Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts

Big News From DePaul University

Seems DePaul wants to make some serious moves in basketball and Jerry Wainwright, a very nice and somewhat popular man, is not a part of them. Though he will be back for another season or two based on his contract, all of his assistants are gone. Were they forced out? Did they resign? What difference does it make because the bottom line is they will have new guys on the recruitment trail this summer.

Now the interesting stuff. Chicago is a tough town and the area HS and AAU coaches control the talent pool there better than any other area in the entire country. There will never be outside influences controlling Chicago kids. This is why you see Mack Irvin's kid Lance being mentioned as a possible assistant. Who ever they hire will have to be unofficially approved by the Chicago power brokers.

DePaul is the way they are right now because when The Legendary Ray Meyers retired and left the program to his son Joey a rift occurred because the area HS and AAU guys felt left out and slighted for some reason. The result was they closed DePaul down and area kids did not attend. They even hired Lance Irving, Mack Irving's son as an assistant. But when those guys close you down you are closed down. Brooklyn was like this years ago. So was most of NYC. Now a coach can come in a mess over a kid and no one cares and they continue to send and approve of kids attending that coach's school. If Derrick Charactor had attended HS in Chicago you would not had seen a chi town kid at Louisville for many years based on the perception of how he was treated.

Yes Chicago is a tough town but they tend to stick together in most cases. As far as Gary DeCaeser is concerned he will be able to get something based on his connections. I still love him as a HS coach who ran a tight ship. I would love to see him back on the HS level. If that happened my Grand Son would have a difficult time choosing between Gary and Danny Hurley lol. Unfortunately as a college assistant he will be less effective because in NYC alot of folks are anti Gary from his days at St. Raymond's where they looked at him as arrogant and very anti local AAU and travel team basketball. In fact to keep his players away from various programs he started his own called the Bronx Ravens and had Adidas fund them.

SJU Information

Nice to hear Norm Roberts found time to attend Winston Nicholas funeral. Folks can say what they want but this guy is a classy guy! He also is really working hard to get the job done on and off the court. I just hope folks will be patient with him. Because with or without Lance Stephenson I feel he will have an improved team next season and an even better team the following season.

Does anyone actually understand this NCAA Clearing House stuff?

Called the office for two kids last week concerning eligibility and two different people gave two different interpretations of what they needed to be eligible for D1 participation. Unbelievable system. Now I have to call in my specialist, Russel Shular from Youth Education Through Sports. I know he will have the correct answers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Are You Kidding Me!

Now I have seen it all. A kid in California decides to pass up his senior year in HS to turn professional in Europe! Are you kidding me! This is a crime and a shame! What is so important that this kid, who obviously did not come up with this plan on his own, could not wait a few years to turn professional? What does seem to be important is the same guys we hail as great basketball people often do things that folks are scared to comment on.

Is Sonny Vacarro a great guy? Good guy? Or is he a villain? Is he doing the right thing pushing and advising a HS junior to drop out of HS in the United States to go play basketball in Europe? And what is even more alarming is you will not get one comment from any college coach, AAU type, or anyone else remotely involved with basketball. Where is Dick Vitale? How about Clark Kellogg or Mr. Perfect Jay Bilas? Will Coach K say anything? Calling Coach Bobby Knight, Calling Coach Bobby Knight!

Now we have seen it all. And to compare this young man to Kevin Garnett when he went from HS Graduate to the NBA after his senior year is not the same thing. Kevin was older and stronger and at least received his diploma so if things did not go right at the least he could get a job at the Post Office. This kid will change the landscape forever in amateur basketball.

It will not be long before kids will not take HS seriously. Study, Why? Attend classes, Why? We already have a bogus system with the store front prep schools that play games at the Y, and hold classes at learning centers and in church basements. Kids at those places just play ball and get diplomas. Now we have the new Vacarro system of just playing ball and not worrying about reading, writing, and arithmetic. I guess he showed the NCAA who is really in charge.

Without reading more about this kid, I would bet they have a system in place that will have the kid is HS somewhere in Europe. He will have tutors, lessons, field trips, and the rationale will be he is an "international exchange student." I can hear them now. "Just think of the cultural and artistic teachings he will receive." Or "imagine getting for free and getting paid for what many American exchange students pay dearly for." To that I say BS, MS. PhD!!! And please do not make me explain what that means.

Honestly this becomes a department of education issue as well as something that needs to be examined by the NBA and NCAA. I think it is great to have fantastic basketball talent. But I also think it is criminal to have such great players go through systems that leave them lacking the social skills, communication skills, and reading and writing ability that is necessary to be successful in life after sports.

How long will folks stand around and allow small groups of people to act as if they are helping kids while in actuality they are only exploiting them? HOW LONG! We continue to make folks celebrities and kiss up to them while all they do is assist in creating routes to beat the system at any cost necessary. I wonder if these folks would allow their sons to attend "Store Front Prep" or drop out of HS in 11th grade to play ball in a foreign country? In fact how many HS coaches working at inner city schools have their kids attend the school they coach at?

Now I know many will disagree with me on this but I have not loved the college game as much since kids were allowed to go from one year of college to the Professional ranks. Shows how important it is to collect those NCAA revenues that NOT ONE COLLEGE or UNIVERSITY HAS SAID "No Recruits Will Be Accepted Who want to Remain For ONLY ONE YEAR! I expect them to say "WE ARE AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION and A PLACE OF HIGHER LEARNING and not a basketball factory." No School has said this! Why Not? Because it is all about money for colleges. It is all about money for the sneaker folks and people affiliated with them. And it is all about money for many of the travel team folks who started because of a love of the game and love for assisting kids and coaching, but once some money came in, they wanted more!

Maybe there should be Congressional Hearings on this? Maybe there needs to be the creation of a new Office in the Obama Presidency for the purpose of doing what the NCAA has not done or have turned their backs to.

Back to the HS Junior dropping out of HS to play professionally in Europe. I Say in a nutshell, it is wrong and almost criminal!

Rutgers tampering with Fordham Player

Not sure if this is true. But whether it is or not, is the player in question really going to make that much of a difference at RU? Is this the PG recruit everyone wishes for? Will this player get RU to the upper division of the Big East! I guess when you are down even a solid player from a lower tier A10 school looks like great relief to fans.

Manhattan College Coach Considering Kentucky

I heard again today from a few guys who are college coaches that the Kentucky offer will increase to $500,000. Now some think this is not true based on the large amount. To that I say if Kansas State can pay an Assistant $400,000 plus, Kentucky can pay $800,000 if they wished. Nice to be in charge at a MAAC school playing in Riverdale NY in a aluminum arena. Yes the area is nice with successful folks living there, etc. But at $500,000 you could keep you place in Riverdale and still get a heck of a John Weitland (best builder in Country of middle class type homes according to many) type home in the Lexington Kentucky area. I continue to hear this guy Slice is a wonderful guy and a heck of a recruiter. My guy Jim Couch in NYC, a true old timer who has helped many kids, swears by him!

Mike Davis Leaves Seton Hall

I have heard this alot the last few days. If so he will be better prepared for his new school because of the experiences he had at Seton Hall. I continue to hear the name, "Robin Cunningham," all over the place. She is like the 5th assistant and a real recruitment tool. Maybe Coach Calipari should offer her $300,000 to move to Kentucky?

Good luck Mike. If you have never met Mike you have missed out on talking to one great kid! Brent Carter has done great things with this kid and will point him in the right direction. Just hope he gets the same support he received at SHU off the court.

Lance Stephenson

Will He? Will he attend St. Johns? If so please be patient. I still remember what Filipe Lopez and Zendon Hamilton went through as freshmen. A huge change for a kid going from HS to the Big East. Not sure what others think, but I feel he is definitely not a 1 and done type of kid any longer. But he will still help SJU return to the glory years. But watch out for Maryland. Gary Williams is a heck of a closer and will do anything to get that special recruit. And in the rear.....but coming up strong.....Is Kentucky!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WCC Coach, Rumor, and More

Sad day in basketball with the passing yesterday of Winston Nicholas, Head Coach of Westchester Community College. Many know Winston through his tenure at Westchester Community College. But to the real basketball fanatics, Winston's legacy goes way further than Westchester.

Winston was one of the first great young players from Queens NY. He was a stud as an 8th grader who tore up the playgrounds in his Queens neighborhood. He went on the basketball radar when he enrolled at Long Island Lutheran High School where he played on a team that featured older players Reggie Carter and Wayne McKoy, who both were already house hold names in recruiting circles. People wondered who was this strong 6 ft 4 kid with smarts and ability. They later found out it was Winston Nicholas. Or Mr. perfect as I often thought of him.

In my eyes he always had his uniform just right. His socks always came up just right. he had the perfect strong guard body. I laugh as I think back at how he always wanted to be a point guard. Funny thing is he was so smart he found ways of actually playing the position despite not being the quickest person around. Winston always knew what he was doing and he was a leader!

As a player his coaches would have to have their stuff together because Winston studied play books and tape. he had the answers to everything as a player. He was often challenging, but in a good way. He was almost intimidating to a coach because he often felt he knew as much as them in a good way lol.

Winston never completed his career at Long Island Lutheran. He decided to return to his Queens home and play for Cardoza HS where he led his team to the City Championship game which I think they actually won. One of his teammates was current Cardoza Head Coach Ron "The Teacher" Neclerio. I might be wrong on this but I could swear Winston told me he played with Neclerio. A friend emailed me that Neclerio was the Assistant Coach on his Cardoza team that won the city championship.

Winston went on to accept a scholarship to a nice D1 school but became home sick and enrolled at Westchester Community College where he commuted to daily, never missing a class, from his Queens home. He brought along his HS buddy Stu who also was a great talent. Oddly Winston stayed affiliated with Westchester and the school loved him even after he left to accept a scholarship to Hofstra University to play for Dick Berg.

After his college playing career and an assortment of college related positions including one D1 assistant position, Winston returned to Westchester Community College. I still remember when he returned. The uniforms went from OK to outstanding! Ralph Arietta, a great coach and JC Hall of Famer, embraced Winston and allowed him to have a huge role. We often laughed because we knew that would mean the program would be the best outfitted team in America. Winston found deals only he could find. Team socks that normally would cost $4 a pair he got for fifty cents. he made deals with uniform companies before it was popular and the Westcos had 5 different types. Shooting shirts? At least two. I think Winston even had the team change one time at half time to a different set of uniforms.

I still remember going to watch a WCC game a few years back and Winston taking me down to the equipment room which could rival Kentucky's with all the great stuff on display. Yes Winston knew how to market his program and get great deals to outfit the team.

As the Head Coach he had zero ego when it came to getting advice from others. But in actuality he was a tremendous coach! He really understood the game and how to teach it. For a while he out coached everyone with a team of kids with very little talent as he re-built the once powerful Westchester program. And when he started to get talent again it was a huge problem for other teams because the guy could coach, teach, and recruit. Plus he made sure they had nice uniforms and a nice gym. Winston was the MAN!

A great Winston story for those who think C. Vivian Stringer knows how to get the most out of players. At one point in his career as a head coach at WCC Winston decided the team was not competing and deserving of wearing nice gear. The year could have been 2005. Winston makes the entire team give in all gear from sneakers, to socks, to wristbands, to uniforms. He than gives out the uniforms Westchester wore in the year 1974 including my old uniform number 34 lol. Folks were stunned to see kids squeezed into those tight uniforms but the kids received the message loud and clear.

Winston Nicholas was a great person who did things the correct way and provided opportunities to many. He is such a reminder of the good days and what we had. Winston will be very much missed by many including his family, players, past staff, friends, and colleagues. Winston rest in peace before re-organizing the hoops program in Heaven.

Hoop Happenings

Strong rumor that Barry Rohrssen, Head Coach at Manhattan has been offered a job at Kentucky on John Calipari's staff for $400,000 yearly. My sources say he is strongly considering especially since he was on the Cal staff when he was HC of UMass. Stll remember Barry as door guy at The Limelight and China Club in NYC. I do not know him but people who do say he is OUTSTANDING!!!!! Plus he is a nice guy from Brooklyn.

Famous to South Florida is nothing to frown about. The school has great facilities, nice weather and great views if you know what I mean. I am sure they provided him a wonderful scholarship package.

Why would folks be so upset over Bobby Gonzalez losing out on Jarid Famous to the point of calling him names? Trust me, Bobby did not lose this kid because he did not do all the right things. Bobby and his staff worked their tails off but sometimes a kid and his family like to explore other opportunities. This was not about the SHU staff not doing their job.

What is Lance Stephenson waiting for? I honestly think he needs to take a good look at his options. He understands where he is as a player and what comes along with his signing. Will the school allow his parents to have a say? Will they accept his initial behavior? Will they allow him to play through mistakes? Kansas could be very lonely when things are not going well. But than again maybe his family could relocate there. Lance really needs good direction at this time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Famous, Fig, Logan, and More

All those who think Jarid Famous is the person deciding where he will attend college next season please raise your hands.

Will all those raising their hands please meet me on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge right now.

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Famous is a pretty good player but unfortunately he is being led by others more than deciding on his own. I just hope when he makes his final decision he will pick a place that will allow him to enjoy life on and off the court as he prepares for his future in and out of basketball.

Read the Rutgers board earlier and folks are raving over the speeches made by JR Inman, Anthony Farmer and to a lessor extent Jeron Griffin. That's nice but many of those same people treated those kids worst than any kid has ever been treated on a college message board. Funny how a poster named Crime Dog posted nice speeches but it is about winning basketball games. Crazy statement but something that many who attacked Crime Dog have been saying all season long as they dogged and ripped those kids. Now it is about developing great young men who graduate? If that was the case Craig Littlepaige would still be coaching Rutgers. Honestly it is about both. Winning and developing kids on and off the court.

How will the local teams do next season if they stay just as they are today?

Nice watching all the re-runs of past Jordan Games on TV. The number of transfers since they played is unbelievable. I also could not believe that Michael Jordan's Son actually started in the game he played in. I guess Mike said in the words of Al McGuire "You Have To be a Bitch of a Player To Start over my son."

So it looks like Fran McCaferty is waiting around another season to pursue high D1 positions. I wonder what job he really loves. UMMMMMMMMMMM!

Finally I need to say my 18 month old very tall grandson Logan dunked his first basketball today on a kiddy basket. He did it off the wrong foot but with authority. He than went on to have a sippy cup of milk. Coaches in attendance were John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Norm Roberts, Bobby Gonzalez, and Rutgers assistant Craig Carter. Also on hand was Tom Konchalski, and Joy Gomes. Unfortunately Ed Butler could not make it to the workout. However, Jarid Famous folks did stop by after hearing there would be alot of food at the event and plenty to drink. Talks are now taking place to have the Westchester CC Assistant Coach handle all of the future recruitment. But first Logan needs to go to bed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quick Hits and Comments

Nice to see anyone get 2nd and 3rd opportunities. But what is it with Isiah Thomas that gives him so many chances at redemption when the average Joe has a difficult time finding employment at a factory?

Watched the FIU Press conference and found it very comical when the University Provost introduced Isiah as Isiah Thompson. Shows they know their sports lol.

Was it me or did the smirk on Isiah Thomas face say it all? Looked like he was grinning and thinking the entire time... "Suckers."

Glad to see Coach K and others support Isiah Thomas. Must be a Bobby Knight connection thing. I wonder if he would have felt the same way if he was named head coach at Clemson?

Can anyone predict where Isiah will wind up next? New Mexico Junior College? St. Peters? The NJ Nets?

Lastly on this subject. Isiah Thomas has either made a pact with the -----, or he has a guardian Angel looking out for him.

The college basketball season was horrible for me this year. In fact it just does not seem that interesting any longer.

I remember looking forward to purchasing the Street and Smith magazine when it hit the newsstand. I remember ordering Blue Ribbon by phone and speaking directly with Chris Wallace and his Dad as they prepared the Mag in West Virginia. Those were the days!

Remember when College Basketball was huge in the NY tri-state area. SJU games sold out on campus and pretty much filled MSG. Rutgers getting great fan support at the RAC and when they played at the Garden. Seton Hall getting 15,000 for big games during the week. Iona getting sell outs in New Rochelle. Manhattan getting huge crowds in that shell of a field house. Fordham playing on Saturday with Charlie Yelverton and Kenny Charles. How Great it was!

Remember going to see HS games all over NYC and NJ. Now there are showcase events that cost $15 to enter. Now there is no community spirit with kids attending HS 75 miles away from home in schools without dorms and often wihout gyms.

How about the schools running out of store fronts and playing games at the local Y or community center yet having kids sign with D1 programs.

Remember when Coaches recruited kids with school academics, career possibilities after college, college coaching, and great campus life as incentives.

Now kids attend based on who can get them to the next level, who can help their families in some sorta way, size of arena, and how they will be treated in the community. Rarely do we see kids choose based on academic offerings and great intern possibility.

News flash!!!!! Guess how many ex college stars are now working for ex players who were not great basketball players and went to school for the education?

So Tobias Harris and his little (6 ft 7) brother have transferred back from LI Lutheran to Half Hollow Hills HS in the very middle class area of Dix Hills Long Island. Tobias might just average 39 points a game next season......or he might be so bored he could average 18 from the combination of boredom and constant double and triple teaming he will face. I have to call his dad to find out what really happened. Or Torrel call me if you read this lol.

Lance Stephenson, as good as he could be, needs work on how to play the game. He has to make a choice that will benefit him and only him! Choose where you will be comfortable and get an opportunity to improve as you make the adjustment from being the man for 4 years to being part of a team with other good players.

I still find it strange that Dexter Strickland and Lance are not part of the Jordan Game this Saturday. Who chose the teams and did they have a beef with Kevin Boyle and Tiny Morton? Crazy!! Shows how politics work. Would serve the organizers right if only 2500 people showed up! It is a slap at tri-state area basketball to leave the two best players out of the game.

Great news that Mike Rosario was named area Freshmen of The Year. He deserved the award. Anxious to see him play his Senior Year at Rutgers 3 years from now. Will he be a stud?

Did anyone else realize Mike Rosario made the McDonalds game last year despite being rated in the late 50's? well his play this season at Rutgers proves he was worthy of the honor but very few guys rated to 50 or 60 make the McDonalds game. But like I have said recently, he has game and really wants to win and better yet loves to see his teammates play well. I hope he has a monster sophomore year!!

How in heck does Hazell not get the Hagerty Award? I know why. Politics!!! It's that same ole crap of hurting the kid because you do not appreciate the kid's coach! This kid deserved that award!

Speaking of SHU what is happening to Jarid Famous? And why is the Assistant Coach at Westchester Community College the Spokesperson? I thought Winston Nicholas world be on top of this. Anyway it looks like it will go down to the wire for Famous. Maybe SHU needs to have a program, scrimmage at the Prudential Center, or something similar. Doing this will at least get his Dad there for the festivities even if Jarid does not show up lol. Hey, I wonder if his folks will show to SHU games next season if Jarid attends The University of Arizona? Dad seems to love the SHU hospitality at the games.

I still feel Jarid will play next season for SHU. Just a gut and not because his dad enjoys attending games at the Prudential Center.

Again I will say this college basketball season left alot to be desired!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NCAA and AAU Influence

I read today how the spring evaluation period is no longer beneficial to kids seeking exposure in an effort to gain basketball scholarships to division 1 schools. Seems the NCAA in its never ending wisdom has decided to limit the open period for colleges and the next time coaches can come out is after the spring signing period.

Let me put it bluntly! STUPID!!!! Why would they limit the opportunities for kids to get exposure? This might not hurt the kids at power or known HS basketball programs. But the kid who attends a school with a coach not connected, or not known as a place to find prospects gets hurt the Most. Sure the kids at Patterson Catholic, St. Anthony's, St. Pats, Rice, Lincoln, etc. get great exposure opportunities. But the kids from Leonia, Bronx Science, Seward Park, Midland Park, and even from Kennedy, Teaneck, Kennedy (NY), Plainfield, Neptune, etc. could benefit from having coaches come out and watch them in local and national events.

AAU and Travel basketball is a true necessity for kids who are under exposed. many kids at lessor known HS programs are discovered playing in after the HS season events. I would bet many schools in the MAAC, CAA, MEEAC, America East and NEC sign alot of kids they see between the end of the season and the start of summer.

Because of this kids are now looking at alternatives to gain exposure. Bogus groups are popping up offering to send profiles to colleges. People are running bogus exposure events with video taping. People are getting paid to make calls to college coaches. Kids are getting false promises. And Prep Schools have re-emerged as a great alternative especially if a kid has gotten through the NCAA clearing house.
Unfortunately this has opened the door for some serious bogus prep schools being run out of community centers and even store fronts. Charge the kids to attend and just play basketball. Some even put kids up in apartments and charge a dorm fee. Unfortunately the apartments could be over a drug den or in a dangerous area. Whatever happened to prep schools as we knew them? The ones with the grass and kids in shirts and ties. The ones with dorm parents and study halls and field hockey and parent weekends?

I really feel the NCAA should do a quick re-evaluation of this policy because it is not a good one. Coaches need to be able to get around and continue to watch prospects.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Basketball Thoughts

The College Basketball season is over and now many fans all over America start watching and debating on how their teams will do next season. It is a time when serious fans go out to AAU and Rec events to watch potential players. It is a time for dreaming about what could happen if......

..... Lance Stephenson attends St. Johns. Honestly I still feel SJU would be his best option and a place that needs him so bad he will get every opportunity to be successful It is a place his dad will be able to visit and speak with the coaches as often as he wishes. If Lance got his game together and played with more purpose and not seem so out of control on occasion he could be a one and done player. But watching him play lately he looks like a guy who will spend a good amount of time in college. Because of that, the person who would be his coach at SJU is now a factor. Norm Roberts being on a hot seat is not as attractive to a kid who might need to play college ball 2 or 3 seasons as opposed to one season. Not because Norm is not good for Lance. It's because Norm might not be there for 2 years if next season is not a good one. Now SJU could give Norm a real extention so that Lance and others will feel safe knowing who the Coach will be.

..... The Rutgers kids really jell as a team and they get alot more offense from the front court. If a true PG emerges and gets folks involved and makes them better. If they learn to compete for 40 minutes and the players improve their skills and STRENGTH. RU needs much more than folks realize. But you never know!

..... The Pirates of Seton Hall can play well together. They are definitely tough enough to compete even without Paul Gause. If the new players can shake off the rust, it will be very interesting.

Josh Pastner gets Memphis Job

All I can say is BRILLIANT!!!! I am sure he was very instrumental in getting the big name recruits who committed to Memphis. This hire keeps Memphis in play with the kids Calipari signed. Plus Pastner is one of the true super star college assistants. At one time he was rated the number 1 assistant in America. He also has OUTSTANDING national connections from his AAU days and through his Dad who runs great programs in Texas.

Tony Bennett to Virginia

One of the real good guys in College Basketball who learned some good things from his dad Dick Bennett. Hopefully he is a bit more personal and caring than his dad was when he coached. But I will not get into that here. Tony has a great reputation and should do well even though it will always be NC and Duke and than the others in the ACC. He will be competing for 3rd place along with all of the others. In the Chapel Hill/Durham area and through out the ACC kids rarely turn down Duke and Carolina. It is like everyone else is JV. If he works hard the new arena might even get a few sell outs next season. But based on how they did in the past they could have played in the old gym. Despite all this I still feel Dave Lateo would have gotten it done in the next two seasons.

Miller to Arizona

All I will say is WOW! Hard job for a guy with serious eastern roots. I honestly think Pastner might have had a better chance to succeed. But we will see. Besides Miller is a fantastic coach and program saver as his record indicates.

Jarid Famous

Still waiting to see what he does for school. He must have an idea by now. Will Seton Hall get lucky? Or will he just go where he is wanted and not loved?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Thoughts......And Only My Thoughts

The season has long been over for local teams. But what are they doing to stay in the news so that potential recruits now and next year will remember and identify with them?

Corey Chandler has decided to return to Rutgers next season? Wow I am surprised! Not because of the rift between him and FHJ. I am surprised because of the distribution of playing time that could be impacted by a stud JC point guard. Than it will be the same thing as this year especially if Rutgers is losing. Could it had been better if he left for Rutgers and Corey? We will see!

Final four is set and Villanova will have alot of folks cheering for them. They were not supposed to be there. Through true team chemistry and great coaching they are in the final four. No aircraft carriers in the middle, and I really do not see a true lottery selection in the group. Just very good players getting it done.

Speaking of Villanova it is interesting how they do so well in a large market with a true on campus gym, and a NBA arena for the larger games. Great marketing! Some teams need to steal the 2nd person in charge of Villanova basketball marketing from them!

Been thinking about the RAC lately and I really feel it just might not be as bad as I and others have said in recent months. What it does need in updating including new wider seats and new seat cushions even if it decreases capacity by 500 seats. The students seats should be changed from the bland regular wood look to scarlet colored to give the arena a different look. Also a different floor, different concessions, a new scoreboard with video, new sound system, and a practice facility that is state of the art including computer labs, lap pool, weight room, and two separate practice courts. The old weight room could be converted into a Restaurant for boosters and fans to have pre-game meals and athletic functions.

Seton Hall has worked very hard to get Jarid Famous, the 6 ft 11 player from my old school Westchester Community College. But the 50,000 dollar question is will he attend SHU, or the other late arriving schools recruiting him? Everyone says his dad loves SHU. That might be so, but does the dad have others thinking he loves them as well? Is the fact SHU is so close to the family home and easy for the parents to get to a factor in what they say based on getting to many SHU games? Are they just enjoying the ride?

Whether Famous attends SHU or not, SHU will be fine next season with some very good talent who will be displayed all over the NY Metro area this summer in various sanctioned leagues playing for friends of Bobby G and Dermon P. But Famous would be a nice get!

St. Johns is still waiting to see what Lance Stephenson decides to do. It seems he was prepared to attend Kansas until Calipari went to Kentucky. Now he has everything on hold. I really feel St. Johns would be great for him because he needs a place that needs him to come right in a play well. Honestly Lance needs St. Johns because it is the one place that will allow him to make mistakes and still play big minutes as a freshmen. Watching him play recently has been equal to watching an out of control dune buggy on the beach. He is all over the place with turn overs, and more. He actually looked sloppy on the court and played with very little purpose the first half of the McDonalds game and a few other times I have seen him. Choose a school with very good players already in the fold and it will be easy for the coach to sit him down for long periods for hurtful play. St. Johns? They will allow him to play through his mistakes!

St. Johns seems very quiet on the Norm front. Interesting to see what happens if Lance chooses to attend a school other than St. Johns. Will they keep Norm who has shown progress? Will they dismiss him and go after one of the coaches in demand?
It would be such a sour thing to let the recruitment of a 17 year old kid determine a hard working coach's future.

So Calipari goes to Kentucky. Well sometimes things are done for more than money. But than again what's the big difference between $35,000,000 and $37,000,000? What makes Kentucky such a great job is the tradition, fans, and passion the entire state has for Kentucky basketball. It is one of those places where the Football Team is almost unknown to the average fan. But Memphis is also a great basketball city with great fans and tremendous support from corporations such as Federal Express. Interesting thing about Kentucky is they are supported largely by hard working blue collar people who love Kentucky basketball and will travel the country to watch them play.

Lastly I need to say looking at the final 4 and all the recent coaching changes makes me realize how hard it is to have a national contender in college basketball. In demand coaches who can coach + Great recruiters + Access to great facilities including practice courts + Great budgets + Great guards with other good players + great fan support = Basketball Success. Now there is a way around this but I will let others talk about that since it involves great basketball boosters lol.