Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend Stuff!!!! SHU and RU

Seton Hall Loses

Many fans of SHU are really upset that SHU is on a 5 game losing streak. They should be upset because that's what fans do when their team loses. But in reality fans should understand when their team is playing a team or program that is better. The last 5 games we have seen SHU play teams that seem destined for the NCAA tournament. Well maybe West Virginia is not a lock, but they are right there.

To lose to these teams is not a horrible thing. What makes these type of loses horrible is a lack of performance and effort. In some games that effort was not there and needless to say neither was the performance. hard to play good in the BE effortlessly. But again, though the past five games have been loses, they came against teams no one can say were definite wins.

I have this formula about wins and loses. I always feel there are certain teams you should always beat based on talent, coaching, and effort, which leads to performance. Not knocking other tri-state area programs but SHU should never lose a game to NJIT, FDU, Monmouth, St. Peters, LIU, Manhattan, etc. Games against St. Johns, Rutgers, and even Fordham if they were on the schedule, could go either way because of talent at the time and in the case of Rutgers, natural rivalries. I see two games that were loses that should have been wins. Penn State and maybe NC State. One game was on the road and the other was at home. What looks bad and inexcusable are recent home blow out loses to Marquette and ND.

Despite all of this I still feel SHU has had a decent season to date. Opening of new arena, new star in Hazell, 15 wins so far (better than many expected) and a bright future. But the next 5 games will say alot and make or break SHU this season. Depaul game is a home game and a focused and competitive SHU team should prevail. The South Florida Game is away and SF can be tough at home. Nowhere as bad as the record!! This game is very important. 75% chance of a win if focused!! Away game against St. Johns. With very little real fan support there is not really any home court advantage for the Red Storm. This game should be a win but St. Johns has played better lately and will be a hard out. Syracuse at the Pru Center will be a good game. This is a young Syracuse team and most of the players on both teams have played against each other in AAU and HS tournaments. No blowouts here and SHU has the ability to win this one. Last but not least is Rutgers. This is a home game for SHU and it might be the determining game for a NCAA and even BE birth depending on the prior 4 games played. This game will be the Rutgers Season finale so expect a war and good showing. This is the game also played for recruiting advantage locally.

I can easily see SHU winning 5 out of 5, but I can also see SHU going 0 for 5 and putting the balls away until next season. I have never seen 5 games that could go either way. On paper it should be a record of 4 and 1 at the worst. This is a time when Mr. Laing and Mr. Harvey need to step forward with encouragement from Mr. Gause and get the job done. One game at a time and a goal of 5 straight wins! If Harvey does not show up, the season could be over.

RU Performance

From reading the newspapers and message boards it seems RU had a good performance yesterday. Unfortunately it's to the point that RU fans are searching so hard for a sign of hope, they are accepting moral victories. That's nice but totally unacceptable.

Nothing to be ashamed of about losing a game to ND this season. Mike Brey has the Irish playing really well. But at The World Famous RAC, Rutgers should EXPECT to win! OK I know it's not like that again YET. But if things go as I think it will, we will see the RAC not able to accommodate the fans wishing to purchase tickets. And it will become that loud intimidating arena it was years ago.

Back to basketball this season. I am so happy JR played a DECENT game. He has the talent to excel, but still lacks the killer instinct of similar players with his ability. If he just plays consistent he would be so much better. No one would complain if he ALWAYS had 14 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block shot, and 1 assist. But I for one am not impressed with a good game here and there. I say the same for Farmer who needs to play well for a season as opposed to every other game.

Rutgers has four games remaining and I really feel when FHJ has time to prepare his team, they play well. Marquette game away will be a hard out. Over 16,000 fans screaming and a very talented team makes this a difficult game. But that game is 5 days away so FHJ has time to prepare. RU could play very well this game. Win? Not sure but they will be prepared and have a good showing. After the Marquette game RU takes on a UConn team on a roll. This is a RU home game but is only a few days after the Marquette game. Hard game and to win RU will need to play perfect ball. South Florida is next and a very winnable game. Plus the loss in Tampa should be motivating for the entire RU Team. Than it's a week to prepare for SHU. That means RU will be going into the Pru Center ready to rumble. But this could be a needed game for SHU to make the NCAA's and even the BE Tournament depending how they did the prior 4 games they played. WAR!!!!!!! It will be a great one in Newark. I am off to buy tickets right now!!


Lots of talk about this kid and what he will do. No predictions from me but I will say I would be stunned if he DID NOT strongly consider Rutgers if he does not attend Indiana. Why do I feel this way?

--Family and trusted friend Craig Carter is Assistant at RU
--So much going on he might wish to now stay close to a family support network
--Indiana might not take him based on Sampson's recruitment practices even if
Sampson stays
--He was told by Stevie Wonder that from what he has seen, He would be best player
at Rutgers in his first year. maybe a one and out guy!!
--Chance to be part of something special with Rosario, Jackson, and Morris, all
guys he knows.
--Maybe he is a great friend of Soffman
--Exposure he would receive locally

If Rutgers gets this kid it would turn the RU program completely around. Something I did not think would happen with Lance Thomas or Derrick Character. This guy, if he plays hard, is a true program changer. Which is what RU needs now (Ebanks) or in the future to be a true BE contender. Even Pitino, Calipari, and John Wooden together on the same staff could not make certain teams contenders without program changing players.

The real difference in the elite coaches, every one of them, is the ability to attract program changing players BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!! They have the tools, and the facilities. Like Row Williams flying into a local airport on a private jet to recruit Dexter Strickland. Like the great practice facilities many schools have. I could go on and on because coaching has gone so far from being just about X and O's. If FHJ pulls this one off, and its a good possibility, he truly is recruitment guru because he does not have the private jets, and great facilities kids like Ebanks is use to seeing.

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