Thursday, July 31, 2008

How Wrong Folks Are!

I love great fans and a few have it wrong about some of my postings. Lets start with Mr. Famous.

SPK on the Seton Hall site is a GREAT Fan and very knowledgeable. In fact he is one of my favorite reads on message boards and has been for many years. However, in this case I totally disagree with him about Mr. Famous from Westchester Community College. Anytime you can get a close to 7 ft guy who can run, is a decent athlete, has basketball skills, and works hard, you have a great pick-up for your program. In a time when we see so many one and done kids attending college, we lose site that there are kids with very good potential who might never make an NBA roster but would be very good on a high major level. That is what Jared Famous is. I contacted one of his ex coaches today to ask about some of the things said on the board and received the following answer. "Those folks have no idea about this kids potential and impact ability." "This Kid has come such a long way and everyone wants him." Transfers must have some decent game to get the attention he is getting. The ex coach just laughed and said it is odd that schools in most of the high major conferences are interested yet some folks think he is not good enough. I can tell folks this. SHU and Missouri want him really bad. My friends who coach tell me this kid will be a huge get for a BE program.

Someone on the SJU site of Big East Boards said I was giving it to Norm Roberts. I really was not. Just stunned that he is not going full steam for Mr. Famous. I have alot of respect for Norm and I really hopes he turns SJU around. The area wants and needs SJU, SHU, and RU to be good. I just think of all the area schools SJU needs him the most.

Someone on that same board accused me of saying Tiny Morton is a Hall of Fame Coach and I rank him over the CHSAA Coaches. Honestly I do think he is better than most of the CHSAA coaches. My feeling is anyone who can get to MSG year in and year out and turns out numerous D1 players is doing something right. I honestly am very impressed with Tiny's record and achievements. Just because he is at a public school does not mean he should automatically take a back seat to others. I do not know him personally and this is not a personality contest. My statements were based on his record. So those that disagree, that is your right. But the PSAL has very good coaches including those I mentioned.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Outstanding and Important Recruit

Outstanding and Important Recruit

As most can see, I am not writing as many blog entry's as I will during the college basketball season. However about once a week I will post something I feel is relevant and important. Today is one of those days.

When it comes to recruiting, many say guards are more important than big guys. Others feel a big guy wins championships. Yet others think it is the 4 or 5 guy that gets the job done. Thus the case of what might be the most important recruit available for area universities.

I am talking about Jared Famous, the close to 7 Ft skilled big guy from Westchester Community College in Valhalla NY. I read on one message board that he is more of a MAAC player than a Big East Player. EEEEEEEEEEEEEE........Wrong! This kid is not only a big east player, he could be a big east impact player. 7 Ft with skills and the ability to run the floor. He also plays hard and is a good student. His friends and associates are not what you would even imagine from a player like this. They are your typical almost corny yet academically smart kids. In other words he hangs with the right type of kids.

According to many of my friends including his head coach, who I coached at one time during his playing days at Westchester Community College, this kid will be paid to play one day. And based on the turn out of D1 coaches , at a junior college showcase on Sunday, coaches all over America believe the same thing.

No less than 25 D1 programs were on hand to watch Mr. Famous play. Even Mike Anderson, head coach at Missouri, flew in. Mike did it the correct way. He arrived early and was the last one out the gym. He wants this kid bad!

Locally Norm Roberts, who needs this kid more than anyone in America, did not even bother to show. He sent one of his assistants. Rutgers sent Jim Carr, who has a good relationship with alot of area coaches. Unfortunately this kid sees himself competing against Jonathan Mitchell despite the fact they are telling him Mitchell will play the 3. Seton Hall was well represented by both Dermon Player and Head Coach Bobby Gonzalez, who positioned themselves in the corner right near Jared's people if you know what I mean.

Seems Seton Hall is doing a great job. However my sources tell me they need to be in more contact with Head Coach Winston Nicholas concerning Jared's recruitment. That is a huge concern of many. Winston has been around a long time and really is friends of Norm from Queens. How Norm is not all over this is baffling to say the least.

Lastly. Winton Nicholas, Westchester Community College Head Coach and one of the true GREAT GUYS in area sports, is recovering from surgery in a local NYC hospital. Amazing how the locals cannot find time to stop by and wish him well when out of town guys are finding the time to do this. Norm Roberts should be there 3 times a week!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reactions and some Tidbits

There has been alot of talk all over New York City concerning my post from a week or so ago. Seems like it has caused some controversy as well as great conversation at various summer leagues. I have received at least 20 private emails concerning the lists and categories. I have also received some complaints about who should have been left off, and some about who should have been included.

Honestly I really continue to forget how many people actually read this blog. I am just glad that most really enjoy my opinions and thoughts. Here is some more of my thoughts and explanations after taking it all in for over a week.

The various categories were developed by 3 people who have strong opinions. Unfortunately some people reading the blog here, and post on NYCNJHOOPS, did not understand the categories and honors. For example when I said Hall of Fame Coach that means that person has won, won, and won. A good example is Tiny Morton at Lincoln in Brooklyn. How could he not be a future Hall of Fame guy in NYC After winning so many PSAL championships and developing the amount of players he has. This is not a popularity contest. It is about what he has done winning wise. Think what you wish, but all he has done is win despite all types of attacks (it always happens when a person is successful) and attempting to hold him back in his early years.

Lets look at Gary Charles from the NY Panthers. No I do not kiss up to Gary but I know what type of guys he is. I know how he gets guys jobs and creates opportunities. I also know first hand what happens when a solid but not spectacular kid from the suburbs comes across the George Washington Bridge to play for him. THEY GET OPPORTUNITIES and NOTICE! My son would have received a great education at a small college in mid America somewhere. Maybe D2 or NAIA. Through Gary, and JIM Couch, and Doc Necelli, he had great offers and opportunities. But Gary was the true catalyst. This is why I say he is the powerful guys he is. Trust me he has gotten guys jobs and in a very few cases if any, he has stopped certain guys from getting opportunities. Small in stature but big in heart and getting the job done. Plus he cares about all his kids, even those who are not great players!

Speaking of Doc Necelli. HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN HIM! Doc is the MAN! He was part of the big three with Riverside and the Gauchos years ago when his Madison Square Broncos were one of the top area teams. Still remember sitting at one of his fund raisers with Rich Kossick and Jim Gatto years ago and when the bidding on items started ( to raise additional funds) the amounts got so large the 3 of us put our hands in our pockets just in case someone accidentally thought we were bidding lol. Anyone remember his old phone message with Riverside and Gaucho references lol.

I also heard that one outstanding coach thought the ratings for many were much too high. By the way he deservingly received a great rating. Some could have been higher but I wanted those guys to continue to shoot for perfection thus the lower ratings.

One thing I failed to mention is the 2 musketeers of grass root basketball in NYC. These are guys still involved with youth and doing it with their own money because they care. Jim Couch, and Carlton Screen Sr. have run programs out of parks if necessary just to help kids. They are guys without sneaker funding. They develop kids who go on to star at other places and programs. That's why both are legends in NYC and loved by everyone! Anyone remember Screen when he played hoops? Heard he was OUTSTANDING!!! Couch is originally from Asbury Park NJ so we have no reference on his game despite him always telling us how good he was in The US Army.

Lastly, this rating and award blog post is only the opinion of a few. As I mentioned in the past, everyone has their own version. This was just mine. If anyone has others, I would be more than happy to include. I was embarrassed that I left off Doc Necelli and Ken Pretlow initially. Both outstanding with kids and true winners.


Saw some posts on Rutgers board about NBA guys not playing hard in this league. I can assure you that they do. Anyone that knows Ron Artist will tell you he always plays hard. Even in the park in the Queensbridge Houses. But even if he did not, playing against him and players like Al Harrington and NYC legends can only help your game. JR Inman has been a true crowd favorite and yes he is playing on the box!!

Recruiting Information

There is a certain kid at Westchester Community college that has everyone all over the country booking flights to Westchester County Airport and Laguardia Airport. Kid is on everyone's list. Even hear Kentucky is involved. Not sure about Rutgers, but Seton hall is right in there with this 7 Foot Kid with serious skills.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

NJ and NY Ratings and Observations (long)

Had some interesting conversations over the past week or so with a number of D1 assistant coaches as well as a few former coaches. The conversations were great and has motivated me to do some rankings and acknowledgments that will be different from what is usually written here. For the record, names might be spelled wrong and for that I ask forgiveness in advance. Also, if you feel I have left someone off please let me know. I have also done a 5 star rating system. Again, please read for enjoyment as opposed to looking for spelling errors. A good editor, which I do not have, would make it nice LOL.

These ratings are for NYC, Westchester, and Northern and Central New Jersey

Top Young Player Coaches in Travel and AAU Basketball

Craig "Kat" Keats, ***** Plus Panthers Young Team (No Affiliation with other Panthers)

This guy is the best in the entire NYC and NJ area working with very young players. Only a few guys are on his level.

Mike Bright ***** Plus Englewood NJ

New York's gift to NJ. Too bad folks in Englewood do not know who he is. Guy has developed hundreds of very young kids into future HS and College stars. Wake up Englewood.

Donald Osborne ***** Plus Gym Rats (Northern NJ)

Some of you might have never heard of this ex FDU star. He is an outstanding teacher and coach. He also has a great player in his 11 year old son. But the guy is outstanding. Look for him on the HS level this season.

Tony Hargraves **** Riverside Church

A former standout at Iona College he has taken a new Riverside Church program for young players to another level. Many have also seen him in basketball movies when he is not working as a successful Wall Street Guy.

Dana Dingle **** Lightning Dingle Shondue McNeal **** Lightning Dingle

Former UMass star has done an outstanding job developing players and coaching his team to great victories. Look for Shondue McNeal, ex St. Bonaventure star, to get a college job in the near future. He and Dana do a terrific job.

Top Older Kid Coaches on The Travel and AAU Circuit

Kamani Young ***** Plus New Heights

Ex Texas El Paso player is a true student of the game. This guy is exceptional. but than again he should be because he has learned from one of the best in Vincent Smith, brother of Kenny. Just an outstanding individual in addition to being a first class coach and teacher.

Dwayne Mitchell ***** Plus NY Gaucho's

Not big on his personality, especially after he big timed me at a event held at Rutgers a few months back. But despite this I still have to give him his props. He has all the tools to be a head HS coach and even a college assistant. Does a great job with the Gauchos. But he needs to remember not to get so big he looks down on others.

OZZie ? **** Minus NY Panthers

I do not know much about him or even his last name. But one thing for sure is he can really coach despite having a touch of arrogance.

Anthony Ambrose **** Minus United Brooklyn

A Ted Gustus Protege, this guy has a bright future. Organized and well versed by one of the best, look for him to be even better in the next year or so.

Kenny Pretlow Metro Hawks

An outstanding and somtimes misunderstood coach. Guy can really coach and lead. Legendary in summer basketball circles in NYC and known nationally.

Kyle Anderson **** plus Playaz

Nice and simple. GUY CAN COACH and TEACH!!!!! Has a great son with very good skills learned from his Dad. Just knows how to make kids better.

Mark Wright **** Minus Playaz

Ex Fordham star is really getting it done. Made the switch from player to coach and has not looked back. Bright future!

Carlton Screen Jr. **** Plus FYA

Carlton, the ex Providence College star really understands the game and learned from his Dad, Carlton Sr., who is a motivator, teacher, and coach extraordinaire. Carlton has D1 experience as a coach and also experience coaching on the HS level.

High Level AAU and Travel Team Guys with lots of experience

Sandy Python ***** NJ Road Runners

One of the best teachers and coaches in the entire tri-state area. Guy is also a work-out guru who has trained many NBA players before they became good.

Brian Crawford ***** Newark Rams

Also a great teacher, trainer, and game coach who has developed many NJ players. He is about development more than wins and loses. But he does win more than he loses.

JR Rodriquez **** Metro Hawks

Not sure if Metro really dropped senior team this summer. But even if they did it is no reflection on JR who has been coaching for many years and doing an outstanding job.

Nate Cardigan **** NY Panthers

One of the most underrated coaches on the scene. Guy can coach and motivate. Plus he remains an outstanding person.

Artie Cox ***** Ron Artist Team

One of the best if not the best coaches on any level. This guy had done it well for many years. I even think he has more IS8 championships than anyone else. His coaching and subbing remain superb!

Artie Green **** Kips Bay??

All I will say is he is a no nonsense coach who knows how to win while teaching the game and life lessons. Great teacher of the game who encourages his players to compete 100%.

Best Guy in NJ or NY to work for as a Basketball Coach

Wayne Cox, Principal of Wings Academy in The Bronx NY.
***** Plus Plus Plus No one is close!

Best Public School Coaches

Tiny Morton ***** Plus Plus Lincoln

A real hall of fame type guy. The best in NYC at this time and an exceptional coach and motivator. Gets it done year in and year out. Even at a time when many chose Catholic Schools, Lincoln still went out and beat most of the teams they played. Guy is without a doubt the best in NYC.

Bob Cummino ***** Plus Plus Mt. Vernon

A hard worker who has done great things at Mount Vernon HS. Guy is similar to Tiny Morton in his commitment level, and desire to win. Plus he can coach, teach. and motivate at a level above most others.

Ron Neclerio ***** Plus Cardozo

Guy lives basketball 24/7 and loves every minute. Called the teacher at games in Harlem when he competes in summer months as a player. Workout expert and great motivator who really would be an ideal pick-up for a D1 program.

Scooter Whiting **** Hackensack

Football and basketball coach who wins in both sports. Guy has coached on all age levels and now has made Hackensack a power again.

Johnny Mathis ***** Plus JFK (Bronx)

A true legend and gentleman. Any parent would want their son playing for Johnny Mathis. He has great patience and knows how to place kids in positions to succeed. A great coach and motivator as well. Odd that such a great ex player has such patience. But glad he does because that patience has paid off well because Kennedy is a PSAL power every year.

Curtis March **** (Was 5 star years ago) Teaneck

Could be the top guy if he put the same effort in his team now as he did years ago. Guy can teach and coach but seems a bit tired and worn out.

Nick M **** Plus Bloomfield Tech

Say what you want, this guy wins and has a nationally recognized program as opposed to team. Slick Nick is what I call him based on the Rick Patino look.

Rock Eisenberg **** Plus Tilden

Everyone's favorite Coach. Great guy with great basketball knowledge. Players respect and love him almost as much as he loves and respects them. Knows his stuff!

Spencer Mayfield (?) ***** Plus White Plains

All he does is win and develop kids the correct way. Great game coach and game day motivator.

Two To Remember

Floyd Layne George Washington *****

I hear he is coaching at George Washington HS. If he is, it is a great hire. He is like a hall of fame type guy. Does it all and will teach his kids all they need to know about winning.

Jay Mahoney Bagota *****

OUTSTANDING COACH who is a throw back to years ago. Nothing fancy, just gets his team to compete all the time.


Pat Meggin FDA ****
Mike Crump Wadleigh ****
Dave Vandiver Woodlands ****
Wendle Sanders Bannecker ****
Kenny Stephens Lincoln (Yonkers)**** Minus
Tommy Allen Carnarsie ****
Ruth Lovelace Boys and Girls **** Minus
Sheldon Jefferson and Lawrence Pollard Jefferson ****
Coach Linden **** Plus
Coach Plainfoeld ****
Billy Turnage Jr. Wings Academy ****

Catholic HS Coaches

Bob Hurley St. Anthony's ***** Plus Plus

The Best, Nuff said!

Kevin Boyle St. Patricks ***** Plus Plus

If anything he remains under rated based on being in Hurley's shadow in NJ. Great coach!

Mo Hicks Rice ***** Plus Plus

Winner, winner, winner! Great game coach who makes the right adjustments. Knows how to get along with everyone despite working for the Gauchos away from his job at Rice HS.

Bob Oliva Christ The King ***** Plus

What more can be said other than he just keeps winning and sending kids to great college programs. A tad bit under appreciated despite great success.

Jack Curran Malloy ***** Plus Plus

Could be one of the best ever if you consider his history and accomplishments. Oddly he lives in Westchester County and coaches all the way in Queens.

Bob Farrow Seton Hall Prep ***** Plus

Great Coach who runs his system well. Not sure if it is right place bor guys over 6 ft 8 but for others it is great. Breat school as well.

Danny Hurley ***** Plus ( He will get Plus Plus after a few more years)

My grandsons future coach if he still coaches there in 16 years. Takes no crap and gets it done while developing players. He does it his way or the highway. Might be my favorite coach!

Pat Flaherty Holy Cross **** Plus

No nonsense and very good coach. Does not hurt that Holy Cross opened its doors to everyone some years ago. But this guy really has taken HC to a new level.

Oliver Antiqua St. Raymonds ****

Despite some issues from a few months ago this guy has done a terrific job following Gary DeCaeser at St. Raymond's.

Jack Alesi Xavarian **** Plus

Hard coach who is learning to adjust to kids after being at the school for many years. But his success is well known and the Clippers are headed in the right direction.

Khalid Green Bishop Loughlin ****

After a few years of showmanship and learning on the job, this young coach has become a very good coach who makes the right decisions on the bench. He lives to coach and it is starting to show. Now if he could only
take that phone and put it away!

Some Other Rankings and Observations

Best Travel and AAU Team Recruiter?
Chad from the Gauchos. Smooth guy who has a way with the players.

Best AAU and Travel Team Administrator
Jim Solman from the Playaz. Very organized and excellent manager of his staff.

Best AAU and Travel Team Facilities
NY Gauchos, LI Lightning, Westchester County Hawks, New Heights

Most Influential AAU and Travel Team Person
Gary Charles, NY Panthers Hands down very influential. has power to get guys jobs!

Most successful HS Coaches in last 8 years
Bob Hurley in NJ
Tiny Morton in NY
Kevin Boyle NJ

Top AAU and Travel Team (looking at players, college placement, uniforms, wins, tournaments)
The NJ Playaz
New Heights
Albany City Rocks

Best AAU and Travel Team Program (Tutoring, academic support, teams, etc.)
This is not even close.

NEW HEIGHTS! They are about more than basketball. They are about developing kids on and off the court in the building they use in the Bronx which at one time was Tolintine HS.

Best Trainers

Darryl "D Train" Smith, New Jersey
Jerry Powell, New York
Tiny Green
Mike "Mooch" and his partner on Long Island whose name slips me at the time.

Best Shooting Coaches

Ken Culuko New Jersey
Sundance Kid New York

Best Ball Handleing Trainer

Sean Couch New York City
Jackie Knowles Bronx (If he still does it)

Best Overall Teacher

Rich Leary New Jersey The Best!

Power Broker List

Tom Konchalski, Rob Kennedy, Pete Edwards (IS8), Jason Curry (Big Apple Sports), Howie Garfinkel, Steve Keller, Ted Gustus, Rob "Rebel" Boyd, Sam Albano, Ed Butler, Robert White (NYNJHOOPS), Hank Carter (Wheel Chair Charities),Nate Blue, Russell Shular, Rich Kossick, John Salvo, Brett Carter, Lou Demeo (Westchester), Howie Garfinkel, Jim Couch, Gene Carroll, Boston Keith, Rich Macuchi (Sp), Tyrone Green, Sterling Nuneley, Cecil Watkins, Howie Evans, Carlton Screen Sr.

Best Player Development Programs (Teaching)

New Heights (year round)
Dyckman (NYC based)

Best Academic Support Guys

Russell Shular and Rich Kossick

Hall of Fame Guys

Dave McCullough Ex NY Gaucho Coach
Fred Neal Ex NY Gaucho Coach
Evander Ford Ex Dyckman Coach
Bruno S ? Ex Gaucho Coach
Mike McAvane Ex Riverside Coach
Gil Renolds Ex Brooklyn Coach
Rap Perez Ex Brooklyn Crushers Coach
Curtis "Mr T" Thomas Ex Queens Coach
Timmy Vincent Ex Brooklyn USA Coach
Lester Roberts Ex Brooklyn USA Coach
Howie Lawrence Ex Queens Coach
Leroy Oatis Ex Church of master and Young life Coach
Ollie Edinboro Ex Boys of Yesteryear Coach
George Booker Founder of Whitney Young Tournament/ex our Savior Lutheran Coach

Best Coaches Not Coaching

Ray Haskins, ex LIU Head Coach (took team to consecutive NCAA and NIT tournaments)

Bobby Holford (Junior College Coach of the Year at Hostos Community College and 2005 National Champion. 1st African American Coach in NYC and NYS to win a national championship))

Mike McAwaine (great ex Pace University and Riverside Coach)

Most Opinionated

LFBALL! Nuff said