Wednesday, October 29, 2008

College Basketball Thoughts/NJ4life,HallDan,SPK

Folks you would have to be up in the Pocono's to believe the bad weather in one part and one mile away in another part the weather is mild. 6 inches of snow in MT. Pocono and down the hill no snow. This weather situation gives me an opportunity to sit back and reflect about life and college basketball teams.

I think of three extremely knowledgeable basketball people that write on the various internet boards. HallDan, SPK, and NJ4Life are really great fans of basketball who happen to root for two different teams. I had the pleasure of meeting Dan for the first time on Sunday at Rutgers. SPK is a longtime friend as is NJ4Life. These 3 represent what is right with attending school locally. All really want to see their teams do well the right way as they support the kids that participate. SPK is a great example of this based on his support of The Walker Foundation. He would run through a wall to support this group that does so much for inner city kids in Jersey City. He does it because he wants to help and because of his commitment to assist a former Seton Hall Athlete. They provide the type of support and on occasion guidance that many current and former players could use.

College and Universities are supposed to prepare all students for life after college. College basketball players fall into that category. In no way should ex players not be supported and cared for after their college eligibility is over. Schools such as Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Georgetown have done tremendous jobs in that area. After all it is the REAL reason a person should choose a college as opposed to how much they are paid under the table to play, or preparation for the professional ranks.

This is one of the reasons I push so hard for area young men and young ladies to look hard at local schools. By local I mean NYC and NJ and on occasion I mean Conn, to DC as well. But if a local kid wants to really make sure he or she gets maximum exposure while developing great alumni contacts for the future, they need to look at RU, SHU, and SJU locally on the BE level, Fordham, St. Joe's, Temple, LaSalle, etc. on the A10 Level, Manhattan, St. Peters, Hofstra, Delaware, Drexel,Monmouth, FDU, Rider, etc. on the mid major level.

Why in heavens name does a kid need to sign with Iowa State if Seton Hall really wants him? Why go to Missouri, Kansas State, Indiana, Texas, and the list goes on......... If you can sign and play for a PROGRAM near your home that would provide great resources, alumni contacts for when basketball is over, and a chance for your friends and family to see you and support you without a financial hardship in regards to driving 400 miles to games every week? This is why I endorse kids going to certain schools based on ability and potential. Nothing like going to school in Mississippi and having no support system in place. Still remember my son being in his dorm room at a Big 10 school eating a grilled cheese sandwich on Thanksgiving because they were flying out to Alaska the next morning. They gave him $100 or so to eat, but he was alone and did not want to go to a restaurant alone. If he was local, he could have run home and been back that night on campus.

No matter what happens basketball wise this season at Rutgers, JR Inman, Griffin, and Farmer will get assistance from alumni when it is time to get a job in the future. Ask Shayle keating. No matter what happens at SHU this season or next, seniors that participate will benefit from connections if they choose to use them. St, Johns also has some of the same stuff available as long as the players work hard academically and are not caught up in the Athletic Administration stuff that players majored in years ago. Heck there is even a SJU alumnus who rode the bench now making millions on Wall Street (well at least he was).

There are many players who never really look at the whole picture when being recruited. Will they get the type of academic assistance needed to become successful? What are the basketball alumni doing now? Is the program really a factory? Do players graduate? Most kids think they are going to the NBA. Even kids who sign with low major programs. At the least they think they are going abroad to play for $100,000. Little do they know that those salaries reported are so false. Most players are making in the 20-35,000 category. A few make in the high category based on height, and/or NBA experience. So the best true option remains getting the degree and allowing it to work for you via alumni and other contacts.

I am really writing this because of a few sad stories that I heard yesterday. It involves a few ex players we all know. I will only name one of them and he will be last. The first story is about 2 players who played HS ball locally at the same HS but at different times. Both are now in their 50's. Both were stars and even had commercials. Unfortunately both went through millions of dollars at different times. They both also used the NBA pension fund up. Lastly, both attended college far away from the NYC Metropolitan area. One I am sure was given such star treatment all he had to do is play ball. Now I wonder if any of these two people had went locally, would the contacts for them have offered more assistance and helped them through some stuff. I hear one lives in a room, and another just moves around. Long way from the top. This is not written to poke fun or put these guys down. It is just done so that kids can understand how important certain life decisions are. By the way, both are GREAT People and deserving of much more than they have received.

Lets look at a guy by the name of Pearl Washington. WE all know Pearl was an outstanding High School and College player. Problem is he has done everything right and still he has not been given the opportunities others have received despite not having anything close to the legacy he has at both Boys HS and Syracuse University. he went to Syracuse University and helped them alot more than they have helped him. No he is not down and out. But after all he did for the Coach there you would think he would get a position for life! I even heard he asked numerous times for a position working on the Syracuse staff. From what I hear the coach told him he would be hired the next time there was an opening. Well they have had many and he has yet to be hired. He is doing well working at Carnarsie HS in Brooklyn NY. If you ever had an opportunity to talk to Pearl Washington you would walk away very impressed. Guy is smart, engaging, and a great role model with all kids.

I now come full circle on what I am trying to get across. The summer leagues are full of playground legends. Most attended college and were looked at as stars. It is interesting how folks in the inner city embrace these playground legends as if they were Michael Jordan or Patrick Ewing. I even remember walking into a park years ago in NYC for an ESPN special game with NBA players only. Dick Vitale was doing the color and it was going to be great. They must have turned away 2000 people who were trying to get in. Oddly the loudest cheer was not for the NBA guys, it was for a playground legend who was a star in the Entertainers league when he was not at work at the super market. This player was just walking in to watch the game! Not knocking the playground legend, just showing how some folks think. The tri-state area is full of these legends. Summer league stars who have great basketball ability but not quite good enough for the NBA. Oddly, most never received degrees despite attending D1 colleges. If we did a study I am sure 95% of these kids attended college far away from home and yes they were stars in HS and even in college.

In closing I again urge all kids being recruited to strongly consider attending a college close to home. If it is not Stanford, ND, Cal, Northwestern, etc., local kids should be looking at schools from New England to DC. I might even throw in North Carolina, and Duke to the mix. But other than that, I think kids are only looking at basketball as opposed to where they will be at 40 years old.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Great Man and Person

One of the truly great pioneers in NYC and NJ basketball passed away at Mt. Sinai Hospital on Friday. Words cannot express how much respect I and most others have for Doc Nicelli, the founder and legendary coach of the NY Broncos. I will not go into history about him because others have done a better job than I could ever do on this subject. But I do want to reflect what I know.

Doc really hated the direction AAU and Travel teams were headed in. He despised how some programs were buying players and not concerned about those kids academically.

Doc was a true "TOUGH GUY" and everyone knew it! But he was soft as tissue when it came time to help people, especially the kid who was underrated and under recruited. He did things his way and it worked.

Playing travel ball for Doc meant your child would be cared for and act like a gentleman in public and on the court. Your kid had to wear his Bronco jacket and be respectful at all times. Doc would handle the tough stuff, he just wanted the kids to play basketball.

Doc made sure that when he traveled it was done first class. His teams did not eat at McDonalds for dinner. Not Doc. He made his kids eat at red Lobster, Olive Garden, and other similar restaurants. He always said kids need to eat dinner at a place where they needed to use a fork and a knife.

Still remember when my son played for the Broncos. Doc had a fund raising dinner. I sat with Rich Kossick aka Books and Balls, and Jim Gatto,ex coach at St. Johns Prep. Well they had a bidding thing going on to raise funds for Doc's teams. This event was in the Wall Street area and alot of Brokers were in attendance. They believed in Doc and were bidding on autographed balls, pictures , etc. What was interesting was the bids were as high as $50,000 for many items. These guys were bidding so much that Rich, Jim, and I put our hands in our pockets just to make sure our hands did not go up by mistake. Doc raised alot of money and spent every dime on his kids.

Those were just a few of the things I remember about Doc. He was so respected that Bob Hurley requested his kids travel across the water to play for Doc as opposed to playing for other AAU or travel teams. Doc if you are watching and reading these posts please remember how admired and appreciated you are. EVERYONE RESPECTED YOU because you refused to kiss up to anyone and remained true to who you really were. God bless you Doc!!!!! We will miss you but even worst, the kids of the NYC metropolitan area will be the big losers because they will not have you as a option.

Below I have attached a two comments from the NYCNJ Hoops board. Both people are good friends of mine so I know they will not object. neither will my friend Robert White, who is the NYCNJ HOOPS site administrator. Ted Gustus is the ex Head Coach at Bishop Loghlin and Nazareth HS, both in Brooklyn. A GREAT COACH!! Rick Kossick is one of the top people regarding HS athletes and preparing for college. He also is the Academic Coordinator for the ABCD Camp. Please read below.

Coach Ted Gustus - I am greatly sadden about the death of one of New York's finest person, Doc Niceili. Yes, his legacy in the basketball community has been well documented, however it is Doc the person that has had an great impact on me and others. Back in the mid 80's I entrusted three of my adopted sons in the hands of Coach Doc, Robert Phelps, Phil Hayes and Marquis Scott. At that time, we were trying to figure out which traveling AAU programs that these guys would play with. Well, after comparing Doc's Bronco program to the others, it was a no brainer for us. Despite not having the budget as the other programs, Doc made it up with character, honesty, integrity, and trust. My kids enjoyed playing for Doc and he truly put the "fun" back into "fundamentals" Doc will surely be missed and I want to personally thank his family for allowing him to invest countless number of hours being a coach, mentor, and father figure to thousands of urban young men.

M.A.D. Respect and Love for a great individual!
Coach Ted Gustus

BooksnBall - The world of high school basketball in metro NYC has suffered a major loss. Paul "Doc" Nicelli of Bronco's/Student-Athlete Inc. fame lost his valiant fight against cancer on Friday afternoon at Mt. Sinai hospital. His lovely wife Sandy & daugher Nicole were at his side when he passed. Doc was 70 years old and had started his original Broncos Program at the Boy's Club on 29th Street upon leaving the service in 1964. A former NYC All City high school guard in the mid-50's, Doc earned "Little All American" honors while at Kings College in Pa., graduating in 1961.NY & Nortth Carolina point guard legend Tommy Kearns once told me that Doc was a "tough, smart, quick" player who backed down from no one. That description could readily be used to describe Doc's teams!

Starting out as a social worker, Doc became an administrator in NYC's Human Resources Administration before retiring in the late 90's. His love of the city game had Doc spending week nights as a coach at the 29th street Boy's Club-where he sponsored a highly competitive annual Easter Tournament (Think 1970-80's version of today's IS 8!) and his annual high school holiday tournament-"Gobbler/Snowflake Classic" at F.I.T. was at one time the largest high school tournament in the USA. In 1985 Doc started Student-Athlete's Inc.which sponsored annual Bronco travel teams, local summer tournaments and provided tuition assistance to many high school & prep school students. Tom Konchalski, noted hoops evaluator called Doc one of NYC's "unsung heroes" for his over 40 years of serving the youth of our city & beyond. Doc's annual "Gala-fund raiser' for student athletes became a night of great celebration of high school basketball, local high school legends, Bob Hurley, Bobby Hartstein, Jim Gatto and others would be joined by college coaches Billy Donovan, Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, Lou Carnessecca, Bobby Gonzalez, Fred Hill, Jay Wright, Tubby Smith, Bill Self. Barry Rohrssen, Ben Howland, Tom Pecora and members of the business/entertainment world would make each year's gathering special. Smiles abounded when cast members of the Sopranos attended and noted actor/muscian LEON had moms & daughters reaching for pen & paper to get autographs & request pictures! Doc's emphasis on fundamentals and unselfish team play for his teams made his players attractive recruits for college coaches. They knew if they signed a player from the Broncos that they were getting a player who knew how to play the game well. Doc will be missed and I'd like to use the best compliment Doc would bestow on someone he liked and respected because it fits him perfectly........... Doc, you are truely, "some kind of wonderful!" Always were & always will be in our hearts.

The wake for Doc will be held on Monday, Oct. 27 & Tuesday, Oct 28 from 2-5 P.M. & 7-9 P.M. @ Joseph Farenga & Sons Funeral Home located at 38-08 Ditmars Blvd. Astoria, N.Y. 11105 (718 726 6060) The funeral will be on Wednesday, Oct. 29th at Most Precious Blood Parish- 36th Street off of 34th Avenue in Long Island City. Time to be determined.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bobby G and More

Just a few items I would like to share. Remember these are my thoughts ONLY!

Why would a high level D1 college basketball coach ever call out a player in the national press? Well that is what Bobby Gonzalez did with Brandon Walters at the Seton Hall Press Day. Why does he embarrass this kid, his family, and those close to him? It was brutal to say the least!

Let's examine a few reasons why.

The first reason might be to motivate him to work harder and improve. It might be a way to get this kid to compete harder and become more of a factor at Seton hall University. I honestly think there are better ways to do this.

Second reason might be Coach G is trying to encourage the young man to transfer. This would be the way of opening the door for him to explore his options. He might look at this young man as a person who is so comfortable that he would just ride the bench at SHU and never really care about his playing time. So Gonzo says this to get others in his ear to encourage him to leave. Remember my thoughts are always go where you are loved and not where you are just wanted. Honestly I think this would be a true Scum bag Move on SHU and the SHU administration who Gonzo represents whether he realizes it or not. It is the type of thing that is done regularly at those cheating schools where they run kids off, and those who stay end up with 25 real college credits after playing basketball for 4 years. Private email me for a list of such schools. This type of behavior is one of the reasons I always push for kids to attend college local at SHU, RU, SJU, and all the mid majors. But when you start doing this type of stuff it becomes BAD! Again I am not sure this is the case, but if it is I hope all the folks at Lincoln HS, Brooklyn, and NYC are watching. I would not want a kid I am affiliated to attend a school where the coach bad mouths a kid in the press or runs them off.

Third reason could be he talks so fast he does not have an opportunity to think about what he is actually about to say. Or should I say analyze what he is about to say because it is impossible not to think before speaking. This is such a Rick Pitino move. I doubt DC will ever recover from the way Rick talked about him in the press and in private. Yet it is so easy for kids to think it will not happen to them. Which is so untrue because it could. Similar in an exaggerated way to a person trying drugs saying it will not have the same affect on them as it does on others. People in AAU, Travel Team, and HS Circles in this area still push kids to schools who get away with using and hurting kids. In Chicago, the local coaches shut DePaul down for about 6 years after they felt kids were not treated right and area coaches were disrespected. Would he had done this to a St. Anthony's player? ummmmmmmm!

Gonzo owes this kid, SHU, the kids parents, and many others an apology for his remarks. Others might not think it was a big deal. I do and remember what I said in the beginning: My thoughts, my blog. I have defended Bobby on here and I have raved about SHU's Team to the point I have been attacked on various message boards. But as I always say. I only call it as I see it.

Jim Couch Games Update

The Jim Couch games was a great day with at least 300 kids participating in a free clinic that saw Nate Archibald (NBA Legend), Milton Lee (Workout Guru to NBA Stars), and Sean Couch (Ex Columbia Star and Indiana Pacer Draft Choice) put kids through great ball handling and shooting drills. Just watching them work made ma again wonder why Nate Archibald in not the Head Coach of an NBA team? He is a legend and a GREAT BASKETBALL MIND with the ability to communicate with players. I even think he might now be Dr. Archibald after getting his PhD recently.

The day also had 3 games including a great game between 9th graders from NYC against 9th graders from New Jersey. When I looked at the rosters and watched warm-ups, I thought it would be a 20 point loss for the NJ team. Little did I know that this team was TOUGH. With most of the kids from Bergen County, with a few from Newark Eastside, and others from Warren County, they just played to well as a TEAM to be denied the win. Donald Osborne the new head coach of the Dwight Morrow (Englewood) Girls team did a great job. Guy should be a head coach of a men's team. I really hate the fact he has taken a girls job because it will be hard for him to get back to the boys side. I even asked him to reconsider his choice but he laughed and told me he just wanted to coach. Well Bergen Catholic offered him the assistant job there but he refused to consider it for some reason we will not share here. I think it would have been a great move for him.

Other games were good as well but the real star was Jim Couch who has done so much for kids without ever turning any kid down, or charging any kid to play. He just finds the good in every single kid whether they are great players are very bad players. They always find room for any kid who wants to play.

Lastly It was nice to get an award for the Jim Couch Foundation for my 20 plus years of running the free workouts that thousands of kids attended including a few millionaire basketball and baseball stars.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Setting The Record Straight

I thank the RU board for the nice comments about me because I know they feel I am anti their program. But that is so untrue. I have said to anyone who listens and really reads what I am saying, Fred Hill is doing a very good job. I have also said that I LIKE FHJ and Craig Carter very much. remember I drove Craig out to Rutgers along with Jim Couch many years ago when he committed to RU after playing at The Bronx HS of Science. I coached and worked out Craig and no fewer than 10 ex RU players during that time. I even mentioned that I like how FHJ encourages his players, and also mentioned how I think JR and Jeron Griffin SHOULD have been suspended. I even mentioned that FHJ was my sons favorite college coach when he was being recruited years ago. And to this day my son is a huge FHJ fan.

Now as far as protecting JR Inman, I will always be in his corner. That will never ever change. I really still feel that JR was taken out of the RU line-up for no real reason last season and he never really recovered. He was the scapegoat. I would tell FHJ the same thing. But that does not make me stop liking a guy I liked very much for 20 years. Now some of his other staff is a different story and I am not talking about Jim Carr or Darren Savino. And I have my reasons which are personal.

Gary Waters? I respected him but was not friendly with him. In fact I did not like the way he coached and never encouraged his players. In no way would I ever like him as much as I like FHJ. NEVER!!! I am just a guy who defends those I feel are treated wrongly. Thus my thoughts on Waters a few years back. I loved the hire of FHJ but hated the way it happened. I would feel the same way if Danny Nee was hired after this season and Fred Hill Jr. was fired. But FHJ has always been a favorite of mine. And that would never stop me from disagreeing with certain things I see. Which is why I told Tobias Harris Dad, his son needed to go where he is loved and not just where he is wanted! That was a RU plug!!!!!

As far as Bobby G is concerned. I like him and always will as well. I like him based on knowing him for 25 years. I like him despite feeling he is still scared of hiring strong assistant coaches he can not step on. But I also like the fact he is competitive, and gets it done with his teams. I also like Dermon Player alot as well. Great guy who deserves so much and is a fine motivator and coach as well.

When I discuss talent I do have a clue, contrary to what some feel. I know talent and have been right much more than I have been wrong. Take Kraidon Woods as an example. I always thought Kraidon should have gone to St. Joe's as opposed to signing with Villanova. I think right now he is in a situation at Arizona State that could be serious in regards to playing time. But this kid can play and just needs an opportunity. If not at Arizona State, I hope he comes home and attends St. Joe's or Delaware.

When I talk about the talent on campus at Seton Hall I become excited because they really have some bonofide players who will help them get to the NCAA tournament very soon. In comparison to Rutgers, it is not close talent and toughness wise. Sorry, I call it as I see it. Those kids at Seton Hall are built to compete. Rutgers will be better than folks think. And the cup cake early schedule could give them a huge lift, or it could backfire as they prepare for the Big East portion of the schedule. Trust me the Delaware game is huge for them because Delaware has players and a good home court advantage. But the talent on the RU team at this point is not what SHU has. That does not mean RU cannot beat SHU on a given night. But talent wise I again say SHU has better personnel.

Lastly, Rosario and Chandler are GREAT RECRUITS! I think Mike will be outstanding after he adjusts to college basketball which has bigger and tougher kids than what he saw at St. Anthony's, and he must know that. So when I question recruits, I am not talking about Rosario this season, or Chandler last season.

I really look forward to this season. It will be very interesting.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Well we are very close to the start of what most of us hope will be a interesting and successful college basketball season for local teams. Unfortunately some area schools are entering the season short handed and with controversy.

Lets look at Rutgers University. JR Inman and Jeron Griffin will be suspended indefinitely. No matter how the RU fans spin this, it is a huge loss and puts the Scarlet Knights at a huge disadvantage. Both these players deserve a suspension and really owe it to their teammates to come back strong and focused. On a personal level I am disappointed in JR, but will NEVER GIVE UP ON HIM. And this has nothing to do with him ever playing for money. I just want him to have a very productive season and shut a few critics up. Unfortunately the latest incident from the past year only gives those critics fuel for the fire.

Both JR and Jeron have a long road ahead after they sit out some games. They might never re-gain what is needed to help the RU team. They might have to sit and watch younger players develop and carry the load. Or they might come back very focused and lead the team to victories no one expected. It is up to them! But again, this will be a difficult road. One point of caution. I honestly think the new players at Rutgers are very good. But I question if they are good enough to actually take minutes away from Inman, Farmer, and Griffin. As I have said on a few occasions, I have thoughts on a few of the new RU players folks are raving about. But I will save that for another time.

Now I really think as much as RU did the correct thing by suspending the 2 RU players, I question if Seton Hall did the correct thing as well. Personally I think it was a bone headed decision. Taking Mitchell off the team for a national tournament is borderline sabotage. If I did not know better I would think someone is betting the spread in Vegas.

Here you have a chance to be good, and the school takes a kid off the team for a violation that the NCAA would have only given a slap on the wrist. And not the first two games, but national games in a TV event. I mean come on, what is this about? I question if this is a move to just hurt the coaching staff and set them up for failure. If I was them, I would be on top of the waiver process that a few players are seeking. Heck, who knows the real effort that is going into getting those waivers for Pope, and Lawrence, as well as getting the clearing house to approve the eligibility of the big fella. Just thinking out loud...... ummmmmmm.

Let's look at next season if the waivers are not granted and the clearing house rejects the eligibility of the big fella. Bobby G has a decent year at best because of internal fighting with the administration, and Mitchell never gets on track. Also Glover makes a deal with the NCAA that allows him to play, but he has to sit out this season. So the team at SHU is decent and does not go to a post season tournament. What happens next?

Well if the let Bobby G go it will be almost criminal! He has put together a program built to succeed in the long run. Next years SHU team will be TOUGH! Who should coach them? Bobby Gonzalez of course. But if they get rid of him, who ever is hired would inherit a team that even I could coach to a post season tournament. And the powers at SHU understand this.

Folks do not really understand what Mike Glover will mean to SHU. He is that good and real warrior! Add Pope and Lawrence and it is WOW! Put them with Hazell, and Harvey, and Davis, and Garcia,and Mitchell and you have........Are you kidding me!!!!!! That's what Dicky V will say as he does a game from the Pru Center. Great arena, great school, talented team equals kids wanting to be part of the magic. This could be a positively explosive situation in the future. I would put that talent against any talent in the BE. And this is not a RutgarsAl comment lol.

Jimmy Solmon presents the Eddie Griffin Challenge at the Barn Gym on the RU campus. I really look forward to this game because it is usually a very exciting game. The match-ups are great and the turnout of fans should be exceptional.

Another great event is the Jim Couch All-Star games at Kennedy HS in the Riverdale section of the Bronx this Saturday. Great talent for a great man who gives so much to the kids who are under exposed and under appreciated. Still remember a team from years ago that he had. 12 nice kids on a junior team that lost every game. They stayed together and became very good years later. 9 of the 12 went on the D1 schools on basketball scholarships because Jim Couch never gave up on them.

Just a bit on the low and mid major schools acting like they can wait on certain kids when they have talented kids ready to commit. Do they really think a kid who is being recruited by the A10 is going to the America East or North East Conference? I know of one kid who is 6 ft 9, runs the floor well, great shot blocking ability, hits the outside shot. bangs down low, makes free throws, and is a good student. Kid is a true baller! Yet the school he and his parents love, has not offered because they are waiting on other kids. Crazy? Stupid? Prediction: When this kid signs with a school, and gets worked out from June to the first game, he will be 60 percent better. Kid can play. Maybe he needs a tattoo, long braids, gold teeth, and be from the hood. Or better yet, once other schools start recruiting him hard he will become a priority recruit. I think I will contact the University of Delaware for this kid. He would be perfect for Monte Ross and Monte would know what to do with him.

This is why I love the programs at St. Peters, Monmouth, Rider, Siena, Bucknel, Lehigh, etc. They know when they have a good one in reach. And that is why they are always competitive!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Morning and on my mind!!

Lots of stuff on my mind today. Lets start with Jim Salmon and the Eddie Griffith Challenge. First off I need to say a few things about Jim Salmon, even if I have said these things in the past. JIM SALMON remains one of the true good guys in AAU and Travel basketball. And trust me I know this first hand. A few folks get caught up in Jim's success, become jealous, and look for ways to knock him. What is he getting? Why does he do this? Is he selling players? How much money is he making? Is he is arrogant? Is he cocky? Is he illegal? The answer to all above is NO, NO, NO, NO...... This guy goes out of his way to help all the kids that participate in his program and many who do not even have an affiliation with his Playez Teams. I have seen him show up at HS games to support, I have seen him show up at D2, and D3, games to support ex players. I have seen him create extra teams to help kids get recognition and find funds to allow them to travel to places as far away as Vegas for tournaments. On a personal tip I will not even go into what he has done for many people away from basketball. That includes me! He has always been there for the right cause and activity. So during this time that we start discussing The Eddie Griffith Challenge and other high profile events, I wanted to salute Jim for his hard and wonderful efforts.

Now about the challenge, I do hope they will have some sort of program available so that the average fans can know who is who. The games, which will be played at the Barn Gym on the Rutgers campus, seem to be potentially great games. What makes the location ideal is Philly and North Jersey (Where many NJ players are from) seem equally close. I am also sure that FHJ and his staff lobbied for the games and Jim got the gym for a great price. I really look forward to paying my entry fee and watching these games.

What is happening AGAIN at Seton Hall?

Are you kidding me? Suspending a player because he lost his ride back to campus and had to ride the team bus back? Suspending a coach because he did not stop the player from getting on the bus? Do you folks honestly think this would happen anywhere else? Even Princeton would not have been as harsh. UCLA coaches are shaking there heads! Other BE coaches are laughing and crying at the same time for BG and staff based on this crap. 2 game sustentions? And than the AD makes the suspensions not the first two games of the season, he makes them games that will be watched on TV by many. I am sure this will make many potential recruits scratch their heads.

Allow me to give you a definite formula for basketball failure. Athletic Director with own agenda + Aggressive Basketball Coach + lack of communication and understanding + Strong Personalities + borderline hatred = FAILURE
Seton Hall does not have football so basketball is the premier sport. Men's basketball is supposed to make money and it can make alot if they get the formula right. The talent on that roster will be great. And if they get MR. GLOVER WATCH OUT! Why would they start what could be a great beginning with this very unnecessary crap?

I think the punishment should have been paying back the school for the bus trip, and a warning. The coach in question should have found him a ride with someone else at the game and I am sure there were some NJ fans there. But that is only if he saw him and found out he lost his ride. But suspend the Coach? Wow!

Sporting News College Basketball

Purchased the Sporting News Magazine yesterday. They have SHU and RU in the back of the pack with SHU one slot ahead of RU. I honestly think they are wrong. SHU will be a middle of the pack team and RU will be better than the SN predicted.

Looked at the All American Team. One senior on the team and we know who that is. That hard playing, hard nose kid from North Carolina. But the others all were underclassman. Seems the NBA has drained the college basketball game of players. I remember when a player had to prove they had a real hardship to come out. It was called the hardship draft. Now it is just an underclass draft. It is almost like saying if a kid gets to be a senior in college he has little chance of being drafted. First good year a kid has he is advised to run from the campus as quick as he can.

Also noticed alot of the 15 players chosen as pre season All Americans were not household HS names. Shows what happens when kids work hard and improve. I would bet that half the kids were not in the McDonalds game. The key remains choosing a school where you are loved and not wanted and where you will play.

Well that's it for now. I hope to get something on here more regular very soon.