Friday, December 12, 2008

Fridays Thoughts

Good Morning Basketball Fans.

Well today is a huge day at St. Anthony's of Jersey City. Today or shall I say this evening, Dominic Cheek selects the college he will attend for the next 4 years. Yes I said 4 years because at this time I see him as a 4 year player although I do feel he has NBA potential. Some might argue that he is more of a 2 and out guy. Time will tell.

Now where will he go? Why has he eliminated Rutgers? After all Rutgers has his buddy Mike Rosario who is having a very good freshmen season based on getting great minutes, and lots of confidence from the RU coaching staff. It is like they are telling Rosario to do what he wants because THIS IS YOUR TEAM! This is great for Rosario but hurts when others who also were stars in HS are not getting the same encouragement. But who knows maybe Mike will become the next Corey Chandler as soon as another guard with potential is signed.

My understanding from reading stories and message boards is Cheek will sign with either Villanova or Kansas. Both schools have it going on in a bigtime way. In fact Kansas has a ton of alumni working in the NY/NJ area that could be beneficial to him after his playing days are done. Villanova? They have a program every bit as good as UConn which is nothing short of amazing since they are not the official University of Pa. They sell out the local arenas! They sell out all 6000 seats at home games! They have a great guy as a coach in Jay Wright who the players seem to love and respect. Villanova is a very good academic school in a very upscale area on the Mainline of Philly that attracts very wealthy students.

So Mr. Cheek has two great options. One is considered a super high major D1 program often looked at as a top 5 program nationally regardless of wins and loses. The other is considered one of the top programs on the east coast and a place kids often fall in love with on visits. My guess is he will choose Villanova. But do not take my guess to the bank lol.

I do question why he eliminated Rutgers. Coming from a Hurley program he would have gotten great respect from day 1. Just as Rosario has received. But maybe we all are wrong and he will come out and declare for Rutgers after his Friday afternoon practice. That would be a great thing for us folks who really want to see the local schools keep the kids home. But if he goes to Nova, that will still keep him in the neighborhood.

This leads me to point out what alot of kids and their coaches look at when choosing a college. They look at the current situation and how it impacts future recruits based on treatment of current players. Cheek might surprise us and walk in and choose Rutgers, but that would be the type of surprise that would make FHJ faint because it would be un-expected. But watching what Corey Chandler is going through this season had to make him take notice.

I am still stunned that Corey is getting less and less minutes. Last season folks were raving over him. Similar to how they raved over JR Inman, and Ollie Bailey before him during their freshmen seasons. Is it not odd that all three were predicted to be great players and thus far it seems NONE has ever reached their potential. Yes blame it on the 3 kids! But it has to be more than that. I am not saying anyone is an Angel, but what has happened on my eyes is stunning. Especially development wise!

In the Princeton game JR Inman took 1 shot yet he played around 20 minutes. Corey Chandler played limited minutes. Last time I looked at the RU roster both needed to get looks and shots for the team to be successful. Well both look as if they are finished. Like the life has been sucked out of them. Like they are scared to play the game in fear of being snatched off the court. JR is done and has to finish out his career at Rutgers because he is a senior. Hopefully he will regain some confidence. The question is will Corey? Will he stay? Will he ever feel the love he once had?

Corey Chandler is a very good talent who could play at alot of places and start. I am talking other Big East Programs as well as the ACC and the SEC and Big 10. Hopefully things will come together for him and he will get that fire back. But FHJ and his handling of Corey and others needs to be fixed. Because no matter how folks wish to paint it, this kid is a great talent who chose Rutgers at a time his basketball buddies laughed and teased him because there were so many other places he could have attended. He committed as a Sophomore and trust me I know alot of bigger schools still tried to get him prior to him signing during his senior year. He loved FHJ and he loved Rutgers. He was every bit as good if not better than Rosario and Cheek as a senior. He chose where he was loved and not just wanted. Right now he must be wondering if he chose wrong.

Before anyone accuses me of being anti FHJ or anyone else, I am not! However I do know the signs of a kid looking for encouragement more than a hook at the first mistake. As I mentioned in the past, this is the time to build up the JR Inmans, Farmers, Corey Chandlers so that they can compete in the BE portion of the season. Alot of folks are even predicting that the NJIT game could be closer than expected based on current roles and the RU team not jelling as a unit. I now retreat to my bunker waiting for the attacks lol.

HS Game Tonight

Tonight I will be attending a HS game in the Pocono Mountains. I am going to the Stroudsburg vs Pocono Mountain West game up in the Mt. Pocono Area. Now this is an area with great players for mid and low D1 programs. In fact Riley Moye, 6 ft 9 and a polished big guy who only lacks fire, will be on the court for Stroudsburg. If I am St. Peters, Monmouth, Iona, LIU, Fordham, Drexel, Delaware, Hofstra, Binghamton, and Marist, I would be all over this very young senior. Because if Mr. Moye decides to do a prep year he will be than pursued by the big boys in the BE and ACC. In fact I think I will call Boston College and Delaware today for this kid who runs, blocks shots, dunks, shoots well, and looks very coordinated. Just needs that fire and desire!

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