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.