Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Weekend............lots to come!!

Before I start. RutgersAL, please contact me at I would love to interview you for this blog. It would be great!!!!!You can say what you want and how you feel. Please email me so I can arrange this. Thanks

Well Davidson had its great run ended by a very talented Kansas Jayhawk team. Kansas has always been a great program and a traditional power. Davidson has nothing to be ashamed of and in fact should be walking around with their heads held high.

Davidson played a great pre conference schedule including games at the Bobcat Arena that were electric!! Those games prepared them for the NCAA Tournament. But the great thing this run has done for me, is show that great coaching with solid players wins games. I did not say great players! Solid players.

Yes Stephen Curry is NOW a great player. But prior to attending Davidson he was not. In fact I still am not sure he handles the ball well enough at this point to be a NBA player NEXT SEASON. But he is a GREAT COLLEGE PLAYER on a real college team. We all know the Curry story about how he was not recruited by the large schools. But if folks really watched him play in HS they would know he signed with the right level school. No one was yelling how Davidson got a steal when he signed. But because he went to a place that offered him a great opportunity, he IMPROVED and DEVERLOPED his game from day 1. I have seen this on many occasions.

Side bar. If Lance Thomas and Derrick Character attended NJ BE Schools, would they have had better careers to date? Not that they are having horrible careers. But think what they would have accomplished locally! Ditto kids like Dexter Strickland, and Quintrell Thomas. But more on this later.

The Kansas vs Davidson game was truly a David (Davidson) vs Goliath (Kansas) game based on talent level and school size. Davidson with zero top 200 players against Kansas with about 10 HS All American types. Regardless, Davidson could care less about rankings because the game took place on the court and not on paper. In fact, it was a suburban type team that could have been from Maine against the tough kids from Chicago. But I must point out the Kansas kids were super classy and went out of their way to acknowledge the Davidson Players after the game.

It is because of games and runs such as these that I feel Coaching and Development of players through teaching are the main ingredients for success. Bob Mckillip put his kids in positions to succeed. And if people think the Davidson point guard was not the team MVP all season they are incorrect! Curry was the most outstanding player, but the PG was the MVP. Watch next year when he is gone! Heck, if I was Curry I would go also because without him next season it could be very hard on a him scoring wise. Good Coaching, execution, solid players, and a very good point guard could make a season enjoyable.

If Rutgers had a solid pass and create PG, all the kids on their roster would have had better years. When Harvey played that way (pass first), SHU was a better team. Hard to win with shooting PGs unless you are surrounded by HS All Americans at every position. Even Kansas made Russell Robinson pass the ball more than he shot. And if you know Russell like many of us do, you know he was a selfish shooting guard in HS at Rice. He was told pass or sit. he shot so he sat for a couple os seasons. When he passed he played and on Sunday had zero points on 2-3 attempts. But he passed, defended, and played solid minutes!

Back to Davidson. I hope Davidson gets a huge welcome on that Beautiful Campus. I am positive Applications will be up as will donations. heck I might even apply there to take a few courses since it is so close to my future NC Home LOL.

NJ All State Teams

Are you kidding me? No Quintrell Thomas on first team all state? What happened? From what I saw he was the best player on St. Patrick's and the best big man in NJ HS basketball this past season. Was he punished for transferring out of Science to St. Patrick's a few seasons back? Maybe I missed something! I know the St. Benedicts kids cannot be included, but even if they were, I feel Quintrell was deserving.

Speaking of Thomas. I think he will be solid at Kansas. earlier I felt he would be buried there. But one thing for sure, he could have developed faster at RU or SHU than Kansas. I feel the same way about Dexter Strickland. Great HS player, seems like s super kid, and has great support from family. But North Carolina brings in studs! I am sure he will do well at NC. But I am positive he could have been a star from day one at a local big-time school attempting to become a program.

Development and an opportunity to play alot from day 1 is very important. Don't believe me? ASK Stephen CURRY!!!!!!


Sean said...

Linc, great post, but in case you want to edit it, it's Stephen Curry, not Jason.

LFBall said...

Right!!!!!!! Thanks. I know a Jason Curry in NY from years ago. Thank you very much!!!!!! Great catch.

John said...

Regarding this: If Rutgers had a solid pass and create PG, all the kids on their roster would have had better years. When Harvey played that way (pass first), SHU was a better team. Hard to win with shooting PGs unless you are surrounded by HS All Americans at every position.

I'm a big Seton Hall fan and have watched or attended most games - I think this is great comment about the function of the PG and have witnessed this with Harvey. I have seen some RU games as well and I think your comment is right on target.

I continue to appreciate your advocacy for keeping our great BB kids (young men and women) here in NJ. Although I am very concerned (selfish perspective) that SHU has not locked in the recruits the way RU has, I know its very important for Coach Hill to make the strides in keeping our kids local. We really need to see SHU, RU and SJU keep the kids here.

LFBall said...

By the way. The Jason Curry I am referring to runs the Big Apple basketball stuff in NYC. Doing great things after a great career at St. Michaels in Vermont. And for you music lovers, his Dad is a local R&B legend after doing some stuff with the legendary Moments and Ray Goodman and Brown.

LFBall said...


Thanks for the comment. Somtimes I feel I am going crazy when I watch games. As much as Stephen Curry impressed folks, I was almost as impressed with the PG on his team. If that kid wishes to persue coaching he would be a great one.

I also thank you for recognizing I am really just a fan of college basketball. I love the poteential RU vs SHU rivalry. And I also think SHU is headed in the right path. Remember ratings mean nothing after they arrive on campus!

John said...

Another question: But one thing for sure, he could have developed faster at RU or SHU than Kansas.

Based on your experience and observations, what are the kinds of things that he (and other young players) would experience at the SHU / RU / SJU program level, that would help him / them develop faster?

I am asking in order to continue to learn more about the game. Thank you sir, for your really thoughtful comments.

LFBall said...

Good Question. Though going to schools such as Kansas and UNC provide great opportunities and facilities as well as first class staffs. The huge thing missing is OPPORTUNITY!!! At those type of programs, many of which are considered factories, you always have to look over your shoulder because another great player is on the way. Think Taylor King is not going after lance Thomas Spot? Think Charactor is happy not being the center of attention?

Playing at the local schools allows kids like Rosario, Chandler, and even Griffin and Inman to play early in their careers which in most cases would help development wise. JR started as a freshmen at RU. Eugene Harvey was almost a star out of the gate because he played big minutes as a freshmen.

Teaching wise. FHJ and BG are both great teachers. Not sure who is the great teacher at SJU. But FHJ and BG know that they need to develop kids fast because they need to compete. And no matter how quick you learn, without playing time and lots of it, your development is not as fast or as successful. A good example is when you first learned to drive a car. You had a license, but you might not had been a good or confident driver. As you drove, you became better and better. Its called experience driving. In basketball its called playing time!

Most kids in D1 can play. But when you get to the BE level you have very good talent, and might just need confidence, teaching, and playing time. And that's what kids could get at local schools now. Because in the near future those opportunities to be an early player might not be available.

John said...

LF (sorry, don't know your real name), that was really informative. I have a general hope that local basketball players will look at SHU, RU, SJU, and if not them, certainly Monmouth and Rider and Manhattan and so on. Even though I have identified myself as a fan of SHU (my son is there now - how could I not root!), I think the a strong SHU, strong RU and strong SJU will make the NY / NJ hoops universe be great.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I'm a devoted reader of yours. Take care,