Well I just finished watching the Rutgers vs North Carolina game. I honestly was pretty impressed by what I saw from the Scarlet Knights. But it was definitely a tale of two programs with very different support and cast of characters.
I honestly feel Rutgers played this game very well and looked extremely well coached. I have to give credit where it is deserved. Fred Hill had his team prepared! They just did not have the power or talent to beat North Carolina, the number 1 team in America, on their home court. I would bet most teams in D1 basketball and even a few lower tier NBA teams would lose at the Dean Dome. So though it was not a moral victory, as many wish it to be, it was a great effort.
Let me just be a bit controversial again. I find it amusing how certain folks can do no wrong. I read on the RU board, which is a very good board I might add even though they get on my case, that Greg Echenique "Was A Man" on the court. What game were they watching? he had a nice solid freshmen type game and he shows flashes of potential. But 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 turn overs, and 5 fouls are hardly "Being A Man" on The Court type stats unless you mean man as in being of the Male persuasion. Nice player but come on call it for what it was, a nice effort!
Rutgers played well because they were well prepared and well coached on Sunday evening. They also played well because Anthony Farmer, JR Inman, and Corey Chandler played well. Those are the 3 guys who really will make a difference in BE games along with Mike Rosario, Greg Echenique, and The Big Fella who just needs to rebound and make layups and he will one day get paid well for playing the game. Rosario scored alot of points and had a good game. But it will get tougher as folks realize he rarely scores off the dribble. But again all the people mentioned were the difference in RU playing well despite the loss.
Other College Happenings
Looks as if St. Peters has a long road ahead based on a tougher than folks realize MAAC conference schedule. I can only imagine the crowds getting smaller and smaller in Jersey City for St. Peters games. Will the coaches survive? Would someone such as Bob Hurley want to coach there eventually based on it being Jersey City? Danny Hurley? Kevin Boyle? Not pushing current guys out, just wondering what would happen in the far or near future.
St. Joe's in Philly remains a favorite school of mine based on the great tradition and support they receive. They have a losing record but still draw 7500 to a game at the Palestra where they play home games this season while their on campus facility is being renovated and expanded. They were smart to increase seating by only 1000 to keep it tight and a true home court advantage.
St. Francis in Brooklyn has a real challenge with its D1 basketball team. I often wonder why schools like St. Francis and NJIT have D1 programs that they do not adequately fund. In fact I feel that way about most smaller D1 programs who draw 400 people to games and have no chance of ever winning a NCAA game. But in the case of St. Francis of Brooklyn, they also have no dorms, and kids at one time stayed at Bishop Ford HS in the building the Priests lived in. They took the subway to campus which is really a big building in Brooklyn Heights. But one of the huge mistakes made by Brooklyn Son and well connected Brian Nash, is him listening to the wrong folks and not hiring Robert Holford who could have gotten him coach and get very good players to help him win games at a place not normally attractive to area players.
Marist picks up Drummond. Great program for this young man. He should have a very good career at Marist. Funny thing about big guys is they can often have better careers at programs in smaller conferences while guards who are outstanding on one level will often be as outstanding on any level with confidence and playing time. On the other hand a guard that struggles at the highest level could also struggle at a lower level. Not saying they are not good players. Just saying just because you were at a BE program and transfer to a MAAC program because of a lack of playing time does not mean you will automatically start. Big guys yes based on strength factor. Guards no because guards are everywhere including D2, and D3, with game.
Fordham is 2 and 8 with a few St. Anthony kids on board. Wow! I really thought the Rams of Fordham would be better. But I am sure they will get it together and the future is still bright for them.
Folks are still down on St. Johns. But I honestly still think they are in position to make minor noise this season and much more in the future. Not sure what has happened to Rob Thomas, but if he ever regains his health, and gets his confidence up, he could be a huge factor for them. This kid was a person we all felt was a future star! Coach Roberts is hanging in there and I hope he gets an opportunity to continue what he has started. By the way, I continue to get great reviews about the renovated arena.
According to message boards my beloved Teaneck HS lost to Bergen Catholic Sunday evening. Though I am disappointed, I remain optimistic about Teaneck future. But it is easy to beat public high school teams when you can recruit kids from 10 towns and two states as many Private and Catholic schools do. Go Teaneck!