Friday, March 13, 2009

A Heck of a Thursday!

Thursday was a heck of a day for me. Unfortunately part of it was having to read some terrible personal and untrue comments about me that has nothing to do with basketball. I had to go on the Rutgers Basketball board to answer those terrible accusations. I can deal with folks not agreeing with me as guys like Frank and Steve from SHU will testify to. But it is another thing when folks use false accusations against me because I disagree with basketball stuff at RU. Well I answered there so I will not bore folks with my response here. But I will say I have an idea where it came from based on the number of posts the main person had. I am sure it is a friend or maybe someone very connected with basketball on the college level. Maybe I should talk about some of the non basketball rumors I have heard about happening away from the court! Happenings that have been hidden for a few years but many know about! This will most likely never happen because rumors and not complete information is so damaging and no one should have to deal with that. NUFF SAID!

Back to Basketball

Syracuse vs UConn game was tremendous and will be shown on TV for the next 20 years. 6 overtimes!!! Are you kidding me? What a game! Both teams were so tired they could hardly get up and down the court. They continued competing until the final whistle.

During the portion of the game I saw, you could see players going back and forth verbally. This was a war and at the end Syracuse came out victorious. I wonder if the BE conference is happy about that since the UConn traveling fan base is one of the best. The Garden might be sold out, but the seats need to be filled for TV and concession purposes.

Villanova over Marquette at the buzzer? Wow! Jay Wright keeps getting it done at Villanova. What a great situation. Sell outs at home in the 6500 seat gym and sell outs or close to sell outs when they play at one of the big Philly arenas. I honestly never thought Villanova would become such a big time program a destination for elite players. They are the NEW St. Johns, which had it going on this way years ago between Alumni Hall and MSG.

High School Basketball

Traveled to East Orange NJ to see 2 state semi final games. In a group 1 semi, University beat a solid team from Verona. Both teams were exceptionally coached to me. Great seeing kids actually running sets. This was HS kids at there best. Loved the job the University (from Newark) coach did with his players. And players he has! Big kids with game and guards who understand and have quickness and ability. It was only when the game was over and University won that I realized that the coach was Elijah Allen, ex Newark HS and FDU star who had some NBA looks. Boy did he do a great job and he seems to be a coach folks will be watching for a few years.

The game I really came to see was the Teaneck vs Shabazz. Great seeing all the guys from years ago at this game. Brian Crawford from Newark, Jim Salmon of the Playez, Herman Snyder from Teaneck, and My Guy Jon Cano who talks ball with me all the time.

Well this was a game of the big's vs the guards. It seemed that every time Shabazz missed a shot they had a big guy get the rebound and put it back in. The shabazz big guys were not just huge, they were athletic and could score. Shabazz was coached by legendary NJ hoopster Lou Grimsley who remains one of New Jersey's all time great high school players. I remember him being a part of a team at Essex County College to beat a team by 100 points. Game made Sports Illustrated. Well this was a typical Newark team based on its toughness and early game desire.

Teaneck was a group of guards with one big guy who only stands about 6 ft 2 with 4 pair of socks on. The kids he was going against were 6 ft 7, 6 ft 8, etc. Shabazz must have had 10 blocks of Teaneck player's shots in the first quarter. All I could do is think Shabazz cannot possibly play this good all game. And they did not.

Teaneck is a town that has a rich basketball tradition and has sent numerous players to college on basketball scholarships. Led by Curtis March, a legendary coach in NY circles, this team is a classic over achieving never give up bunch. The leader is Javae King- Gilchrist, a 6 ft 2 and growing 17 year old player who even Jim salmon, and Brian Crawford, two AAU vets with lots of contacts, feel is at least a A10 player. Funny thing this to me was not even one of his best games. So for these vets to feel this way says alot about this kids potential. Owen Barnes was steady as usual off the bench and seems to have a huge Teaneck following. Jonathan Blue is a star in the making as is Kyle Steinbergen. All 3 are underclassmen and will be back next season for Curtis March, if he decides to return for another season.

Well now it is off to Rutgers on Sunday and I plan on being in attendance. It seems even though at least 4 kids left the town to play HS basketball at a Catholic HS, the Highwaymen have found a way to get back to Rutgers. I still remember when Curtis started out as the Boys Coach at Teaneck and saying with tears in his eyes after not getting through to the Bergen County Jamboree Championship, "I just want to get to FDU one time!" Well he has done alot more than that with multiple trips, multiple county championships, and even a few state championships. What a run!

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