Thursday, January 15, 2009


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!


Fordham_57 said...


If not always in agreement with what you say, I can usually understand your points However, in today’s blog methinks the old cliche “an enigma wrapped in a pardox, inside a jelly doughnut” applies.

Either that, or you drank a little too much of the “old bubbly” after watching last nights Cincinnati/Rutgers waltz.

You say that FHJ is a master teacher and will hopefully get the job done. Then you turn around and tell us that player development is the problem. Isn’t that what teaching is all about. And if FHJ is such a master teacher and coach, why does he need Danny Nee next to him to explain to the players about x’s and o’s. Isn’t that another job for the head coach.

Then you add execution and competition that is lacking in the big time recruits he has attracted to the program. If they’re big time recruits shouldn’t they be able to be taught to execute by a master teacher. As for competitive fire, isn’t that something that should be inherent in Big East caliber recruits, many of whom were supposedly rated much higher that players now enjoying much more success elsewhere.

Ball, there are just too many mind boggling inconsistencies in today’s column. Maybe in the aftermath of the bubbly’s effect, you may want to rethink today’s column. In any case, because of your past more erudite thoughts, I’ll give you a pass and consider this a little “brain fart”

In another vein, I have seen a number of Rutgers games this year and it seems like every game is “the same old same old. “ Rutgers looks like a “winner” for about 15 minutes and then when the other team makes its run, RU falls apart never to be heard from again. It usually ends up with many turnovers and Rosario bombing away from every point on the court beyond the three point line trying to will a miracle comeback that never materializes.

Now I think Rosario is quite an exceptional shooter. However, very few freshmen can lift a team on his shoulders unless he is an exceptional player, a “Carmelo Anthony” if you will. Now Rosario is good, but a Carmelo Anthony he ain’t.

I don’t blame Rosario. I blame Hill. Rosario came in and Hill handed him the ball and said, “Mike, you’re our future, NOW. The kid is trying, but he has been unfairly handed the burden of having to singlehandedly lead this team out of the desert.

Hill should have made Rosario the 6th man and let him work his way into the rotation. What it would have done is lift the burden from Mike’s shoulders of having to immediately feel that he has to be “the Man.”. In that way, Mike could have let the game come to him without being forced to wear the mantle of “saviour. It would have also avoided a lot of hard feelings on the part of upper classmen, the old “Amaker syndrome..” Oh well, enough is enough. I almost act like I know what I’m talking about. I think I’ll go back to my own bubbly. It is 3:30 AM, so draw your own conclusions. Besides I can always blame my deficiescies on “ senior moments.” I earned that by living long enough.

LFBall said...

You are 100 percent corrtect. My post yesterday was nothing short of confusing and contradictory in regards to what I said about RU. I even wrote an apology and explanation. But thats what I like about you. You call it as you see it. And in this case you are on point.

By the way I love the drinking comment. Did not drink before I wrote the post but sure had a good one after I read comments lol.