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.
RU vs SHU
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.