Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Post from The Past Sent To me.

I had a person I do not know send me one of my posts from years ago. I had no idea that stuff was still floating around. After getting this post, I did a search and was stunned to see the various message boards and services that have used my stuff, poor spelling and all. It seems I have been quite blunt and controversial to say the least.

I have decided to post a few older entries from time to time as a way to show that the more that things seem to change, the more they stay the same. The post I am inserting below is about ego, AAU, older players, and what the sneaker companies are really after. I hope you folks enjoy this past from the blast........just kidding, Blast from the Past. See if you recognize the names, etc.

6/24/03 LFBALL: 'Rumble in the Bronx -- Unfortunately I was not able to attend this years Rumble. This tournament has become a real favorite of mine. Many of you remember me writing about those wonderful chicken wings sold outside the gym. I sure hope I am not too busy to attend next years tournament.

I do have a few comments based on what I have read and continue to read about the recreation basketball scene. What the heck is happening? Is it really right that Sean James, a new household name, be allowed to play in a 17 and under tournament even though he is 19 going on 20? My feeling, not that it means alot to many people, is he should not be allowed to play. Does he deserve a chance? Of course he does! But at what expense? Are folks really looking out for him or attempting to just win? If he was a 6 ft 1 guard who is close to turning 20, would he be embraced? Only if he played like Russell, Yada, or Sebastian! I really want this kid to get a chance to play college basketball. But I do not think it is right for him to go against 16 and 17 year old kids. There are open tournaments for him to play in. Plus when kids are in the teen years there is a huge difference between 17 and 19, unless your name is Labron James. This kid (Sean James) is known by every college coach on the east and west coasts. He did not need more exposure. From what I understand, he just needs to concentrate on academics and offensive skill development. Plus, his continued play limits the development of younger players who are attempting to be true scholar athletes. Please understand I am not hating on this kid. Heck, I would love to see him get a chance to compete at the highest level. I applaud Coach Tiny Morton for taking this kid and keeping him under his wings. I just think there are other ways of assisting him than playing him against younger kids.

This leads to my take on some teams looking to win at any cost necessary. What do you get? Do you get to meet the President of the US? Are you booked as a guest on Letterman? OK, you will get that college assistant job you always wanted as a full-time assistant! Or maybe it's just the feeling of power? Yes, that's it, power! The power to influence or steer kids to coaches and schools. And maybe later steer the more successful player to NBA agents and advisors. Not all coaches are this way. There are many that really want to just develop kids and help them get into school. These are the heroes you rarely hear about. Artie Cox, Mr. Screen, David from LI Road Runners, Tippy, the Abyssinian Church crew, CAS Warriors, etc. Yes, the biggies assist kids also, but these guys do it and often no one notices.

This makes me wonder why certain sneaker companies really sponsor those high profile camps. I know, they really want to assist inner city youth..... I am not saying many that run the camps do not care about kids, because some do. Both Adidas and Nike reps really care about young folks. But just not more than they do about those super players. I wonder when was the last time Lenny Cooke heard from Nike or Adidas? How about Omar? Think he could get a free pair of sneakers if he asked? By the way, those companies spend a lot on what they call "Grass Root Basketball." Hell of a name. Wonder who thought that up? I remember flipping on a consultant who said I was an expert in grass root marketing. Just imagine if they put the same financial resources into tutoring and life skills workshops all over the country. Please do not tell me about the workshops at the camps. Rich Kosik does a tremendous job, but is it truly what is wanted? It now seems that the best players from both Adidas and Nike go straight to the NBA draft. "So what's the use," I would imagine them saying. I say, all the Rec/AAU coaches need to back up and reevaluate their mission, if they have one. Also, if they wish to get to the college or pro level as coaches, there is nothing wrong with that. Just do not do it on the back on naive young men. Nor should coaches allow ego to impact on the development of our youth.

Well, that's it for now. I hope I have not pissed anyone off. But I do hope I have stimulated conversation and thought,'

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spelling and Grammer

After attending college many years ago including NYU, and Umass and obtaining a number of degrees I STILL CANNOT SPELL. Spell Check has spoiled me. There is still NO EXCUSE I can provide because it is just lazy not to look up correct name spelling. So after looking through the various boards as I do daily, I have to apologise to the many people who read my blog when they have free time. Honestly I did not know how to spell LeBron James, or is it LaBron James? Derrick Charactor, Derrick Carecter, or Derrick Carector!And AS FAMOUS AS Mr. James is, the corrct spelling does not come up on spell check LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. And Mr. Chicken from the SHU board that was for you and if you do not like my LoL's DO NOT READ MY BLOG and create your own. I know you will have alot of interesting things to say behind your computer. I honestly thought I had cut way back on the LOL's.

I would also like to thank some of the most knowledgeable fans in the country for the support shown to me concerning my bad spelling. It is disappointing that folks are not getting the message because they are so busy looking for typo's. I am nowhere near Hoops Weiss or is it Wise, nor will I ever be as interesting as Adam Z, but I do keep it real and talk about things I hope will be of interest. Maybe I can get a sponsor and use the money to hire a real editor. I still remember Nate Blue writing some great stuff years ago with multiple errors. But I still looked forward to reading his stuff!

Again please continue to read but only if you will allow me to do the best I can at the moment. The typos have nothing o do with the actual content.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Message to Derrick Caractor and others like him

Before I address the Derrick Caractor situation I need to warn all those who get upset with some of the stuff I write to exit stage left if you know what I mean! ............................ OK now that we have completed the exit process lets discuss Mr. Caractor and what has actually happened to him.

Derrick Caractor was prime for becoming a under achieving player and person early on in his career. It started when his people allowed sneaker people and others to control his movement including what high school he attended and what AAU team he played for. Check back and notice the shoes those teams wore. Yes the sneaker guys spoiled this kid and sorry to say his people including Mom, who probably is a wonderful person, allowed it to happen. What they did early to this kid is worst than how Les Cason was exploited at East Ruthurford HS many years before. Can we add the name Luther Wright? Still not as bad as what has happened with the nice kid they call DC.

Funny thing is the press makes this kid seem like a real jerk and hard guy to get along with. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mentioning that he flunked out of Louisville makes him seem a bit on the not educable side. Again far from the truth. If you have an opportunity to speak with Derrick Caractor you will see he is very articulate, thoughtful, and respectful. He just is spoiled!!!!! I have a personal story involving myself and what Derrick said to me at a gym 3 or 4 years ago. It was so motivating to me because I had been through something horrible that I would wish on no one. Eddie Lau, who also is not this horrible person described by many, brought Derrick over to talk to me and the conversation was great!!!!

Back to Derrick. Yes he is spoiled just like many other highly ranked basketball players. He received all types of gifts from all types of people. Why? because they wanted something from him in return. They wanted to be on Team DC! Labron had the same and it worked out for those hanger on types with him. Mayo? We all see what is happening there. I would bet a few folks have jumped from Team DC to others like Team Lance, or Team Cheek, but we all know Bob Hurley will make that situation correct.

It all starts with the ranking stuff where they rank 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Did anyone know that Pitts Terrell Biggs was the number 1 7th grader and 8th grader in the country according to one nationally known service? Add that to the sneaker company involvement via AAU and Rec programs who get money from outside sources and use the money to wine and dine HS studs. In return those studs who are fortunate enough to make the NBA, wind up being affiliated with agents and sneaker companies who supported them through their teams for many years. Please do not act like you do not know the various teams involved with this type of stuff. Look at the teams and how they are outfitted and the sneakers they wear. I saw a team from Washington DC that even gave the parents matching sneakers.

We think it is all about helping youth, and youth programs. But others feel it is strictly business. No one funds free camps for sports without a motive. This is not "fresh air fund." It is let me get to know you so that I can sign you later! Unfortunately Derrick Caractor is one of the few who got caught up in this as well as the hype yet could not produce enough on the court to make the investment many made in him pay off.

And let me be the first to say I wonder if Coach Pitino would throw him off the team if he averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds last season? I think what Pitino thinks is Caractor is not really as good as advertised and he wants to make room for his new players who he thinks are better. And the real kicker is coaches like Pitino have no consideration for a kid like Caractor. He blasts him, talks about his academics, and how he no longer wants him. Heck, what NBA general manager wants him now? What ever chance he had went out the window with Pitino's comments. I watched John Calipari do the same thing with Sean Banks a few years back.

Here is my formula for Derrick Caractor's Comeback.

1. Back to basics. Forget those technical guys milking you. get a guy like Sandy
P or Brian Crawford to work with you this summer in NJ. None of that special
treatment from them.

2. Get in the gym on your own and work and than work some more. Your summer
jom should be basketball related with a connecting gym. If Derrick is reading
this blog he should go right out and start running around where ever he is.

3. Get as far away as possible from the agents, wanna be agents, the other agents,
and the agents runners. Time to buckle down and make this basketball thing work.

4. Buy your own gear this summer. Do not allow anyone to give you stuff! Do your
own thing. Even if you have to wear those $9.99 Starbury sneakers.

5. Get with a true basketball motivator who does shoulder up workouts. I know a great
one by the way lol.

6. Start looking at other school options. I really think DC needs a true players
coach who brings discipline. Transfer to the A10, SEC, ACC, etc. In fact, Al
Skinner at Boston College or Seth Greenburg at Virginia Tech would be great for
Derrick. One year working in the weight room with a photo of people riding
the subway and bus commuting tp work, as well as photos of Luthor Wright
and Les cason on the wall as motivation would be a great move.

7. Use the sit-out year to really work-out and study film. Especially film from
years at Louisville

Now if the DC story does not show what is wrong with our amateur system I do not know what will. Rick Pitino is just as wrong as the others after pushing DC out. But his behavior happens all the time. I truly believe some of his problems would not had happened if he attended school closer to his home. Other players need to look at this and understand how important it is to have your family support network close by. Trust me alot of kids have had second thoughts. ask Brandon Costner among others. SHU looks very good right about now even if he stays at NC State. DC, go somewhere that will love you but not spoil you. Someplace like Boston College and Al Skinner if he will take you

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Thoughts...Tobias, Jackson, Costner....

Brandon Costner leaving NC State? If he decides to attend SHU they should welcome him with open arms. Even if it is one year. Kid is a class person who does have game. Though I have questioned his intensity since he was in HS, I still would take him because he will make many around him better. This is a true no brainer!

So everyone like Tobias Harris? Great seeing little Tobias progress so much. Let me explain. His Dad Terrell is a very good friend of mine and I have watched his son since he was a little kid coming around our Dyckman practices with his Dad years ago. That is the reason they like Rutgers so much. It is another Craig Carter connection. Trust me when I tell you this kid has been preparing for this all his life. His dad was an outstanding college player in his own right. The good thing is he will go to THE RIGHT SCHOOL because his dad understands what is important and what is not. besides, Terrell, who is his dad, cannot be purchased, bribed, or given a job because he already is extremely successful with a great clothing line, a deal with the NBA as an outfitter, and much more. Heck, I remember getting my free warm-up suits from him every year LOL. Again, watch for this kid to choose the absolutely best school for himself academically and athletically. He also is a great kid!

I am still scratching my head over folks questioning the Jackson commitment to SHU. As I mentioned in another blog post, this kid can play. Plus he is a bit older than the average rising college sophomore. When you get a kid who has been just playing ball in and around NYC after being the PSAL Player of the year, you know he is improved and better than ever. Let me give you a great example. Peter Vecsey, the OUTSTANDING Writer for the NY Post attended Molloy HS in Queens many years ago. he was never skilled enough to make the team but he loved hoops. Years go by and he continues to play at places such as the 92nd St. YMCA in Manhattan. He gets better and better to the point that at the last Maurice Stokes All star Game in the Catskills, he played in the legends or Pro portion of the event with MANY NBA guys. Guess who should have been MVP? That's right Peter Vecsey! He was that good and the only reason they did not give it to him is because it would have looked bad that this famous writer beat out NBA guys for MVP. Well jackson also has played and played, and played in and around NYC. Though he was Player of the Year in the PSAL his senior year, he is way better now. So forget the bogus ranking system and just watch this guy shoot the rock (ball) at The Rock.

Honestly Theodore, Jackson,Harvey, Gause and Hazell will be a great and tough nucleus of guards. I would put them against anyone anytime. This RU vs SHU rivalry is going to be a great one very soon. SHU just needs the big guys to step it up through hard work and dedication.

The Barn Summer League? PLEASE STOP IT!!!! I will be stunned if JR or Farmer played in that league this summer. I would bet JR wishes to play in the NYC Pro Am against NBA and European players and Farmer wants the same or the Sonny Hill league in Philly. If they are playing in that intramural tournament at the RU Barn I will be stunned.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just My Thoughts

Ok gang. Lots happening in past few days. But honestly I am not surprised.

Brandon Costner might leave NC State? If he does he would be a huge pick-up for either Seton Hall or Rutgers. Though I am still not impressed with him as an athlete, he does know how to score and create opportunities for his teammates. Just needs to be a bit more hungry and a bit less middle class on the court. If he is available he could be as important a recruit as Ebanks based on a teams needs.

Greg Encheque (sp) will be available to play this season at Rutgers? That gives Rutgers a few big bodies to better compete this upcoming season. I still wonder if he is making the correct decision by playing this season as opposed to sitting out the year and becoming stronger. Sorry to say I think he is good but not as great as a few folks are making him out to be. I hope he shuts me up as his HS teammate did this year by going out and dominating everyone before heading to Louisville.

Rutgers is doing a great job getting players and an even better job of publicizing the players they are getting. Other kids are reading and will want to follow. FHJ has always been great with the press and has some great contacts.

So folks are not impressed with Jackson going to Seton Hall? LOLOLOLOLOLOL, yes it is funny because this kid always had game. If folks think he will back down to any guard and not be a real force offensively, they are mistaken. Forget the rankings! Forget the fact he is not a household name? Trust me, he has played the best in Brooklyn and did his thing!! I would not care if he was rated the 790th shooting guard in America. Kid can play! Might not be Curry from Davidson, or maybe he will? UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Smoke Has Cleared!!!

The smoke has cleared on a number of things related to area College and HS basketball. We now know who is going where, and what HS players are being recruited by good ole university. What next?

Well it seems what's next is alot of crying and over evaluating stuff that at this point of the year is almost meaningless.

Why be upset with Ebanks for choosing a place that makes him feel comfortable and wanted? I always say go where you are loved so maybe that's how he felt. He felt more love from West Virginia than anywhere else. But I must add the way we define love is not always true to the meaning of the word if you know what I mean. I am not upset, but I am confused that a kid with NYC roots, family in NYC, a player use to big lights, and an urban kid, would choose a place like West Virginia over Memphis, Rutgers, and others. Again it must be the "LOVE" he received lol.

Lets look at the Gonzo stuff still going on. Why are folks so angry with him. So he makes a grand entrance. What is he supposed to do? Sneak to the bench through the back ally? What's the big deal with him challenging refs? I am sure no one will mind once he wins more. It will be part of the attraction in future years. And FYI PJ was one of the ALL_TIME CRY BABIES!!! He bitched and cried all the time and his early record was bad enough that he would have been fired if it was up to folks who think like a few current SHU fans.

I do agree with the performance indicators set forth by many on the SHU Board, which is a great board. But please with the over evaluating your coach because it would be just fine if he had gotten to the sweet 16. In fact he would have speaking engagements for $25,000 a pop at many of your companies.

Rutgers lost Ebanks but gained a very good and even underrated HS All American in Mike Rosario. The others are very good as well but folks will have to be a bit patient, In fact, I would doubt any of them with the exception of Rosario, including Enchique, will start next season. I see a 3 guard line-up with Farmer,Chandler, Rosario, along with Inman, and the big Fella. But the following year will be a dozy and a real break through year if the coaching is what it needs to be.

People can say what they want. But too many HS and AAU guys suffer with EGO Disease. It stops being about service and helping kids and becomes just a function for their own gains and personal satisfaction. It's about control and controlling kids as opposed to assisting them. In some cases there are kids who need extra guidance and support because of the lack of parental support and presence. But there are alot of families involved and knowledgeable about the recruitment process, playing the game, and life decision making. Some Coaches think all parents are dumb and have little to offer. This is where problems begin. Still remember one very controlling HS coach telling two parents that he needs to educate them on the college experience so that would know about applications, etc. He also told the parents that he would handle everything for them. Funny thing is the Mom was a College President, and the Dad was the Head Doctor and Dean at a Medical School. EGO!!! Just assuming these were parents who knew nothing!

AAU guys are similar. many think they will get to become college coaches via having great players. Some will because some coaches including a few we all know, will not hesitate to hire an AAU guy if he is bringing great players with him. Heck, I have seen Dad's hired. I even see where St. Johns will hire an ex HS guy in hope of using it as leverage to keep it's star player. But most of the AAU guys fall for the game that college coaches really like them. They fail to realize it is about your player and rarely about you. I know this first hand. I can name at least 5 big-time coaches who at one time I THOUGHT WERE MY FRIENDS LOL. In fact, one from the ACC would not even write me back when I requested information and assistance at least 5 times. He use to call me all the time. Needless to say he is now having a rocky time. But watching him from a distance I have seen him do a 360 change from the way he was in the early years.

Ron Neclerio

When will it stop? I like Ron alot. This guy eats and sleeps basketball. I think he would be an excellent assistant on the college level. He would be great on the D1 level. But to jump straight to the Big east from HS? Yes others have done it but he has this one person crusade to get a job at St. Johns University. No doubt he would get the ears of recruits because he is likable. He would also help with player development and coaching. But he needs to back up and let it happen. No need to go around and bash the head coach of the university you attended because he did not hire you. Ron will get to where he wants to be when he does a self evaluation of himself from inside and out. Again, it would really please me to see him get to the D1 level. But it will be hard for him as long as he remains angry at St. Johns.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Today's Early Thoughts

So Ebanks Picks West Virginia. I for one am not that surprised. As a person who attended and graduated from a college in West Virginia I understand the importance they put on sports in Morgantown. In fact, I remember playing a game against Hugging when he was a senior. I also remember the players way back including Wonderful Warren somebody (Baker) from White Sulfur Springs West Virginia. Yes WVA is very serious about basketball.

But why did this outstanding player choose to attend WVA? Is it because they have a national and famous coach in Huggins? How about two assistants in Larry Harris and Billy Hahn who were master recruiters for years and ex Head coaches on the D1 level? Maybe it was the great facilities and future facilities at WVA. Fan support? Good last year but maybe it will get great now that they have a few top tier recruits coming in.

Funny thing is he would be at Memphis, or maybe Rutgers, if Baeline was still at the school. I would doubt if he would have been interested in a player like Ebanks (one and done possibility) who comes with advisors, agents lurking in the shadows of the arena, and more. Playing wise I honestly think this kid is a Pro! Not sure about the one and done stuff but he is a true program changer! He could easily be the BE Freshmen of The Year.

But despite all of this I still feel he would have been much better off at Rutgers. I think he would have made the RAC truly electric this season. He could have been a star out of the gate even though the same could be true at WVA. But the opportunities after basketball would have been tremendous for him in the NYC area. Media coverage? He could have been a poster boy for area college athletics.

Lastly, it is a great pick-up for WVA and more of a shock to Memphis than Rutgers in my opinion because I think I have an idea of the playing fields at each school mentioned. Ebanks mandatory interview with the NCAA should be a good one lol. And if folks do not know it, the NCAA randomly (they really choose high profile) interviews recruits about what happened during the recruitment process.

Where does this leave Rutgers? It leaves them with a solid recruiting class led by Rosario. They have Bigs and Guards coming in. With very good coaching by the RU staff it could be interesting next season.

Jonathan Mitchell to Rutgers

Now someone must have tipped him off to Ebanks upcoming decission. Even though if Ebanks is one and done it would not impact his playing time at RU if Ebanks choose Rutgers.

My honest opinion is Mitchell would have been what the Doctor ordered at Seton Hall. I feel he was so needed there. SHU seemed to really love him while RU wanted him. This might be the only time I have seen two Mount Vernon players at the same university playing basketball. Yes it could be a first!

Mitchell was one of the top players in America coming out of Mount Vernon HS a few years back. But not playing and than sitting out a transfer year can take a toll on your game. Yes he has something to prove! Yes he is hungry! But I question if he will bring to the Scarlet knights what he could have provided SHU based on guard play at SHU as opposed to RU. I am of course talking Eugene Harvey and Jordan Theodore, both guards who pass so well even I could average 6 points a game in the BE playing with them.

I guess he just wanted to play with his buddy Mike Coburn. Time will tell if he even lives up to his old press clippings. But one thing for sure is Bobby Gonzalez has to start stepping it up recruitment wise. PR wise RU and Freddy Hill have made major statements about recruiting by signing such solid players and kids.

Now talent wise I think SHU with good coaching will be a solid team next season. I always say a Great Point Guard, and decent perimeter players, with solid role playing big men, in a program that defends well, do just fine!!! SHU has that if the D steps it up!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just A Short Note

So the AAU season is now in full swing. It is a hard time for many HS Coaches because they tend to lose power over players to AAU/Rec Coaches. Especially National type AAU Coaches. Often HS coaches attempt to dictate what summer program his or her players should play for. This on many occasions causes problems with very involved families and controlling HS Coaches who really want to maintain control.

Thus is the case of Kevin Parrom, of St. Raymond's HS. According to Kevin's Dad, a confrontation took place where Coach Antiqua grabbed Kevin and continually shook him to get him to do what he wanted him to do. It seems Antiqua wants Kevin Parrom to play summer ball with the Long Island Lightning (I think Dana Dingle ex St. Rays and UMass star has one of the teams)and Kevin refused because he wants to play with the Long Island or NY Panthers and national grassroots basketball fixture Gary Charles.

So the confrontation was over who Kevin would play summer ball with. Wow? It seems now Kevin will not be back at St. Raymond's after this incident according to his dad.

By the way, I must point out I received all of this from a legendary rec/playground coach in NYC who was on top of this right away since Kevin works out with him at various college gyms around NYC.

Still waiting to see what Ebanks does. No news is good news to Rutgers at this time. But my gut says he will announce prior to the date he indicated he would choose.

Am I missing something when I read that USC will lose its Star Recruit. Are they talking about Little Romeo from Beverly Hills HS? Of course not!! They are talking about his best buddy who plays with him in the summer. I guess Master P has never given the kid anything such as money, sneakers, gear. etc.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Todays Thoughts and Tidbits

What is happening at St. Raymond's HS in the Bronx. Oliver Antiqua has a long and noble history at the Bronx School that Gary DeCaeser turned into a national power house despite being disliked by many AAU and Rec type coaches. It was done Gary's way or the highway.

When he left for the college ranks, the program was turned over to Oliver, Brother of former star and current Pitt Assistant Orlando. Oliver at one time was a Pitt manager and a wonderful young man who was a true pleasure to talk to. St. Raymond was wonderful to the entire Antiqua family during tough times including a fire that left them without a home for a short period. They even stayed for a brief time at the school. So Oliver and his family have a great history with St. Raymond's and it was a natural fit for him to get the St. Raymond's job when Gary D left.

Since he received the job he has somewhat changed from the personable young man to a more arrogant version of his former self. Maybe it comes from the pressure? maybe it is all the people seeking his assistance. But one thing for sure he needs a wake-up call.

Maybe this last incident will do just that. Having a player throw a punch at a Coach is very serious. Curious to see how it plays out. The player in question is known to be a great kid. But great or not he was wrong if he indeed threw a punch at Antiqua. This entire incident should make Oliver do a true self assessment.

lastly. I wonder what Gary DeCaeser is thinking? I have heard some strange rumors about his thoughts on St. rays and Oliver. But at this time they are just rumors.

Kids going early to the NBA draft????

Are these kids crazy or on drugs? Who are the advisors? Where are the parents? Many would be better off jusrt declaring early for a job with the sanitation department or as a messenger. Does Kojo actually think he will be drafted? Will he ever really play a game in the NBA? He has always felt he was better than he actually is going all the way back to Bishop Loughlin HS in Brooklyn. He felt he was a BE player but received no BE offers. The agent in question needs to be ashamed of himself for giving these kids false hope.

Michael Beasly, Kevin Love, OJ Mayo, and others like them will make millions even if they flop as players, so declaring will benefit them. But some of the others? Wow!!!! When I walk the streets of NYC and parts of NJ and Philly I see so many ex players who did not take advantage of educational opportunities. Kids from huge programs working as Messengers, Security Guards, clerks, and even drug dealers. Now we can say other than the drug dealing that at least they are working. But if they had gotten a college degree, life might have been a bit easier.

It is too many kings of the park who at one time had dreams broken because they received false advice. Maybe the NBA needs to start a committee to review and accept applicants into the early draft. They could have the power to say a kid is not qualified because they really are not good enough. That could save lives and careers.

Kids running from a particular school

Funny how all those kids are leaving DU in Pittsburgh. If you ask me the entire program is really the old UNLV type kids at a northern school. Still remember a 5 star incident from many years ago when a certain counselor went around and collected money from campers for food, soda's, sweets in town. After collecting money he just disappeared. It's a funny but sad tale of who our future leaders in coaching were as young guys lol. But this coach seemed to have turned it around. Heck, I remember this type of stuff being done by alot of guys ranging from AAU coaches to Talent Scouts and evaluators.

News On Ebanks

NOTHING!!!!! But I still think Memphis and WVA will be hard to beat in more ways than 1.

News On SHU

I honestly think Mitchell is having a hard time deciding which school to attend. Marshall could win the battle because he knows he could excel there from day 1. But personally I feel SHU would be a great fit just as I feel RU would be a great fit for Ebanks.

Someone said I was getting Money from Fred Hill Jr.

Now thats funny!! I am sure even FHJ is laughing at that one. RU and SHU do not do stuff like that. Besides, the only thing FHJ wants to give me is a punch with an assist from Jim Carr LOL.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Are We Just Blind?.....Or is it No One Really Cares?

The More Things Change The More They Remain The Same!!!!

When will the foolishness stop? When will Parents, HS Coaches, Guardians, and others realize the games that are played with young players every day? Kids are being mentally violated daily by agents, Street Agents, want to be Agents, College Coaches, HS Coaches, Groupies, and even AAU/Rec Coaches! Can folks not see or do they just think their kid will not suffer? Do they feel they are the ones getting over on those sending gifts and lying? It's like I always say to my buddies, greedy gold digging folks are the easiest folks to get over on because they are blinded by their own greed! So when kids accept stuff as early as 9th grade, and yes it happens, they are just getting ready for years of mental manipulation.

Lets get real here if you do not mind. I just read where OJ Mayo was receiving money, goods , and services while at USC and in HS. Well guess what? Who did not know this? Everyone knows OJ, and many others like him ware benefiting from being great HS players. Lets look at the sneaker camps. By NCAA rules, kids had to pay their own way to the camp. Do you honestly think OJ, Labron, and others like them ever paid air fair? Of course not. The air fair came via money paid to AAU/Rec teams for expenses. They in return pay for all airfare. Convenient huh? How about the gear? Companies cannot supply kids with 100 pair pf sneakers, 75 warm up suits, sandals, t shirts, plus stuff for their parents. But they can fund AAU/Rec teams with a budget and $100,000 dollar clothing deals which allows the teams to provide clothing to players, especially the great one's. One great player on a HS team makes it possible for that particular team to be outfitted from head to toe by sneaker companies.

Lets get back to things we look the opposite way about. Agents are at College, HS. and even AAU games because that is what they do based on the business they are in. We see them. The coaches see them and even warmly greet them. This happens because on many occasions Agents help colleges get players and the coach in return sends the player back to the agent when the player is ready to turn pro. Some agents even pay for a particular player to attend certain schools. And honestly we also know who those schools are and so does the NCAA! It is for this reason schools such as Rutgers and SHU have a difficult time getting the true 5 star players. And when you see a 5 star guy attend a mid major with a 3200 seat gym, it's either because Dad is the coach or they are really benefiting from being there if you know what I mean.

Now lets look at the Big East. I have heard there are lots of perks at certain schools. I can even tell you that some schools the players are treated as if they are professionals in more ways than one. This is mostly a result of the money to be made and the pressure on Coaches to win. When a job is on the line all bets are off. And this goes for certain Ivy institutions as well. You should see some of the summer jobs kids get prior to attending to play basketball.

Looking at a kid like Ebanks? Rutgers has done an exceptional job but how does the community of New Brunswick compete with the city of Memphis? And do not be surprised with the positions that will be available at Federal Express very soon. The job description might just say: Experience working in large city environment such as Long Island City lol. They will put a full court press on this kid and all he might see is future and present opportunities in addition to basketball if you know what I mean.

Think West Virginia and Huggy along with two KILLER Assistant coaches will not go the extra yard? Think again! They will get it done by any means necessary. Trust me and if you do not see this than you are indeed blind.

That leaves Rutgers who would be a great place. But when trying to recruit a kid from a family where the Mom and dad are not together, a kid who has been spoiled for years and given everything, it is a hard job closing the deal on this one. Rutgers has a chance and I hope they are successful for their sake as well as for Ebanks sake. because when it is said and done, basketball will be a distant memory.

Now lets stop being so surprised by what is happening on the basketball scene. Just sit in the stands at an AAU event and watch what goes on around you as much as the actual games. Buy will you be surprised.

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Posts that were lost

Sunday, May 4, 2008
A Few Random Thoughts
It's nice to see comments on this blog. What's even better is I would bet the few folks who comment are extremely knowledgeable by the comments they leave. I also think one in particular is extremely connected by alot of what he shares. Thanks to all that leave comments. And please, it is fine to disagree with me. I definitely am not a person who knows it all lol.

Ok the Ebanks visit is over and he will be off to Fed Expr....... oops I mean Memphis next. This will be a hard program to beat for a player such as Ebanks. My gut, and I do not know him or his AAU Coach even though I do know his Dad, is he wants a big time program with great atmosphere where he will be king in the neighborhood and city for 1 year before heading to the NBA. I still say he and other players like him fail to look at the larger picture. One day AAU types, HS Coaches, and others will teach kids they have to look at where they will be 20 years from now. They will also be taught about being loved and not wanted. Hopefully Ebanks and his advisers including his Family will recognize what a great opportunity awaits him at Rutgers especially with the other recruits who are going there. But as I said, Memphis will be hard to beat in more ways than one.

Jonathan Mitchell was at SHU this weekend. Hope he had a great time. But what I fail to understand is how they take a kid from Mt. Vernon to NYC to eat? That is crazy because I am sure he has been in Manhattan 1000 times if not more. Why not sell him on attending school in NJ by showing off NJ? Kids are not stupid!!! They know once they attend SHU or SJU they will not be venturing to Manhattan much for eating unless they are going with someone outside the basketball program. Personally I would have kept him around South Orange where he would have been admired as he entered places with Bobby G, taken him to Codeys ofice for a meet and greet, asked the Gov. if he was available, and even taken him through East Orange at night to show him there were clubs that hip hop young African Americans attend, as well as showing there is a hood nearby in case that is his thing. Yes as opposed to hiding the fact it is close to SHU (I know how they drive kids to SHU lol) I would make it a positive so that it can not be used against SHU. I would have even taken him to Montclair and South Orange and other areas to see how many African Americans, some of which attended SHU, are living in great homes. Anyway, I think he has 2 great school opportunities. Too bad he eliminated SJU because that could have been a great location for him.

Norm Roberts has his hands full and will have a very difficult job recruiting in the future. Every kid thinks he will be fired after next season so they are reluctant to commit there. Truth be told they could be right. SJU did not help anything by refusing to give him an extention. Seems to me they have their sites on someone and maybe they are just allowing Roberts to finish out next season. Very hard to be successful the way it is now at SJU.

Posted by LFBall

As many have noticed, I have not posted much since the HS and College season has ended. Honestly I did not have much to say and did not want to bore folks with the same information they receive from other sources. So at the least I will post two days a week unless something happens that needs to be posted.

Seton Hall has Oliver and Mitchell visiting this weekend. That should be a great visit for both kids and Mitchell should look very closely at available playing time at the position he really wants to play. Honestly, Seton hall is not a bad choice for him. Just wonder if Rutgers 6th Assistant and head of Westchester County recruiting, Mike Coburn, is working this kid so hard it will be hard for him to say no to RU? One thing that is very interesting and worthy of discussing is the fact Mount Vernon rarely if ever has had twp players at the same college. Could be a coincidence or just a plan so they can establish their own identities. From what I can see Mount Vernon has no favorites when it comes to recruiting Mount Vernon Players.

Watching Samuel Delembert (sp) play a bit last night reminds me of the first time I saw him. He and Herve' L were carrying the team bags for St. Patricks into a St. Patricks game at Elizabeth High School. Both were so happy to sit on the bench and cheer. They seemed to be just two very nice kids. I bring this up because it just proves how good Kevin Boyle is as a Teacher and Coach. He did a great job developing both kids and others. Heck, he has two guys playing huge roles in the NBA with Samuel and Al. Not to mention all the others who had or is having great college careers.

Great to see SHU and others recruiting Noel Johnson from Atlanta. But truth be told, he has alot of NYC in him because he spends alot of time in Harlem over the summers visiting family. For those who do not know, he is the son of Lymbert "Cheese" Johnson, ex Wichita State star who was a great NYC HS player and top 100 player nationally. Just wonder if Dermon Player should not be more involved since he has known "Cheese" for a long time. I spoke with "Cheese" Johnson a few months back and he told me his son is wide open but spends alot of time on the Georgia Tech campus. Did not mention SHU at the time.

Lots of folks continue to be excited about Rutgers recruiting. They seem to be doing a great job. But. Ebanks would be the most significant recruit at sign at Rutgers since Phil Sellers. He is that good! I just hope folks are not in his ear giving him bad advice. He will make alot of money in the near future so all he needs right now is a platform to perform. A place to develop. and a place where he can feel comfortable. Rutgers would be a GREAT CHOICE!!!!!!!!

Imagine Rosario, Enchique (sp), Ebanks, Jackson, Morris, Chandler, The big Fella, Coburn, and three seniors who MUST come back ready for war? Though I am not ready to do flips over the recruits other than Ebanks, I do feel all are very good additions and legit BE players. Together this would be a very good unit. Must be exciting on the banks!!!

AAU and Travel team basketball is in full swing. I am looking forward to the Charlie Weber Tournament in Chapel Hill and Durham. Also looking forward to the huge event at Fordham. But if kids want a place to develop quickly, they need to contact Jim Couch, who runs a great Saturday workout program and does not charge a dime. he does it on donations from current and retired NBA players who have been through his program. If anyone is interested they can call Mr. Couch at 212 942-5193. The only requirement is a good attitude and willingness to work hard. Be prepared to see folks who cannot play a lick as well as potential professionals. In his eyes everyone deserves to play. I worked/ran this program with Mr. Couch for over 20 years.

I have been getting a few requests for my shoulder up boot camp for players. I have identifies a place in the Pocono Mountains for this weekend event. We will only have 15-20 participants from College's and HS taking part. For this camp you must have some game but also lacking something that would make you more complete. The two coaches who will run the camp are great teachers and motivators who have worked in Division 1. Both are no nonsense but very understanding and nurturing. More on this camp in a week or so. Reach me at to participate. It will be a sleep over camp for the 3 days.


I wish The University of Delaware would recruit Sofman. He could be outstanding there.

Chucky Martin a Head Coach? Wow! I think he will do a very good job.

Did anyone notice that Rod Strickland is on the staff at Memphis U? Hope he gets Chucky's Job! Or at the least Chucky brings him to Marist with him.

What is the deal with Gary DeCaeser? he deserves a Head Coaching job as well. Wonder why schools have not contacted him?

AAU and Travel Team guys are very powerful. I know at least 3 guys who recently got jobs based on recommendations from AAU guys.

Just remembered. Chucky is hiring a guy recommended by Calipari, and a guy recommended by Bruiser Flint. I guess thats how it works. He HAD TO HIRE those guys because he was given an opportunity by both coaches mentioned.