Saturday, June 28, 2008


I have come to the conclusion that many fans of college basketball programs can be very angry and even make up stories. It is sad because when folks create stories that are not true, they really hurt young men and their reputations. Let me provide some examples:

The Rutgers boards has some fans who are tearing JR Inman and Jeron Griffin apart for the wrong reasons. Somtimes I wonder if it is really inside people doing this and if you think this stuff is not done in the media and otherwise you are mistaken.
JR Inman and Jeron Griffin might not be the dominant players many hope for but to call them a cancer or kids with huge problems? One thing I have not seen is Seton Hall, St. Johns, or any other BE team do this as much as Rutgers Fans. In a few year Rosario and Enchique might just get the same treatment. After all Herve' got it and he was very good at Rutgers and many never appreciated him.

JR averaged 12-13 a game and around 7 rebounds. Can he play better? YES! Did he have a rough BE season? YES! But 13 and 7 is numbers any D1 coach would appreciate. And he got those numbers despite experiencing negitive behavior from his coach despite him never doing anything that warrented him coming off the bench. He was the leading scorer and playing well until FHJ decided to take him out of the starting line-up. Is it me or has no one else realized he started slipping at that point. Oops, I forgot no one can say anything negitive about FHJ and the RU Coaches. We know one of the coaches reads every blog and message board.

Cannot say much about Griffin because I do think he is a good player who needs to be more of a role guy. But Neither he nor JR has ever done anything to get the tag Cancer! Neither has done anything other than be friendly, and accomadating to fans and the entire RU community. When FHJ put JR on the bench last season it made it seem as if JR had an attitude or behavior problem. Some fans on the RU board even said they knew the real deal! What deal? He did nothing wrong!

Now here comes those special fans who claim JR and Griffin are bad influences on the RU Team. These kids have done nothing except believe in a dream and committ to a school they thought would support them. Both could have, and somtimes I wish JR would have, gone many other places.

I end this segment by saying it is great certain RU board folks think the new kids will take RU to the promissed land. maybe they will. But I am one of those that feel it will not be as they think it will be for a good while. Great thing FHJ is so loved because it will take alot of patience.

The NBA Draft

I guess now folks see how hard it is to get drafted. I do not think any of the players from that special camp done by the NBA were drafted in the first round. Gary Forbes had a great Portsmith and NBA camp and did not even get a nod in the 2nd round. I would not be surprised to see the NBA put 2 more rounds back in the draft in the future to justify all the pre draft activity that has had limited results. At least a kid can become a 4th round choice of a team afterall the activity.

Less international player drafted in the first round it seems. Maybe this is a result of the Laker Celtic championship games. Did anyone else see that matadore defense played by a few of the Lakers who were international players?

Well at least players who were not drafted can now go and try out for teams they stand at least an outside chance of making.

OJ goes at number 3? He is a special player but when the dust settles no one cares that he might have been paid to play in HS and College. Same thing as Danny Jennings from Staten Island who ran across the court with a chair in his hand ready to hit an oppossing player. His recruitment will not stop because the bottom line is wins and loses. Ditto Tyreke Evans. I told folks he would still be at a big-time school despite his troubles in the past. Coaches just want to win! Honestly I have no problem with kids like Tyreke or Danny playing and getting recruited. I would just like to see them better understand their actions. Especially Danny Jennings.

More Draft Stuff, I wanted the Knicks to get Kevin Love soooooo Bad. To me he is a winner who will get it done while making everyone around him better. I also wanted the Knicks to take Joe Alexander. Unlike many, I think they have great talent. They just need serious coaching and discipline.

Nets? Will Lawrence Frank, a person I watched as a kid when he was manager of Teaneck HS, survive? I sure hope so. Just needs to get players to buy into his program and system. Plus I want to see my man Pat Sullivan stay employed. Great guy from great family!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Enough is Enough

I am so pissed off with college coaches using young men. But I am even more pissed off at families and young men playing the victim role after doing wrong things year in and year out. Lets talk Duquesne University as an example. We all know it is a place that is doing all types of things to get good players. We also know that Sean James and Kojo Mensah seemed to be recruited from other colleges to attend school there. These two kids seem to have been spoiled for a long time. Now when it seems they will not set foot on an NBA Court they decide to get money by suing DU. They did not do it after the shooting incident, they waited until they were ready to leave the school.

This is almost as bad as when crack addicts intentionally slip in front of your car or home. Yes the incident was a bad one, but to sue a university because they did not have protection for you at a party? I for one felt so bad when the incident happened. And as a person who has been around both young men in the past during workouts and watching them play, I feel bad they are doing this. Now if they still have an injury, or what happened has caused them to stop playing, I could kind of sorta understand the intent of the lawsuit. But for two seemingly healthy kids to do this seems like just an act of greed. What Lawyer put them up to this? Terrible move!

When will coaches look in the mirror and realize they need to adjust? Tom Crean at Marquette needs to realize that for almost all the players to leave is a reflection of what he has said and done since arriving at Indiana. All the kids cannot be bad or troublesome. I remember a time when ex Assistant Coaches took jobs and remained good communicators with players. Crean has done great things coaching wise but he is said to be very hard on everyone. Ditto Kevin O'Neal. I could not believe a kid left Zona because Kevin would not be the coach. I wonder what his ex players at Northwestern are saying?

Brandon Jennings not eligible? who wants to bet he will suit up at Zona in the fall? No way they do not get him in and suited up. What's the reason for transferring to Oak Hill if they are not going to make sure you are ready for college. A long way from California to not get the grades needed for matriculation.

Rutgers is doing everything right on the recruiting path. Imagine if they built a practice facility and a new arena? 10,500 seats with boxes and an attached practice facility. If that happened watch out. Seem FHJ is making the RAC seem like Cameron Indoor Stadium to potential recruits.

Fordham continues to get good solid kids into school. And that Fordham Degree is a special one. Amazing thing is the campus is beautiful but the surrounding areas remain very dangerous. Yet they continue to get good players. Still remember last coach trying to get it done fast and slick. Again that degree will open major doors and the alumni are very loyal when it comes to finding careers after the basketballs are put up.

Barn League starts Sunday. seems like a nice league but nowhere as competitive as the NYC Nike Pro Am. But it will help the Rutgers kids get ready for the season as well as others like Jordan Theodore get ready for SHU. Difference is Jordan, Mike Rosario, and others can play in other leagues as well because they have yet to play a college game.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer League In NYC

Just An Update and Nothing Else.

The NYC Nike Pro Am kicked off last night in front of around 500-1000 fans at Hunter College according to my sources. Even Brandon Jennings,who is headed to Arizona is playing along with many other future Big East Players and lots on NBA and Internation Professionals who played college basketball at D1 schools.

Last night JR Inman, Jeremy Hazell, and Anthony Mason Jr. played together on a pretty good team of current college players against the Uptownere who had some very good players including Speedy Claxton, Andre Barret, Donnie McGrath (sp), Kenny Aduleke, and others not named. Starting in July the Uptowners will have 4 more professionals playing including Troy Murphy, Dunlevy, and Ryan Gomes.

My sources tell me all the players looked good with JR and Mason having monstor dunks on guys in traffic. The Uptowners won the game by around 6 but everyone left impressed with the younger players on the Dyckman Team. Antonio Pena joins them for the next game.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Love surfing the various message boards on Rivals, as well as, and BigEast Boards. I also enjoy reading Johnny Jungle, which is way more than just a blog, and Smokin Musket, which is an exceptional West Virginia blog. Reading all the various blogs is often far better than reading regular news articles about college basketball. I really encourage folks to take some time and check out all these sites to get great information on various teams.

Reading those various blogs allows me to keep up with alot of happenings. Between these blogs,reading newspaper stories, speaking to connected people in basketball, and talking to college coaches, provides all of us with great insight into many of the local college and HS programs.

What is happening with Danny Jennings? Danny is a fine player but anytime a player goes after someone with a chair he needs to be disciplined by his Coach and the Tournament Director. No excuses! I am not saying schools should stop recruiting him, but I do say it again makes travel/aau tournaments seem bogus and political. How do they allow him to play additional games? Did they not even think about the insurance coverage? To top it off they name him MVP. Are you kidding me?

This is so typical of how these travel team tournaments and teams kiss up to players in fear of getting people upset. What message does it send to other players, especially younger ones who watch games and hear the stories? Unfortunately, I heard a few players uptown in a local tournament talking about it as if Jennings was a super hero. It was like, "Danny was not taking nothing" and "They are lucky yo, that Danny did not get to them." MVP? Jim Hart, who does a great job with his now area event, should be ashamed of the message this sends and the lesson that was failed to be taught to a normally good kid.

Recruiting wise? Most coaches will look at it as if Danny is this tough kid who they need. It's about toughness and kids who take no mess they will say. I would doubt any school will stop recruiting him. I really have no problem with this if he exhibits better control and behavior the rest of the summer. But personally, he is a very good player but not a great one.

Derrick Caracter will now transfer. GREAT news for a true nice kid who got caught up in the hype and bad advice. I am sure schools are lining up. Watch schools like USC, Kansas State, New Mexico, Texas, UMass, Texas A&M, etc. fight it out for his services in a back room setting so they will not alarm Alumni and others. Everyone will deny they are recruiting him until the official announcement about his new university is made. I think Caracter will be exceptional if he goes to a place that allows him some freedom in the way he plays. Sitting out a year will allow him to work hard on his game and gain a new hunger for competing.

Summer League news from NYC. JR Inman, Antonio Pena, Jeremy(sp)Hazell, and Anthony Mason Jr., all will be on the same team in the NY based Nike Pro Am Tournament. The point guard on the Dyckman team they will play for is Chudney Grey, ex St. Johns player who will be tough and demanding. One of the coaches for this team will be Jerry McCullough, the ex Pitt Star, when his team is not playing. The first game is Thursday at Hunter College in NYC against a team with 3 NBA players with the names Murphy, Dunlevy, and Gomes, on the roster. This league is a tough one and very competitive with crowds of 2000 plus once the season gets into full swing.

Saw the Barn schedule and rosters on Jay Gomes site. Seems like a nice league and decent alternative to going to Philly or NY to play. I still think the talent though good, is not what is needed for College rising Juniors and Seniors, but great for incoming freshmen, and rising sophomores. But it will be interesting to watch Rosario, Morris, Theodore, and others compete with Chandler, Farmer, and others.

Coaching jobs continue to be filled wrong. I just found out FDU is rumored to be ready to hire a new assistant coach who at one time worked at UNLV. I remember the coach because he really is a good guy who got caught up in the hype. At one time he played for me in some tough NYC tournaments during his time at CW Post on Long Island, a school he attended after starring at Bergen Community College. I Knew this coach well and really like him alot. But there is such double standards with FDU and many others. I remember when a friend of mine was close to getting hired at FDU and at the last moment they changed up based on him trying to cover tracks of a former FDU assistant who kind of sorta played with his expense reports. based on that alone they took back the offer after my friend had accepted. I really like Tom Green, but this clearly shows a double standard because the new assistant coach was caught up in the huge NCAA ruling at UNLV when Bill Bayno (A GREAT GUY ALSO), was let go for recruiting violations. Now I think EVERYONE deserves second and third chances, especially good people like the new FDU assistant and Bayno. I for one am glad to see both back in the college game. I just question how my buddy was eliminated based on him covering some other coach on a minor expense account snafu.

Looking forward to attending this weekends Hoop Group event at Rutgers. I really like the HS team set up for tournaments. In most cases St. Anthony, St. Patricks, and St. Benedict's players show up to play for the HS program even if they do have AAU/Travel team games going on. Games should be great!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


OK gang the regular school year is complete and many players are in summer school taking courses to stay on track for graduating on time. I was scheduled to attend the Rumble in The Bronx, or shall I say The Rumble in The Metro NY Area. Unfortunately I did not attend because I was just too confused about travelling from Pennsylvania to the Bronx to NJ, back to Riverdale, etc. Way to confusing for me at my age. I loved it when basketball was simple and games were played one at a time. How about that Pa. tournament in Conshohoken (sp)? Anyone remember the old HS tournament at Montifiore Hospital gym in the Bronx? How about the old Kennedy Center and Wagner Center Easter Tournaments? Those were the days! One game at a time with quality players participating. Now there are 80 teams in a weekend event in various age group categories. Glad kids have a chance to play but many of these games are often blow-outs.

For people who attended the Rumble, I applaud you. You are true fans who must have either a gas saving vehicle or lots of money for gas. The set-up seemed so crazy. Even past tournaments have done similar but at least kept games in the same state within a few miles. The Playez have held games in two or three counties in the past. But they stayed in NJ.

I also think a schedule with rosters would be a nice thing if possible. People would gladly purchase it to be able to better understand who is playing where. It is hard remembering who E7 and G4 are when all you see is numbers and times that often are wrong.

But despite my complaints, these tournaments are really for the kids participating so the fan concerns are secondary.

Whats Going On at SHU?

I honestly feel SHU will be improved next season. The talent is good and the players will be a year older. Add the new guys and we could see a team who will be in a post season tournament. With a real quality player who many have forgotten sitting out, a few freshmen players who can all play, and a lights out JC player on board with Brooklyn toughness, folks better watch out because this team could surprise alot of people. And if Glover gets to play............WATCH OUT because despite his height, he will man handle guys.

What's going On at RU?

Just like SHU, RU will be better next season. The three FIG guys are working very hard. I know for a fact JR will be playing in NYC this summer in the Nike Pro Am against NBA and European professional players. He will be playing with Hazell from SHU on a good Dykeman Pro Am Team. And no this is not the Rucker uptown. This is a league that has Stephon Marbury, and a host of other NBA guys playing. The new guys at Rutgers will make a difference. All have game even if some will not be quite as good as advertised the first 2 years. Rosario provides that shooter option that will make others so much better. Two new inside guys to bang is much needed and necessary relief. Lastly, FHJ will be a much better coach this season to compliment his talent.

What's going on at SJU?

Norm, one of the true gentlemen in the game, has one last chance to get it done at St. Johns. They have decent talent on board and if they come together as a team they could be pretty good. The one factor everyone is forgetting is they could get the old Rob Thomas back. If he comes back the way I think he will, SJU will be a much improved team. Burrell and all the returning kids who will be improved, plus the new guys who might just be better than the limited press clippings they have, and Rob Thomas. Not bad to me and a team that could definitely compete especially if Anthony Mason is what folks expect him to be.

Next week I will be at the Hoop Group event at Rutgers. I look forward to watching games being played in the same area.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is It Me?

Is it me or has the Rumble in the Bronx turned into the Rumble in the Bronx, Manhattan, and New Jersey? I noticed from the Rivals Seton Hall Site, which happens to be one of the best for recruiting news in addition to news on SHU basketball (I mistakenly said Zagsblog earlier in error), that the playing sites are very spread apart. I was really looking forward to attending this event which has always been a favorite of mine. I even had JShuttlesworth check some camera prices for me in North Jersey because I planned on taking alot of photos while I attended the games. Kind of wanted to buy that Canon 40D which Gateway has for $1100, which is cheaper than everyone else. But the stores in Bergen County will not price match unfortunately.

Back to the Rumble. Maybe I am missing something but the beauty of that event is being able to see so many games under one roof. Now it could cost $50 in gas getting around to all the sites. It has almost become a regional thing as opposed to a Bronx based event. Fordham to Manhattan College to a public school, to the NJ Nets practice facility? Please this is definitely now just for the kids playing and not for the average hoops fans and basketball junkies.

Again maybe I read into it wrong. But the spread out format has taking the excitement out of me wishing to attend. Maybe I will wait for the Hoop Group event at Rutgers next week.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What Is happening With HS Basketball?

I really was not planning to write anything else until the huge travel team event at Fordham University this weekend. But after reading the Adam Z blog about a new prep school and the coach of American Christian going to another school I have to comment.

Trust me I cut my computer off three times because I really was ready to be neutral about this. But after the third time I had to comment. So here is what I think about what is happening.

Someone is starting a prep program at a school that operates out of the Robert Treat Hotel? Are you kidding me? I have been to the Robert Treat in the past for everything from boxing matches to dances, but never in 100 years would I expect to see a new prep school there with a national type basketball team. Where will the classrooms be? What about the cafeteria for nutritional purposes? how about the gym? That's right, they will be playing at the Newark YMCA! Great facility I am sure. And please no comparisons with St. Anthony's or Rice not having their own gym for games. Those teams have access to wonderful facilities based on tradition and history.

Who are the parents that would send a kid all the way from Colts Neck to a hotel in Newark for a 5th year of HS? Who are these kids going to that school? Is this just about basketball? It seems to me that these type of set-ups make a place like Redemption Christian Academy in Troy NY look like Blair Academy in Blairstown NJ. And if you have seen Redemption and Blair you would better understand the comparisons. As a trained educator I would love to visit and see what they will be doing.

Speaking of Blair Academy, what is the deal with Blair Christian Academy? Why would Tony B take kids in need of solid academics to a one building place in Philly that no one has heard of? Why would he go with all of his contacts and connections? And even if he does go is he doing a disservice to the kids he is dragging along? Are they coming to help themselves or to help him? I looked the school up and they have a nice mission. Seems like 2 nice ladies started the school as a head start center some years ago and it has grown into a school with kids in grades 1-PG.

These type of schools might just work. But they have always scared me. Kids tend to flock to those programs because they feel it will get them D1 scholarships and additional exposure. Hopefully this will happen, but for a parent to take a kid out of Rice HS, or any other school for Blair Christian is very interesting. Just as it is interesting that a kid would do a PG year at the school in the Robert Treat Hotel.

Maybe I am being a bit too hard and if I am I apologize. But sooner or later folks will realize that it is about more than basketball. And even if it is about basketball and a kid thinks he needs an additional year. Why not go to work and work on your game in the evening while playing in a local adult league. After all, playing games at the Newark YMCA is not that much different atmosphere wise.

Lastly when I think of Prep School I think about the greenery of New England with rolling hills and great facilities. I also think of serious students who are searching for knowledge and seeking to develop social skills. I think of schools like Blair Academy, Hotchkiss, Miss Porter, Berkshire, Choate, Lawrenceville, Hun, Trinity Pawling, The Hill School, etc. The spelling might be wrong but everyone knows the schools I am referring to. Even St. Benedicts has a campus type feel and could be in this category. Now it seems like these prep schools are popping up everywhere despite the NCAA watching closer than ever and not certifying many kids from similar type operations.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Stuff!

Thank God it's Monday! We really should because nothing is guaranteed. Thats why all of you Dad's and Mom's need to enjoy the activities of your children and participate in a very visible way. In other words you should know what is happening with your kids!

I bring this up after reading more about OJ Mayo and what he has been through. The newest excuse is that he was a poor kid and that's why folks were able to attach themselves to him. In many cases that is true, but it should not be that way. I know no book or journal that gives poor folks a pass on parenting and being involved in the lives of their kids. Maybe they were encouraged to let others handle this phenom at a young age. Maybe thats what also happened to LeBron (did I spell it right?) James. Maybe that's why he also was handled early on by non family members. I just wonder what would happen if these young men with potential who do not have family involvement or at the least involvement from a person or group that sees more in them than just dollar signs in the event they do not become professional basketball players?

Than all of a sudden the money comes and there they are! Dad comes back after a 9 year absence! Here comes Uncle Bob who wants to now be in charge even though he last saw the young man when he was 9 years old. How about Mom who now thinks she needs to be the one calling the shots after showing no interest until the young player became a HS Star?

I still remember the Sabastian Telefair documentary where the older son said the Mother did not want to be disappointed again after all she went through with the eldest son who never made the NBA. SHE DID NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH WHAT? Thinking she was going to get all the luxury items associated with her son being an NBA player? What about the son who did not make it? Did she embrace him or sulk? Now I know Mother Telefair is most likely a great mom who loves her kids. So is the Dad who all of a sudden was back in the life of his son. But these are the type of families that are vulnerable to being used and abused. Sebastian made a nice salary but like Omar Cooke and Lenny Cooke before him, he could be a regular cut at NBA camps. Hopefully this will not be the case. But the film should be shown at every camp in America to teach kids about life and decisions. The Lenny Cooke and Omar Cooke story would be even better!

Back to Mayo and other stars like him. Funny how in a recent article about Kevin Love and his folks, he talks about there is money in Lake Oswego Oregon, making it seem as if they were above taking stuff. PLEASE! What sneakers did Kevin's HS team wear? Did they play a few games on ESPN? I guess those games were just free games and ESPN made all the money. What about camps? Did Kevin pay to attend? How about the scholarship to UCLA? I guess because of the huge amount of money in Lake Oswego his family paid his tuition. Maybe he did not get direct money hits except for his great camp counselor work lol. Maybe he did not even get paid to be in NYC for the Boost Mobile game in Harlem NY where he was just on the scene watching the action after participating the year before. After all, Lake Oswego Oregon is only right near Hackensack NJ right lol. Maybe the real difference is Kevin knew what to accept and not accept and was able to get away with it because of the perception his family had money to burn.

But again, Mayo would not be the last person to take gifts from agents and runners. This has happened for many years. And alot of the so called clean schools are not really clean. One prominent player from the east coast went west years ago and became a huge star. It must have been nice working in that movie studio earning all that extra cash. How about all the local players from NY, NJ, Conn., Pa. who have received stuff. Heck, many HS stars only wear warm-up suits and sneakers because they get so much free stuff on a monthly basis. I wonder if most of the players in the first round of the NBA draft received some type of gift during their AAU and HS career. I also wonder if they might have just gotten some additional gifts while in college also. Is it right if it happens? Will it ever stop if it is happening?

OJ will survive and have a good NBA career. Great? I am not convinced.

Mike Jervis gets a Job!

Good for him. Everyone deserves an opportunity or 2 or 3. I am sure he must have learned from his tenure at SJU. Most of my friends really are stunned he was hired for that position. They say the ward is he was a horrible man. Well the times I saw him he was not what they described. he was a well spoken and gracious person who just got caught up in what most folks have done including schools in most major conferences. Funny how the ex coach of Baylor who attempted to hide a murder, to have a good team gets a new job. A person who many claimed always did what ever it took to succeed gets a job. This person gets the Head Coaching Job with Athletes in Action and NO ONE SAYS A THING! He was an accessory to Murder and tried to get an Assistant Coach to lie, yet he is back in coaching. Mike Jervis gets FIU and folks are screaming while a guy who attempted to cover a murder and lie is back coaching a Christian Basketball Program.

I also need to talk about the ex Baylor Assistant Coach. Poor guy does the right thing and he is out of coaching and living with his folks or in a room somewhere unable to get a job. The cheating Head Coach is back coaching. NO ONE HAS THE DECENCY to give this guy a chance. Not even the so called strong Black Coaches. Where is the Black Coaches Association? Where is that money going from the pre conference tournaments they hold? Why is this guy not back in coaching? I will tell you why, because many coaches are phony and have no backbone. Where have you gone Bob Knight, John Chaney, and Lou Carnessecca. Even young coaches who associated with him have turned their back on him. Some are even Head Coaches now. I know personally how they think and it is a real shame.