Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Basketball Happenings and Stuff!

Received alot of emails over recent information I posted on this blog. Let me share some of the information I received:

First off people are following Rutgers, St. Johns, and SHU closely in regards to encouraging kids to consider them. They are watching development, game coaching, player support, shots allowed, coaching support from administration, and wins and loses. I have got this first hand from some, and 2nd and 3rd hand from others. But as I said, people are watching closely

Many fans are very upset with the Corey Chandler situation at Rutgers University. Though they are Fred Hill Jr. fans, they feel the RU starting 5 and player rotation is not in Rutgers best interest. My take? Again I feel you might be mentally losing the best backcourt talent on the team. Yes, I do feel he is more talented than Mike Rosario even though I feel Mike will be a heck of a player in the Big East. I just happen to feel Corey is the better of the two. Folks are raving over Rosario and Greg E. and rightfully so. But it is so easy to adopt the new kids as the best players based on hope and dreams for the future.

I take you back to Ollie Baileys Freshmen year. he was a future stud! he was tough! He would be a future star often talked about in the same vain as past RU great big guys. Fast forward and the fans all but gave up on him. He was now not a BE player to many, despite being an All BE Freshmen selection. Why the change? What happened? Coaches and fans saw more potential in JR Inman who was in many folks eyes the future of RU basketball and one of only a few real BE players on the roster, even though Ollie had a great freshmen season before JR arrived.

JR also was all Big East Freshmen and even Freshmen All American. Fast forward and now there are some who say he is not even a BE player. He was the future just as Ollie Bailey was a year before him. Now he is playing in mechanical mode scared to take a jump shot.

We now look at Corey Chandler. My only problem with him last season is I thought he was out for himself more than he was for the team. But guess what? he was definitely the BEST guard on the RU team. I even thought he was NBA material. Still think he is with more development and confidence. Now we see fans turning on him! Now we see him getting 17 minutes against St. Peters! Now we see a kid also playing a bit scared and seeking support to be able to play his game within the system and not having to look over his shoulder.

Its good to establish discipline and make the program look as you wish it to look. But no one will care that the kids work hard, and sprint to the bench, etc, if you are losing many more games than you win. I have seen some of the best organized programs with kids looking like clones get humiliated by teams of guys looking as if they have zero discipline. In other words it is good to make a point, but another thing to not know when to let stuff go. Just my opinion.

So that's the last 3 all BE Freshmen from the Rutgers program. Makes you wonder about player development, etc. Will Mike Rosario become the forth All BE Freshmen who will have a worst sophomore season than he did as a freshmen? Will fans be on him and Greg E based how they play and are used after this season? Question to all. Was Ollie Bailey playing as well or better than Greg E. at this stage of his freshmen season? UMMMMMM!

So Mr. Drummond is leaving the Main-line? I honestly thought he was a great 9th grader at Bloomfield Tech, where he attended from his Newark Home. In fact I was wide mouthed when I saw him the first time at Kennedy HS in Patterson during either an AAU event or actual game. It is the same time I saw Courtney Nelson who also was recruited hard to Rutgers after announcing he was leaving Richmond where he played behind NYC's Daon Merritt. We all know what happened to him. I still think Courtney was one of the best HS guards I saw and was even NJ HS Player of The Year.

Back to Mr. Drummond. This transfer shows me that Mr. Drummond really has a hunger to play basketball. maybe he will sit out and get even better conditioned at a school where he could make a difference. At one time I thought he was very overrated based on zero development at Bloomfield Tech after his freshmen year. I received numerous emails about my Drummond thoughts and after he had a decent few games as a freshmen, I went public and said I would now call him Mr. Drummond out of respect for the way he was performing and proving me wrong.

I for one am shocked at this development. But when I step back I realize this could be a great thing for him. He gets a fresh start with a year to work hard followed by 2 years to get it done on the court. Not sure where he will attend, and I am sure not interested in being the first to know or scooping anyone. I will say he needs to find a program that has enjoyed success with transfers who had to sit a year because that sit-out year could hurt you as well as help you. Some kids never get the fire back to compete and wind up being just role players despite the level of D1 school they transfer to. It would be great if he could get a partial redshirt for this season and play 2 and a half at his new school by only sitting out the first semester next season. Where will he go? I would think he would consider the following schools who would welcome him with open arms: Rhode Island, Temple, Fordham, Iona, Delaware, Hofstra, UMass, VCU, Siena, George Mason, etc. Good luck to him.

Kraidon Woods never attended Villanova. Went to the Hill School for a prep year and than to Arizona State where he is fighting for playing time. I personally would love to see him join Drummond at his future destination. I have to keep it real here. I like Kraidon alot and think the only thing keeping him off the court is strength and weight. Boy if only I had that type of weight problem lol! But the writing is on the wall to me. Kid also needs a change of address if he wants to play basketball as opposed to just watching the game from the best seats in the house. Just my thoughts and not those of his family.

So fans at SHU think Mitchell shot too much the last game? Maybe so but what Bobby Gonzalez is doing is allowing the kid to get on track in a game that was already won. he wanted the kid to get looks and shots as practice for the BE games and similar contests. I am stunned other coaches do not use these early games for similar reasons. Bobby Gonzalez most likely gave him a shot goal and told him to work to get those shots without fear of being yelled at. Interesting strategy that could pay off big in the future.

St. Johns has really snuck up on us with a great early season record. I also think they have a cupcake type schedule. But this schedule will help them prepare in the long run while teaching the kids on the team the feeling of winning. It is the same thing Rutgers is doing with its schedule. But as I said about Rutgers, this could backfire when The Red Storm get to the BE portion of the schedule. But the record is good thus far.

Well it will soon be time for the area early season and holiday HS tournaments to start. Looking forward to some great match-ups. But I still miss what was the best ever in the tri-state area. The Doc Turner Classic at CCNY in Harlem. That event had crowds of over 3500 each session and the championship games always had standing room only. Wish they would bring it back.

I like the Prime-Time shootout alot but really feel they have gone so commercial the games are not as exciting. Wonder if they are still well attended? But this 2 state format with 3 locations is a bit too much. I really think it is nice that Lolypop Prep from Edgewater is playing Bubblegum Tech from West Orange in the Saturday finale. But does anyone really care about those no name HS tilts that seem designed to be end of the day allow the fans to leave safe with no emotion contests? Bring back the great games and put them all at That arena in Trenton. Boy they need Bobby Jacobs to come out of hiding and retirement to do the match-ups. But really the Prime Time is a nice event that will have some good games. Just would like to see 2 days of national type events in an arena setting.

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