Monday, October 26, 2009

It is Getting Interesting and Eddie Griffin Challenge

Look for more on the Washburn Brothers who are attending St. Patrick's this season. Their Dad, Chris Washburn, has reached out to me and wants to tell me his side of this transfer and much more. In fact, his email response was very angry. Stay tuned!

Eddie Griffin Challenge

Today I would like to publicly thank The Playaz Basketball Club for again proving what happens when a group works together. The Eddie Griffin Challenge held in Conshohoken Pa. was not done good. IT WAS DONE GREAT!!!! Jim Solmon and his Staff put this event together in 3-4 weeks. If he did not mention this I would have thought it was planned over a 6-8 month period. Even my usual complaint of no rosters was addressed with rosters including history of the event. And just in case folks still could not figure who was who, they had names of players on the back of jerseys. OUTSTANDING!

But what also makes this event great is the conversations before, during, and after the games. Nice seeing Fathers with sons watching. I had the pleasure of sitting with two dads and their sons who play for Bishop Eustice in South Jersey. Both seemed like excellent dads with one explaining every single possession to his son in a way that would have made Hubie Brown proud. Both sons are varsity players and I look forward to watching them.

Another great thing was how they kept the cost of refreshments down for the kids and adults attending. $1.00 hot dogs and $.75 sodas? WOW!!! Though this was great, the games were even better as was the talent on hand.

In the first game Philly beat NJ after trailing in the first quarter. I love the way fans comment on young players not finishing or making certain plays. What they fail to realize is these young men are only lacking strength that they will obtain over the next few years. In the game certain players really stood out to me and not because of how much they scored. For Philly I think Amile Jefferson a 6 ft 6 player from Friends Central will be special and a likely McDonalds AA in the future. Played hard and with enthusiasm. Also loved Montana Matfield of Roman Catholic, Ryan Arciadano of Neshaminy, Malik Gardner from Chestnut Hill Academy who reminded me of Ron Artist when he was younger. Also outstanding for Philly was Kyree Wooten of Strawberry Mansion which by the way has a name that makes you think it is a beautiful campus but when visiting is anything but that. For New Jersey Tariq Carey of Newark Eastside did his thing. Wonder what Big East School will not be on his list. St. Anthony's had 3 kids on the roster showing the future is bright in Jersey City as all played well. I have also watched Kyle Anderson for a while. I now see why he could attract jealous haters. Haters always come out for gifted people. It is not ever going to be about how much he scores or rebounds. It is about what he does for others by being on the court. Even at my age I could score 10 points a game playing with him. Special kid with a special gifts. Just happens to be well groomed and middle class looking. But do not be fooled, kid will also be a contender for the McDonalds game in a few years. A few folks were calling him "The Next Big Thing."
The NJ Kids were coached by Marcus Toney-El former Seton Hall Star who is walking the walk by giving back to the team he played for as a HS Student.

In the junior game it was about the NJ Guards and a big guy from Paterson Catholic. Call the Governor of NJ!!!! Close the boarders!!! How did they ever allow Myck Kabongo to commit to Texas as a Sophomore? Are you kidding me? This kid is the next Kemba Walker of UConn and former Rice NY Player. Kid is way better than most folks thought. Who knows, maybe the Texas commitment will not stand. UMMMMMMMMM Long time to signing date in fall 2010! He was great in the NJ win. Also standing out was Myles Mack, Vaughn Gray, Sterling Gibbs (who could be a better player than his brother), and Myles Davis who helped put St. Peters on the map on NJ. But the big guys were also good especially Derrick Randall of Paterson Catholic via New York, and Jarrelle Reischel of Point Pleasant Beach via Germany who was a true clean up man and would be a great pick up for a top mid major program in the future. A huge disappointment was Gilchrist again not participating in a showcase event. I guess all he has to do is hide out and retain his number 1 ranking by default. Personally I think it is like the heavyweight champion not taking fights but retaining his ranking. Is he and his camp scared of how he would look or do? WE all know he is a great talent but come on, lets see him participate against the best in the area. Lastly, Derrick Randall could be special. A big guy at Paterson Catholic with heart and desire to go with good skills. Philly had a good cast as well led by John Johnson who has committed to Pitt already. Again will this commitment hold true? Again Ummmmmmm! Was looking forward to watching Raheem Christmas play but he was out injured.

By the time the Senior game started It was time to get on the road. But as I left I decided to watch at least a half from the entrance to the gym. That's where I heard a great debate by two adults over who was the best on the court. It became almost comical as both gave strengths of favorite players. One loved Kyrie Irving and the other loved Deon Waiters. Honestly both are outstanding! It still makes me laugh how Kyrie Irving sneaks up on folks. Honestly, unlike most kids who you can tell are ballers from the time they enter the gym, this kid looks like he could be in the science club and on the chess team. He could sit in a gym somewhere and folks would never even know he was a great basketball player. Last person like this I knew was Dean "The Dream" Meminger when he played at Rice HS and was a 3 time All City Selection who despite living in Harlem, no one in Harlem knew he played ball because he was always so unassuming. Well, in the half I watched both players were outstanding. I also want to say the big bodied kid, Dominick Morris, will be All Conference in the America East when he attends BU. This is a case of a kid choosing the correct school. Great future there. Tony Chanault, who has been on everyone's radar for many years and will attend Wake Forest also showed why he is rated highly. Tyrone Garland will make Seth Greenburg very happy. Shows Seth knows exactly what he is doing at VT. Loved watching Devon Collier on he court. Brought back memories of his dad Red who was my HS Teammate. Runs floor and has very good skills. When he gets to college and puts on weight, watch out! I guess everyone who doubted Fuquan Edwin are now believers. Kid can ball and will be outstanding at Seton Hall. A great get for The Hall people were saying. I agree! Player who showed tremendous improvement was Aaron Brown of St. Benedicts. talk about underrated? The half I saw, he might have been one of the best on the court. Still remember him in the Teaneck Biddy Program and boy he has come a long way. What makes him even more special is he has TREMENDOUS GRADES and could wind up at an Ivy League School if folks at the other places do not recognize his improvement soon. Before I forget, New Jersey won this game to end the day 2 and 1.

A little bit on behind the scenes stuff. Many of the scouting services and folks who have made a difference were in attendance.

Alot of talk about where kids are going to school

Some talk about salaries at BE schools for coaches and basketball operation people including Rutgers and SHU. Was stunned at what is being paid to support staff!

Loved watching the many Dad's in attendance supporting sons

Enjoyed sitting near different stars from all 3 games at different times and just listening to what they were talking about. They really are just nice kids who enjoy being kids.

Interesting watching the younger girls in attendance trying to meet the players. Enjoyed hearing one great talent from the junior game talk to one nice lady he had just met. Interesting lolol.

Gym was totally full and done in 3 weeks time!

Big improvements to the building from the last time I was there. Place was nicer than a full YMCA.

Nike was the sponsor

Each kid in the Jr. and Sr. game received a pair of Nikes

Each kid received a meal after they played

I would again like to thank The Playaz Club organization for doing this event so well as well as keeping basketball lovers such as myself entertained year round with great events. I would rate this event a 99.9 on a 100 point scale. I need to leave slight room for improvement although I do not know where lol.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Thoughts

Weekend Thoughts

I really love the way the Seton Hall fans are handling the the Kyrie Irving to Duke announcement. I am not kissing up to anyone but they have enough knowledgeable posters on their board to realize that sometimes things do not work out one way or another for kids that go away. If this kid gets to Duke and things are not as he wishes, Seton hall could be a logical destination for this outstanding young man. My feeling is he will do great at Duke. But you never know.

Also it is always a great thing not to knock kids for not choosing your program. Kids and advisors look at that all the time. It shows that the coaching staff and fans have class.

Just read where Binghamton opens up the season at Pitt of the Big east on TV. All I can say is someone might need to hit the breaker switch after 10 minutes to get a cancellation.

I still say do not be surprised to see some of the Binghamton cast offs return to the team in the future. Honestly a few would have good legal cases since they are not convicted or in some cases not even charged.

Looking forward to the big Eddie Griffin Challenge which will be held 1 hour from my Pa. home. Chance to see some very good talent on display. Great job by Jim Solmon and his team.

The Jim Couch HS event takes place this weekend at Kennedy HS in upper Manhattan on Saturday and Baruch College on Sunday. Great man, great program!

Speaking about Jim I have known him for over 30 years. I was at one time his main workout coordinator and one of his main coaches. This is a wonderful man who loves the kids and the sport. He already knows what he is wearing on both Saturday and Sunday. It's laid out already lolol.

Unfortunately Jim is a bit tight with a few of us because he thinks we are not pushing a certain kid to Georgia Tech and Paul Hewitt. After all he did help them get another local kid who attends a prep school. His other favorite school is St. Johns and Norm Roberts with Bobby Gonzalez in the mix as well as the coach at Manhattan. But after talking to him the other day I could hear him thinking even after I assured him I had nothing to do with what a certain kid is thinking school wise. I love Jim and look forward to seeing him and alot of great HS talent on Saturday.

Alot of people are upset with Rick Pitino. I agree it is not his business to critique the Rutgers facilities. But you never know, someone at RU might have asked him to do that as a way of speeding up the process to improve facilities.

Speaking of Rutgers. Even Stevie Wonder can see that the basketball team has not received the same support as the football team percentage wise financially.

I still remember when the RAC was completed. The Nets played there and we all agreed it was the best facility in the area on campus. It still could be if they just gave it a facelift and a new practice facility for both Men and Women. What is the hold up. Jeeeeeeeez! And yes it plays a huge role in recruiting when you are in a conference like the Big East.

I look at a school like a Monmouth location wise, campus wise, support wise, and now facility wise. What a great situation! The experience playing there has just gone to another level.

I think the Playez Basketball Program's fall league starts its playoffs next week. If so it will be some great basketball for the true fans in the area. Games are Weds at Kennedy HS in Paterson NJ.

Back to Pitino. He did not go hard at Seton Hall and St. Johns, in case people are wondering, because they play games at The Pru Center and MSG respectfully. That's a bigtime feel for any team coming into the NY area. Plus, I am sure he said what he did to help friends, etc.

Speaking of basketball practice facilities. Visited Villanovas a few weeks ago. saw the newer facility they have. Nice, but did not knock my shoes off. I think kids are not choosing Villanova for the practice facility. They are choosing them because they are now one of the top programs in America with a Coach who has gained a reputation as a true closer. It also does not hurt that they sell out games on and off campus. Villanova basketball is really a big thing in Philly and the surrounding areas thanks to Jay and staff as well as a heck of a marketing department.

Seems no one has noticed St. Johns has moved up in pre season rankings. No, they are not predicted to make the dance, but it seems they have respect from the other coaches. I still feel in a matter of time they will again be the choice for the top NYC players even if they get the 3rd and 5th best area players.

Local schools need to watch out for Providence. They are quietly sneaking into the area and getting into homes with the promise of playing time on a team that has great New England support and tradition. Glad they are also smart enough to bring recruits in the long way so they will not see the eye sore parts on the city which are near the campus. Remember last years record was done with players from the previous regime. Lets see what they do this season.

Why are we not hearing more about Iona, Manhattan, St. Peters, Hofstra? I need to see what's going on with those programs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hall Pirate and more

Again I will keep it real. Hall Pirate I might be the only blogger who will mention names of those who criticize. I think that is keeping it real lol. But please understand I appreciate your desire for "Real Solid Information." I too would like that and when I want that I read the NY Daily News, The Record, The Ledger and the Pocono Record. The Times is a bit too advanced for me.

There are so many folks fighting to get the scoop on who is going where. They are on the kids playing ball 24/7. That's not my thing. Most of what I get is from calls to me and friendships developed over 35 years. Some guys I was friendly with when they were graduate assistants are now working in the NBA or as D1 and D2 Head Coaches. I still talk to some if you know what I mean. Others changed with power comes the hint.....a certain coach in the ACC who might be on the hot seat. Some guys like Seth Greenburg at VT never ever changed. From the time I met him while he worked at Columbia as an Asst. through the biggest Columbia fan in the world Dr. Ron Kapon, he has never changed.

When certain guys say things to you they are not doing it for you to post. Others send emails and leave messages that I do not post based on fairness to the people they are talking about. Trust me, and many who read this know I am telling the truth, if I put all that I receive about RU, SHU, and SJU on this blog I would be doing serious harm because 70% is not true or proven. Even had a comment about the New Coach at FDU. I never took the bait because I saw no truth in what was commented.

So again Hall Pirate I appreciate you reading my blog and if it is not what you like I am sorry. Hopefully you will find something interesting one day. But at least you love your team!

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving is going to Duke? No real surprise but the reports I received from Lexington Kentucky suggested he was really into Kentucky during his visit. I was told his interest went from doing the right thing for Rod Strickland to Kentucky becoming a serious option. Guess the people speaking to me were wrong. But one thing for sure, his parents are astute enough to understand what a Duke degree means as well as attending a school where he could be in the mix from day 1. Who knows what might happen with John Wall. Plus UK has other top notch PGs in the program when Wall leaves. Lastly, not much diversity in Lexington Kentucky. While Durham, NC has an area that is similar to a smaller version of certain parts Newark. I said certain!! Please do not get Mayor Booker on me. He and Hall Pirate together would be a bit too much. Newark also has some wonderful sections and areas. Last thing. I wonder if Coach K did the squeeze play and told Kyrie they would sign another kid if he did not commit? Ummmmmmm! I wonder if it is true? Ummmmmmmmmmm

If this is true kids all over will look at the Irving commitment and choose schools sooner than later. I know a few kids who are really doing courtesy visits trying to be nice and politically correct. I would not be surprised to see some of these kids just come out and commit in the next week or two. One kid I know will visit two schools that he has very little interest in at his families expense. I would not be surprised to see that young man just come out in the next week or two and decide. I have to always remember how hard it is for folks to just volunteer information. But in the end they will do what they think is right.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


OK first of all anyone who does not like hints or the fact I do not come straight out with my information needs to exit right at this time. But please come back later when I have more substance.

Here goes what I know. A few area kids went to Kentucky for Midnight Madness activities. From what I understand John Calipari did not beg any of them but made sure they understood what playing for Kentucky means and the benefits of being part of the program. He told them they would be foolish not to attend but he knows they have other options. Trust me, he wants all those kids because he knows he will lose at a minimum Patrick Paterson and John Wall after this season.

I will say one kid was more impressed than many thought. In fact Kentucky now has more than a token chance to get him if you know what I mean.

Another Kid also loved the festivities. It is a great thing to enjoy a night like this. Wonder if it means he wants to go to Kentucky or did he just enjoy the time there? Ummmmmmmmm

When certain schools recruit certain types of kids alot goes into recruiting other than basketball. Academics and more important diversity issues. Who outside of basketball can kids relate to? Playing time is important but so is feeling you are liked for more than just basketball. Also a kid from a very nice home and pleasent surroundings are not going to be as ompressed with the facilities including dorms and dining room, as a kid who has not experienced his own room in a nice home.

Kids at Kansas seemed to really enjoy themselves also. Kansas offers great tradition and lots of supportive fans. Diversity? Academics are very good with many Alumni working in NY area who could help career wise later in life.

I would not be surprised if one of the kids visiting Kansas winds up at Kentucky when the smoke clears.

When recruiting kids sometimes the people advising are also blinded by facilities and level of program. It is almost like they are being recruited and lose sight it is about the HS player. Parents also can fall into this trap. It becomes "We Will Be" lol. Parents also always feel there kid will beat out a kid who is a current freshmen. Funny! Most coaches when doing a home visit always do position comparisons. They will never say in a home visit "We really want your son and he will be our 3rd string guard until he is a senior because the freshmen and sophomores ahead of him are fantastic." And when their 4 Star son is a freshmen that same coach will tell a HS senior what he needs to do to beat their son out for minutes. That's why you go to games and take your time. Lance Thomas thought he would be NBA bound by now. Lets not even discuss Derrick Caractor!

Lets look at Devon Collier. He had 2 great visits so far. Honestly it is odd when a kid does not come back impressed. It is the follow up that really makes a difference. I honestly feel this kid will choose the program he is most comfortable in. I also think an opportunity to excel early is very important. I do feel 1 school is slightly ahead of others based on how his Dad talked about them to me. But I do know his dad loves the Bob Hurley style. Bob Hurley could probably make it work for a school really wanting him as will his AAU connections.

I was reminded of the passing of a true hero to kids in NYC. Mr. Cecil Watkins passed a few weeks ago and will be a tremendous loss to everyone in the Basketball Community. Thanks to Mr. Conrad Martin,a guy who respectfully challenges much of what I write without ever being vicious, for the information. I am so glad he reads my blog and comments.

I remember meeting this legend when he was running the Ray Felix Tournament in Corona Queens. One of the first super tournaments not called Rucker. I played in the tournament as a 12 year old with Leroy Otis Young Life/Church of the Master Squad. A great experience as we played in Queens which most of considered the suburbs. Over the years Cecil started Elmcore Youth and Adult Center which has a great gym, and many programs assisting both youth and adults.

Later Cecil went on to run the NBA Pro AM Tournament that was taking place in many cities across the country. A Rec worker, Mr. Watkins went on to earn his Masters degree and serve as a true role model for many people. Rest in peace Cecil. We know there is now an NBA Pro AM league in Heaven.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Tidbits

More Binghamton

As I always say I speak my mind. Today no difference. It seems Kevin Broadus is now on paid leave at Binghampton. Is this really just a stall tactic until his contract can be brought out?

Still a very unfortunate situation at a truly great academic university. I still say it is wrong for him to take such a beating over things that happened away from the basketball court. Things that happen even at Ivy schools and tier 1 universities all over America. I feel the same way about Corporate execs taking hits for what an employee who he or she does not even know does in an office they have never visited. Sure he should be punished for the NCAA infraction. That's a given! But to beat him up over the other stuff is not correct.

Remember when a kid is being recruited by a coach, the kid and his family really are talking to the representative in the body of the coach. In many cases when the kid arrives on campus, they will meet the true person. They were recruited by the head of sales in a coaches body but met up with a true coach on the first day of practice. Well it is the same with players. Personality wise you are meeting the representative. The real person will emerge during the time they are on campus. If a kid has no history of selling or using drugs, fighting, or stealing, how does a coach know this behavior will occur when the kid comes on campus. Just as the kid might not realize the coach is abusive. I know of at least 5 guys in college basketball I could not recommend based on abusive behavior yet they kid great recruits all the time because they are great salesmen.

Broadus has a great case if they dismiss him without significant compensation. One last thing. Mark Macon is a swell guy who was a great player. He will be a very good coach in time. But how they did not name Julius Allen as temp coach is crazy! He has held it down at Binghamton this season and last season. What a slight!!! But knowing Jules as I do, he will work hard for Mark and teach him about the coaching business all season long.

Interesting Conversation

Had a call from a top 10 prospects dad last night. What a talk and sorry I will not discuss what he asked. And no it was not Collier. This parent really wanted to talk recruiting and where the family liked and did not like. As usual I told them I would never suggest where the player should attend. But I did tell them to make a surprise visit to the campuses in the final two without the "Representative" to get a true picture. But honestly the leader for the kid in question will be a surprise to many lol. This family has as good a plan as I have ever seen and the kid will be in the NBA in a few years. Especially if the kid listens to his Family. One of the schools they eliminated would have been Ideal to me personality wise. But they know what is right for the son. Wish I could say more but I cannot. I do know where the kid would sign if he did it today. I will leave all the announcement stuff to those who work harder than me to do that. Lastly, I will say those who forgot where they came from will always have to deal with folks with great memories.... UMMMMMMMMM!

Monday, October 12, 2009

After Reading Carino's Blog!!!

This is just a short piece based on something I read on Carino's blog recently. He had a story linked about two players who played for Princeton when they defeated UCLA. The story reminded me about what is really important about college and college athletics. These two guys are super successful now and when you look back, they were just players on a good Princeton team and not highly rated out of HS.

We tend to put so much emphasis on the bigger basketball conferences and the top HS players being recruited. Rarely do we measure the success of the top 25 players in a particular year against players who were barely recruited career wise. Of course if these kids make it professionally in the USA they will make great salaries. But trust me, those going abroad are often not making alot and just playing to be playing while putting their future careers on hold. I hear kids often bragging about what they are making abroad only to later find out they are making 1/3 of what they claim if that. I guess for many it is just an opportunity to continue playing the sport they love while dreaming of the NBA.

Brings me back to a guy I was friendly with from the time we were kids to our college years. His name is Michael George and he covered the NY Knicks for the NY Post and even covered the NJ Nets. He is now a screen Writer in California. But growing up in central Harlem we always talked about how we would play for the Knicks FOR FREE if we had an opportunity. We loved basketball that much! I am sure there are a number of guys in the NBA and definitely hundreds abroad who would play for free where ever they are.

Basketball is still a game that has become a tremendous business from the NBA to the AAU. But what we never celebrate is the large number of kids who go on from college experiences to become successful in life after basketball. This brings me to the point I am attempting to make.

Why are more kids not looking at the large picture of success after basketball? Why are we not letting them know how great it is to be a Teacher, Dentist, Lawyer, Doctor, Professor, Business Person, Manager, Social Worker, etc.? From the time kids are in 7th grade they are being steered to the think professional basketball. If we got into these kids head right now they would understand the thousands of careers available outside of basketball. It is funny how many of the top guys and gals at the NBA and NHL and even MLB, never played the game they are over seeing. David Stern is running the NBA and most likely never played on the HS team at Teaneck where he graduated from. But he was focused enough to get his law degree.

I honestly hope we start looking at more than the basketball program when kids choose schools. I hope they look at life after basketball and what graduates of the universities recruiting him are doing and the connections that come with them. Lastly I continue to say kids need to stay close to the area they will reside in after basketball is over. This is why I DO THINK KIDS SHOULD CONSIDER STRONGLY the local universities. Maybe one day I will give the local version of ex stars and what they are doing now after attending college hundreds of miles away. I can also give names of kids who stayed local and barely played who are now SUPER SUCCESSFUL including that ex St. Johns Point Guard who never got off the bench who is legendary on Wall Street. How about the Iona guys who all are very successful now. Or the guys in Film and TV who are moving up the ladder.

College basketball should not be a holding area for kids on their way to the NBA. It should be a place for competitive competition and school pride through a team sport as kids work toward getting meaningful college degrees. Remember, no one is guaranteed to have long basketball careers.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Binghamton True Thoughts

Binghamton Situation

Its time for me to discuss the Binghamton Situation as I see it. I have met Head Coach Kevin Broadus on a few occasions and find him to be professional yet very personable with many people. That includes the kids he recruits at Binghamton and the kids he recruited at Georgetown. Having met him through one of my best buddies in basketball, who told me a year ago that Broadus is a very good person who believes in young men and always wanted to provide opportunities to them as well as many guys who worked with him and for him,the Kevin Broadus who I met is the exact person that was described to me.

Though I do believe in the coaches at Binghamton, I must say what the Head Coach and his Assistant did With the Notre Dame players was dumb, foolish, and borderline crazy and retarded. There is no excuse for this even if the incidents over the last month had not occured. No Excuses! The rules are the rules and many college coaches break them all the time including local schools we admire and love. Please do not have me start giving examples including special offers and deals. And many of you know exactly what I am talking about.

In this case I was told that Broadus actually had the rules confused. Still no excuse because a head coach has to understand the rules. Plus I thought there was an NCAA exam given to all coaches before they are allowed to recruit on the road.

This is a very serious situation right now on the Binghamton campus and throughout the East Coast. Everyone is watching to see what will happen next week. Well, allow me provide my spin on how things can be twisted.

Lets look at the charges against Broadus in the press:

The Foreign player that beat the student at Binghamton and fled the country WAS NOT recruited by Broadus nor was he on the team at the time. The previous Coach brought him to Binghamton. Why blame Broadus for this?

Broadus did not allow his player to peddle crack cocaine! How would he know he was doing this if in fact he was? Remember innocent until proven guilty. The Player had been close to a model citizen up to that point. Broadus was not in the car with him. Stuff like this happens all over America and if a kid is guilty he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But again how was Broadus to know?

Lets look at the condom theft and assault charges against another player. Stupid, stupid, and stupid! Assault or was he running and ran into an older women shopping? Now the press makes it seem as if he actually hit the women on purpose or beat her to the ground. He did a stupid thing by taking some condoms and was punished. Everyone knows the assault thing was exaggerated. Yet the press makes it out to be Broadus fault. I guess he knew when he recruited the player from Junior College that he would eventually steal condoms from a store? Of course he did not know this and neither does other coaches who have similar situations all over our GREAT COUNTRY!

I read in certain blogs statements like "he allowed his players to run wild by distributing crack; stealing condoms from a Walmart and then beating up a 66-year old woman; and beating another Binghamton student into a coma in a bar fight." I ask how did he do that? You mean he actually knew his player was going to be around crack and allowed it? You mean he was there and allowed his player to beat a 66 year old women to the ground (Never happened that way!)? You mean he actually recruited the foreign player who beat a student into a coma? He barely knew that player because he was recruited by a previous coach and was not part of the team.

I think a coach has to take some responsibility for the kids HE RECRUITS and the kids he inherits who are part of his program. But to make him sound like he knew and allowed certain behavior is not fair. I am telling you kids need discipline and maybe this group needed more than they were getting. But to rip this guy over things he had no control over is wrong. Rip him for his graduation rates at Binghamton, Georgetown, and George Washington. Oops.....His kids graduated and did well in school for the most part. Recruiting from diploma mill? Every school with the exception of a few would take a kid from a store front academy on Market Street in Philly or 8th Ave in NYC if he could help and could prove academic achievement and passing SAT scores. And just because a prep school has grass, great buildings, and a large endowment does not mean they are not close to also being a diploma mill with 5 and 6 kids in a class up in New England. Trust me when I tell you even the Ivy schools work hard to get kids in who would never ever be considered under regular circumstances. And somehow they find money for these kids....UMMMMMM. But more important most of the kids actually graduate from IVY schools because of the opportunity they received. Just like the Ivy's, Binghamton gave kids opportunities.

Some kids did not do well academically so they had to transfer or go to Junior College. They than transferred to Binghamton. Funny thing is do you think Albany, Vermont, Stony Brook, and others would not take those kids? Those transfers did not shoot anyone, peddle drugs on or off campus, assault anyone, etc. Why not provide them with an opportunity? I know 100 other schools in D1 who would have taken them with open arms. Stop beating on him for taking transfers. Low mid major schools have done this for years.

Now what happens from here? Honestly I feel Kevin Brodous in trouble. Not as much by all that has happened, but because folks are not fully looking at each situation. They are looking at The Binghamton basketball program and at this time he is in charge. Has he made mistakes? YES Should he be responsible for his program? YES Should he be held responsible for everything that happens off the campus in cities miles away? NO Should he be responsible for every ex player no matter what? NO

Maybe he waited too long to act on the various off court and off campus incidents. But when you look at it he would have a good case in regard to keeping his position with a strong letter outlining what needs to be achieved on and off the court by him, his players, and assistant coaches.

Lastly. Vermont was chosen to win the America East this season and it might have bothered a few folks in Binghamton. The person who decided this was the same person who did the article in question. Honestly the article was a good one and seems accurate as are most of the articles by the Writer in question. But my understanding is the Writer was kind of snubbed by the Binghamton staff based on this choice. Thus it was easy to write a story and put a coaches career in question over something that 65% of coaches do when they get an opportunity. I wonder if it would have been written if he was not snubbed! Well, at least HE had the facts!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Getting Stuff Off My Chest...Not For Everyone! Weekend Edition LOL

First the answers to a few questions on the SHU Board. No I do not think Collier would be a good fit at SHU or SJU!! I think he would be a GREAT FIT at those two programs!!!!!! His final 4 looks like very solid programs for him. As far as me not having much substance? What blog does lol. Again maybe I should text kids and find out where they are leaning so that it can be posted AGAIN! Or maybe I should just report what I read in the newspaper or on other blogs and sites? I again say if it is so bad do not read it. It's OK because there is not a paycheck attached and no one is checking how many folks read my blog.


I would like to thank the many folks who send me comments that are both positive and negative regarding my posts but do it without an agenda but as true fans of the game we all love. This includes fans from many Big East, A10, and even NEC schools. In fact a few guys on the SHU board have no problem challenging me and my thoughts. I love it because they do it with no animosity but only to have the facts straight. On the other hand guys like RU66 and a few others work hard to find things wrong with me and what I write. I think it is comical based on some comments he has made such as calling me LFHall, calling me sad, calling me a person in need of attention, and much worst. Even more comical is the fact he hides behind his computer and continue to kiss up to the basketball coaches and program he supports. He gets on me for talking about my connections? Well, I do know a few people should I apologize lol? Yes, I have Craig Carters cell number! I also have Fred Hills, Bobby Gonzalez, Jay Wright, Jim Carr, Tom Green, Ron Brown, Binghamton Coaches and many others. That makes me a groupie? maybe it makes me a guy who has been in touch with guys over the years helping kids get into school. Groupie? I would bet a dollar no coach in the area would say that. And when it comes to connections there is really not much separation in the NY basketball community. Thats why COACHES need to be careful of what they say or do when it comes to basketball players and those who might know them.

Lastly when it comes to fans such as RU66. You are the true groupie who cannot see your teams future clearly based on rose colored glasses. You also seem to read my blog regularly. WHY? If it is so bad or something you hate, why read it. And when you say things about me or the blog you only bring attention to it and more folks click the link and increase the hits lol. I think you should just wake up and talk bad about me without reading the blog. Maybe there is a way I can bar you lol. But than again you could always use the computers in the basketball offices at Rutgers in between kissing up to the BBall staff.

For the people interested here is a comment from one of the most connected basketball/academic people in the NY tri-state area. A man very respected all over the country.


Linc, Enjoy reading your blog & have to shake my head & chuckle at the folks who are quick to knock you on other web sites. They should only know how deep your roots go back in NY area hoops and that you've have always been fair in your comments & sincere in your support of the positve people & programs in the area. Well, it's their loss for not heeding your words with the respect they deserve. At least you haven't been banned from LOL I just came from Ron Naclario's annual showcase of his high school team for college coaches. He does a great job of promoting his kids & cares passionately about them. He has a team that will be strong contender for the PSAL Championship at MSG in March. His connections had over 40 Div I, II & III coaches in attendance. With several BIG EAST schools represented. I was there to conduct a student-athlete workshop for his players & found them to be attentive, respectful & hungry for information about recruiting, educational responsibility and picking a suitable college. I believe the student-athletes of the PSAL will be heard from MORE in the next few years when it comes to meeting Div. I & II requirements ofr participation. As in all things hoops, academics & life in general-"time will tell." Keep talking the talk you do so well at LF, I know you've walked the walk to do what you do so well. Be well & take care! RK aka

Thanks Rich. We go all the way back to that first camp you did for student athletes. Was it called AFBE?. RON is the man and anyone would be proud to have their kid playing for him at Cardoza. When the message boards knock me I know it is because of something I have said about their team and not really personal. This RU66 Guy must be connected to the RU program based on his always hateful words. it is OK because anyone who really knows me will always say I am a fair guy basketball wise ACCEPT WHEN IT CAME TO MY SON lololol. When it came to my son I was a huge jerk lol. But its guys like you and I and Russell Shuler and Rudy King who have to keep it real and say what is really needed. Thanks for your kind words and see you soon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Thoughts

Well it seems certain fans are again looking to find ways to tear down players as well as me on various basketball boards. I do get a laugh at the various names they give me such as LFHall, etc. One even calls me an A--. Great education I would say. Even certain Seton Hall fans find fault in what I say at a time I am considered a SHU Groupie by certain Rutgers Fans. Funny thing is I have NEVER even been in the SHU basketball office, yet I have been to the Rutgers office at least 3 times over the years. Coaching wise, I knew both FHJ and BG equally as well. Though I have known BG longer from his days paying serious dues in the inner city driving an old car and coaching grass root youth teams. He spent a long time in NYC volunteering to coach and help folks. Dermon Player I have known since he was coaching kids older than him at The Upward Fund in East Harlem and Young Life prior to Riverside Church. But I have only called him once since he has been at SHU, and oddly he did not even call back because he was off to a game. He did call back from a funeral weeks later after some mutual friends told him I was looking for him.

Now lets look at Rutgers. I am closer to Craig Carter than I am to all the RU and SHU Coaches combined. But I have never ever called him in his office, nor do I ever call him during the season on his cell phone based on not wanting anyone to feel he was talking to me about RU business. And he has never ever done this! Our relationship is based on our Dyckman connections and the fact I helped him with graduate school years ago. Believe it or not I remain a Jim Carr fan and as you might notice from my blog, I rarely if ever write anything about him. I am sure he does not feel the same about me from what I hear lol, but it is all good.

As far as me mentioning Seton Hall Transfers and Not mentioning Mitchell from Rutgers. Its simple, SHU guys are impact based on what they accomplished at previous schools that were high major places. Mitchell has no track record based on very little playing time and very unimpressive stats from The University of Florida. This does not mean he will not do great things, but I would not bet the little money I have to spare on that. Sitting out is hard enough. But to sit out after playing very little minutes for 2 years at a previous school makes the transition even more difficult. Folks are just scared to say this unfortunately. In fact I have alot of thoughts about the talent at all the local schools but for some I hold back from saying anything based on busting the bubble for some people who live and die with their teams. But trust me those who have watched closely for a few years know exactly what they have and do not have.

Recruiting wise SHU is doing a great job getting into homes and setting up campus visits. Ditto St. Johns, even though one home visit could be a courtesy visit pushed by certain local people. That visit, believe it or not, could be more important than the family and player realizes because SJU really would be a great place for the player in question! I really felt the same about Lance Stephenson who out of nowhere chose Cincinnati......UMMMMMMM! Not sure what is happening at RU based on really not hearing much. This is not a knock, just telling it as it is with me. I have heard very little about the RU recruitment situation.

Well that's it for this Friday. Not much substance, only a few thoughts. I hope everyone will have a great day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Binghamton and Collier

Binghamton Situation

It is amazing how people without all the facts continue to speak as experts about the Binghamton situation. Well, though I know a bit more about what has happened than many others, I will not be able to comment until it all comes to a head. I will tell folks that it might not be what people are thinking and some of the players just might be in the middle without cause. In other words it might not be quite what you have read in the newspapers. And as far as Corey Chandler is concerned, this has nothing to do with what might have happened at Rutgers. In fact it might be just a case of him being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I said "MIGHT." From what I am told he has been close to a model citizen.

I also smile when folks continue to knock the head coach for providing opportunities for kids. He has no murderers on his team. He has no convicted felons on his team. What he is doing is no different from what coaches all over America have done for years.........find great transfers that can help him win. SJU use to at one time be the transfer capital of the East coast. Rutgers has used transfers as have Seton Hall who has two impact transfers suiting up this season who folks have questioned. Now one guy even says they should get rid of the BU Head Coach. Remember when you point at someone with a finger, 3 fingers point back at you.

Devon Collier

I love reading the experts talk about him and his Dad Red. Red called me the other day and after we talked about how successful he has been as a Women's Coach in NYC, our basketball reunion and more, we talked about his sons recruiting. I spoke highly but honestly about every school and told all had something to offer his son including Rutgers. Believe it or not I still want all the local schools to do well.

Rodger Red also told me they had great visits with Providence and Seton Hall. In fact he mentioned how much the SHU staff. especially Bobby Gonzalez laughed when they saw my HS basketball picture along with Red Collier. Yes, those were the good ole days. I will tell you that they were VERY IMPRESSED with Seton Hall!!!