Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Thoughts

Sunday was a very interesting day for me as I realized I need to back up from some of the things I try to do to help folks. Those who know me can testify I have never assisted any person as a way to earn money or future favors. Basketball wise I do what I do because I have always loved the amateur game in the same way folks grow up loving music, art, math, and even religion, which to me is a great thing.

I will not go into details but please allow me to say that when a kid is good he is good. Only thing that stops a good kid from reaching his potential is coaching, teaching, desire, and most importantly strength. The difference between the BE level guards and NEC guards is more strength than talent. The same thing with big guys.

One great option will always be Prep School. Especially if you have skills and already a true predictor based on the NCAA clearing house. Some kids without good grades and SAT scores will go the prep route to get grades and SAT scores right. Those kids, the ones who have lower grades cannot complete HS because doing that will freeze the core requirements and once they are frozen you cannot change them even if you go to prep school for a year and get all A's. A big thing in past years was kids flunking gym on purpose so they would not officially graduate.

Those who have good grades can graduate at their HS and enroll in prep school to strictly gain more visibility, work on skills, play against better competition,gain maturity, and most of all GET STRONGER. These kids, who are already qualified for college, now have an opportunity to gain a 2nd HS diploma from a prestigious prep school while learning new things that could help them when they enter college and as they go through life.

So if anyone is thinking prep school they need to understand the true benefits and the actual schools that award scholarships etc.

High School Basketball

JFK NY Classic

Had an opportunity to attend the annual JKK NY HS basketball classic in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Good games and a true warm-up for the public school playoffs that start very soon.

Saw Campus Magnet (Formerly Andrew Jackson)coached by the legendary Chuck Granby beat Carnarsie coached by DJ, yes he is a real radio DJ on WBLS FM in NYC, Tommy Allen. Carnarsie is young and not as good as they have been in past years. Interesting to watch Rolando Blackman's son playing for Carnarsie where Rolando's mentor Ted Gustus is a parent advocate and very involved with the athletic program. By the way Ted is a definite future NYC Hall of Fame Coach. Young Mr. Blackman, whose Dad is now an executive with the Dallas Mavericks after a long NBA career, will be off to Prep School after he gets his HS diploma.

Watched Cardoza coached by Ron Neclerio come back from an 18 point loss to JFK in the Rucker HS challenge on Saturday to beat Samuel Gompers from the Bronx. Honestly it was nice to see Gompers look like a true program with great uniforms and a coach who seemed to genuinely care about the kids and program. Odd sight I witnessed was a Cardoza player got hurt and the Gompers Coach (with a cap C) went out and helped the player for at least 10 minutes. That's something that Rock Eisenburg from Tilden would do. Cardoza was just too much for the Gompers team who did have players and I would not be surprised to see one of them wind up at a big school in a few years. For Cardoza, the talent is very good. They have two big guys who are definite D1 prospects. Both are 6 ft 8 juniors who run the court and have bounce in their legs. The guards at Cardoza are pretty good as well. They have at least 9-10 players who compete every minute. having Bobby Holford on the bench only helps the cause more because of his years of head coaching and assistant coaching experience on all levels. They have a 3rd guy who is a NYC policeman who also seems to be very good. Greta staff at a school that will be even better next season.

last game was JFK against Martin Van Buren. JFK has a great coach in Johnny Mathis. Johnny is sort of like a HS version of Al Skinner. Firm but not a screamer. He suited up 16 players and before I left at half time had played at least 13. Oddly every kid could play which is why they are rated the 2nd best public school in New York City. This guy has a program! He also has at least 5 kids 6 ft 8 and taller, many sporting Mohawk hair cuts. This team should get to The Garden fir the City championship. Did I mention that the entire team comes back next season? Did I mention that the talent is so good he has future D1 guards on JV? Did I mention he might just have 6-8 kids who could play some level of D1 basketball?

This was a very nice way to spend my afternoon as I watched Nate "Tiny" Archiblad, voted one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time and the only guard to lead the NBA in scoring and assists the same season, spend time counseling kids on how they played, parents on how to be mire supportive (wish I had spoken to him when my son played lol), and just being available to anyone needing advice. But Tiny Archibald has ALWAYS GIVEN BACK TO THE COMMUNITY!

Bergen Jamboree

Well my son will see his first Teaneck game since he graduated from the school years ago. I plan on arriving around 6 to meet him and watch Teaneck, where he was a 4 year Varsity player and I an awful parent lol, play St. Joe's of Montvalle in the championship game. Hopefully Curtis march will win this game and give Teaneck a much deserved championship. Go Teaneck!

Rutgers's loses

What can I say? Next year? Ummmmmmmmmmm!

SHU Loses to St. Johns

Norm Roberts stock is going up it seems. SJU beats a good SHU team at Alumni Hall or Little Louie Arena. I continue to hear the place is very nice! Big win for St. Johns as they attempt to nab Lance Stephenson for next season. If this happens the Garden might just be alive again.

For Seton hall I still say the future is very bright. Maybe I am wrong but I think next year will be a true break through year for the Pirates.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Does Rutgers Want to have good basketball and more

Sitting here early Saturday morning thinking about how hard it is for some folks to live up to others expectations. This applies to learning, employment, and even athletics. It is so hard when people become so disappointed in you that you just seem to give up!

This seems to be the case with JR Inman at Rutgers University. It seems to me that his body language and bench behavior indicate that he has lost the love to play the game. This has been evident for a long time from my observations. It really looks like difficult work when I watch him play. The joy seems gone and he is just on the court to be on the court. No hunger, no desire, no role, just playing and praying not to make mistakes. This is one of the true sad eastern basketball stories not related to an actual tragedy. Coaches and fans alike from Pa. to Connecticut have commented on him this year. I will not say what they have relayed to many people including me. But what remains important is the fact JR Inman seems to have thrown in the towel. He walks up the court, shows little emotion, and is playing scared from the fear he has not pleased his coaches.

Speaking of coaches this is where experience would have played a huge part. I doubt Fred Hill Jr. is a bad coach. I also doubt he is a bad person. If anything he would be considered a players coach. But his lack of experience hurt in this case because he did not understand what it would take to get the most out of kids like JR Inman, Corey Chandler, Anthony Farmer, Hamady N'Diaye, and Jeron Griffin. If he is still the Rutgers Coach in a few years he will be able to handle kids much better. But these are cases that require more than basketball coaching experience. I guess it is why if you watch closely you will see Danny Nee whispering to players during the time-outs.

Now before folks start defending stuff on here at the urging of un-named sources lol, let me say JR and all the others share the blame. A quitter never wins and a winner never quits. And just being a good person and cheering for your teammates does not mean you are a team player or have not quit on them. I watch for the little things. And honestly any player who plays the game of basketball and is content to sit on the bench and be the first guy out when there is a time out after being the leading scorer the past two seasons is soft and too wimpy for me. It is not impressive!!!!

JR should be pissed! Pissed enough to go out there with fire in his eyes and determined to make stuff happen. He does not even look to shoot the ball. Now he might not be All BE 10th team, but he has game. It is just the fire and heart that remains missing. As I have said for 4 year to him, RUN THE DAMN COURT even after a made basket by the other team. Watching him ALWAYS jog up slowly trailing the play is downright sickening.

JR Inman needs to use these last few games to come out of this funk. A funk that could carry over to any career. Even one that is non sports related. You never know who is watching and what opportunities you are missing by just accepting your limited role and accepting bench time with a silly smile on your face. What the hell have you worked so hard for.

Trust me I will never give up on JR the person. Just wish JR would attempt to be all he can basketball wise.

Rutgers Basketball Program

Spoke via email with my guy JShuttlesworth yesterday and he gave me something to think about that I never considered. Has Rutgers given up on basketball? Are they interested in the Penn State Model for athletics? Football, more football, and a little spring football? Is this the reason they hired FHJ? Is this the reason they do not provide FHJ with the tools to become successful? Honestly they owe FHJ another 3 years based on the support they have given him which is very little!

Lets also look at C Vivian Stringer and the RU Women. How much longer will she coach? Her name now attracts players because the facilities sure are not what others have to work with. If she leaves watch out!

I say all this because the new AD needs to be a Basketball and Football person. In addition he or she must understand fund raising and capital projects because funding for new facilities should be on top of the list. The new AD needs to come with a plan to improve basketball through marketing, new facilities including a practice building and new arena. He or she must also understand what it will take to become a true player in the BE conference as opposed to playing just to seem competitive. Yes the Northwestern model is in affect at Rutgers and it is not all Fred Hills fault.

When looking at Rutgers basketball from the outside you must wonder if anyone high up really cares? I mean it is 2009 and no one is even discussing facility improvement. Next thing you might notice is they assign a Assistant AD to work with basketball while the AD does football.

I can go on and on but the bottom line is the resume of who ever is chosen as the new AD at Rutgers will tell the entire picture of the direction Rutgers wishes to go.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Funniest comparison in a long time on the internet

A fan on the Rutgers board asks why the big fella has not progressed like Dante Cunningham has. An RU fan responded: "Why hasn't White Castle progressed like Peter Luger's?" If you have ever eaten at Peter Lugar's you will understand lol.


Watched a few games this past week and came away with various thoughts. Loved the way St Johns competed against Duke. Would have been great if they won. Would have been even better if they played game at Alumni Hall. Duke plays in a gym much smaller although they squeeze in 3000 additional fans. It is the main reason the students stand lol.

Folks seem to be still mixed on Norm Roberts. I honestly think he will be back and have thought it all along. Way before the AD mentioned it. When they get in a few more recruits including Lance Stephenson they will be a different team. Anthony mason coming back will also help significantly. Just hope he does not have a JR Inma type of senior year.

Speaking of JR Inman I really feel for him as I would for any kid that goes from a important role on a team to playing 3 minutes. If anyone thinks this is a good look from the RU Coaching staff they are so wrong. It is one thing to sit him out the entire game after providing him 12 minutes to show he is ready. But to play 3 minutes and not return? He must be feeling terrible going from starter and leading scorer to Always PLAYING SCARED.

I wonder if Inman, Farmer, and Griffin could do it over would they attend RU based on treatment from coaching staff and fan reaction to how they have played. Wonder if Corey Chandler would have picked RU as well?

Talk of Rosario and Enchinique transferring from Rutgers after the season is total Bull. Not happening! Why would two kids who are looked upon as saviors and allowed to play without looking over their shoulders want to leave. Heck if anyone is pleased at RU it is those two. And by the way both seem like great kids who love their teammates and want to win.

Bergen Jamboree is at FDU this Saturday. If folks have never been they should try to attend. Although the talent is not that of St. Patrick's, Patterson Catholic, St. Benedict's etc., the games are great and environment even better.

I am a bit confused with the separate admissions for each game. The PSAL in NYC use to do similar stunts until people screamed about it. $6 per game and you have to leave and game back in for the 2nd game. Why not just charge $10 bucks for adults and allow folks to see both games.

By the way this event has been considered the best county tournament in NJ by many. Watch out for the Bosco vs Teaneck game. Both teams have very good players including my guy Javae Gilchrist who now has Central Florida, Temple, FDU, Hofstra, and others watching him. Honestly he would be a huge STEAL for any of the schools mentioned. Because he has good grades, he might just surface in prep school for a year to gain more viability. Watch him play and you will see one of the most un-selfish true 6 ft 2 and growing point guards you have ever seen. He makes everyone around him better. Also watch out for Don Bosco sophomore Vaughn Gray who has big-time written all over him. Smooth and effective is his game and he is a true baller from Patterson NJ.

Looks like with some serious focus Seton Hall might make a post season tournament. They really seem to like the style they play. John Garcia remains impressive despite playing somewhat injured. But again I say Eugene Harvey needs to return to the way he played as a freshmen. He is playing good but at this point I expected him to be great! Maybe I just had too high expectations. But I do feel he will get it together and eventually become what I and many others think he is capable of becoming.

Looking forward to watching Cardoza HS play on Sunday at JFK HS in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Some folks say Cardoza, coached by NYC legend Ron Neclerio, could be the best public school team in NYC next season with two 6 ft 8 kids returning plus two very good perimeter players. In fact I have heard they might just have 4 D1 players returning.

I have been asked to write a few blogs for the GAME OVER Web Site. Please check my stuff out when I start posting and submitting actual interviews. I will get back to everyone with more details soon. Stay tuned because if nothing else the information will be controversial!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tid Bits

According to a few friends the Prime Time Shootout was anything but that excluding the St. Patrick's game. What happened to the great match-ups this event was known for? Maybe they are scheduled but with kids changing schools during the summer a few games become watered down. But getting 5000 to a HS tourney is quite an achievement.

Heard the Nike Super Six was very good. Cannot believe Fordham charges $10 to park. That alone might be enough to keep some fans away. $10 for parking and $10 for tickets makes this game a true expense for an adult and 2 kids. Nike with all its money and advertising benefits from this game should bring the prices down and buy out the lot. After all the sneakers only cost $2.00 to make and they sell them for $70 to $120.00. Come on make this event affordable in this bad economy!

I honestly think someone needs to do one of these super HS events in North Jersey at FDU. North Jersey folks love HS sports! Because FDU is only 10 miles from NYC, the place would be jammed if the event is advertised. Maybe we can get a celebrity sponsor to do it as a write off with the money going to a charity. I am 100% positive if this happens during December the place will packed.

Bergen Jamboree is going strong. Down to final 4 at FDU and the games will be great. Watch out for that Teaneck vs Don Bosco re-match on this larger court.
For those who still do not get it, this is a great event! The fans pack the facility and games often sell out.

Talent in Bergen County is very good. A number of players with division 1 potential are spread out among the area schools. And I am talking about in all classes. Talent in Passaic county is similar and maybe even better.

Nice to see David West who played at Teaneck from age 9 to 16 compete in the 2009 NBA All Star Game. Great kid but sure wish he would loosen up a bit lol. But I guess when you earn $65,000,000 you can be serious and focused all the time. Still remember David being coached by Herman Snyder in Biddy ball and smiling as he played. Did the same thing at Teaneck HS under Curtis March. Maybe David could do something for the program where he started as well as the HS where he played. Ummmmm!

Well it seems folks feel Jonathan Mitchell will be a very good player at Rutgers next season. Well he was the NYS Player of the Year in HS. Odd that Florida graduated top 7-8 players and he was not given an opportunity. Just hope he is what people expect because they will turn on you quickly.

On that note I think Rosario and Enchinique need to stay in the gym during the off season because expectations for them will be super high next season. Remember past All BE Freshmen on the RU Roster have had difficult times this season for various reasons.

I have not heard any rumors but my older bones are telling me that we will see some player movement in the area this summer. I have an idea who might look around but this is only based on my thoughts and observations.

Wonder if SHU will get a bid to a post season tournament? They have to really stay focused and play hard each of the remaining games and the BE Tournament.

What is happening with the RU AD search? Who are the candidates? Hope they interview NJ native Gene Marshall from Army.

I wonder just how much impact local college players not performing or under performing has on area recruiting? Did receive one interesting e-mail lol.

I really laugh every time I read that Jerid Famous folks are at a Seton Hall game. I laughed even harder when I read the son had a game at Westchester CC but the dad and Mom came to a game at SHU. Are you kidding me? They must really enjoy the atmosphere at the Pru. Either that or the Hotdog's and Beer must be among the best in America. I honestly feel they are just enjoying the experience of having a son who is wanted.

If Jarid Famous does not attend SHU it will be the biggest waste of time and effort since RU went after Lance Thomas. I mean the Dad is almost a member of Pirate Blue lol. He is always around. If he goes anywhere else I will be stunned although I will tell find it borderline comical. I have given my personal thoughts to a few folks as we watch this play out.

Wonder if folks honestly feel St. Johns, Rutgers, and SHU will be able to compete in the BE next season?

Why are there so many schools in D1 college basketball? I continue to wonder about this. NJIT had 400 fans at a game over the weekend. 1000 at LIU. No post season chances for many teams and yet the money continues to go into budgets.

What is the deal with Fordham? They have the St. Anthony's connection and many other talented players but are deep in a slump. I honestly think the coaching staff is good enough to get it done. Just one of those bad years thus far. Next year will be better.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NE Pa. Basketball and More

Boy was I wrong about this area based on what I saw Wednesday evening. I had an opportunity to watch 2 games played in what is called the Mountain Valley conference which is really the Pocono Mountain region. In the past the talent in this area has not been that great. In fact very few players have gone on to stellar college careers. Some of the past greats have gone on to mid and low major schools such as Rider, Canisius, and Quinipiac. One from a few years ago is at Arizona State but not playing much at this point. I also remember that Martin Salley lived in the area when he attended Seton Hall University. Not sure if he attended HS there.

Well the games I saw last night were exciting and extremely well played. The games took place at Pocono Mountain East HS which has a gym that would make Manhattan College, Iona, FDU, and others extremely jealous. In fact most of the high schools in this area have great gyms as well as exceptional football facilities. Most games have fans attending who might have attended participating schools such as Stroudsburg 40 years ago.

Well the games themselves kept fans on their feet especially the Stroudsburg vs Pocono Mountain West game which was a double overtime event which neither team deserved to lose based on 1 great game after another. The game was won by Stroudsburg making up for two prior loses by 20, and 10 points this season.

In this game I was extremely impressed with Riley Maye, a 6 ft 8 player with very good skills getting D1 looks. I also loved the play of Lance Washington. He was all over the court and made great plays. Danny Akerman And this kid named Robbie Kaiser were excellent in the game. In fact Robbie Kaiser could be a poster boy for what HS basketball should be about. He was a pleasure to watch as he made huge shot after huge shot.

The next game was Pocono Mountain East against East Stroudsburg North. The number 1 seed against the 4 seed. East Stroudsburg East won as expected in a pretty well played game. Terrence King is a very good player for SEN while DJ Strahorn is a standout for PME. But Kaheim Hall is a player at PME that has a number of D1 assistants preparing to watch him this summer and next season.

It seems that the talent in this area is being influenced by recent arrivals from NJ and NYC moving the area from basketball hotbed areas. In fact I saw no less than 10 kids playing last night who with exposure could play D1, D2, or NAIA basketball in the future on scholarship. If I was any mid major type school I would run and not walk to the next games in the area which take place on Friday evening at Pleasent Valley HS in Broadheadsville Pa. Great opportunity to watch Riley Maye, Kaheim hall and others who are very worthy of D1 looks.

College Basketball

Saw a replay of the UConn game from last night. game was good but what impressed me was the atmosphere. It is a huge difference between the haves and have nots even on the high D1 level. The arena was electric to say the least. How do kids turn down that type of atmosphere?

Saw highlights of Oklahoma game as well. Even the game at Baylor had great atmosphere. Can this atmosphere ever be duplicated in this area. I do remember St. Johns having this going on during great games at Madison Square Garden. But to get the real 4 plus star players and compete for a national championship it takes more than folks realize. College basketball is a business and those who understand this know marketing and promotion is very important to team success,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Haters and Taking Our Area For Granted!

Lance Stephenson

I have never met Lance Stephenson but have watched him no less than 15 times since he was in 8th grade. I also watched his dad play as he grew up. I am so tired of folks treating this kid unfairly and punishing him based on a reputation I have never witnessed. Yes I said it, I have never seen this kid act in a way that could be described as horrible.

The media, some fans, and even coaches make this kid out to have the worst attitude ever seen on a HS or AAU court. Is he competitive? Yes! Does he get upset? Yes! Does he take winning serious? Yes! But what many people fail to recognize is he has been pulled on since he was in 7th or 8th grade. Thus the name "Born Ready." Kid is just the ultimate competitor. Plus he is still a kid despite his mature basketball skills.

Unfortunately people watch him too closely and wait for him to do anything wrong. Spit in the street it's a huge story. Say something to a referee and people say "Look At That Attitude." This guy has been under a microscope for many years and people expect him to be perfect. And we all that is not possible.

Basketball wise what did he do so bad that Bob Mckillip would cut him this past summer? Bob did that based on perception. Its the same reason Bob will always be at mid major type program where he can recruit kids based on his perception of what a good kid is. Middle Class kids and those not from the inner city according to many. Steph Curry's folks are loaded and they live in a Charlotte NC Development with Million Dollar Homes. That's Bob's type of kid. I think it is the real reason he was not a serious candidate for St. Johns. Nice guy who wants only a certain type of player. Check out past rosters. Middle Class kids from here and a few international kids. He was, is, and always will an outstanding coach. But he was wrong with Lance I feel.

Now we look at the Jordan Brand Game scheduled for Madison Square Garden. I cannot believe they would have the audacity to come into NY for a game and not take the highest rated player in the area. Than the Jordan Brand folks do the same thing and slight Dexter Strickland who has done everything right and is viewed as a great kid from a great family. Even Bob McKillip would recruit him lol. What are they doing and what are they trying to say and prove. Was Mike that great of a role model off the court that they feel they need a certain type kid? Was it the Sneakers he wore? By the way will Mike's Son play? I guess it is like Al McGuire said years ago when he started his son Allie at Marquette and folks complained. Al said "You have to be a hell (He used another word lol) of a player to beat my son out."

The participants chosen really reflect how powerful some sneaker companies feel they are. Do you honestly think they could get away with this in Chicago? Those HS and AAU Coaches would close that game down based on the lack of respect shown. Don't believe me? ask Joey Meyer what happened at DePaul when they pissed off the Chicago HS Coaches. They shut DePaul down and they have yet to recover! Attendance wise this game will suffer without Lance or Dexter, who could be the top 2 seniors in the NYC Tri-State Area. For this game to now be successful they might just need Michael Jordan himself to suit up and also participate in the Slam Dunk Contest lol.

Lance and Dexter will hopefully use this slight as a motivator as they go on and have successful basketball careers. I just wonder what type of sneakers they will wear if they make the NBA.


Why do folks take time to be so vicious and hate on each other? It just amazes me the hurtful personal stuff said about kids on Internet boards. The things we assume are true are not always true. To insinuate a kid is playing bad because he has done some off court activities gives the average fan the impression a kid is doing illegal stuff. College kids are often just that, COLLEGE KIDS. We tend to be so judgmental and forget that providing information in a way as if you have all the facts is wrong, especially if you are guessing.

The bottom line is development of players is a huge recruiting instrument. It is what kids need to look at when choosing a school. Villanova got Scotty Reynolds at the last moment not only because of the coaching change where he was going to attend, but because of how well the super 3 guards developed. Same thing with a long line of Syracuse big guys as well as Centers at Georgetown under John Thompson Sr. At North Carolina they are able to recruit multiple AA types because kids know that even if the play little as freshmen they will eventually get an opportunity as THEY DEVELOP.

Development is however a two way street. Players and Coaches share the responsibility. But you need hard working and motivated players and coaches who can teach and motivate players. When I see kids go down statistically to a point where they look like they would be more at home at a D 2 school it looks serious. In no way should any kid go from All BE rookie team to 4 points a game as a senior. That should send an alarm to the Head Coach that he needs to get more or better assistance with players. Strength and conditioning or maybe better position coaches. But something!

But again we as fans, and some are fans who never even played or coached but act as if they have, need to realize that it's easy to say a kid is bad or you cannot wait for them to leave. Just wonder if someone said the same thing about your performance as a Dentist, Lawyer, Teacher, Cop, Salesman, Sanitation Worker, etc. without knowing what is really happening.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Response and Thoughts

One of the unique things about basketball fans is we read and understand only what we want to read and understand. We want it our way and nothing else matters! If we feel a kid is good even if John Wooden said otherwise it would not matter. A person could praise your team and its future and you would pick out the one area that you feel is wrong and run with it.

Such is the case with my blog post from yesterday. Some Seton Hall Fans have been all over me regarding my thoughts on Farmer being as good and effective as Harvey. It was 1 sentence while a whole lot more was written on SHU basketball future and way they competed, etc. Yet these few folks went on and on about how Farmer is not in the same category as Harvey. Please!!!! Both are solid and far from great PGs. Harvey as a freshmen looked like he had tons of potential and even looked far better than Farmer. But since than the talent of Harvey has never made me think he was dominating farmer in any game they played. And this was true on Sunday. Harvey is solid and even has another year to really shine. But he too is nowhere near where I expected him to be after his somewhat spectacular freshmen year. And if SHU fans are truthful and knowledgeable as I always give them credit for, they will understand my statement.

Now Hazell is a different story! He has blossomed into a genuine NBA prospect. I also think Garcia, even at 60%, looks very good and makes a huge difference. SHU is going in the right direction and the future looks bright. But for them to be a great team next year Harvey must go back to his pass first mentality that he exhibited his first year.

Jay Williams

Yes I think he has potential! I honestly think he is refreshing compared to others. I know you folks love Raf and Bob W, two guys who are some of your friends, etc. But guess what? When Bob W started out he was terrible and always had names wrong and gave out in-correct information. It was almost comical. For Jay to be as good as he is now is a good thing. So yes he has great potential. And if anyone bit me on my butt, they better be ready for a good butt whipping lol.


Now I could just talk to some kids and get them to tell me schools they like. That's easy. What I try to do is give you information and even hints that will peak your curiosity. Things that make you go ummmmm lol.

So there are alot of young players in NJ looking at the various BE Programs. But guess what? many are not as interested in some teams like many think. In fact 1 player in particular has already said he will not go to a particular school. Others have said they are getting away. And other folks including some urban HS an AAU guys are now on the fench regarding certain things at certain programs. Trust me on this!

Star Player Watch

What's a hard situation for a College Basketball Coach when recruiting players? A family that cannot be purchased with gifts, jobs, or insincere kindness. That's the case with a few local HS stud. These kids have Dads who played D1 basketball. These Dads have great jobs and/or companies and huge and nice homes. So getting these kids require real recruiting and not false promises because these kids have Dad's who have been through the recruiting and lies, and cheating in many cases. Just wanted folks to know and understand lol.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Battle of New Jersey

The Battle of New Jersey

The opinions on this game are as different as the opinions of Clarence Thomas and Constance Baker Motley. Some of you will got that but most will not. But I will attempt to make my thoughts as clear as possible or as I always say to many, straight without a chaser.

Game looked great on TV with good fan shots etc. That was until I saw all the empty seats including behind the Rutgers Band. And I have heard that band and they are pretty good so it was not like people were getting away from bad music. How could this game not sell out? OK I understand the records, etc. But this was SHU vs RU! Come on this game should be worthy of Dick Vitale doing the color. Although I do enjoy Jay Williams or Jason as he used to be known before moving to Jersey City lol. I think he is great and has real potential. same thing I said when he scored 40 against my son's AAU team when he was in 10th grade and they did not even have a 3 point line.

back to the game. This should have sold out despite the records of the teams. Who are the marketing folks at Rutgers? But despite less than sell out crowd, the atmosphere seemed great. Both teams seemed determined to win the game and we all know who did so I do not need to discuss the outcome as much as my observations and a tad bit more. This game could have been won by either team based on the way they both played. I knew from the start it would be close to the end. And when the game comes down to the final minute or two, toughness will almost always win out! Thus the case with the SHU win.

Rutgers has good players and folks who say otherwise are fooling themselves. What they should say is they have under performing players at a number of positions. I honestly think Rutgers does need now, and maybe in the future, a therapist sitting behind the bench and at practices. The kids on that team really need assistance beyond basketball. Are they happy? Rosario and Enchinique might be. Others I am not so sure about. maybe they should not be? maybe I am wrong to think they should be enjoying the college experience even if it does require hard work and dedication.

But if anyone saw these same players in HS watched them yesterday they would be stunned. Some who we thought would be very good look like they could be nothing more than role players in the Northeast Conference. Heck Shagari Allyne looked better in his limited role at Kentucky and as a red shirt at Manhattan. There are at least 4 top 100 players on the roster and another 3-5 guys who were top 150. What's the problem? Is it all the kids fault? Is it FHJ's fault? Everyone is scared to say because they do not wish to get folks upset. Well I will say what I think.

I honestly think actual game coaching is not the problem. The problem is people management including confidence building. FHJ is a good enough coach and a good enough recruiter. The problem might be how to motivate and manage people in the RU program. What does it take to build a kid up to the point he thinks he is invincible? It seems to me some of the kids at Rutgers seem to have very little confidence at this time. Believe it or not Rutgers and SHU will get very few program changing recruits. The kids they get will have solid BE potential and with work and development could blossom during their time in NJ. St. Johns on the other side of the river could get program changers based on tradition, and Madison Square Garden. Watch Lance Stephenson as an example. Yes Phil Sellers turned down ND to attend Rutgers but he was recruited by one of the best Salesmen of all time who knew how to get it done with a stud player. These days it is different because most program changers are looking for more than a great campus, girls and coaching. Trust me!

So Rutgers and Seton Hall will need to get it done with 4 star players at best for a long time and an occasional transfer or 2, or 3 who might have been a stud in HS. This is why getting into the minds of your players is so important. Getting them to compete every play and possession. Getting them to believe in themselves.

Now the RU players. I honestly hate watching how some of them compete. If JR Inman, and I have told him this, would run the damn court he would be a much better player. I have never seen a kid just jog up and down as much as he does. I also think he needs to want the ball. Does he want it? Is he still hungry? He seems content to just be out there. Maybe its confidence. maybe he is reading this so I will also say maybe Tyler Hansborough took his heart last year and he has not recovered. Similar to what Labron James did to Lenny Cooke at ABCD years ago and Lenny has never been the same. But damn it run the freeking court hard. Do they not practice running lanes? He takes the ball out and jogs behind the play. Yes he also needs to attack the rim and believe in the finish and not wish it will happen. Maybe he just needs to run to the career development center and start filling out job applications because he needs to step it up big if he wishes to continue playing basketball anywhere. And FHJ gave him minutes yesterday and did not yank him for the bad airball, etc. Your turn JR!!!

Farmer is doing just fine and Griffin is just there because he knows and feels it will not happen for him in this his senior year. Sad! Rosario is a kid I LOVE! Not because he has a good game. I love the way he competes and pulls for his teammates. He honestly wants Corey Chandler, JR, and Pettis to do well. He seems like a great person! Ditto Enchinique. This kid seems so nice. But I wonder if folks will turn on him if he is averaging 7 points and 6 rebounds his junior year? Corey Chandler has game but now seems so confused. Yes he stood and cheered. But deep inside he must be hurting. Question is how much and will he be happy in a supportive role next season or does he transfer to a high major school similar to what Malcolm Grant did when he left Nova for Miami? Will Pettis come back or will his Mom and AAU coach snatch him after this season. Rumors are they wanted to take him out a few games ago before he started and had a good game.

Seton Hall to me is no better talent wise than Rutgers at this point with 8 players. Next year it will be no comparison. But this season they are almost over achieving. But that happens with tougher kids. At one time I honestly thought Harvey was better than Farmer. I now think they are equal. In fact it is really close across the board except with Hazell. Garcia does make a difference as well and I can just imagine how good he would be if he was healthy.

If Garcia comes back to SHU next season, and you put him with the transfers and current players, WOW! Of course it depends on Hazell not getting over confident and declaring for the NBA early.

But this game is turning into a true rivalry. The rivalry will keep most of the future games close because the way I see it the talent swings hard in SHU's favor next season. Yes RU has some players coming in and the current players will be hopefully better. But wonder if any of them can really measure up to Pope, Lawrence, and to a lessor extent Robinson?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not a Real Knock on Fred Hill Jr.

This post is just to clarify that my post from yesterday was not putting all the blame for RU players under performing on Fred Hill Jr. Trust me these kids and other factors have alot to do with whats happening at Rutgers. Does FHJ have to take some responsibility in regards to his players developing? Yes! But is it all on him? NO!

I honestly feel all the players mentioned might have experienced success too quickly. They might have rested on their Laural's as oppossed to continue to work on their games. I also think the kids are not as tough as they should have been. After all games are not won on talent alone. It takes mental and physical toughness as well. Rutgers has nice kids, which is good off the court. But on the court you need

Also the facilities and the strength and conditioning program at Rutgers need to be again examined. Who is in charge? The basketball program at Rutgers needs a separate practice facility if they wish to really compete. They also need a dedicated to basketball only strength and conditioning staff, not just 1 person. Not sure if they have this already but if they do not, its a problem.

So when I look at those kids not developing it is much more than Fred Hill. It is a committment from the Rutgers President on down. And until they make a serious committment to the Men's basketball program at Rutgers, it will always be an uphill battle even if you have Pitino as HC and Calipari as Associate HC. Fred Hill Jr. needs the tools to be successful in addition to talent.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jarid Famous, and a little more

Jarid Famous must have made a good impression from what I read on the SHU board this morning. I guess his hands were not as bad as folks made them out to be a few months ago. Maybe he used crazy glue lol.

But honestly its not his college coach as much as other things that will influence where he attends college after Westchester CC, which happens to be one of my many stops on the college circuit. There are some factors in play that would make your head spend oops I meant spin. I hear he is getting fantastic offers from numerous schools. I also understand his dad is really enjoying the ride as he should. I just wonder if all the schools recruiting him feel they are in the drivers seat after talking to those involved in his recruiting. I have heard SHU is making every effort to get this kid. Stay tuned!

Not much more to write about today except the great HS game scheduled for Rutgers this evening featuring St. Benedict's against St. Patrick's. Should be an outstanding game with plenty of excitement.

Watched some of the RU vs Georgetown Men's basketball game on TV Tuesday. We all know who won and who lost. What I want to talk about is the odd way a few Rutgers players look on the court. What really happened to JR Inman? 0 points? Are you kidding me! JR has gone in a completely different direction it seems. How does a kid voted to the All BE Freshmen Team go from that to 12 minutes and 0 points?

How about Corey Chandler? How do you go from top 80 HS player and All BE Rookie player to 8 turnovers in 20 minutes? Why is he not playing better? Is he playing upset or scared? Is Mike Rosario really that much better than Chandler?

How about Ollie Bailey and Harmedy (sp)? Ollie had a great freshmen season earning all BE freshmen and Harmedy showed enough promise for NBA guys to start following him. What has happened?

What happened to these guys and Griffin, Farmer, and many others? Not saying whose fault it is that these kids who were All BE Freshmen, have not developed? Who is to blame beside the kids themselves? Is it the Coaches? Fans?, facilities? Strength and Conditioning? Just odd that all these kids have not gotten better. Again alot has to do with the kids and a hunger to improve. But at one time these kids were considered strong BE players. I still remember Row Williams raving about Chandler.

Maybe what needs to happen at RU is therapy. Honestly it has to be more than coaching and working hard. I have never seen so many kids get worst in college as they get older.

Well I will be going to the NJ State HS Basketball championship game tonight at Rutgers. I hope they will let me in lol. Should a good game and I am eager to see both teams play and compete hard.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Morning Thoughts

Great win by Rutgers on Saturday. I watched the game on TV and was quite impressed with a few things that many might have missed.

Lets start with Mike Rosario. Forget about the scoring, passing, etc, that is often associated with good players. What stood out to me is the fact this kid really wants his teammates to do well. He cheers them on without a hint of jealousy when others do well. He seems to always encourage his teammates and keeps a smile on his face. How can you not like this kid?

I was more impressed with Greg Enchinique more than in the past. He looked solid. But the guy that really stood out to me is Pettis. I hate the beard, especially on a college basketball player, but this kid might just be that small forward that will help RU now and in the future. This kid was smoooooooooooooooth to say the least. And he always seems under control.

Jeron Griffin played a good game as well. Good to see him bounce back from a long stay in the dog house. Great to see the RU Coaching staff have patience with this kid at a time when many were calling for his head when he did not go into a game a while back. In this his senior year, it was a great thing that FHJ stuck with him and Jeron responded when his number was called and everyone is cheering until the next game when he shoots a few bricks lol.

I also will say the RU team seemed really prepared for this game and played it as if they really enjoyed playing. Something that has not seemed to be the norm in the past. Though Depaul looked like the worst BE team since the last South Florida team I saw, any win is a good win.

Well the SJU and SHU game is here and it is a huge game for both programs since NYC recruiting will be impacted and both depend heavily on the Metropolitan area for assistance.

Kashif Pratt seems to have left Iona College and has enrolled at John Jay College of CUNY, a D3 program in Manhattan according to a local coach I spoke with. Not sure he will play there, or if he is just taking some courses before heading off to a larger school in September. Remember he can transfer down to a D2 or NAIA school and play right away if he is eligible. But maybe it is now about academics and getting a degree more than playing basketball. Maybe he is tired and burned out. After all, he like most NYC kids who excel at basketball, start playing at a very early age. He just might be burned out and tired of the sport and what it takes to compete.