Friday, March 6, 2009

Recent Happenings

Well it is almost time to say goodbye to the areas seniors who have performed for local teams. From Rider to Iona to Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St. Johns, this has been an interesting season to say the least.

Hopefully folks will have decent thoughts about the graduating players after they take their uniforms off for the last time. Remember these kids committed to your school when they had other options regardless of those offers being D1, D2, or D3.

Wonder what are the thoughts these players will leave with? Will they be lifetime supporters of the school they played for? Will they become recruitment ambassadors? Will they hate on the experience and let everyone know? What will they do after the last game? In recruitment the worst nightmare for a Head Coach is a dissatisfied group of ex players and advisors. And remember, what goes around comes around. So sooner or later paths will cross in a living room, over a telephone conversation, or in a discussion about good ole university.

Program wise each area school needs to be in a positive position to get future players who will make a difference. When Tommy Ameker mismanaged his players at SHU, it impacted his recruitment tremendously. And he had no transfers I can think of. Just a bunch of under achieving players who he treated well based on who each player was. He kissed up to his super incoming class and forgot the returning players. He never recovered and ran, not walked, to Michigan because he saw the writing on the wall. Needless to say he is now at Harvard.

At Rutgers I see similar things happening. No sense in repeating what has been said for a long time regarding player management, etc. In fact the Rutgers Record, though important, could be secondary to other happenings in Piscataway. See St. Johns and Fran Frachillo as a reference. If you see massive transfers, under performing players who have gone from good (not great) to bad over a period of time, and a look of fear on faces, it is something that needs to be examined. No the players do not get a pass for playing soft!!! Because they have done just this! But the Coaches need to check themselves as well and how they have managed the RU Program. Sorry, that is how I see it.

Transfers? If anyone actually believes Corey Chandler in not seriously considering transferring they are crazy. Even without the recent problem, he had to see the recruitment of a super JC PG as folks have written, as being a nail in his coffin as a starter at RU because Like I have said, Rosario will start at the two even if Steph Curry and Tyreke Evans transferred to RU. Plus the look over your shoulder situation had to be too much on him and has definitely impacted on how he performed! So yes Corey said nice things and apologized to his coaches and teammates, but the beat still goes on and I would bet a dollar to a nickel he has already had his REAL advisors make some calls to schools that would fit Corey's style. Use your imagination and you will come up with the same potential list I can see him contacting.

Is Corey the only one considering leaving Rutgers? I have heard rumors that other players are also considering leaving. And no I am not talking about Rosario and Enchenique. Why would they leave a place where they really have and get all they need regardless of output. But others are seriously thinking transfer. I have heard this for a long time. One might not be able to leave, but others I feel really will see what is out there before making a decision. And if Corey stays at RU, it will be good to keep a player like him, but I would be stunned.

Every school will have kids transfer. It is a popular thing to do when you feel your playing time will decrease or you are not being treated fairly. Happens all the time. But too many sends a serious message which is why coaches work so hard to keep even role players from leaving. It impacts recruiting and program stability.

Lastly I feel, and again I am not an expert, that teaching, bench coaching, and execution is very important in college and HS basketball, but program and player management is what separates basketball programs from basketball teams.

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