finding the good and celebrating! Looking at the glass as being half full as opposed to half empty!

HS Basketball

I have been thinking about this for some time. If a kid attends a school that has a HS team as opposed to a HS program, his chances are slim to be seen by colleges. many years ago people often said if you can play, they will find you. That is so untrue nowadays. YOU WILL NOT BE SEEN OR FOUND if you are not at the right school or AAU program!!! In fact it is what attracts kids to schools in the NYC Catholic League, St. Anthony's, St. Patricks, St. Benedict's, Mt. Vernon, Cardoza, JFK in the Bronx, Lincoln in Brooklyn, CBA in NJ, Trinity Catholic in Connecticut, and others. That's where you go to get better and improve. And speaking of Mount Vernon, THEY NEVER LOSE KIDS to the NYC Catholic schools like many other public schools do. Maybe it is because they have a true basketball program and committed Coach. In fact the last kid who became famous, and did not attend Mt. Vernon HS, was Denzel Washington, who attended private school. He would have made the Mt Vernon Team because he had some game. But it would have been hard for him to play over Gus and Ray Williams, Earl Tatum, Mike Young, and Rudy Hackett. But he is FAMOUS NOW lol.

I say all this because for some kids the HS season remains the pre season for the real season, which is the AAU and Travel Team season or circuit. That's when recruitment takes place for many kids. Especially those with 3pm to 5pm coaches who just do not care much nor know much. Still remember hearing a well known AAU guy saying to one of his players after a HS loss: "don't worry, the real season starts in a few weeks." Sad but often true as you will see from the story below.

Went to a HS game last night in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Wanted another look at the 2 sleepers I mentioned in past posts. 6 ft 8 Riley Moye (jr.) and 6 ft 6 Guard Neil Baskerville (Sr.). Both are definitely division 1 players but lack that NJ/NY/Philly intensity. In fact, skill wise Baskerville is as good as most of the kids going mid and high D1. Just does not have that "I Want To Eat" fire that's needed. Moye is talented but plays standing straight up and looks uninterested on the court. Face looks like he is just playing because he is tall. But he can shoot, block shots, and run. when They Make Him. Baskerville does not play AAU so he is an unknown. But Moye plays with NYC based New Heights. By the way, Kamani Young, the New heights AD and a great coach was in attendance watching Riley and an opposing player Kaheim Hall, formerly from the Bronx, a 6 ft 4 point guard who is a Sophomore with skills. He was the best player on the court last night as his Pocono Mountain East Team stomped Moye and Baskerville's Stroudsburg team. Remember his name: Kaheim Hall!!!! A definite D 1 player in the future via exposure he will get from the New Heights Program.

College Basketball

Curious to see the responses of fans after this weekends games. Will Rutgers still feel good if Pitt demolishes them? Will they still sing Farmer and Couburn praises? How about Seton Hall against Cincinnati? SHU should win but UC has had a surprise season thus far and anything can happen. Both games will be tough but winnable. SHU is close to moving out of the bubble category and into a solid NCAA team category. They need to beat UC to keep the momentum going. RU just needs to continue getting better. But if the game is in Pittsburg it will be extremely tough.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Nice To be Back!!!!!

Sorry I have not been able to write my blog for a couple of days. Had to go on two trips to Myrtle Beach SC, and back to Bowie Maryland. My GATEWAY LAPTOP which I purchased a year ago has broken at least 7 times and it now has a mind of its own. I just could not log on. So I am back to my desktop in my home office.

Well back to a few basketball items.

Seton Hall beats Providence!!! Wow another great win for the Pirates. No need to talk specifics because everyone reading this blog knows the box score and who did what. However I would like to point out that this win over a solid PC team helps SHU post season wise and ON THE RECRUITMENT FRONT.

Kids want to go to winning programs. That's a fact. They want programs that win, draw fans, and have nice facilities. No doubt in my mind that most kids in the NYC Tri-State area will give SHU a good look as a school option. The one thing we always seem to forget is SHU has been very consistent even under Louis Orr and Tommy Amaker. They are looked at as a winning type program. That does not mean they are a national title contender. But it does mean kids are not teased for considering SHU and attending school there. Player says I am thinking about school "A" , which draws fans poorly, decent facilities, and no track record and he will be questioned by most of his AAU Teamates and others. Player says I am thinking about SHU and no one questions it because SHU is looked at in a good light especially the way they are playing this season. But trust me the Rutgers game will be huge recruiting wise and Rutgers is playing MUCH BETTER.

Rutgers beats Villanova. Again we all know what happened. The guards on RU were tremendous. But that type of Guard play will not happen often. Glad to see RU playing well but some of those shots by Coburn were the type that would win a Horse Contest lol. Horse is the game you play where a person does a trick shot that the next person must duplicate . Will he ever play that good again this season? But even if he plays half as good it makes RU a better program

Back to Mike Coburn. I have to give him props for playing so well. But better than the scoring, he had a great floor game. Not only in the win but also in the loss prior to that. I LOVE the way he plays when he distributes the basketball. Those Horse Shots will be far and few in between. But if he can play solid PG and PASS, it makes all of his teammates better. I still remember some great former college and NBA players telling me that they would wine and dine the PG on their teams. Remember a great HS star telling me he never leaves home without his PG. Mike as a passer is much more needed than Mike the scorer.

Great efforts by Farmer and Chandler. But I still feel CC needs to work hard on his overall game this summer. He has to make folks around him better.

Watching the Villanova Game highlights made me smile because it brought me back to the Rodda Center in Teaneck where I used to work out kids who were under the radar. Alot of skill and shooting stuff but MORE MENTAL than anything else. It was there that I met a young JR Inman and a young Antonio Pana. Both were 9th graders at the time. Antonio did a year of prep and a redshirt year thus his classification as a freshmen.

Both were just young Bucks running into the headlights. But I knew both would turn out very good. Tone was the better of the two at the time from experience playing in Brooklyn for Lincoln HS as a freshmen. Plus he has a Great Mentor in his uncle Jon Pena who took him everywhere to get him better. JR has a GREAT FAMILY as well who did the same. JR however was the hardest worker in the gym that sometimes had Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson, Randy Ayers, Louis Guzman, and many other high level kids still playing D1 basketball. It was a boot camp. All those kids worked hard and the few times Ellington and Henderson came with Jim Solmon, THEY WERE GREAT KIDS and EASY TO WORK WITH. But the best young player was a kid named Shahee Martin from Queens who we just could not get to work hard. Head and shoulders better than all the others. BUT pulled in so many directions he just regressed. NO ONE EVEN KNOWS where he is at this time. But he was a Freshmen All American at Paramus Catholic HS at the time.

I gave that story to show how hard you have to work to get to a certain level. Mental toughness is as important as skills in many cases. And a player with potential is like a young person wishing to become an actor. The parents become stage parents. In sports parents become basketball parents, Same commitment, different stage.

St. Johns

I am shocked no one realizes who would most likely succeed Norm Roberts at St. Johns if he left. Of course John Calipari will not leave his gold mine. Everyone thinks Tom Picora. But Tom is having a rough time in the CAA. Could he really get it done at SJU? OK how about Miller from Xavier? Or Forde at UMass? Great choices with little NYC experience or contacts. OK the Siena Coach? If you answered yes to any of those guys you are betting on long shots. Here are the main candidates IF NORM EVER LEAVES.

Jim Baron of Rhode Island!!!! Great choice because he gets it done and is kind of conservative in his approach. He has done great things at Rhode Island and SJU would provide all the tools he needs to make the Red Storm serious post season contenders on a yearly basis.

Now the one no one mentions. PAUL....................................................................................................................................................Hewitt.
Not heard anything about this but this guy is loved by people at SJU. In fact he called SJU for Norm years back. But it seems GT had its run and beating North Carolina and Duke is very hard and stressful. Many are saying they think he would be interested in talking. And do not let that mild looking approach he exhibits fool you. He is tenacious and would make staff changes in a second if someone does not get the job done. Just look at how he has changed his staff around at GT.

Recruiting Tidbits.

First my next sleeper player for folks to watch. Good chance he will never show on any radar because no one watches NE Pa. kids. Please allow me to introduce Neil Baskerville, a 6 ft 6 Guard playing in a weak conference for Stroudsburg Pa. HS. This kid can shoot, pass, defend, dunk and more. He is a senior with great skills and bloodlines since his dad was an NBA player and college star. Though the comp is weak, his skills are evidents each time I watch him. I told people about Terrence Roderick years ago and last season he made a name for himself in Prep School and for Sam Rhines All Stars. And remember Riley Moye, a 6 t 9 junior with Brooklyn ties also playing for Stroudsburg.

I wonder if Dominick Cheek will really consider staying home for college? Should the local schools go hard only to lose him to a national power and have fans saying too much time was spent on him? Should he get "Just In Case" recruitment? Sometimes it is damn if you do, damn if you do not!!! In this case, I WOULD GO HARD and be straight with him. Ask if you are a LEGIT Contender!!!

Had an opportunity to speak with top 30 national junior Noel Johnson's Dad from Atlanta Georgia a few days ago. According to Noel's dad, Lymbert "Cheese" Johnson, ex NYC and Wichita State Star, his son is wide open. says the ACC is all over him. He even says his son is a better player than he was at similar stage and that says alot because "Cheese" was the real deal and was a second round draft choice of the Golden State Warriors. Because his dad is from NYC, I wonder why the locals are not all over this kid. After all, he has great family and connections in this area.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Seton Hall Wins!!!!!!!!

This post was supposed to be part of the previous post I made over an hour ago. But I decided to make this one a separate entry based on two things. One I feel the win is HUGE!!!!! and two, for some strange reason I thought Seton Hall had lost the game. Maybe it was a bad dream (I want all local teams to win). I even typed a story based on a loss by SHU even though I watched the game up until the last 5 minutes when I fell out on the sofa. I than heard the score and even looked at the box. So here is my take on what I saw.


Before the game started Bobby and Slick Rick exchanged nice pleasantries at mid court. I wonder if they were sincere. I have heard rumors they were no longer as friendly based on recruiting stuff being said and Rick hearing about it. Might just be a rumor. I know that Bobby at one time worshipped Rick and wanted to really work for him.

Back to the game. Bobby had his kids playing lousy goosey as we called it in NYC when we had summer games with nothing to lose. We just played our game and enjoyed it. That's what SHU looked to be doing last night. The SHU Staff had the Pirates ready to compete.

The Players

As I have said many times, SHU has tough kids who compete. Hazell looks like a star in the making with unlimited range. Laing is Laing which is why NBA Teams are following him closely. Big Mike Davis played well from what I saw and he has a mean streak which is good for a big guy as long as he can control it. In fact SHU looks good in the middle for the next few years with Garcia and Davis. Both will get even better. Eugene Harvey is the glue. Even if he does not play great he gets stuff done on the court that help you win. Add in the other players such as Nutter and Larry Davis and Gause (sp) and SHU has some serious weapons to battle with.

People should really understand what SHU accomplished last night. They beat a team with at least 4 future NBA Players and 10 European and NBDL players on the roster. Forget about the fact they are not ranked. Everyone knows Louisville is a household name in basketball circles. This is a team that has taken players from the NYC Metro area based on them being looked at as a much better choice than the local schools. They have kids on the roster who snubbed the local schools because they felt Louisville was a much better situation. Wonder what Character, Clark, and Sosa are thinking as they board the private jet taking them back to Louisville? Wonder what area recruits are thinking?

I cannot imagine what all three Louisville players are thinking even though I do have an idea what at least one is thinking about. But the area recruits are looking at SHU like a HS boy looks at a girl in his class who went from goofy as a freshmen to a beauty as a senior. They are thinking, we can get it done at SHU. They are also saying, "I loved the Crowd." This is the type of game that made St. Johns special for many years. Huge games at the Garden. It is the type of game that made Iona good years ago.

Whats next for SHU? No matter what, kids and fans will remember this game. But the players need to win the next game. keep the momentum going. I honestly feel SHU will be in the post season this year.

Sunday January 20th, 2008

Yesterday was a great day for college basketball. I decided to not play tennis or go bowling in my home. Of course I am talking about playing tennis and bowling with my wonderful Wii system lol. I spent the entire day watching basketball.

I see my prediction for Rutgers and Seton Hall were off yesterday. I just had a gut feeling that both would squeeze out wins despite being underdogs. Well I hope no one placed any bets based on my predictions. But if you did at least I was 50% correct!!!!!

The number 1 team in the land lost to the number one intense coach in the land, Gary Williams. Yes Maryland again upset a top ranked team! Does anyone know the names of 3 out of the 5 Maryland starters? Now try the same exercise with North Carolina? But we all know that if North Carolina plays Maryland 4 times they will win 3 of the 4! The days of teams going undefeated during the regular season are over unless you are Memphis and play in a less than super conference. Memphis with great players might not lose until the NCAA tournament.

Rutgers vs Depaul

Great game for Rutgers to me. Better energy, passing, shooting, and effort. They lost the game but showed great improvement. The same effort might have resulted in a win at South Florida and a closer game at Syracuse. But the effort and commitment on the part of both players and coaches was there.

Lets look at the Coaching first. The coaches had the RU team prepared for the zone and MM defenses that would be played against them. Putting JR at he foul line as opposed to having him float around the perimeter was great. It kept him closer to the basket, yet not right down low.
The coaches were active and coaching each play. I honestly think they did a very good job.

The Players showed up on Saturday. Every one of them seemed to better understand their roles. The passing was better than I have seen all season in the few games I have able to watch. Individually JR was very good and I single him out based on how hard I was on him. He did not even return my call to him until late last night. I think he might have been a bit upset lol. But he told me he was determined to compete yesterday. I told him to compete every game and every practice. Again it is not just scoring, its about rebounding and defense because you can never have an off day with that. he agreed. farmer was very effective as well. he also seemed comfortable. Even little Coburn seemed to understand his role better. The big fella? I really think he will be in the NBA. It was a great sight watching his Dad in the stands. Was his Dad cool or what? He just cooly watched his son. No expression. Just happy his son is doing well. I always say the best parents to a coaching staff are the ones who never played or coached basketball. They just smile and enjoy as opposed to those (like me unfortunately) who coach every play and critique.

Did not notice Griffin and maybe that's a good thing. he was just playing his role. Byron seemed to really have a different attitude. He also was ON THE COURT. Lastly, I might get some backlash for this but Corey Chandler needs to play team ball. As talented as he is, he sometimes attempts to be the man too much based on past games. But I did see him pass a bit yesterday.

Mick Cronin

Glad to see him doing so well. A real nice young guy who always seemed humble when I spoke with him. He has his team playing well. Just cannot wait until his team plays West Virginia. I wonder if that game is in Cincinnati?

St. Johns

Alot of St. Johns people are getting impatient with the way the season and program is going. But you all knew that. The same people love Norm and want him to do well. They just love St. Johns more.


I wonder if they are happy with their decision to go NCAA D1 in basketball? Guarantees are great but the publicity they are receiving does not help. Will they win one this season?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Louisville vs SHU

Huge game at the Rock as Slick Rick brings in a very talented team to play against SHU. I think this game will be a good one because alot is on the line. Winning a game such as this helps SHU recruiting tremendously. Recruits are watching closely.

I still remember a huge game at Nassau Coliseum many years ago between little Iona College and big St. Johns University. I made the drive from NYC because this was a game many did not want to miss. It was an ECAC qualifying game or something similar. The coliseum even at that time was dark and dreary. But the atmosphere was electric as Glenn Vickers, Kevin Hamilton, Jeff Ruland, Dave Brown, and Alex Middleton took the court to a loud ovation. Did not hurt that some if not all were from Long Island, even though they were attending school in New Rochelle. Iona had signed Ruland a year earlier despite Kentucky and many others offering him the world. Still remember Joe B Hall coming up to recruit him on a private jet a year earlier. Ruland wanted to play with Vickers! They knew each other from HS. Ruland's decision made Iona basketball what it was and they had a huge program in the best 3500 seat arena you could imagine with a big-time atmosphere.

Well that historical game won by Iona along with a huge MSG victory against a top team (Louisville ???) made the Gaels a household name and a major recruitment player. They than went out and snagged national top 5 player Gary Springer, got Steve Burtt, and many others to become Gaels.

SHU beating Louisville in front of a rocking arena will do similar wonders. And I think this could happen because of the folllowing:

Eugene Harvey will bring his A game
Laing will play very well
The SHU Bigs will get after it better than ever before
Nutter will have a step up performance
Paul Guase (sp) will be motivating
The crowd will be electric

I think there is a little dissension on the part of a few Louisville Players. Plus the pressure of coming home makes this a hard game for them. For SHU it is also about bragging rights during the summer. a few of those kids turned down RU, SHU. and St. Johns to play for Louisville. Now this is where the toughness for SHU is exhibited. I for one will be shocked if Eugene Harvey does not play well. Ditto Laing!

If this game ends with a SHU victory look for many kids to move SHU up on their list. And remember, this is a very winnable game for SHU.


What will happen? Will the players bring toughness to the game today in Chicago? Will JR play like he is capable of playing? Will Byron Joynes be noticed on the court because he is balling? Will farmer lead? Will Griffin play well again? Wondering minds wish to know. One thing for certain is the big fella will COMPETE HARD. I also thing Chandler will be a serious factor. Honestly, Depaul does not have that much of a home court advantage despite drawing some fans this season.

My prediction? Rutgers wins the game and Farmer scores 17 points to go along with 6 assists while JR gets 12 and 9. Maybe it is just wishful thinking but I will stay with my prediction.

RU Response and a bit of SHU

Just arrived back home from Bowie Maryland on Business. I need to point out I am not registered nor can I retrieve my password from Rivals which is the reason I answer some questions and comments on my blog. Pleased to see so many comments.

To the person who said I felt Sofman was "Too White" I say that's a lie. I said and meant he might be too suburban since he was known as ONLY A SHOOTER. Coming from West Milford does not mean he faced Jersey City, Newark, or NYC competition. I questioned his toughness just as I would Sylvan Landburg from Holy Cross HS in NYC who is Black. You want to make me take the gloves off? I still have not said he is tough. He has yet to prove he is even a Big East Role Player. Many people still do not understand that signing! I was giving him the benefit of the doubt based on him not getting many minutes. But too say I said he was too White? Its the kind of statement that made me stop posting. And why was my post so goofy? I wanted to keep it a bit light but goofy? Call my posts names all you want but remember you DO NOT HAVE TO READ IT!!! Its MY Blog!!

To my man Harlem. You know me and you know I never meant ALL MIDDLE CLASS kids were not tough. You gave a few names but most of the names you mentioned were definitely not suburban middle class kids. But there are many Middle Class and even some Wealthy Kids who can play their butts off. Let me give you a black one. Butch Graves was from Scarsdale NY, an affluent community. Yet he was tough as heck at Yale! Craig Carter is a middle Class kid. Do not allow him to fool you lol. He is tough! Tyler H from North Carolina is as tough as they come. Dad is a Surgeon. Rob Hodgeson was tough. So please do not confuse my words. And if it seems I was saying that, I apologise. So I stand by what I said.

Seton Hall

What can I say. They do have some tough kids on board in addition to some talented players. They beat a South Florida team who really seems improved. They have a few options which makes SHU a tough out.

But whats the deal with the 4000 plus in attendance? 4000 plus? That's horrible for a BE league game. They really need to work on the marketing and advertising as well as ticket give-aways.

Much more coming over the weekend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

They Should be Ashamed!!!

If I was a NJ Tax payer I would request a rebate based on the performance given by Rutgers against Syracuse University.. NO EXCUSES!!!!! That goes for everyone.

It is crazy how no one including myself has wanted to knock FHJ. I really like him but the bottom line is it looks like Rutgers is no where close to becoming competitive. They would need young Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird to win this season. And honestly, despite what some have said about the current RU players, they do have talent.

So whats the problem? The problem is they are too damn nice! They are the young men you want to come and see your Daughter. Honestly Rutgers does not need those type of kids. Nice middle class kids rarely win games. I always said if I coached at a Junior College I would have at least two kids a year from Rahway Jail on my team. Toughness is often more important than skills with big guys. In other words the RU Team has some real soft kids who really do not get after it. We can blame FHJ all we want. But the kids are a serious problem!! Not based on talent and ability. Based on toughness and heart.

JR Inman, my guy and my friend, should be embarrassed!!! NO EXCUSES!!! To play 28 minutes and have 2 rebounds shows a lack of heart? I can deal with off shooting days. But when you are needed to score and you take only 8 shots and hit 2 to go along with 2 rebounds it shows you have not accepted your role on the RU team. But again the scoring can come and go. I have always told kids that they could have a bad game shooting wise. But rebounding and defense is more desire than anything else. JR really needs to get his act together or FHJ needs to get a tough JC kid who might not be as skilled to COME AND THUG JRs spot from him.

Byron? Finish it out big fella but you too are lazy and not hungry enough to make a difference. The reason QD was so good was not because he could shoot. he was good because he wanted to be good and he wanted to eat better one day and help his folks. Most of the kids on RU act as if they are playing Prep School ball before attending Yale as reg students.

Farmer is somewhat tough but needs to lead!! Coburn is Coburn. A career role player skill wise but at least he fakes toughness. Griffin? Aggressive shooter who got away with stuff in HS that will not work in College. Nelson? Allowed freshmen to THUG HIS MINUTES from him. Farmer did not allow this but Nelson did. Sofman probably is tougher than most of the kids mentioned. He at least deserves a chance. The big fella? HE HAS HEART and DESIRE and might just be an NBA Player in the future. He plays hard. Growing up in Newark has allowed Chandler to be tough. He will do well even on off nights because he wants and needs it.

The Coach

Fred Hill is not the entire problem here. But he has to do a better job preparing his soft kids for battle. You play with what you have and adjust. It is about winning. We know he will not be going anywhere after this season even though he might be forced to make staff changes. We also know he cannot play on the court for the kids he has. Trust me RU would better with FHJ, Darren Savino, and Craig Carter on the team to go along with Chandler. As a player FHJ would have slapped the piss out of JR Inman by now for playing so damn soft. He would have also been yelling and leading them to a better record. In the same vain he needs to step his game up by getting into the faces of his really soft troops. he needs to become General Patton on them. Because not to show any improvement is a sign of failure.

Next season will be the same without an attitude adjustment. Christian Morris is decent. But he is way tougher than what you have. But he is not a program changer. Rosario could be a McDonald's All American so he will bring backcourt relief. But who sits? If he plays with Chandler who will be the PG? Will it be a 3 guard line-up? Who will start at the big positions? Big fella and JR? Does that line up scare anyone? Farmer, Chandler, Rosario, Inman, and Big fella? The rest of the BE is shaking in their sneakers I am sure. But if they play HARD and Together it would look like a different team.

What's more important is an attitude transformation. Drop the BS barn league and allow those kids to play in Newark, East Orange, and Harlem! Make RU understand Defense and rebounding are crucial. Score off the D. But more important FHJ needs to take the gloves off with his kids. Even during games! They would lock me up if I was the RU Coach during the Syracuse game. I would have been slamming kids in the locker room and nose to nose challenging them.

Lastly. Many people like FHJ so much they give him passes others would not receive. He is the favorite son. But the favorite son needs to show some serious improvement THIS SEASON, even if it does not transform into wins. When a game is over every kid and coach should have left it all on the court!! Start the transformation right now. New practice and new attitude. Best 5 guys start the next game based on EFFORT, Defense, and more EFFORT.

Wednesday January 16th, 2008

Just a few Tidbits

North Carolina State Loses

North Carolina State lost to Clemson last night and it was not a pretty sight. What makes the loss more alarming is the fighting going on with the NC State Team. I was also interested to find out why Brandon Costner's stats are down from a year ago.

Spoke to a few people I know in North Carolina including one super NC State fan. It was the same story from each person. The old guys on the team have not accepted new roles with the new players having a larger role on the team than expected. NC State has very good talent!! They just are not playing well together.

Brandon Costner was considered the 2nd best COLLEGE small forward in the entire USA this season according to a few college publications. He was expected to be a contender for ACC Player of the Year. What happened? can he play? Is he injured? Against Clemson he scored 0 points on 0 for 6 shooting in 20 plus minutes.

I honestly feel he is the same player he was last season but is not being coached the same way this year, nor is the NC State Coaches doing all they can to get him involved in the offense. Add his laid back demeanor to the equation and you have a a formula for under achievement. Coaching college basketball at the highest level is difficult to say the least. It's not just about X and Os. It's about team management, motivation, putting kids in position to succeed as opposed to failing, encouraging, and blending all the talent to make a group of gifted players a TEAM. Not sure this is being done at NC State. Brandon is way too gifted to score 0 points and take ONLY 6 SHOTS! Though he has a hand in how he performs, Sidney Lowe needs to see he needs to run his offense through Brandon as he did last season. I just hope he does not lose a couple of his kids mentally (and maybe physically) this season.

On Recruiting

Was watching Binghamton against Stony Brook last night on the tube. Great atmosphere at Binghamton and beautiful gym. All of a sudden I realized that Mitchell Buford, former Christ the King star, was on the Stony Brook Roster. I remember him as a hot shot 10th grader who commuted to Middle Village from out on Long Island to play for Bob Oliva at Christ the King. He was on everyone's early recruitment list! Stony Brook? Yes Stony Brook! One of the best academic universities on the east coast and a secrete to many. A school that is one of 4 university research centers in the State University of NY System. Yes a GREAT SCHOOL! When Mitchell receives his degree from Stony Brook it will open great doors for him because he will be ready to enter the world of work or graduate and professional schools, with confidence.

I tell this story because it is important for young men and women to understand once the last game is over you quickly become just a face in the crowd. No one will make over you like they did when you were recruited. During recruitment time you, your parents, advisers, coaches, were the toast of the schools recruiting you. We know about the free Nike, Adidas, and Reebok gear you received via your AAU Team and through your HS who might just have a contract with one of the big 3 I mentioned. But when it is over you will be right at Sports Authority or Foot Locker looking for what's on sale lol. No more free stuff. Than when you attend games you will be just doing that, attending. No one will make over you because 7 years ago you played for ?????? Or you were a top 100 player in America. Everyone will be into the new crop of kids. I often watch the reaction ex NBA guys, and local college and HS stars receive when they walk into the gym. Heck Nate Archibald goes to games and people often ignore him. and he led the NBA in scoring and assists one year. Ditto Dean "the Dream" Meminger, Gus Williams, and many others including Jay Williams, and Tony Campbell. All GREAT GUYS who are doing well thank god. But they are no longer celebrities.

This is the reason kids need to choose colleges that will prepare them for life after basketball. Places that will work with them academically for them to get a college degree. But even more important work with them to comprehend what is being taught in the classroom. Mitchell Buford seems to understand this. He will get his degree from a great school and be ready for his career after basketball.

College Athletes After College

Just a short note on this. Whats the deal with colleges acting like it is OK to graduate from ???????????? University and getting a job they did not have to attend college to get? I mean it's nothing wrong with taking civil service jobs, but to celebrate people taking those jobs after graduating from your university? Wow!! I love the IONA model where they really help the ex players find great positions after graduation. Columbia University had (might still in existence) a basketball club that made sure all players had great summer internships and great jobs after graduation. Let's be happy for anyone with a job in this economy, and Celebrate those who achieve and receive positions that were made possible because they received a college degree. More on this at a latter date.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday January 14, 2008

Madison Square Garden
Nike Super 6 Stuff

Was really excited to head to my hometown of New York City for the Nike Super 6. Unfortunately my excitement to attend the game made me forget to fill up the gas tank in my imitation Bentley. So as soon as I arrived in NYC my car ran out of gas. But God was watching because I ran out right in front of a gas station.

After that it was all great! Games were very good. I loved the fact all teams that participated were well outfitted with great uniforms and matching sneakers, etc. I get so upset watching some schools playing games with uniforms from 1990 and older. But again in this case the outfits were sharp. Maybe it was because each gets gear from Nike or someone.

Great to see all the scouting services set up. Saw Seton Hall contengent with Blue SHU clothing on. Looked great. Too bad the SHU coaches did not do the same lol.

I was surprised to see both St. Raymond's and Patterson Catholic wearing Nike's. They both have been Adidas schools for many years. I guess Adidas is going in another direction.

Alot of coaches working the crowd. Some of local big guys were there including Bobby G, Dermon Player, and Scott Adabatto (sp) from SHU who was dressed with a nice leather jacket looking like he was going going on an audition for Scarface 2. What happened to the days where college coaches came out with the school colors and a sweater vest with the school logo attached? Saw Calipari with a dark suit on with no tie. Glenn B from St. Johns, a great great great guy was at the games but Rutgers had a game so I guess they could not have spared anyone. By the way, Roy Williams showed up with a Carolina Blue Sweater on even though he is the HC of the number 1 team in America. Guess he still does it the old fashioned way. Funny thing about Roy, as John Salvo, a very knowledgeable HS and College guy mentioned to me, he never forgets names and faces. It's no wonder he does a GREAT JOB!! Also in attendance was Clyde ?, ex Canisius star, and current St. Francis of Brooklyn Assistant. Also in the house was Julius Allen, Assistant at Binghampton University of the American east Conference. Amazing how NO locally gave Jules an opportunity. All 3 local BE teams could have used him!!!

We all knew Dexter Strickland was committing to North Carolina. But many thought it would be Thursday. But when his Mom showed up with a Carolina Blue warm-up (store purchased with no logos, etc.) and Dexter with a Carolina Blue hood type jacket. we knew it was a done deal. This kid (Dexter) is such a great pick up FOR ANY TEAM IN AMERICA!!! Not just because he plays good basketball, but because he seems like such a well rounded young man. I watched kid after kid brush off hello's from people they did not know or answer questions with one word answers. Than there is Dexter. One person asked him a question and he looked the person in the eye and warmly answered with a full sentence and thanked the person for his kind words. WINNER!!!!!! These are the type of kids that certain schools look for. Winners on and off the court. Now all Dexter has to do is become just a bit more assertive in the next season and a half. As John Cano said to me this morning, he is only a junior. A legit junior age wise if you know what I mean.

Dexter played well in the game I watched as St. Pats beat St. Rays. But Truck Bryant is soooooooooooooooo smooth and GOOD!! A great pick-up for West Virginia and the super star COACHES (thats plural lol) they have on the bench. You could tell he was good from how he warmed up. Believe it or not 80% of the time you can tell alot about players from how they warm up. But the Man was Quintell Thomas. He gets better every game. I am sure Roy Williams was wishing he had recruited Quintell. I once said he would fight for minutes at Kansas. How wrong I was!! This kid is a STUD! And he is just scratching the surface. I also want to say Kevin Boyle can COACH!!! I also want everyone to know his son. who starts as a Sophmore (correction by the famous SPK from SHU), is the real deal!! NO crap about his game. he is a coaches son who plays the game well and enjoys being on the court. I am going to predict that this kid, young Boyle, will be a high D1 player by his senior years. Just playing the comp he plays against in practice and national games will get him better. And being with his Dad every single day will not hurt. Lastly on St. Pats. What's the deal with Paris Bennett? We know he can play. But is he the lost man out offensively on a very good St. Pats team? Maybe he should have transferred to Newark Science in exchange for Quintell Thomas Transferring to St. Pats from Science.

Paterson Catholic has some great young players to go along with Jordan Theodore. By the way Jordan's wonderful mom came by to say hello and thank me for acknowledging her in past posts. Back to the players. Trevor Cummings needs to really work on his body. He is just a big kid out on the court with good potential. Playing at an elite basketball school helps him more than he helps Patterson Catholic. 7 points? Please! He looks like Terrel Biggs in HS without all the skills Terrell had. But he has potential and needs to get with the right people this summer. you If he attended Teaneck, Hackensack, or Englewood he would not be on the radar yet. Lance Brown is another story. He will be a star and it will be sooner than later. Another Teaneck area kid who would do well at any HS. Looks like PC has decent coaches in place. They just need to keep the ball in Theodore's hands the 4th quarter so he can distribute. They really should have won the game against Mount Vernon. And to the Patterson Catholic Coaches: What's the deal with the seven foot kid playing 3 minutes? Is he that bad? Where are his parents? He should have been snatched out and put in Bosco, St. Joe'a, BC, or anywhere else where he could get playing time. I did not see a front line so good he needed to ride the bench. Terrible!!! And he is a senior!! And did anyone see his little brother? Heck I would give him minutes just to get the young brother who might be taller than him in a few years. It was comical when John Salvo, who knows 150 college coaches, asked him where he was going next year (John wanted to tell some local mid major guys about him) and the kid half replied not even looking in his direction. Definately not a Dexter Strickland personility lolol.

Mount Vernon remains a program as opposed to a team because Bob Cammino runs his program year round and has some very good dedicated Assistant Coaches who he never fails to acknowledge. Kevin Jones??? He played his butt off in the 4th quarter comeback. The freshmen guard will be the next big-time player in the Mt. Vernon Program. I wonder if Mt. Vernon still plays home games at 4 in the afternoon? ummmmm!

St Benedict's finds a way to win because Danny Hurley takes it serious and takes no crap from anyone. He did not start Samuel's for some reason yet he still wins the game against Rice, who is pretty good. Danny remains one of my favorite coaches and I think he will be legendary if he stays in the HS game. I feel the same way about Boyle. But I really love what Danny does. Look for my Grandson Logan to be on his roster in 15 0r 16 years lol. But most likely he will be on the college level than. Coaches like Danny, Kevin Boyle, and Maurice Hicks of Rice could easily step into head coaching jobs at Maac, NEC, or even Colonial Athletic schools.

Back to Samuel's. He is OK!!!!! Great? Not sure. Good? YES!!!! Greg E, the young big guy? Looking at right schools academically. Not as good as Samuel's but has another year to get better. Big body and average game at this point to me. What makes St. Benedict's so good is the system and the fact they are a program and play team basketball. They seem to have used much of the St. Anthony Model For Success.

Rice just keeps going and going and going! Maurice Hicks is outstanding! His kids play hard all game. He subs his players as well as anyone in America and is always one move ahead as he anticipates just like a chess master. People need to know that Rice does not have a gym. The room they call a gym is like a big classroom. Despite this they remain a to 10 HS team nationally year in and year out. Rice has been great for many years but slumped slightly some years back. Maurice, and a guy named Lou Demello before him, worked to get Rice back on the map. Maurice would be an excellent college head coach at a low d1 school.

New Power in Westchester County

Look for Roosevelt HS of Yonkers to become a power on the basketball scene by next season. Head Coach Kenny Stevens is working hard and making the right connections. But the smartest thing he did was hire Evandar Ford, a great teacher and coach to assist him. It just so happens Evander was Kenny's Rucker League coach 20 years ago. This is exactly what I mean when I say a head coach needs to understand his limitations. Kenny realized he needed experience on his bench! Sad that many local high D1 coaches do not realize this. Roosevelt plays Mount Vernon late this week or next week and it will be a good indicator of where they are as a team.

Also like what happened at Campus Magnet (formerly Andrew Jackson) in Queens. They beat powerful Cardoza and colorful Head Coach Ron Neclerio a few weeks back. One of my best friends, Bobby Holford, is a volunteer assistant to legendary HC Chuck Granby at Campus Magnet. Even a legend can use good help. Bobby was national Junior College Coach of the year when his Hostos CC team was the first NY area team to win a National bball championship since CCNY did it years ago. He has coached at Providence, Hofstra, FDU, and been a head coach at NY Tech, and St. Thomas Aquinas in Rockland County. Now he is helping his old HS as a volunteer. What a great pick-up. The rematch is this week and the game will be showed on MSG network.


Big East player who lives locally will transfer at the end of the season to Miami

Local Big East Recruit suspended from Prep School

Other Local national recruit close to not playing again this season for bad habits