What a confusing season thus far in area hoops. Seton Hall beats Cornell who beats St. Johns who beats Temple. Wow! Maybe the various teams in the east are getting closer talent wise? I really doubt that! What really is happening is some of these less talented teams have very good coaches and great systems that they run. Plus they play as teams should play, as a team.
Jio Fontan to Southern California? Wow! They will always be JV to UCLA and the Lakers. Plus Kevin O'Neil is tough to play for from what I hear. Well good luck to him and his family. At least the weather is great!
That brings me to the St. Johns game against Cornell. In a perfect world for St. Johns, they should never lose to an Ivy type school or schools that have zero players who were recruited by high major schools. Ditto Seton Hall and Rutgers University. The trick to those teams doing well is winning all the games they are supposed to win and than do at lease 500 in conference.
I have been very impressed with St. Johns prior to the Cornell game. I was not as impressed watching them play street ball and very selfish at times. This was not the team I saw against Duke. I do understand Coaches need to provide some offensive freedom but this was a bit too much. Guys seemed to be playing for stats as opposed to playing as a team. Win a few early games and some players start thinking about the next level and we know what that is. Norm is better and so are the SJU players, which at this time does not have a true NBA prospect. But playing better team ball will only enhance a few players marketability. Lastly on this topic I do understand two starters were out and with them SJU most likely would have won this game. But they were out and Cornell showed what true student athletes can accomplish through hard work, a great system, and good solid coaching.
This brings me to Seton Hall Vs Temple. Not as bad a loss as many might think. But nonetheless it should not have been a loss. The big problem for SHU as they head into the BE season is how they will adjust to better comp night in and night out? Also will they play as a unit/team or a few guys thinking they are all set for the NBA and just auditioning for spots on NBA teams? Hazel is a favorite of mine and a player who could sneak into the league and become rich in the process. But he needs to understand that the team concept comes first and if he plays within the system he will show he is a true team player worthy of NBA opportunities.
I can say the same thing for many other players in the Big East and other leagues. However I do salute Eugene Harvey who finally has it. He understands he needs to make plays first and score 2nd. I also think Keon Lawrence showed he will be a true team player and maybe even a star. Jordan Theodore will only get better. The bigs still can play, they just need to better compete on every possession.
But 1 loss is not the end of the world. They win against West Virginia and no one will remember Temple. Ditto St. Johns. Win the next few and the Cornell game will be a distant memory. This is why I love Basketball over football. In football you have a week to sulk and live the loss. In basketball it could be a game two days after a bad performance or even a loss.
Just received word via David Britton's buddy Rob Wright, ex Texas Assistant and current HS Super Coach in Dallas, who told Jim Couch, NYC Playground Coaching Legend, that the Washburn Boys are back in Texas in time for the HS season. Curious to see if they play. Maybe they will reemerge next year at St, Benedict's or a similar type school?
Providence is having some struggles. I guess it is hard for Coach Davis without the players he inherited. What is going on at FDU? Are they kidding us with that team disguised as a D1 program? This is not aimed at the coaching staff who were thrown into a difficult situation as much as the university for funding the team like it is a D3 program in South Dakota. And again lets not talk facilities and marketing. Heck NJIT looks like Villanova compared to them lol.
Just siting here thinking about Villanova. Can anyone local beat them for players based on school rep academically, facilities, fan support, and coaching staff. Its like for a bigtime program yet in a small nurturing environment. Almost like Davidson being in the Big East.
Looking forward to seeing my man Curtis March lead Teaneck to the Group 3 NJ Championship this season. Do not sleep this team who has some very good players who Coach march gets to compete all game long, every game! A great Public program in a nice community. Watch for a certain 6 ft 5 kid on the Teaneck team who will remind you of Ron Artist at the same stage though not quite as talented. he scares the heck out of opposing players and is a pretty good pickup after moving to the area from the Bronx.
Loved listening to Jamal Mashburn do color on the Kentucky romp over Drexel last night. I cannot understand why he is not swiped up right now to do the huge college games. Talk about role models from Harlem, NY? I do have to question Mr. Mashburn's comments about AAU and Travel teams. From what I remember he was a card holding member of the NY Gaucho's and received all the privileges that came with his membership. All of them lol!
Speaking of the game. Is it me, am I wrong, am I crazy? Why would kids play for Bruiser Flint? He must be the best in practice and with off court issues. He might even be a great x and o guy and teacher. But come on with the frowns! It looks like a terrible experience the way he frowns at his players when they do not please him. Did he really think he was going into Lexington Kentucky and beat The University of Kentucky? Did he really think the game was going to be close? Well Bruiser I frown at you lol. I frown because though you should always play thinking you can win, you need to get as much out of the experience as you can. I sometimes feel this guy, who has great genes from a very respected playground legendary coach in Philly, acts as if he is coaching summer or AAU ball. Just me! Bruiser please do not frown at me if I run into you during the summer. I would not be able to deal with the pressure.