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!


SPK145 said...

Great comments on the high schooler skipping his senior year. You also forgot to mention a prep school that holds classes in a conference room in the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark. But stop the Congressional hearings crap though. They have much more important things to do than this!!!

John said...

LF, the more I look at the Lance Sweepstakes, the more I think they've painted themselves into a huge corner. Instead of playing Rock Star Hero, they should have picked the right place for him and just made the decision regardless of what others are doing. I think he ends up in unhappy immediately.

This Beauty Pageant thing I think is going to really hurt him in the end. Sorry to say it.

LFBall said...

SPK you are too funny! But yes I know about that school as well. In fact a parent called me to ask my oppinnion. Unfortunately the Prep Schools from New England are recruiting kids in September along with the big boys in high D1. Thus the traditional New England and NJ Prep schools are now being much more selective. This has opened the door for the store front operations to satch kids and even charge them to just play basketball.

John the Lance thing is getting so old he does not even look like a top guy any longer. He looks so into who he is. We all know he can play the game but when you make a school feel they are only your safe school, you better go and produce because folks will remember. He should have done this at the McDonalds game. All he is doing now is pissing off potential fans and making folks tired of him and all those around him. I almost see saddness in his future. Hope I am wrong! Talent is there! Pick SJU and get it going. Let them know it was always between them and kansas. Or do the same with Maryland. Or just go to kentucky but be prepared for hard work!

John said...

You nailed it - it was annoying, now it is becoming sad.

Well - it's once in a generation or three that there's a youthful person who was and is and will be "King" (LeBron is that one), but for all the rest, to use an allusion to Greek mythology, they are poor Icaruses playing too close to the sun, and boy, will they every get burned.

Sure, what's it to me and all that. You know - it's a tough choice for Norm and St. John's because Norm is not a Bill Self on the national stage (hey pal, you're on the bench because you don't shoot 5,000 buckets a day, so tough) - Norm is a nurturing coach, will Lance accept the gentle but quietly firm approach of Norm? Who's to say.

But Lance sure seems to have lost his way.