I know a few people might be upset with what I have to say. But as I always say, I give it to you as I see it which is straight with no chaser! So Seton Hall Fans, HS Basketball Followers, Street Agents, and others, this blog is dedicated to you!
Lets start with the huge Seton Hall game against West Virginia on Saturday. Because I could not get to the game I watched from the front row in my home from a couch reserved seat. I say front row because I had 5 basketball junkie friends over watching with me.
The atmosphere at The Prudential Center seemed outstanding. Enough for any HS recruit at the game to be totally impressed. I was even ready to send in my letter of intent after seeing such a turnout. But than the game started and boy was I disappointed. Not because they lost the game. Heck Seton Hall played a close game against a team that was rated higher than they were. Let me explain why I was so frustrated. I really feel SHU is NCAA bound this season, but to get there they must hold the home court advantage and win the big games at home. What I saw was not the team I expected. Let me explain further.
Starting with Herb Pope this team did not seem ready to play. I watched this guy play when he was in HS. And to be honest, this was not the kid I saw. I saw a guy playing on his name without bringing his game. Are you kidding me with all those missed free throws? That just says to me he was not ready to play. It also shows he had no legs. How can you be a power player and not shoot at least 65% from the FT line? Wilt Chamberlain shot free throws better when he played! Shag could give him lessons! It was almost like he had been out on a date the evening before the game......if you know what I mean lol. What a disappointment based on expectations!
Mitchell seemed over his head against West Virgina. What was that about? He looked weak and unsure.
Hazell played a great game when hitting shots. But some of the shots he missed early had us thinking he was shooting his way to Europe as opposed to the NBA. However when he made the shots, which were still questionable, he looked great. I guess SHU will live and die with his shot selection this season.
The guards did OK even though they could have stepped it up better statistics wise. Not mad at Keon or Jordan for effort. They will play better.
The bigs on SHU looked almost out of shape. In fact, Pope and others looked like they had McDonald's strength if you know what I mean. I could have swore Pope was not that big at his last school. They must get in better game shape. And if any of those guys who are not seniors think they will be in the NBA next season, they are mistaken.
Lastly on Seton Hall. I like the dribble drive kick it out system. But I also like something a bit more structured for when things are not working. I felt man to man match-up wise, the smart money would be on Seton Hall on this day based on injuries and the WVU starting center out. And if they hit free throws I would be right. I also must question the fact so many guys play during the game. It will be hard to get into a flow when you play guys because you feel you have to. Only certain programs like Duke and North Carolina can have so many talented players on a roster and win because the HS AA types on the bench understand their day is coming in the future.
Finally. I loved what I saw in Robinson and Hall. They will be great for SHU this season and even better next season!
Went to see Teaneck HS play Kennedy HS in the Playez tournament at Patterson Catholic HS in Paterson NJ. While there it occurred to me that what they need in Patterson is an all Paterson Tournament with Paterson Eastside, Paterson Kennedy, Paterson Catholic, and one different outside team each season. Maybe a Dematha, NYC Lincoln, etc. Call it the Mayors Cup! Place would be packed and maybe a portion of the proceeds could go to charity.
Well back to the game. Sorry to say Teaneck was the better team but lost because they did not have a leader on the court. I was stunned to see the Teaneck guards fumbling with the ball and sliding and pushing off when pressured. I even had to close my eyes on a few occasions. Please do not get it wrong. Every Teaneck player including all the guards had game! They could really play! They just were lacking that 5 point, 6 assist guy who would be the glue. I was very surprised a program such as this did not have a freshmen, or sophomore guard on the JV or Freshmen team to bring up to handle this. I was also stunned to see Coach Curtis March, one of the best in the entire state and usually a dapper dresser coach the game in worn and old looking jeans and a faded blue t-shirt. Come on Curtis you are better than that! I remember when you made the kids wear ties to games with jackets.
Lastly, for a $10 entry fee I thought they could have provided free programs at least to the adult paying customers. But everyone knows I am a Jimmy/Playez fan so I will not be too hard on them lol.
Momentum is building for the Fran back to college coaching push. Many people in the NY Metro area are hoping he takes a job.......if one happens to develop. I have not spoken to him but hope to run into him at a game. I for one sure hopes he gets back in it! Ditto Tim Welsh who is really interested in the Fordham job according to my sources. If he or Fran get back in the mix, watch out because it will be fireworks in local basketball and recruiting circles.
Have to talk about Northeast Pennsylvania HS Basketball. I went to a game at a local HS a week ago and could not believe my eyes at the new gym they had built. I am talking state of the art 2500-3000 seats and scoreboards better than most colleges. Here is the problem. The Team is horrible! I cannot even remember who was coaching and the talent was like a NJ or NY 8th grade team. I cannot understand why coaches in that area do not develop the talent better. Tall kids who look like they are touching a basketball for the first time. All the 5 schools in this area minus 1 (Stroudsburg) have great facilities that could put college gyms to shame. I forgot to say at that grand opening of the new gym, about 130 people were in the stands.
OK it is confirmed the Washburn Boys are back in Texas. Never knew folks in Texas were reading my blog. Received a call on Sunday confirming what I had written. Person is well connected and even said the older boy could be a 2 years a done player!