AD at Rutgers
I do hope Rutgers gives an opportunity to one of the true super star AD's in college basketball. By this I mean Gene Marshall from West Point. This is the guy for RU! He is both a football and basketball guy who would be the best assistant the Football and basketball teams at Rutgers ever had. He is a tireless worker who is results driven and knows what it takes to make RU competitive on the field and on the court. Remember the name: GENE MARSHALL. A true NJ Native who would make a real difference.
Folks are starting to question recruiting rankings and why kids choose certain schools. Please allow me to provide a few quick answers.
Attendance at games
Won and Loss Records
Chances of getting to the NCAA
Ability of Coaching Staff to Teach
Connections after College
Now without getting specific. Think about your local teams and see where they fall in place in comparison to ACC, Bog East, SEC, and Big 10 teams.
For fun lets look at a school like Wisconsin. Cold as heck and a real gray campus that takes up most of Madison Wisconsin. But it is a true college town and going there is fun year round.
Kohl Center 17,500
Practice facility is state of the art and right next door attached to Kohl
Attendance sold out every game
Coaching Staff Outstanding
Won and loss record NCAA every year
Campus Life A big party
Development Opportunities so-so Not alot of kids get to NBA
Teaching Very good
Academics OUTSTANDING a true tier 1 university nationally
Peer Pressure Kids are impressed when they find out a player is headed to Wisconsin
Connections after college Great even in Northeast
I use Wisconsin even though they usually get the Midwestern kids much more than Northeastern kids. But the same could be done using schools such as UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, etc. Funny thing is kids really like that crowd support and facilities.
Schools such as Rutgers would need Rick Pitino or John Calipari clones running the show in slick ways to get those high profile recruits without a better and larger place to play games, better attendance at games, and a true practice facility. Fred Hill could be a genius Coach, but until he gets those great facilities that RU should have, he will always have to fight to get true blue chip players. And say what you want but if RU sold out all 8000 seats for games in the BE season, Cheeks might have more of an interest. I think he and others like Dexter Strickland, want the entire package which is noted above. Even Villanova's 6500 seat facility is sold out for early games. It looks outstanding on TV. Ever see that place during the day lol. But they used the St. Johns model of playing games at a downtown arena and getting close to capacity crowds. The marketing guys at Villanova are outstanding.
Now Seton Hall has a great downtown facility and was wise enough to put curtains above the 10,000 mark. It looks sold out and oddly with way less alumni, they get larger crowds than Rutgers does and they are the official university of NJ. Well I guess we can say the same about Villanova who gets larger crowds than Penn State. Speaking of Penn State. If they ever get it going or get the right Pitting clone in there watch out! That program should and could be as big and better as Wisconsin.
Back to Seton Hall. The program at Seton Hall will continually get better and the Arena has alot to do with this. Although a few of those early games should be played at a smaller gym similar to Villanova. How about gutting and expanding Walsh Gym to 4500-5000 seats? Sell 2 packages for games. Yes I have been told that they make money by selling more season tickets based on the Prudential Center seating. But would it not be wonderful for that program to sell out all the time including the 10,000 available seats at the Pru? That would make recruits notice and when they notice they come/attend. I still remember when SHU was getting 15,000 at the Meadowlands during PJ's tenure.
Now St. Johns has done a very good job with Alumni Hall. My friends who have attended games there this season say it is outstanding. I was not impressed based on the pictures I saw. But they tell me the pictures did the facility no justice. Now keep in mind SJU is really suffering from the lack of winning and DRAWING FANS which is a result of not winning. Remember at one time St. Johns was New York's Team! They were getting 18,000 at the Garden, and selling all 6500 seats at Alumni Hall. They were the glamour team of the area and they choose kids as opposed to kids choosing them, which is the case today. I still remember ex Assistant Ron Rutledge telling me who they WERE GOING TO TAKE, not recruit, TAKE! They had it going like that. SJU players were almost celebrities in the City and on Long Island. My gut? They will start attracting better players especially with the smart, though weak, out of conference games which they have won, and the new facilities including practice facilities. With the right bounce here or there SJU could be back in the mix and it could not happen to a better person than Norm Roberts.
Back to Rutgers. RU has put so much, and rightfully so, into the football program, that the basketball teams have taken a back seat. I now read about bad sound systems on the RU message boards. I see attendance at 3500-4500. I see no practice facility and not one on the way. I see an arena with seats so small a thin person (which I am far from being) is uncomfortable. I see a need for upgraded scoreboards. But most of all I see a need for BETTER MARKETING! Maybe they can get a person off the Villanova marketing staff.
If RU gets this together I am sure in time Fred Hill Junior could get the team to the promised land. But he cannot do it alone. He needs facility and PR support as well as a solid fan base. When this happens watch for the true blue chip kids to consider RU strongly. By this I again mean program changers.