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.
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.