Saturday, January 31, 2009

I LOVE IT!!!!!! Short Post

I love the fact many Rutgers Board readers continue to knock me. That means they are reading my little blog. As I always say, I am not anti Rutgers or Seton Hall. I am a true fan of College basketball and the excitement of each game. I am also a true HS basketball fan, especially North Jersey, and New York City. I will not apologize for that to them or anyone else. Maybe I am biased, but heck I am who I am.

As far as what winning sports teams accomplish in large markets and with large universities? Anyone that knows anything about admissions understand positive press and winning sports teams influence admissions applications. Of course schools need to have other things such as interesting academic majors, a nice and safe campus, middle states accreditation, award winning faculty, etc. But even with all that, studies have shown when schools win in football and basketball it impacts applications which could impact admissions. And for the record winning also impacts alumni giving.

I hope all the local teams have good games today. I will be back tomorrow. If folks think what I say does not mean anything to certain recruits and AAU programs they could be right. But they could be wrong as well based on the calls I get from both college coaches who read my blog (I am really stunned lol), local AAU types, HS Coaches in NJ, NY, and Pa. who read and comment to me when I see them ( I am talking about some of the real coaches out there) as well as call me, and Parents of players including a few who have kids being recruited by area colleges and universities. I have been around basketball a long time never making a cent but enjoying the ride helping kids ads watching them go off to D1, D2, D3, NAIA, and Junior Colleges. I have been blessed with meeting alot of people along the way who remain in touch with me. So though I might not know a certain person, I will know someone who does. Still remember the phone call from the Dad of a highly recruited Junior who wanted my opinion on a few things. Of course right there was an opportunity to hurt certain programs. I DID NOT and I will leave it at that. But I did get 3 calls from college coaches from 3 different schools asking what we had discussed lol.

Nice to see that as of this writing 454 views from Rutgers, and 591 from Seton Hall occurred on their message boards based on my last blog entry. And I am sure the RU board goes out of its way not to mention my blog unlike SHU which has a link. And those views of my blog is not counting many people who do not read either of those boards. And to those folks that do not read those boards I really think you are missing out on good information because both boards as well as other Rivals boards are very good as are, and

Lastly. Why keep putting FIGG down? FIG desaster? Are you kidding me? All 3 were at one time starters at RU! Desaster? Wow! 13 players on a college roster what role do the the other 10 players have? If FIG started or played significant minutes for 3 years what does it say about the other 10 guys? Blaming them for what is happening now is unbelievable. The FIG Desaster as if college basketball is a 3 or 3 tournament. Imagine the record the last few years without them. Grass always looks greener on the other side. Still remember Ollie Bailey as a freshmen star and how he was treated after he became a role player.

Friday, January 30, 2009

An Evening of Watching Basketball in North Jersey

What an evening. It was a pleasure watching two basketball games in North Jersey on Thursday. Of course it was impossible for me to be at two locations at the same time so I used my DVR to tape the Rutgers vs Seton Hall Basketball game which I watched starting at 10 PM when I arrived home. I made sure none of my friends gave me the score on my way home and I refused to fast forward the game to the start of the 2nd half. I watched the battle of New Jersey as if the game was just starting.

OK if you have read this today I have deleted a paragraph. Just had a nice talk concerning my issue and everything is fine. We move forward. Now back to basketball.


Everyone knows the games outcome and understands the complications of this in-state rivalry in regards to future advertising dollars, recruiting, and admissions marketing. For the players it was their big game of the year until the rematch in Piscataway in February. With what looked like a good crowd on my TV, the atmosphere in the arena must have been electric. But what I will never understand is how this game only draws 8000 plus fans and not sell out. In a usual SHU game the attendance is around 6-7000. Rutgers is not that far away and you would think they would bring at least 3000-4000 fans to the game. It is not as if the game was held in Connecticut.

The game itself was a true game of two halfs with the first being tight and low scoring with players not scoring on easy shots. Rutgers was right in there and the
2nd half was no different. But Seton Hall would not be denied especially Jeremy Hazell who put on a show. Mike Rosario also played well for Rutgers but that is not unusual considering he has the OK to shoot and do as he wishes it seems. Just wonder how his development will go in the next few years. Same with Gregory Enchenique the strong RU freshmen forward.

I am not surprised at the outcome because Seton Hall has the better players even if they have a short bench and they also have better go to guys who happen to be tough mentally and physically. In the future Rosario could be the same type of player along with Chandler.

I again feel bad about the various statements about the FIG class of Rutgers. Fans can always be so mean and I just hope they do not represent Rutgers University's true fans. How soon they forget and lack an understanding of player development while engaging in blame shifting. Inman went from loved to being hated after having three good or at the least decent years. Griffin, who I also was not a huge fan of but admit did play better than folks gave him credit for, is always put down. Farmer gets bad press for NO REASON AT ALL! The new guys are thought of as Rutgers future. That's OK but why dog kids who came to RU and really are giving all they can despite being put down and going through things folks have no idea about.

Now lets look at Rutgers and Seton Halls future. When I look at Seton Hall I see three impact guys sitting on the bench in street clothes. I am talking about three guys who not only can play the game, but three tough kids who will bite you to win a game. Though they are not freshmen recruits, they all are impact transfers. When I look at Rutgers I see some good but not great young talent. The toughest of the bunch might just be Corey Chandler but he must be frustrated with his role. He must see that he has become a 2nd or 3rd option despite having a great freshmen year. This was supposed to be his team in the future. One quick note. Mike Rosario has good talent and can really shoot the open shot which is easier the first time around because the opposing players are just seeing you for the first time. Hopefully Mike will continue to work hard and not get the same treatment JR Inman and Ollie Bailey received despite being All BE Freshmen Honor recipients. But honestly I feel Corey might have been a McDonald All American as well if he played at St. Anthony's or St. Patrick's. I guess fans are just looking for a reason why their team is under performing with at least 7-8 BE players on paper. Players who had stellar HS careers and thought of as big coups for RU. Now they are bums LOL. I am sure the many potential players reading college boards have noticed this.

Great HS Game

I had an opportunity to see one of the best HS games I have seen in many years on Thursday. No not St. Benedict's vs St. Patrick's. It was Teaneck vs Don Bosco Prep. Playing at Don Bosco Prep is similar to playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium in front of the Duke student body. Although the usual student chants and loudness was not present last night, the atmosphere was electric, especially with the large number of Teaneck fans who made it to the game. Kind of brought back memories from a time when life was so much easier.

This game was HS basketball at its finest. Two teams respecting each other and competing hard all game long. As usual Don Bosco had tall and skilled players to go along with good perimeter players. Teaneck, as in recent years after all he towns taller young players opted for Catholic Schools, had a small but very skilled and tough line-up that showed they are again not a team, but a program.

The game had defense that would have made Bob Hurley proud. Both teams left it all on the floor with Don Bosco hitting a tough shot from close to half court for the win after Teaneck missed 4 free throws in a row. Hopefully the Teaneck Players understand games are rarely decided by the last second shot or a missed free throw. Games are decided over a 32 minute period and all the work put in during practice.

Both teams should be proud and most likely both teams slept well from all the energy exhibited during the game.

Shoutouts to Javae Gilchrist of Teaneck who again competed well and did his thing with 20 points and 11 assists. He also plays some of the best on the ball defense I have ever seen on the HS level. At least he did this game. There might not be a better open shooter in NJ than Vance Steinbergin who had 10 points. Jonathan Blue is a star in the making and had 16 points. And Shomari Barber is a 6 ft 4 player[layer who could excel at NYU or one of the Ivy's based on his outstanding academic record and basketball skills.

For Don Bosco Vaughn Gray will be a star. The young Soph had 28 points and was ultra smooth getting it done. Mike Dudas was also very good and finished with 21. Bosco remains and very good basketball program and always play hard to the end.

A great game and worthy of my long ride from Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Evaluating a College Coach and The Hurley's

Area College Basketball

Let me make something perfectly clear. I AM A FAN, No let me say it better, I AM A HUGE FAN of The Hurley's, both legendary Bob, and soon to be legendary Danny (especially when my Grandson Logan plays for him in the future lol). They along with guys like Kevin Boyle on the Catholic School side, and Curtis March, Jim Ring, coaches at Newark Eastside, Linden, Plainfield, etc. makes NJ a true hotbed for talent and very good teams. In fact The Hurleys are true New Jersey treasures.

Now that we have that out of the way I need to say something that could be taken the wrong way but as many know, I can sometimes be very controversial. Why in heavens name does everyone feel the Hurley's control the future of the College Basketball teams in the state of NJ? Their names come up regarding future head coaching positions, needing their players for area programs to be successful, looking for their approval on area programs, accepting their player evaluations as gospel, and just plain kissing up to them all the time.

As I mentioned in the past The Hurley's are very good people who have assisted many from their schools and other schools. But watching them, even from a distance, I would think they would frown on the kissing up in areas other than coaching approval and their program support. I wonder how they feel when they are mentioned as possible successors to area head college coaches? Coaches they might admire and think the world of. Well maybe I should say like and feel good about lol.

The problems with area colleges when it comes down to athletics is a thing that needs to be addressed by the college's themselves. If I was an AD, and I am not nor am I qualified to be, I would think the following would be on my coaching evaluation sheet:

- Does The Coach follow NCAA guidelines and directives?
- Does The Coach follow University guidelines and directives?
- Does The Coach run a clean above board program?
- Does The Coach graduate his players?
- Does The Coach manage his staff well and provide good leadership?
- Does The Coach Manage his players well?
- Does The Coach communicate well with his players?
- Is The Coach a good representative of the university?
- Can The Coach actually Coach on game days?
- Does The Coach develop his talent?
- Does The Coach understand fair discipline?
- Does The Coach treat All The Players fairly?
- Does The Coach allow outsiders to have influence on his program?
- Does The Coach win games he is supposed to win based on budgets, and talent?
- Does The Team Compete Every game?
- Does The Coach exhibit the ability to coach, think fast on his feet, adapt,
and lead?
- Does The Coach have the ability to position the team to make yearly post season
tournament runs?

I am sure there might be more but those are some of the areas that always need to be addressed. As a fun exercise people should do it for their favorite teams here or in other areas of the country. Of course for some programs much of what I mentioned is not as important as just winning and getting to the dance by any means necessary. And even the cleanest looking programs might just be big cheaters as I just recently found out. Unfortunately people have a tendency to look the other way as long as the W's are piling up!

JR Inman

OK I need to clear something else up. I feel JR Inman is a very good player and has been totally mis-used to the point he has become in-effective. But that's my feeling and as a person close to him I know I can be biased. But many others feel the same way including some who have the ears of potential players. Of course JR has to take some of the responsibility. But looking at him and others it seems like they are playing the year out and that's a bad refection. They night still turn it around and do it big in the BE Tournament. The SHU game on Thursday could be a huge turning point considering they had a brutal stretch of games early on and I am not talking Binghamton, St. Bonnie's, etc.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Things Are Heating Up!

Seton Hall Wins, Seton Hall Wins!

Honestly I am not that excited over this win as many others because I really expected them to win at home against Georgetown as well as a few other games they under performed in and lost. So the celebration in my mind will not take place for such a win. After all Seton Hall is not a Big east version of NJIT.

Talking about Seton Hall folks can say what they want but to me it seems the right buttons are being pushed to make them a very attractive program to fans and recruits. As a person who regularly checks the attendance figures in box scores, it seems like SHU always gets close to 6500-7000 fans per game. With the curtain down in the Prodential Center, capacity is around 10,000. So the place looks more full than empty. I am sure with a reported sell out against Georgetown, alot of recruits were very impressed.

Sometimes we fail to fully understand that top 100 type players in HS want to play in front of fans. It's one of the reasons many choose the more known schools. They like that big fan base atmosphere. The Prudential center seems to be providing that type of atmosphere unlike what was felt playing at Continental Airlines Arena during the past few seasons. When SHU had it going on, CAA was averaging close to 15,000 for the better games. I still remember being at a Georgetown game and the place was rocking. In fact I sat right behind the GT bench and the crowd was all over the Hoya's.

Rutgers vs SHU at The Rock!

This will be a very good game to watch regardless of team records. In fact the records do not even count because this has developed into a true rivalry with two very competitive coaches going at each other with stare downs and more giving fans something to look at besides the actual game. Will they shake hands? Will they argue? Will Gonzo hug Inman and whisper how Fred has mishandled him? Will one of the RU Assistants bump Gonzo on purpose (we know who lol)? Will Bob M show up and who will he cheer for? What recruits will be at the game and who will they cheer for?

If anything there should be a press conference prior to the battle of NJ and FHJ and BG should stage a fight. The ticket sales would be so high they would need to take the curtain down for the additional people coming to the game.

Despite the win/loss situations with both teams. This game is about recruiting NJ and NY just as the RU vs SJU game was. The winner gets bragging rights and a star in the eyes of kids considering both programs. If the Pru is sold out and it is rocking, watch the interest of some kids increase!

Speaking of SHU again. When I look at Roderick Rhodes on the SHU bench I think back to his HS career when he and Jason Kidd were great friends. I fast forward and now I watch Lance Stephenson at Lincoln HS in Brooklyn. Boy does he remind me of Roderick Rhodes when he was a HS Star. Lance should look at players like Rhodes and Pearl Washington as reminders that even the most celebrated HS Stars need to continue to work hard and have a good attitude. But honestly the times I have seen Lance play, he always seemed under control and played hard.

Cheating In College Basketball

This is a serious issue that gets worst and worst. I again am stunned at the various stories I am getting from very reliable people. Put it this way, I have been mire naive than many others based on stuff I have said about certain programs. I guess it takes alot to fill those huge arenas. But the money being passed around by boosters is ridiculous. And even a few stars who seem to not fit the profile of receiving now and in the past might have benefited. Again, I have been soooooo naive!

St. Johns

Norm Roberts seems to be earning at least another year at St. Johns. I honestly believe if Lance Stephenson selects St. Johns, they could return to the days of yesteryear with the players coming in joining the current talented players. I am really pulling for one of the true good guys!


I again say to all those who feel they have certain kids locked up to attend good ole university to be aware. Some folks are just playing with coaching staffs, fans, and supporters to enjoy the moment, and maybe to just cash in. They are being very opportunistic to put it lightly.

JR Inman

I continue to believe in JR. I also think he has to share the responsibility of how his senior year has played out. Only thing I wish was the coaches would have explained what his role would be this season after leading the team in scoring in the past. I wonder if he would have been better off at a place where he could have played a bigger role. I am sure there were places that would have loved to have him. In fact I read on the various message boards that many fans still think he should be starting. Looking at his face, I have to agree with many others including some D1 and NBA guys past and present, that he is mentally exhausted with no confidence and scared to make a mistake. From accolades to being labeled not a BE player. Sad!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Recruiting Process

Recruiting HS basketball players has never been an exact science. In the past college coaches did great research and watched players enough to gain a great understanding of a players basketball ability, attitude, desire, grades, and even personal background. Unfortunately the current rules limit the times a coaching staff can visit and watch potential players due to NCAA regulations.

Because of this players are recognized and identified more through AAU/Travel Teams and summer travel tournaments and camps than actual HS teams. They are also identified through HS basketball scouting services run by very nice people who often never played basketball or coached. They are mostly great fans who love the game and as a hobby might have started by just following the HS game and tournaments. Nothing wrong with this but coaches need to understand the importance of doing their own research. The problem is many very good players go under recruited because of the dependency of these reports that are not always accurate and definitely not inclusive based on missing so many kids who do not play with the teams that actually travel to Vegas, California, Florida, and other parts of the United States where the better funded and better known rec/AAU teams play during the non HS season.

Many services rank players as early as 7th grade. I have seen so many kids ranked early who have gone on to have less than distinguished college careers. I do not think those young men have anything to be ashamed at, but the scouting services do because of the pressure put on these young guys. How do you know who is the best 7th grader in America? Maybe they can say the best 7th grader in certain towns, on certain travel programs, but certainly not in America. But this happens all the way up to kids rising senior year in HS. I have seen rankings make and break players. If a kid does not travel in the summer with a GOOD program such as: the NJ Playez, New Heights, Va. Squires, LI Panthers, Metro Hawks, Riverside Church, Newark Rams, DC Assault, Boo Williams, DC Blue Devils, Sam Rhines, BABC, Atlanta Celtics, and others it is very difficult to get noticed. That's why many kids go under the radar of college coaches. Even the scouting services are more involved with these programs than those who are less known.

There are those who have been running scouting services for years who are really on point more than others. I love the work of local guys like Ed Butler, Steve Keller, Russ Blake, and definitely Tom Konchalski. But even they have been wrong and can not see every player enough to always get it right. In fact I still laugh at the stories about Mike O' Koran from Jersey City and Hudson Catholic if I remember right. I heard from many current and ex college coaches that Tom, who really knows his stuff and is a GREAT GUY, ranked O' Koran as a D2 or D3 type player. Fortunately Dean Smith thought otherwise lol. If Tom can miss a few so can others.

On the college front. Once one team gets involved another from the same conference will get involved without even seeing the player perform. I still remember being on a flight to a school visit with a player and the team playing the school that the player was visiting got on at a stopover. The Head Coach noticed and the next week had an assistant at the kids game based on seeing him on the way to visit a competitor. The odd thing is the new school had been contacted but had no interest prior to seeing the kid on the plane. Common question often asked is "Who Else Is Recruiting Him" when they get a referral or name of a prospect. Very few watch for themselves and most go on first impression more than doing a longer evaluation. Some, including guys like Al Skinner, really depend on what they see more than the scouting services. But they do use the services to get a list of who to see. But sometimes it just pays to get out and see for your self. Somewhere in America is the next Karl Malone, Charles Oakley, Steve Nash, David West (who wanted to attend Wake Forest so bad), Rick Mahorn and others who can really play the game at the highest level but are being under recruited despite playing on travel teams.

So teams that have needs, and are not recognized as elite programs, and lack all the things needed to attract the so called elite recruits, and are not in the cheating game to get players, need to get out and see for themselves who is available to meet their needs. If a team needs a great PG they will be up against great programs to gain the services of such players because a true great PG is hard to get. But honestly passing point guards are far and few between. It is like a lost art. The new thing is combo guards and scoring point guards. It is also hard to get great centers, and forwards. And great means program changers not just freshmen starters. I honestly feel when it comes to regular guards there are plenty including many none of us know about. I also feel a good combo guard at Akron could be a good guard at most places. But a good Forward at Akron might not do as well at other places. It is a bigger difference in strength and skills for big guys than guards on the various levels of division 1 basketball. But again guards who can play can play with opportunity and confidence!

Now about me saying certain kids can play. I know JR Inman can play and so does those who really follow the game. Look at the combined SHU and RU posts on the SHU board. Almost every post says the starting line-up should include JR Inman. All he did was start as a freshmen on a team with a winning record, make the BE All Rookie Team, Make the Freshmen All American Team, Lead the team in scoring in other years, and start at Rutgers for 3 seasons. Not too bad to me. And surely nothing to hang his head about despite folks turning on him and saying he is not a BE player. What has happened is he has lost his confidence and has not developed as he might have at other places. Some of this is his fault, and some is the fault of the coaching staff. As far as FIG is concerned I was always a JR Inman fan and still am. I also like Farmer and have since he was a 9th grader at St. Augustine Prep. When it comes to Shayle Keating folks love throwing his name at me and I love it because I am sooooooo proud of him! Yes I thought he should have played because Rutgers needed a PG who at least passed the ball. I never said he was the best player or should start except as a way to wake the RU Team up. I just thought he could have given RU some minutes and he did on occasion. I thought he had game but was not respected by many because of his walk-on status. The PG position is very important to the success of a college program. I still remember Lou Carnessecca starting PGs who were nowhere as talented as the rest of the team because they made plays and got everyone involved without feeling they had to shoot and score. Without a true leader and distributor, life in the BE will always be tough.

In conclusion I again point out Javae Gilchrist and his ability to play the game well. He might be a 2 or 3 star guy on reports if he has even been seen. But I know talent and this kid has talent. He is the type of kid who will go under the radar and emerge one day as a very good talent and folks will wonder how he was not recruited by certain schools. And for the record I have seen him 3 times, and before watching him I did not even know him. But I did just find out he was MVP in the 2007 Indian Hills Christmas Tournament when he played for Queen of Peace and his teammate from Queen of Peace is a current red shirt scholarship player at Providence of the Big East. This kid just was not involved enough this past few summers with the right teams to become recognized. Put him on the Metro Hawks, Playez, etc. and he would be highly recruited. All he does is make people around him better by keeping them involved and on their toes. And when you can get 20 assists in a game as a 6 ft 2 and growing 17 year old point guard, you are indeed special. Special enough for at least 2 D1 programs to say he most likely is too good for them to waste time recruiting but they would take him in a heartbeat if he could sign today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Seton Hall and Javae Gilchrist

I arrived home from a HS game in New Jersey and turned on my DVR to watch the Seton Hall game. But before I start on Seton Hall I need to compliment Providence College. At last some decent uniforms that do not look like they came from the neighborhood sporting goods store. I like the SHU uniforms also but what is it with teams wearing gray at home? Please!

I will have to say Seton Hall, despite the shortage of players, has been a huge disappointment. I also think the fan support though decent (over 7000 seats sold yesterday), leaves alot to be desired. But when you look at places such as Seton Hall, and Providence, you are looking at two programs starting out at a huge disadvantage, especially in a league such as the Big East.

Funny story about Providence is it is a known fact that when recruits visit, they bring them from the airport via a special route that is longer than the straight run which would take them through areas that are less impressive. Funny thing is Seton Hall does the same, and the route given to any prospective students is the same as it brings potential students through areas other than East Orange to the campus. What the basketball coaches at Providence and SHU should understand is those urban type areas could be huge selling points to players even if they are not to parents.

Well Seton Hall is really in a slump and there is no visible help on the way for at least this season. The kids seem to be competing but lacking the ability to close the game out in a winning fashion. In no way should Providence be able to come into Newark and beat a hungry SHU basketball team. NO WAY! And enough with the lack of depth excuses. That's for the Louisville, UConn, Syracuse type games and not for the games they lost earlier in the season, and the bottom half of the BE conference games. A team of Hazell, Gause, Harvey, Mitchell, Garcia, Davis, Waters, and Theodore is enough to win games. That's an 8 man rotation. Not the best it could be, but far from being a horrible team.

I also question who is in charge of defense at Seton Hall? Stevie Wonder? I know that was mean but I needed to make a point. Seems some of the players just want to get the ball back to get on offense. How do they not defend better, especially at home? To me that is the real key and it could carry over to next season.

Seton Hall will be better next season without a doubt. But they will have to be dedicated to defense and share the ball? Will the get along? Will guys accept roles? I ask that question because I wonder what is happening this season? Mike Davis looks lost for the season mentally despite his attempt to compete. Sometimes all a kid needs is words of encouragement and patience from a Head Coach. Mike, from what I have seen over the years could not have regressed as much as it seems he has.

Eugene Harvey is another person who seems to be playing just well enough for folks not to look at him as a failure. But he should be a dominant guard in the BE at this time in his career based on his early potential. What happened to his development? Is he taking basketball serious and understanding how folks thought he might not have lasted at SHU more than a few seasons because he was that good as a freshmen? He was on everyone's NBA radar. Wonder what folks think now? But anything can happen with the right offensive sets and a huge heart!

Hazell is a star! Better now than he was in the past, which is the way it should be. He really is a threat on the court and many folks have taken notice.
Garcia has heart and if not for injury's he would be even better. His injury definitely has hurt SHU this season. Theodore has been better than I thought he would and I am a huge fan of his. Next year could be a breakout year for him when Gause leaves. And when Harvey leaves watch out! Mitchell is really coming around and becoming the player folks felt he would become. Waters seems to be coming into his own and I am so happy he is more positive than negative on the court based on what I have seen on TV, heard from friends, and followed on stat sheets.

But despite all of this SHU has caught a few bad breaks and remains winless in the BE. Again I point to defense much more than offense. That's tough and Bobby Gonzalez, being the competitor he is, must be going ballistic in the locker room. I watched him a few times yesterday by re-winding the DVR and I honestly thought his face was going to explode. He is fighting for a win and hopefully it will come soon.

But as a program SHU seems to be down, and I did not expect this. I really thought they would sneak into a post season event this year and maybe they will. But in the future, especially next season, alot has to happen including:

Understanding the importance of Defense
Better Player Development
Getting the kids to mesh as a unit
Improved Defense (Again)
And more Defense

As a program Seton Hall can make things work despite the lack of a on campus arena. The "Rock' is a great place to play but winning needs to happen soon and they also need better marketing. Why not give out 4000 free tickets to HS and JC students with good grades? At least they might consider SHU as a place to attend college. The "Rock" provides a big-time atmosphere to say the least.

One thing I never liked about Madison Square Garden during a St. Johns game or the BE Tournament is the constant talking and noise. When I attended games in the ACC at the Dean Dome, Or games at other places folks were much more into the game. Watching the game last night at the Prudential Center it seemed as if everyone had conversations going on as much as they were watching the game. maybe it was my TV, but the background noise made it seem as if folks were just talking too much lol.

Javae Gilchrist and Teaneck HS

OK I know folks are saying why so much on this kid and Teaneck HS? It's because I really like what I have seen. I see Teaneck returning to the glory years in the very near future because all the good young players, and Teaneck has many, are staying home and enrolling at Teaneck again. The 8th graders, 9th graders, and others are some of the best in the entire state of NJ. Watch out for this team for years to come. They are back even if they do not win it all this season.

Now all you college coaches who have read this blog I need to apologize about Javae Gilchrist. He is not what I thought he was. He is not a low mid major player like I described. Sorry for the confusion. But he is even BETTER than I thought!!! I Watched him play last night along with a few guys who really have been around the game a long time. Tony Hargraves the ex Iona star who now works for Bear Sterns (Those Iona Guys always get great jobs lol) and coaches Riverside Church, James Brown, CPA who is a long-time basketball follower, John Cano, a producer for NBA Entertainment, and Orlando Cameron, the creator of a new web-site called N. J. HOOPS Journal. All were in agreement that he is the most un-selfish PG we have seen in 20 years that can play. We have seen less talented kids play and look to pass first. But never a kid who is a definite D1 talent. At least not in a long time. And with more D1 level players on his team you would see this kid averaging 10-12 assists and 16 points a game. This kids problem is only under exposure. I am sure some folks might have seen him playing for a small AAU type program in the past and not even notice. This was the case when I spoke with a well known and connected Essex County basketball coach late last night. The Coach said he knew who he was but did not really watch him closely. Well those who have not better get to Teaneck HS or Call Mr. Curtis march, the OUTSTANDING Teaneck HS Coach ASAP. If not he will be swept up by a small or mid major D1 program before you can blink. This kid can play at the BE, A10, CAA, MAAC, NEC, or AE level. Just depends on playing style.

Javae is a tall but skinny 6 ft 2 17 year old. According to Doctors, he might grow 3-4 inches more. But even if he does not grow an inch, he is a definite mid to high D1
talent. The good thing is his Mom says they will consider all schools regardless of level because all they want is a good education (Great Mom). I personally feel he needs more weight on his frame. And at 17 years old, he has a few years to get that weight. I also wonder what happens if he attends prep school for a PG year despite having good grades? If he does that, the sky could be the limit! Than with a good supporting cast it could be the high major elite schools. And I do expect folks to say I might be over reacting about him. I am sure Tom Konchalski has him as a 3 star type if he saw him. But I know this kid is better than folks realize. A school like Boston College, which does not depend on rankings more than actual needs and doing their own player evaluations, needs to come in and get this TRUE PG who can score right away.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St. Johns recover?

Wednesday's Louisville vs Rutgers basketball game at the RAC made me sit back and think hard and long about what it would take for the local area teams to become fixtures in the annual NCAA tournament. Here are my thoughts on Rutgers.

Did anyone actually think Rutgers would beat Louisville? Did anyone think they would beat any of the past 7 teams they have played? I did! Thought they would beat Cincinnati and only Cincinnati. But other than that all games have gone as I expected with the exception of the 3 out of conference loses to teams they should have easily beat.

The last few loses are not as much a knock on Fred Hill or the Rutgers basketball team as much as it is a knock on a university not supplying the tools necessary for the basketball team to be successful. But I do think despite the loses, the way the RU Team competes need to be addressed by the coaching staff and others in charge. You see coaching is important in developing players, something that is lacking at RU, but coaching alone does not help kids develop heart, desire, and a sense of always competing. Honestly I thought the RU team got outright thugged by Louisville and for the most part the players showed no heart at all. They were little boys playing against men. They seemed scared to shoot. They just seemed in awe of the team they were playing. I again question the make-up of this team. Just some nice kids who have skills and play nice. No real "killers" as most college coaches call those kids that get after it all of the time despite if they are middle class or not.

The funny thing is many fans are upset with Fred Hill for the wrong reasons. The loss against Louisville had nothing to do with Fred Hill being out coached. That did not happen. What has been happening to Rutgers is they have been outclassed as a program by others and this is a university issue much more than a coaching and talent thing. Let me explain further. Louisville has players who would never attend Rutgers for reasons other than coaching. Compare the two programs and you will see how much more Louisville has to offer and will offer the great HS players they get. Great fan support, great facilities, commitment to the basketball program, great marketing, and great tradition. Plus they have a Hall of Fame Coach who is well known nationally. And those are only the things we all see! Now lets look at Rutgers. OK no need you get the picture!

Heck if you changed the coaching staffs the results would have been similar. The more I watch the more I am convinced some teams are playing with un-even hands. FHJ has limited resources compared to Pitino. Also FHJ could never get the type of top 65 player that Louisville attracts and it has nothing to do with FHJ and his staff. More to do with huge budgets and great friends of the program who make sure they have everything they need to be successful. It is similar at all the BE power programs including UConn, Syracuse, Pitt, Villanova, Marquette, etc. Those programs receive everything they ask for. EVERYTHING!

I do hate the way my guy JR Inman has developed and is playing. Fred Hill having a hand in his play and development and JR has not shown improvement this season and also has not played as loose as he should as a senior. JR needs to step it up! But even that will not make much of a difference this season. The RU team is just lacking that toughness that is necessary even with good talent to compete. RU needs a JC or two who will bring toughness and skills right away. But more than that they need a blue print for success that will have to include a new or improved arena, a practice facility, a skilled marketing team, a review of the coaching staff other than the Head Coach, a review of the strength and conditioning staff for basketball, and the creation of a true booster club identifying big donors who can help in the efforts mentioned in more ways than one. NO WAY THE RAC SHOULD NOT BE SOLD OUT FOR THE SEASON. It should be a very long waiting list! That alone could help recruiting. Nothing like a old outdated building that is 1/3 full or 2/3 empty. Recruits see that and than look at the other programs and its lights out before the recruiting game even starts.

Now regardless of all I have mentioned, RU will always operate at a disadvantage because they seem to not cheat to get players. Unfortunately I hear many others do. Some stories I hear are beyond belief, but things do happen all over the country. The exploitation of HS athletes is a huge business with alot of hands involved from street agents, to potential sponsors, to folks looking to become agents, and even those with egos looking to ride a kids coat tail to the next level. Heck I have watched some folks make great careers on the back of HS stars.

HS Basketball

I will drive again to Bergen County NJ to watch the Teaneck vs Paramus Catholic basketball game at Paramus Catholic HS. I am getting some very interesting reports from people who have been around the game a long time. They feel I have undersold the skills of Javae Gilchrist, the 6 ft 2 PG from Teaneck. One local D1 Coach told me he did not wish to waste his time recruiting this kid in this open period because Javae is too talented for his program If he could get him to sign yesterday he would take him. But to put alot into his recruitment could be a waste of time because this kid could easily be A10 of BE quality. In fact Pitt has watched him a few times this season from what I hear and are very interested! Two more long time basketball folks feel with exposure, he could have easily been top 100 nationally. Lastly, in his last game he had 20 assists. I will write tomorrow what I think after watching him again today.

Tomorrow I will discuss Seton Hall's Program!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Well it is not long before we will have a new President in office who promises change and a better America. The pressure he will face will be like playing against the old Georgetown Teams coached by John Thompson Sr. for 10 straight games with no timeouts allowed lol. If only it was that simple. But one thing for sure, we will have a very visible President at basketball events.

I wonder if he will start a White House AAU team and coach it like Codey does in the state of NJ? Maybe he will just get involved with the DC Assault program? Wonder if he will get season tickets to Georgetown games? Most likely he will do nothing I have mentioned. But what he will most likely do is have an indoor court installed at The White House. Talk about celebrity games? It will be a whose who in politics, entertainment, business, and education. I wonder what will happen if the President gets an accidental elbow?

I just hope folks are patient with him but I also hope he starts right away on Universal Health Care and Health Care Reform!

Jerid Famous

I am sorry about the New Mexico/New Mexico State mix-up. But honestly I feel the same way regardless although I do understand the tradition and atmosphere at New Mexico is great!

I continue to talk about a few subjects and some get it and others do not. Is anyone really watching what is happening with Mr. Famous? Has anyone else ever watched kids being recruited and the Dad enjoys the attention more than the son or daughter? When is the last time certain schools actually beat out a school that has more tradition, more wins, better facilities, and willing to go all out to get a kid despite knowing the kid will have less of a role on their team than the other schools recruiting him or her? I see it all the time. And the odd thing is no one takes the time to tell the recruited player what the differences could be. Has no one else watched the Curry Boy's at Davidson and Liberty? Bigger does not always mean best!

What difference does it make if a school draws 15,000 every game and you are playing 3 minutes a game? What difference does it make that the weather is great and the atmosphere is even better but no one is attending games? What difference does it make that the team is in the top 20 each year if you will be a minor (3 min) role player for your entire time at the school? I say time because real ballers want to play, thus the large number of transfers each year. And when you are a JC player you have little room for error. I have seen way more JC stars fail on the high major level than actually star and go on to the NBA. And if anyone offers a kid anything extra, the kid better understand what little that could be in comparison to a great college experience playing college basketball and attending school. Lots of folks who recieved great basketball perks are now working as Messengers and long forgotten. But at a young age they were just dollar signs to some folks and when it does not work out, they are just EX PLAYERS!

To those folks who get caught out there pushing kids to schools based on their ego, you are messing with kids futures. Look at rosters, look at depth charts, look at available playing time, look at player development,look at academic support, but most of all look at what basketball graduates of the schools recruiting your kids majored in and what they are doing 10 years down the road. By the way I wrote something on a local BE team's graduates some time ago and it was not pretty unfortunately. But I think they now have it together.

Recruiting of HS Stars is very difficult. I guess if it was an easy job everyone would do it well. But one thing coaches need to do is recognize who they are really in their with and who they really have no chance at. Just because you are a Big East or ACC team does not mean you will be in there with every great HS player. This is why Al Skinner has been successful over the years. He does not get caught up in the PR portion of recruitment. He just gets players who can play in his eyes. Coaches spend hours upon hours chasing kids they will not get. It is like Rider writing a letter to Lance Stephenson or Dexter Strickland. Both would be better off writing a letter to both players Dad's offering them jobs on the basketball staff's. And even than it would be a long shot. Folks need to really wake up in regards to HS recruitment. Very few HS kids who are RELLY IN DEMAND by UCONN, UNC, DUKE, Kentucky, Syracuse, and others will turn them down if there is a hint of playing time.

Back to local kids. Jerid Famous and many more local kids should really see the real picture. You only get 1 real shot at this. In 4 years you could be paying to attend games because it did not work out. And if anyone's Dad really want to get solid info on all of this, I urge them to go by Harlem Square Garden which is really IS 201 in Harlem, the school with no windows. They have an over 40 league and it is full of ex NBA stars as well as folks who made poor decisions and just playing ball to play. The conversations are on point and the life experiences of many of these guys are exceptional. Go where you are REALLY LOVED and will get playing time.

Funny story I heard the other day. Kid told me he received a letter from NJIT. Said he threw it in garbage because they are losers. How wrong he is. I again say NJIT is a GREAT school with a terrible basketball team. But guess what? The kids on that team could one day have kids from BE and ACC teams working for them. That degree carries some weight!

This brings me again to another question I continue to have. Why does some local low major teams even have basketball if they are not going to support it. 700 fans? No facilities? No marketing? What's the point? Why not just become a D3 programs? Old uniforms, no training facilities? Where is the revenue coming from? Not the concession stands because no one is there to buy anything.

I look at a place like FDU. Great, Great, Coach in Tom Green. But that school has never given him the marketing support he needs. The gym is good, his staff is excellent, they are 11 miles from New York City, and they get very little from the school it seems to me. Every kid in Bergen County, Essex County, and Passaic County should know who they are via PR, and the news media. As I always say, that program is a sleeping mid major giant just as Monmouth is.

Lincoln HS lost a game as did St. Anthony's. Wow! I do know that in NYC the new power team is Thomas Jefferson from Brooklyn NY. Coached by Lawrence Pollard, Seldon Jefferson and others, this is the "Now" program according to my friends in NYC. Great young talent, great uniforms, great direction, and kids wanting to attend school there. They really have not been good for a long time. Last time I heard about them they had a kid named Sellers on the team. I know this is a true inner city school with usual inner city problems. Great to see the young guys getting it done at TJ. Both Phil Sellers and Tony Jackson should be proud.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saturday Post

This just added. So now Jerrid Famous has an interest in New Mexico State according to Zags Blog which also says he is leaning to SHU. I love the reasons he mentions for this including “He likes them a lot, a great deal. It’s close to home.” Very interesting reasons! Folks will realize sooner or later this recruitment thing is often more enjoyable for Parents, Advisors, Coaches and Guardians than it is for players. Jerrid Famous is enjoying the attention and it seems if a new school called today they could go on his list. I can see it now if NC State, Miami, Fla State, etc. call to get involved. From what I have seen he would be somewhat interested.

Now I am a fan of his and my friends tell me he is skilled and athletic. But he needs good advisement ASAP to get his recruitment under control. I continue to be shocked when kids from the Tri State area with OPTIONS choose schools like New Mexico State. Why? Is it some type of great place to go? Last 3 players from this area there were Charlie Chris and Jim Bostic, both from the Yonkers NY Area, and Elijah Ingram who transferred there from St. Johns. Come on Jarid get this thing under control. Again I say look at the big picture and gain a better understanding of your future.

I have heard from quite a few folks in the past few days. Seems there are a number of HS players who enjoy reading what I have to say. Also I have heard that a few HS Coaches check this blog out every now and than.

One coach I hope reads this blog is Curtis March, Head Coach of Teaneck NJ HS. Curtis is a wonderful man and a very good if not great HS basketball Coach. Too bad I was such a horrible parent when my son played for him years ago. But reflecting on Teaneck at that time, a time when most kids attended HS in the towns where they resided, HS basketball was so special in the tri-state area. At Teaneck Curtis March had a program and not a team. You see a program is more than a team because there is more put into the basketball team than 3 PM to 5 PM practices and 3 PM games.

At Teaneck kids dreamed of being Highwaymen because of the tradition started years earlier, and the pride installed by Curtis March with the dress code, study hall, summer games in NJ and NYC, and the fact that 75 percent of the players went on to play D1, D2, D3, or JC basketball. From my sons team 6 kids went on to play D1 basketball with one eventually making the NBA and playing in last years all-star game.

Well Curtis is rumored to be retiring after this season. Not sure if this will really happen. But whether he does or does not I need to thank him for all the great things he did at Teaneck for my son and all the other sons despite a few stupid parents including me giving him such a hard time on occasion. He did so much and made such a difference.

Speaking of Teaneck I again have to say this team has a few kids who can really play the game. Not much height, but plenty of talent. Just imagine if the kids from Teaneck that attend the Catholic High Schools had chosen to attend Teaneck High School. Talk about a power! But despite all of this Teaneck will always be good based on the many kids coming out of the towns youth basketball league. And again I urge all coaches to check out the talent at Teaneck including Javae Gilcrist, a player who two D1 coaches feel has exceptional point guard ability and a huge upside. Even Pittsburgh from what I understand has been in to see him play a few times. But according to his Mom Tracy, she does not want him to get lost on a huge campus. Come on Monmouth, Delaware, Manhattan, Iona, FDU, Hofstra, Rhode Island, Temple, Binghamton, Albany, Siena, and Marist, this kid is interested in your type of school. In a few years he could be a huge steal for you as he leads your team. And you might just like one of his teammates as well.

Going to Binghamton on Saturday to watch them play Boston U. Going really to see if it is a place a certain kid should consider transferring to. My first visit there left me extremely impressed with everything they have to offer. Just wish they would also take my man 6 ft 9 Riley Maye from Stroudsburg Pa. who likes them very much. And honestly Riley is 75% BETTER than he was 2 months ago. He really will be a special player for a mid major D1 program. His future is very bright!

Looking forward to watching St. Anthony's with the 3 new players on Monday. Talk about 3 good games, and all on TV. The question is can St. Anthony's beat St. Patrick's in the NJ States? Now that will be a game, and when it happens in the NJ States I hope the powers to be hold that game at a place like Rutgers to accommodate the many fans who will be interested.

Speaking of St. Patrick's. I still feel Kevin Boyle is one heck of a coach. I even think he is underrated because he will always be in future Hall of Famer Bob Hurleys shadow in NJ. But all this guy does is win and develop players who go on and star on the next level.

6 area HS coaches who could be D1 head guys straight from HS are Bob Hurley, Kevin Boyle, My Grandson Logan's (Dr. says he will be 6 ft 10) future coach Danny Hurley, Bob Camino from Mt. Vernon, Johnny Mathis from Kennedy NY HS, and Maurice Hicks from Rice HS in NYC. It is not just because they win, it is because they understand how to run a program with discipline and direction.

Speaking of my Grandson Logan, he is some dancer at a young age. It would be something if he became a 6 ft 10 dancer LOL. I would still love him and be at all the recitals encouraging him. But I hope he grows to enjoy sports, especially basketball.

Good luck to all area teams this weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Need To Apologize

I really need to apologize about my last blog entry. Folks are 100% correct in giving me grief about what I wrote. I deserve the negative and even comical remarks.
In fact I laughed for a good 5 minutes after reading what one person said about me regarding being interesting one day and on another day writing stuff like I am drunk from drinking alcohol. That was a good one and I can laugh at my self.

I honestly think all that I wrote was somewhat confusing and I should know better. I guess it was a combination of telling it like it is, and also trying not to be to hard on a person when he is down after losing 3 in a 4 in a row. Funny thing is why am I so concerned? I would bet Fred Hill, Jim Carr, and Dennis Gregory would throw darts at my face if they it on a dart board. Trust me they were friends years ago but now they most likely would not even speak to me lol. I am far from important to them. Just a pest at times.

Lets look at Bobby G. Think he liked me saying what I did after he talked so bad about Walters in regard to his playing level? I doubt it. But I do think Gonzo would still have good conversation for me if he saw me out. I KNOW DERMON would because we go too far back for him not to lol.

But let me further explain my contradictory comments. Everyone knows Fred Hill Jr. is a GREAT Teacher. Trust me on this. Not sure about how that ability works with big folks. But he is known to work guards out well and develop them. I stand by what I said about the development issues because it really was about the big guys more than the guards, although they have a way to go as well. Also please remember development is mental as well as physical. And mental development and mental toughness is very important in regards to developing talent. Thus the decline of Ollie Bailey, JR Inman, The Big Fella, and maybe Greg Echenique in the future. It is not just about basketball skills and ability as you can see from what has happened to JR Inman, who remains a very talented player.

Also to that wonderful person who says everything I say is nice. I urge you to go back and read my blog again. I am sure you might just find some interesting info, and even some posts that could be taken as negative. In fact a few friends from Queens called me and asked why I am so negative about Norm Roberts, which I am far from being.

Anyway time to watch some college basketball. Again I remind the mid majors that Javae Gilcrest is available and one D1 Assistant who saw him this week feels he could be too good for his school by the end of the season. Fortunately the kids Mom wants him at a mid major school. More tomorrow.


Well people on various message boards continue to amaze me. It seems some folks are now questioning the coaching at Rutgers University. Never thought that would happen. Honestly I feel the coaching is pretty good and the teaching has to be even better because I know for a fact Fred Hill Jr. is a MASTER TEACHER. Everyone knows this and it has always been one of his claims to fame after his recruiting. So what is the problem? It's Player Development (Mental and Physical),EXECUTION and Competing.

The RU Program just does not get out and compete as they should. I have always thought Rutgers has nice kids on the roster. Inman, Farmer, Griffin, Encheque, Rosario, the big fella, Coburn, Pettis, etc. All great people who you would not mind showing at your door to date your Daughter. Unfortunately I do not want too many of those type of personalities on my team if I need to compete. I want more killer and hunger than talent at some positions. I want various versions of Corey Chandler, hungry kids looking to make stuff happen. Kids ready to go to war!

But I will also say some of these kids have not been developed. What do I mean by that? Allow me to explain. Inman, Farmer, Griffin, N'diaye, Rosario, Chandler, Echenique, Pettis, Coburn, Jackson, and even Ollie Bailey, and Courtney Nelson were house hold names during their recruitment periods while they were in high school. In fact most were considered BE or High major prospects. In fact many were also top 100 plus type players nationally. Remember they were higher rated than players like Butler and Smith from West Virginia, Nevins from St. Joe's, etc. I can probably provide a list of the achieving players doing well nationally who these kids were ranked higher than. I would even bet the RU team has much better HS press clippings than 85% of the Cincinnati players. Well what happened? All I can say is PLAYER DEVELOPMENT both Physical and Mental seems to be lacking.

Can FHJ get it done? YES! But here is what needs to happen. Move the Coaching staff down and sit Danny Nee next to him at meetings and practices. And trust me I am not even a big Danny Nee fan. But Danny Nee has experience and is a proven X and O coach. I also question the Big Men development. Who is doing that teaching? And yes I can see folks turning on Greg E during his Jr. year when he averages 7 points and 8rebounds. Correct me if I am wrong but Ollie Bailey had as good if not better freshmen stats as Greg does but folks turned on him the very next season when FIGG were the golden children. Which again brings up Big man Coach and player development both mentally and physically.

Fred will get this thing corrected hopefully. But it is not because the RU program has not recruited BE type HS players that they are not doing as well as fans want. They have not gotten any real studs or program changers because they do legal recruiting. Trust me it takes more than great recruitment skills to get high profile top 20 type players in many cases. But Rutgers has recruited and gotten BE type recruits. Rutgers University also needs to do its part in regards to facility improvements and marketing.

Jeff Robinson is home! Sooner or later more and more kids will realize there is no place like home. Robinson joins a great cast at SHU for the 2009-1010 season. Talk about depth!

I really think you get players any way possible. Of course I would love to see more HS players go straight to SHU. But if it is not working at this time you get players any way you can. Heck if I was FDU, Rider, Monmouth, Iona, Manhattan, I would save two scholarships a year for transfers from high major programs. In fact I know one right now. A 6 ft 9 skilled kid who could be great at a mid major. Stay tuned for more on him in the near future.

Jeff along with Mitchell, Pope, Davis, Garcia, Harvey, Hazell, Oliver, and Theodore provides a no excuse season for SHU next year. He kind of makes up for the Glover loss. And if Glover finds a way back........ Watch out.

Still think SJU will be a hard game for many teams especially RU and SHU this season. Something about the players and confidence they are gaining. I just believe in Norm for some reason. He is building and they will continue to come because he has the University Commitment behind him based on the re-done arena, and practice facility. And they still are NY's team playing games in Madison Square Garden.

Lastly I read today that Tiki Mayben had a rough game against The State University of Albany. I know he reads this blog so I want to again remind him not to be so hard on himself. Keep working and it will come. But better yet he is preparing for life by doing well in school and being on track for graduation. Mentally it is hard on him after being considered a sure fire future 1st round draft pick after being wined and dined as a HS Freshmen and Sophomore. Tiki keep the faith because great things are coming your way. In fact they already have!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wow what an event!!!!

In my last post I complained about local HS basketball events being watered down. How wrong I realized I was after checking out the Big Apple Basketball Classic schedule on NYCNJ Hoops. All I can say is $10 is not enough based on what will take place each day.

Saturday at Baruch College in Manhattan

St. Peters from SI against Cardoza from Queens.
This would normally be the last game in a typical area showcase. Heck Ron Neclerio alone is worth the price of admission. Both teams have potential D1 players and are well coached

LI Lutheran vs Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson is the new power in NYC coached by ex NYC HS Stars. They are similar to the old Alexander Hamilton teams coached by Ray Haskins in their approach to the game. Lutheran has players including Tobias Harris who is on everyone's recruiting list. Great game!

Pine Crest (Fla) vs Rice
Are you kidding me? Great game and how did they get Pine Crest here? Brandon Knight is a heck of a player who gets numbers and makes folks around him better. No need to discuss Rice because we know what they have and are about.

Jamesville-Dewitt vs Lincoln.

This game will be better than folks realize. Again a huge thing getting Jamestown-Dewitt down to NYC. With Brandon Triche you will see a very underrated and very good basketball player who will play for Syracuse. Lincoln? See Rice comments and add Lance Stephenson and a great coach in Tiny Morton.

Monday at Hunter College in Manhattan

Greenport vs Malloy
Not sure about this game but Jason Curry went to Malloy and continues to respect Jack Curren the legendary Coach.But both teams have players who recently scored over 40 points in a game.

Pine Crest vs Bishop Loughlin
Pine Crest for two games is a great thing. Loughlin has talent, and more talent just as Rice does. Should be a great game.

LI Lutheran vs Rice
Again a great match-up with at least 8 D1 players on the court at the same time.

St. Thomas Moore vs Blair

Prep School basketball at its best. Rutgers fans need to come out to see their future as Blair hits the court. St. Thomas has the legendary Jeri Quinn at the helm and a ton of future D1 players.

Now this is a great event! All the games have the potential to be competitive and the organizers need to be commended for putting a TRUE HS Showcase together. By the way Big Apple Basketball is headed by Jason Curry who attended Malloy HS and graduated from Hillcrest. Jason also graduated from St. Michael's College in Vermont. I still remember getting a call from the St. Michael's Coach at the time who was an ex Rutgers Assistant to Craig Littlepage asking me my thoughts on him. Glad it worked out for Jason whose dad works with me on various music projects. Jason is assisted by a lot of ex NYC and area college stars including Jamal Phillips the ex Grady Vocational and Rutgers standout, Andrew Kolbasovsky the ex Malloy and Rutgers standout, Shandue McNeil the ex Malloy and St. Bonaventure standout, Tarik Turner the ex Oak Hill and St. Johns Standout, and the legendary Stan King who everyone loves and respects. They do so much and they do it well. This event has gotten better and better each year. Good to see young guys giving back to the HS basketball athletes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thoughts and Clarification

I am back with bits of information on various topics. Lets start with Mr. Jarid Famous and Westchester Community College where I attended, played. and graduated from. I even was an Assistant Coach when the current Head Coach Winston Nicholas played for the Westcos under legendary JC Coach Ralph Arietta who is in the JC Basketball Hall of Fame. Yes he was that great of a coach and should have gotten opportunities to coach on the D1 level.

Winston Nicholas is not a good guy. HE IS A GREAT GUY!! Trust me I know. He, like most fathers including me, feels his son is a better player than some others might feel. That's normal. My friends who watched Westchester many times feel young Mr. Nicholas, who I remember as a baby, is a definite low to mid major D1 player. Thus the Dad feels his son with hard work could play at a higher level. But I ask folks to trust me on this, Winston Nicholas is a great person and good for young men even though he can be very, very hard on them as he challenges them to get better. He is like a Bobby Knight type and rewards hard work and commitment.

Here is a great Winston Nicholas story. Westchester under Winston Nicholas always has the best uniforms, warm-ups, socks, etc. In fact they might have 5 sets of new stuff and many more older sets. A few years back the team was not playing hard or competing as many coaches say. Coach Nicholas put the new fancy stuff away and gave the team uniforms from years ago that were tight, short, and funny looking. Might have even been uniforms I wore when I played there lol. But he got the message across. You have to earn stuff in life and he was giving them a life lesson. And by the way he is a very good coach and teacher of the game. Program wise it remains one of the best JC programs on the East Coast.

Now about Mr. Famous. I do not know his Dad but I know a few folks who his Dad communicates with. From what I hear his Dad is a very nice man WHO IS ENJOYING ALL THE ATTENTION. Which is why he even shows up at games without his son. I guess he is just enjoying the recruitment process as he should. But I hate to say it but if any school thinks he is a lock, they are wrong according to my sources. I have heard all types of rumors about benefits he could receive by signing with certain schools. Now remember I said SCHOOLS, which means more than one. I am stunned at some of the stuff I have heard, When I started to ask around I was stunned even more by the answers I received including certain ex NJ, and NYC players and benefits they received or will recieeve from attending certain schools. Let me say it again.... STUNNED!

Now I am not stopping with Mr. Famous who is just a player being recruited with a Dad who is enjoying the process. They are just a Player and a Dad. I say enjoy the process because when it is over folks will forget you very quickly, especially if you are not a stud right out of the gate. Others in NYC, NJ, PA, and Conn. have been offered benefits over the years going back to the 50s. Did they take them? I am not sure. But let me talk about how some HS, JC and travel programs in other parts of the country handle recruiting of star players.

Everything has a price tag. A meeting with a player at the HS or JC has a price. A meeting at a travel team practice has a price. A home visit has a price. A visit to a game at the college has a price. A college visit has a price. A signing has a price. And if the kid shows on campus it could be bonus time. Crazy system that I really hope is not taking place in this area.

So hopefully Mr. Famous will look at his choices carefully and choose a school for the right reason. A school that will help him further develop his skills, get stronger, allow him great playing time, and a chance to shine on offense and defense as he earns his college degree.

I really look forward to those HS Games at the Pru Center next Saturday. For some reason most of the match-ups I have seen in local tournaments have not been attractive. Seems the power schools might be requesting easy opponents if they participate. The Newark event seems like much better match-ups and they excite me.

What has happened to the Prime-Time Shootout? Here is an event that is well organized that went the expansion route too quickly. I wish they would have just Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games in Trenton NJ. The schedule could have been loaded with good teams as opposed to spreading the thing around and having what might be a bunch of weak games with a few dandy's thrown in. How about Rice, St. Pats, St. Benedicts, Blair, Lincoln, and Philly schools against each other and top out of area/state comp all weekend with an actual championship game on Sunday. Where is Bobby Jacobs when we need him LOL. He sure had that Delaware thing going great! That was an event!! So was the Prime-time. Maybe I just have it wrong but it seems so watered down with the multiple sites over a few weekends. Just waiting for the international version in the future.

The Hoop Group Events are the same thing and I am a huge Hoop Group fan. But the line-ups for those tip off events were not that exciting, at least on paper. The same seems to be in order for the other events in the Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg Pa., etc. It is OK to get a local team or two. But where are the games with the great area and out of area teams matching up?

This again brings me to the old Doc Turner Holiday Tournament in Harlem USA. First time I saw Mugsy Bouges (sp) and his Dunbar (Balt.) teamates. Also saw the DC Dunbar with great talent as well. 3500 local folks packed into the gym enjoying great basketball. What an event! They even had Oak Hill with Chris Brooks returning to NYC one year. I was without a car at the time and remember walking 39 blocks to the games at CCNY. Great Memories!

Alot of talk about the Rutgers Basketball program and the facilities. Allow me to give my two cents. Rutgers facilities definitely hold the program back. No if, ands, or buts about it. In a day when programs are showing off state of the art facilities to recruits and hiring marketing firms to attract fans and develop a strong fan base for good ole basketball university, Rutgers is on the outside looking in. It seems the powers at the school had no basketball vision. They should have seen this coming. Rutgers could have the worst facilities in the Big East.

Yes Freddy Hill has brought in good talent. But imagine what he could do with better facilities. And if folks do not think the majority of recruits do not look at facilities, and fan support they are wrong. Honestly the back of the RAC (that rhymes lol) is pretty nice with the viewing area, locker room, etc. But in comparison the front of the house which is the Arena is on a different level. Funny thing is at one time The RAC was considered one of the nicer arenas in the tri-state area.

I am not sure Rutgers needs more than 9000 seats. But I do think the 9000 seats should be wider and more comfortable. In fact if they just did what St. Johns did and gut the inside of RAC and re-do it from the ground up while adding a basketball practice facility it would make a world of difference. In the future a downtown multi purpose arena seating 17,000 plus could be built and used for bigger BE and national type games as well as concerts, events, etc. Similar to how UConn uses its facilities.

Basketball wise it will always be a tough place to recruit local kids as is the case at Seton Hall and St. Johns. Why? Because of the pressure to get away and be part of a true basketball environment that attracts huge crowds, etc. St. Johns was attractive years ago based on Lou Carnessecca and that huge Living Stipend together. But now most kids want to go to the national type programs with huge fan support and wonderful facilities, and BENEFITS lol.

Speaking of St. Johns has anyone else noticed that they have more out of area kids than usual. I remember when St. Johns had Beaver Smith and the other local guys. Ed Searcy and his crew. Mel Davis,Frankie Alegia, Tim Cleuss, Filipe Lopez, Zendon Hamilton, Mark Jackson, Mike Mosley, Wayne McKoy, Billy Schaffer, Chris Mullin, Shelton Jones, etc. Those guys were the toast of the town and the stipends helped them dress well and go to local events and be stars. Now the kids live in dorms, play in front of smaller crowds, and are far from the celebrities past SJU players were. heck, SJU players even had groupies!

What happened to those tough NYC and NJ Players? The SJU Roster now has players, some who happen to be pretty good, from Upstate NY, Ky, Philly, Delaware, Lithuania, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Harrisburg Pa., and England. Wow!! Years ago kids were picked by the St. Johns staff, now they choose to attend.

Last thing about St. Johns. Call me crazy again, but this St. Johns Team is going to beat alot of teams now and in the future. To me they are very improved and have solid talent. In fact I see them ending their season with at least 15 wins. If they could win 17 they will be post season bound in the NIT. Add Antony Mason to the mix next season and this team will be very improved and pretty solid.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some Quick Thoughts and Observations

Just a few quick college basketball thoughts and observations

Received a surprise phone call from Tiki Mayben last night. Seems he surfs the web and saw the post I did on him and his teammates. Talk about a classy young man! We spoke for close to 20 minutes and he told me how thankful he was to read such a positive and truthful piece. This young man has Class with a capital C! It was such a pleasure speaking to this very humble true student athlete who understands the importance of getting a great education. Good luck to Tiki and Binghamton University tonight as they take on Vermont. I wish I could attend what should be a great and exciting game in that great basketball arena they have on campus.

Seems some folks still are accepting moral victories at local BE schools. That is so funny how one coach can beat a ranked team and its a fluke and the fans still want him out and other coaches can lose to ranked teams and its all good because they are AGAIN close to winning lol.

How in heavens name can any college basketball team or any team on any level win a game without a guard named Michael Jordan, Koby, or LeBron, with the guards taking 49shots and the forwards and centers taking 14 shots? Are you kidding me? No I was not at a game but sometimes the stats tell it all. What is this the Rucker? The Entertainers League? Are the bigs really that bad? oops I forgot, They played well!

How do big guys on the HS level being recruited by schools view those type of stats? Do they honestly feel they will get more touches leading to shots? Trust me the big kid being recruited by NJIT thinks he has a shot at the NBA and is looking to get shots. Just my ONE GAME OPINNION.

Speaking of NJIT it seems they might again have a perfect losing record. But one thing for sure those players will not be losers in life. Those kids are getting A GREAT EDUCATION. They will be future leaders in business and industry. Plus no one will even remember the record when they are CEO's and Engineers, etc. Plus by that time they will either be better or back playing D2 or D3. I if I was a young man thinking about the future, and not a HS stud, NJIT would be on my list!

Heard some interesting things about Jarid Famous recruiting the other day. Not getting into it here because I really have to watch my sources because it seems more folks than I realize read this blog. But my message to young Mr. Famous. Please go where you are loved and will play. Think future as opposed to present. Understand what is right and what is wrong. Live your own dream and not allow others to work magic through you. I eagerly watch what will happen in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Great College Town, Bob Oliva, Tiki Mayben and more

Monday evening I had an opportunity to visit Binghamton University to witness a mid major D1 men's college basketball game. I drove there with no idea of what to expect. During my drive, which is 1 hour and 40 minutes from my Pennsylvania home and 3 hours and 20 minutes from the metropolitan NY area, I imagined what I might see. I figured the gym would be somewhat outdated and seat around 2000. I figured people in the area would not even know a game was taking place. I figured the event would not be that exciting, especially since students were off campus.

I should have really known better because this was Binghamton NY! Binghamton is also the home of Broome Technical Community College which at one time was coached by Dick Baldwin, an ex coach who might still have the record for most college wins regardless of level. I still remember playing and Coaching against Broome Tech when I worked as a coach at Westchester Community College. It was a hard place to get a ticket and an even harder place to win based on them using the same refs for most games lol. But the crowds for Broome Tech games were legendary to NYC HS players and fans, We all know about this town, though we never heard of Binghamton University because they were a D3 school at the time. You knew the game would sell out and you would most likely lose.

Well I arrived in this gorgeous town, from what I could see at night, and asked the first gas station attendant I saw where the school was. He said to me if I gave him 5 minutes he would lead me because he was going to a basketball game there. I was stunned even more when he said his whole family owned season tickets. When I pulled into the campus it was as impressive as any campus I have seen outside of a very select few. I drove up to the Event Center and it was very impressive. I was again stunned. But the real shocker was when I walked in and saw all the local folks waiting to enter, folks who never even attended Binghamton University. It was clear that this was the official team for this area in upstate New York. By the way the arena was beautiful and held over 5000 people with 6 additional luxury boxes. Seemed like every business in the city was a sponsor as well.

This leads me to the actual team at Binghamton. And as a side note folks should understand this is a very competitive university and 1 of 4 research centers in the State University of NY system. Kids often turn down Ivy League schools to attend Binghamton.

Well this is really a PROGRAM with GREAT COACHING and LEADERSHIP. The Head Coach, Kevin Broadus, will one day soon be at the highest level of college basketball. he is that good and a true motivator who makes sure to encourage his players while also making them stay focused. They had that North Carolina type attitude. Run off the court when subbed for. Run to the table to be subbed into the game. Everyone got into the game. Run to the locker room at the end of the half. PLAY HARD EVERY POSSESSION! All I can say for this GQ looking staff and program is WELL DONE!

Now lets discuss Tiki Mayben. This is a kid who really has found a great home. I still remember watching him the summer prior to his sophomore year in HS when he was rated the number 1 sophomore in the nation by Hoop Scoop. He was mature beyond belief. He committed to Syracuse University early but at the last moment he attended The University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he was a good and solid player. Something happened and he left after that freshmen season and turned up at Hudson Valley Community College where he had a very good Sophomore year. Now he is at Binghamton of the America East Conference. Not exactly the Big East or the A10, but honestly, not that far off in regards to program type, Fan support and university commitment.

Tiki has certainly come a long way from where folks thought he would be. But honestly he is at the right place for him. This kid is a WINNER! This kid will be a future executive when he is finished with basketball. His degree from Binghamton will take him places he never even imagined. Tiki finally gets it. He finally did his thing as opposed to listening to others and not doing what is right for him.

Basketball wise I thought Tiki looked very good. In fact the backcourt at Binghamton with Tiki, DJ Rivera (Transfer from St. Joe's), Malik Alvin and others, could compete with most backcourts in the country. They just do not have the talent up front, especially with Theo Davis being injured and not in game shape. Tiki had a great shooting game but his leadership, something he can use in sports and the world of work, was what really set him apart from others. It left me with a great feeling about what the college experience should really be.

I left understanding how this team upset Rutgers. But I also left wondering why more tri state area players and coaches have not discovered and realized what a great place and program Binghamton University is.

Bob Oliva Out at Christ the King

I hate this stuff. I do not know Coach Oliva personally, but I will be the first to say..... INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Guy waits 25 years to accuse this man and than demand $750,000. Please! Now a reputation is scarred and trust me when I tell you he will have a hard time regaining his reputation. What a shame. Again I say these type of cases should never have names revealed until the case goes to trial. I really think the names should not be released until a guilty verdict is reached. More reputations are ruined over stuff like this and people never ever recover.

Coach Oliva did so much for so many at Christ the King. And I never saw him display an ego. He was always a gentleman!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Morning Thoughts

No need to discuss this weekends games. Everyone understands what happened.

Well maybe I need to say a bit about the huge St. Johns win. This was the type of SJU effort I remember from years ago. Tough kids getting it done! I honestly think this SJU team has more talent than folks realize. I will not be surprised if they get to the NIT if they get healthy soon. I do know they can compete with RU, SHU, SF, and Providence.

Saw Boston College beat North Carolina. Very refreshing to see a team without a McDonald's AA guy play so well. But Al understands it is not about rankings and awards. It is about heart, desire, and talent for his program. Guy went and got players from Colorado, Virginia, and RI who can play. I would bet Tyrese Rice was not even recruited by Virginia Tech, Virginia, and the NC schools. That did not stop Al. same for Reggie Jackson. The Big 12 schools must have really slept this kid as well. But again Al knew what he wanted and what he was getting. Those of us who follow North Jersey HS basketball saw what he did with John Oats. All John did was go to BC and be a huge part of a winning program!

Heard that the HS games at Teaneck HS in New Jersey were outstanding. Most people I spoke with felt St. Peters was the true Program of the future. I think the coach is Mike Kelly who did a great job in North Jersey on the HS level prior to his stint in Jersey City. I also heard that St. Anthony's really need the transfers to gain eligibility very soon to be competitive.

Coaches were in attendance. I heard that Pitt was in the building all day as was FDU and others. I heard from a coaching buddy that Rutgers did have a coach in the building early. But by all accounts this event was even better than advertised.

I also understand Javae Gilcrest looked very good, although the opposing team was very weak. One D1 coach felt he was a definite D1 player, but not sure he was a true PG. But from what I have seen, he is very much a PG. In fact a friend in attendance told me if guys did not drop his passes he would have had 12 assists. But at least I have the D1 tag right.

The one negative among all the positive stuff was the lack of game programs with rosters so that fans would know who is who. Most adults who attend these functions fall into the following categories: Parent, relatives, AAU types, Friends of family, Coaches, and SERIOUS HS FANS who really follows the HS game. So despite this being a tremendous event, rosters next time would make it OUTSTANDING! I wait for my call from Jim on this LOL. But everyone knows I am a Jimmy fan so this is just constructive.

I really look forward to attending the next huge HS event in NJ scheduled for January 24th, 2009 at the Prudential Center in Newark. Great games in the place that SHU play their home games. Should be a great event!!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday Morning

There are great fans and there are great fans who understand what they are talking about. Nothing really wrong with just being a great fan. And most of the plain great fans love the team they cheer for. I applaud them. However many of the great fans who live and die by their teams performance lose sight of the effort these teams make on a daily basis. Thus comes some outright ignorant comments and I will leave it at that!

So Inman lost the Pitt game for Rutgers. Funny I remember when he was accused of not playing hard and definitely not playing defense and competing. What I have seen lately is a kid playing very hard, Competing and showing emotion despite getting half the shots he got in past seasons. I see a kid cheering his teammates on despite how he might feel inside. He has never had a sour face because he has always been a team first guy. He misses some shots at the end of a game despite getting 8 rebounds and 7 points while the two big starters get a combined 4 points. Yet none of the plain great fans says a thing. No one says how backward other players look even by the way they run the court and have shots blocked, etc. It's about Inman because he is a convenient whipping boy for many. What I see is a kid on the court tired and with a shortage of breath based on asthma, not being in playing shape from playing time issues in the non league portion of the RU schedule. Good thing certain recruits will not choose college based on message board folks..........ARE WILL THEY!

Seton Hall Coach Bobby Gonzalez lost the game against Syracuse from the hotel room? Wow now I have seen everything! Maybe Syracuse just caught SHU right. maybe it was very cold in Syracuse that day and the Pirates did not fully adjust to the temperature prior to the game. Please do not laugh because I know a few college teams that go into Syracuse 2 days before the game for this same exact purpose. It's not Buffalo, but it can be a tad colder and different than the NY metro area. SHU lost because the other team is better at this time. Period! No one will even remember the final score in a month.

So Norm Roberts all by himself has made SJU a BE doormat? Really! It would take anyone years to clean up what had happened in previous years. And as nice as he is, lets not leave Brian Mahoney off the blame team. He was a big contributor to the SJU downfall yet he remains a hero at SJU as a native son who was part of the Louie era. . Only one deserving of a pass is LOU Carnessecca......PERIOD! Even a staff of John Wooden, Dean Smith, and Bob Hurley would require 2 more years to right that ship. Just my opinion.

Weekend games are here. Please remember that games are won over a 40 minute period and rarely on a last shot or last possession. Coaching 101 for the soccer Dads out there. And for those guys who never played or coached or even managed their HS teams, please try not to be so hard on kids despite what you think you picked up in the town rec or your over 50 league.

My opinions on the local Big 3? They all have improved and the future is bright. This is despite how they looked in past few games. Remember there is no cheating going on locally like at some other places. So recruiting of the real studs can be difficult.

Will the SHU AD apply and politic for the RU position? Wondering minds would love to know. Based on his reception at SHU would anyone be surprised if he went to another school? But my guess is he will be at SHU for a while. Lastly, there is always more sides to a story than what meets the eye. He might not be as bad as folks make him out to be. I said Might Not! Ditto Bobby Gonzalez! I know Bobby is a good guy based on my experience with him. Misunderstood? Yes! Bad guy? NO! Hungry for success? Yes! At all costs? YES!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Part 2 For The New Year

I hate when folks try to put me down because I disagree with them or do not kiss up to their coaching hero's. However, I have learned to deal with it. For every SPK, Halldan, NJ4life, Harlemfinest, Jelly, Merge, Greenricefig, RUHoopsguy, Piratesal, Fordham, Jshuttlesworth etc., there are those who refuse to look closely at what others say and continually make stuff up concerning information and basketball posts. That's why I always look for the posts from those I mentioned even though they often disagree with what I say. At least they do not attempt to put words in others mouths.

When folks say they do not put much into what I say, I again remind them that's a right we all have. Maybe I should just copy and paste stuff and I would have more credibility lol. There are some things I can say and things I can not. But one thing I will always have is AN OPINNION!

Terrence Roderick would be tremendous at SHU if they took him even after junior college. Javae Gilcrest should not be looking at BE programs. He would be terrific at Delaware, Monmouth, etc. Enough about Kraidon Woods. I wanted him to attend St. Joe's in Philly. Wish he would transfer now. I never ever said he would be great for Rutgers or Villanova. Rutgers coaches saw him and recruited him.He needs to be in the A10, or Colonial. Even a school like Monmouth. Shayle Keating? Just said he could have played more minutes. He was the only REAL PG RU had at the time I said this. He passed the ball! Never said he was a star who could play in the NBA. Just thought he could have gotten more run. It later became a joke for me and I would just said it on occasion and he and I got a huge chuckle from it. So please do not get it twisted about what I say. I have been around this game a long time. Made some mistakes, and also found time to help some folks. I also watched many of the new Head Coaches including Gonzo, FHJ, and Norm when they got there start as Assistants.

Lastly, if I told you the inside stuff I hear, most of it made up I am sure, you would be stunned. I just say the things I hear from folks I know who tend to have good info. Like Torrel Harris a Dad, local AAU guys, HS Coaches. Trust me I get stuff others wish they could get.

So feel welcome to read my blog. If you wish not to, that's your right and I wish you well anyway. But I will say what I wish on MY BLOG. Again that's why it is called LFBALLONHOOPS.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Hope everyone has a healthy and prosperous year. Now just a few basketball items.

Seems folks are very ready for Norm Roberts to step down at St. Johns. I wonder who those folks think they can get at this time? I do hope they realize that St. Johns is not the glamour job it was when Lou Carnessecca was the Head Coach. St. Johns did a great thing updating the facilities. Now it needs to have a little more patience with the basketball program. Nothing wrong with getting upset after a loss. But people need to do a real program assessment to see how long it will be for the St. Johns Program to regain semi elite status locally and nationally. I honestly feel the downfall was letting Fran go when they did. He had SJU on the right track. Crazy as it might seem, he might be a great choice to get them rolling again if they are decide to let Norm go after this season. Again I hope they realize that what made SJU so good in the past was the longevity of the coaching staff and the many relationships they developed with area HS and AAU coaches. These quick in and out stints continue to put SJU further behind.

This brings me to Fred Hill Junior and Bobby Gonzalez. I always say how I feel and that is positive and negative depending on the issue. But one thing for sure, both these guys need contract extensions to continue the building process. They are the best for the jobs they have. Remember change is not always a positive thing. The person with the greatest challenge will be the new AD at Rutgers. He or She has alot to do basketball wise in regards to facilities and support.

Hey it is a new year. I read on the RU board that a poster said he is tired of reading my defense of JR Inman. As much as I understand his passion for RU Hoops, I need to again inform him he does not need to read this blog. I get zero compensation. Just an outlet for me to talk ball the way I WANT TO. Now I do hope folks will read what I have to say, but please do not force your self because I will continue to speak my mind.

On that note let me say how I feel about folks continuing to say Greg E will be on the All BE Freshmen Team. Let me just say the names Ollie Bailey, JR Inman, and Corey Chandler. They all showed the same promise. I again say he will be a nice BE player at Rutgers. But at this time I watch things like the running of the court, hunger for the ball, and desire to get to the rim. These are things that have held JR back as well as a real lack of confidence based on treatment from his coaches. In Greg's case he is a huge body but needs alot of work despite what folks are seeing based on HOPE! Watch him run the court using those baby steps, etc.

Seton Hall has a number of BE players on the roster. Why is it every time a fan gets upset they claim there are not any BE players or very few on the roster. Please! Coming out of HS the least recruited of all those SHU kids was Paul Gause. He was even thinking about playing football in college despite averaging around 30 a game in HS.

The name of the game is DEVELOPMENT. Something many schools do well. If a kid has desire, and wants to be in the gym, it is up to the coaching staff to assist him in his development. I do agree that JR Inman looks nothing like I thought he would as a senior at this point. Neither does Corey Chandler as a sophmore, and I do not even need to talk about what happened to Ollie Bailey. I still remember FHJ telling me Ollie Bailey was the hardest working kid he had ever been around after one of the kids at Villanova he worked with (Maybe Foye). What happened to these kids?

On the SHU side Mike Davis is showing very little improvement. I can say the same thing about Garcia, and Harvey. I honestly thought Harvey would be 1st team all BE this season. I still remember that old question folks had when comparing Harvey to Anthony Farmer. Who would they choose? The majority said Harvey. Wonder what those results would be now?

Still thinking about Monmouth University and the great program they will be with the new facility and large fan support. I honestly think they need to be in CAA or A10. Seems like a wonderful place to attend college. Hey Monmouth, I told you guys about Maurice Williams years ago from Teaneck HS. You need to go and check out Javae Gilcrest. Trust me on this one!