Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Morning

What a weekend in local College basketball! lets start with Seton Hall University.  Never thought they would get off to such a bad start despite losing Hazell for the first part if not the entire season. Thought they had a good enough and tough enough point guard in Theodore, good players on the front line in Pope and Robinson, and very good young talent.  Honestly I am not surprised, I am stunned!  This team should never lose to Richmond or other similar teams. What player on Richmond was even recruited by a Big East Team?

Well here goes folks rolling eyes at me again and people hurling insults. But I have to be honest with my thoughts and feelings. Seton Hall, The Seton Hall Community, The Seton Hall Alums, and the Subway Seton Hall Fans deserve much better than they are receiving.

Lets start with the talent. I still say the talent is above average and capable of a post season tournament. Will it happen? Well it sure does not seem it will at this point. But anything can happen.

How about the coaches? I feel they have to take some of the blame because they have not done the job YET! I say yet because they can still get it together. But what are they really capable of doing? Are they the right guys for this job? Honestly I love the loyalty Willard showed with his hires. He also wanted folks he felt he could trust and that is understandable. But to bring a mid level MAAC staff to a Big program in a major media market was shocking. At least Willard's Dad could have provided necessary stability and insight!  But what is in place at SHU is a result of SHU not being committed to competing at the highest level basketball wise.

I and no one should be blaming Willard for anything except not putting together a better staff. Sorry, just my opinion! But SHU and the head folks are the ones who let this proud program down. Why play in a state of the art building that seats over 18,000 with no higher attendance expectations than 10,000 a game. They should be pissed at the number and looking for a marketing team to fill the arena up. Why settle for a coach at salary they offered when they needed a media darling with outstanding skills to take over this program. This SHU program had all the ingredients that a very good hire could have turned into a true NCAA contender. Good guard play, plus athletic and skilled front court guys, plus heart, could just be the correct formula once you add very good and experienced coaching and motivation.

So the staff is what it is, and the arena is where it is, and the talent level is what it is and I doubt it will be better after this season, so what is next?  I will wait until halfway through the BE season before actually saying what I feel needs to happen although I know what will definitely happen one way or another!

Rutgers is doing a much better job than folks thought they would. Recruits are interested and committing although I am not convinced some are real program changers are good program maintainers if you know what I mean. From what I have seen it will still be about development at Rutgers and I feel Mike Rice and his Staff will develop those players and by the 2012 season we will see a totally different Rutgers program.

Now I still feel they are not getting it done administration wise. Where are the plans for the practice facility? Where are the REAL plans for the RAC renovation project? When will it actually start? Who do they have in place marketing wise to start getting fans out. This team has only lost 2 games and could actually be undefeated at this time, though the schedule thus far is far from a real competitive one.

Looking forward to the North Carolina game this week. I honestly feel Rice will have them playing hard enough to steal the game or at the least be very competitive. In fact I will be stunned to see this team, despite the lack of fire power, be blown out against anyone.

Looking at St. Johns I see they only have 3 losses. Not bad but I expected them to have zero loses at this time with a veteran team back.  The losses are to St. Mary's, St. Bonaventure, and Fordham.  All three were winnable games and the Red Storm should be undefeated at this point.

Well now it is almost time for the Big East Season to kick in. Games against the top teams should be competitive and they should be able to handle the local challenges. If this SJU team does not make it to a post season invite, it should be considered a bad season in Jamaica Estates.

Attendance wise, something I always look at, they seem to be where they were last season. Thought the on campus arena would average at least 5000 a game if not sell out for the season. At this point games at MSG might just be similar to past years. And boy do many of us hunger for the days when SJU packed the Garden and proved college basketball could sell in NBA cities.  

Saw St. Patricks play on TV the other day and finally caught Michael Gilchrist in action. Well, I was really impressed with him and the entire roster of future scholarship athletes. I now see what everyone means by him not excelling in one on one all-star type games. In a team setting he is OUTSTANDING! Playing with others trying to gain reps, he might look a bit lost based on the selfish play of others.

Would love to see a charity double header at Rutgers, The Pru Center, or Medowlands involving St. Anthony's, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick's, another Private/Catholic School and 4 of the top Public Schools in NJ in a 3 day tournament for charity. The New Jersey Challenge! Wow.

Or maybe the 4 best from NYC and NJ in a tournament.  Not a showcase, a tournament! Where is Bobby Jacobs when we need him?  lol

Lastly on a sad note it is so unfortunate that Jeremy Hazel was shot in the arm while visiting home for the holidays. What are we doing about this violence and how can we prepare our youngsters to be aware of the hate and opportunistic folks looking to get to them.  Person might have just been jealous of who hazel is and what he has accomplished thus far.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

College Basketball.......Wow!

Looking at box scores from last night shows either parity is really here or some teams are just under achieving. Lets look at some scores that stand out:

Siena over Georgia Tech

Citadel over University of South Carolina

Dayton over Seton Hall

Those 3 scores were not part of the plan when those games were scheduled. They were supposed to be easy wins and nothing else. Now those games become extremely hurtful in the eyes of fans and the NCAA if there was a post season option on the table.

At Georgia Tech everyone must be confused from the Administration and Coaches to the fans and players. Everyone knows Paul Hewitt is a very good coach, but what is going wrong down there with the close games and loses to teams they should be destroying? I for one think the one and done has done that program in. If Paul Hewitt can get some 4 star and even 3 star players and they stay for 4 years, watch out! he is at his best with players he has a chance to develop. These one and done or even guys already with advisors looking at the NBA are very hard to coach or jell as a team. heck even Kentucky with 5 first round NBA draft choices did not win an NCAA Championship.  Hope Paul Hewitt gets another year to right this sinking ship that is in a major media market and very important to the status of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Citadel beats The University of South Carolina or was that South Carolina State? I would understand if it was South Carolina State. But from the box it says South Carolina! Maybe I need to check it again. However if it is South carolina there are a lot of folks very upset inColumbia South Carolina today. None of he South Carolina schools are supposed to be The major University except Clemson on occasion. What a Horrible loss! People are thinking about all the money spent on that great arena, practice facilities, fan support, etc.

Dayton comes to New Jersey and beats a Seton Hall Team that has TALENT! Come on what is going on here? They returned some very good players who should be able to hold it down until Hazell returns from his injury. I mean they have really good talent and it makes no sense losing at home to Dayton. At Dayton I could better understand because that is a great A10 Program with a cult like following. They sell out that arena and when folks pass, the tickets are willed to family members. Just a great program!  Makes me wonder if I was a player rated 4 stars would I choose such a program over places like SHU, St. Johns, Rutgers, Providence, And South Florida? On another note when will SHU wake up and get a true marketing firm to see tickets to the games. How do you not have 8000 season tickets sold with all the businesses in the greater Newark area?  Seton Hall needs major assistance! Coaching wise? Please do not start me. From recruiting on down there seems to be a serious void. Willard might be a premier coach one day soon, but he has a long climb to get there. Big question is what would be the case if Bobby Gonzales was still the coach? ummmmmm! Just wondering!

It is about that time where coaches at schools start looking at what jobs might just become available. And boy have I heard some interesting stuff including jobs in BE, ACC, A10, SEC, Colonial, MAAC, and even the Northeast Conference. Speaking of the Northeast Conference there is a lot of interest in Monmouth! Folks are eagerly watching that sleeping mid major giant. Ditto The University of Delaware! Maybe Mike Brey will say the heck with this and go back to the Blue hens! I doubt that but Delaware has all the tools to be a major mid major power! Just a great place! I do hope Monte Ross will get it together because he is qualified. But the way it is going he makes folks hungry for a return of David Henderson who believe it or not is an OUTSTANDING TEACHER and COACH. Just did not have the public relation skills needed to follow a great PR guy like Mike Brey.

I wonder along with many others what will happen in Atlanta. No not with the housewives, although I would like to know that as well. but with the basketball program at Georgia Tech. According to many friends down there, folks want change but those who know the game only want Paul Hewitt to recruit more 4 year players to give the program experience for the 1 or 2 early NBA entrees they tend to get often.  And even Stevie Wonder knows Paul Hewitt can flat out coach! but again, they are getting very restless in Atlanta!

High School Basketball

Planning on getting around this season to see many HS basketball games. If you know of some good ones anywhere between NYC and Myrtle Beach SC please email me at In the meantime I will be in NY, NJ, and Pa. checking out games and players. I promise to kept real and tell it as I see it. After all, there are a lot of over hyped and over rated kids as well as many more under rated and under hyped players out there. My job? Find them!

Everyone please watch out for Trinity catholic in Connecticut. Just enrolled is a huge 7 ft 4 Freshmen from Africa with skills and the ability to run the court. I am sure UConn is already there. Kid lives in  Portchester NY, which is close to Stanford Connecticut, with legal guardian. And guess what? his 13 year old brother is coming next year and he is already 7 ft 2!

Well over and out. See you at a game near you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HS and College Basketball

Greetings fellow basketball junkies! It is a pleasure to again be able to find time to give my thoughts on the sport we all love so much. But before getting into stuff that will again have coaches and fans rolling their eyes at me, let me do an official shout out to all those scouting services who consistently get out to games all over the country covering games.

People such as Jay Gomes of NJHoops, Chuck Meeger, Ed Butler (Saw you Ed but you were busy as usual) Robert "Rebel" Boyd who pisses folks off because he tells it like it is and loves helping all the kids, Steve  who has helped hundreds of kids over he years, and all the others who are grinding all season getting information out to colleges and fans. We all know the Tom Konchalski (sp) and Bob Gibbons type guys and they too are very much appreciated, but the other group does it year in and year out with very few folks actually knowing them.

Now many who have followed my thoughts know I have been hard on certain services over the years based on them not actually understanding talent or ever playing or coaching the game. But after all these years they must know something by now and based on what I see, they really are doing a great job identifying talented players. So a special shout out to all of them!

Went to see the games at Seton Hall last Sunday and was somewhat but not overly impressed with what I saw. Interesting to see a video camera pointed at the court in the SHU basketball offices above the gym. Not sure if it was taping games or there for practices.  But interesting nonetheless!

St Anthony's vs Gil St. Bernard's School

Legendary Coach Bob Hurley vs New Coach Mergin Sina! It was a pretty good game throughout but their was no answer for 6 ft 8 Jr. Kyle Anderson! He is so good he looks bored on the court. He was like a giant playing with ants. He could do a;most anything he wished to do. Inside or outside, he did it effortlessly. I still think if he was 6 ft 2 he would still be a top level player. He was joined by a very stretched 5 ft 10 Sr. Myles Mack who has a long way to go to become a good Big East Player! Sorry, it is just how I feel! He does not pressure the ball, does not seem like a pest on the court or a good on the ball defender which he needs to be at his height, and looks to score more than he looks to make plays. Remember this is based on the few times I have seen him play. Division 1? Yes!!!  Not convinced he is a Big east Type yet!

Now the Guard that really impressed me was a stretched 6 ft. Soph. named Jaren Sina of Gil St. Bernards. Yes the coaches son! Remember the coach is every bit of 6 ft 6 or 6 ft 7 so this kid will have a growth spurt. But even if he does not, what a future he has in front of him. Kid smiled entire game and is way better than I ever imagined. He had Coach Mike Rice of Rutgers following his every move from a court side seat. You could tell he was very impressed. Also impressive was 5 ft 10 Alex Mitola who someone needs to recruit soon! He would be great in the Ivy, Colonial, MAAC. or Northeast conferences. Also keep an eye on 6 ft 7 Dominic Hoffman who is also a Jr.  They also have a 6 ft 8 transfer who will be eligible in 30 days and I hear he is pretty good. They might just be the team to beat in 2011-2012.

Interesting watching Coach Hurley lead his team to victory. Not an impressive bunch as in years past and judging by how calm Coach Hurley was, he understands the makeup and how he has to be more patient than ever before. This did not seem like the demanding Hurley. More like a nurturing Hurley who understands this will take time. Big question is if Paterson Catholic had stayed open, would they have beat St. Anthony's based on the current 2 best players would be in Paterson.

Teaneck vs Linden

New Coach Jerome Smart vs Almost legendary Phil Colicchio

This is game I really wanted to see. The new Teaneck HS Program under 1st year coach Jerome Smart. The word was Teaneck had beaten a lot of great programs in fall league ball. They looked great in warmups and thats when it all stopped.

Despite very good coaching including ex Paterson Catholic Head Coach Damon Wright, this team looked like the softest Teaneck team in the past 30 years. They also seemed not to play hard until the 4th quarter. I had heard Teaneck had at least 3 D1 prospects. On this day I did not see 1 D2 prospect on the team. Yes the uniforms were nice, warmups great. and the kids looked impressive until the whistle blew to start the game. It was all down hill.  One bright spot in the loss was Soph Shakir Lindsey who put on quite a show. Others do not deserve a mention.

For Linden it was all about Prigley Mallory and Rodney Sanders who controlled stuff along with the guards who all understood roles. Bad loss for Teaneck who went on and lost to a Hackensack Team on Tuesday with a new coach. Not a good day in the neighborhood for Teaneck!

St. Benedict's Prep vs St. Raymonds

Two good coaches and a lot of good talent. Some feel St. Raymonds might be the 2nd best team in NYC after Christ the King.

St. Benedicts had new coach Rashown McCleod  who will do a great job at the Newark Based school. Talent galore in many of the players. Loved Vaughn Grey who might have chosen his college a bit too soon. He was clearly the best guard I saw at Seton Hall all day.  In fact Rutgers and SHU will be upset about not recruiting him. I liked him much more than I like Myles Mack! I just wonder if he will stay with George Mason of the CAA over getting out and going to a big east type program? Ummmmmmmmmmm. Wherever he goes they will get a solid players and a solid citizen!

Glad to see St. Benedicts and Coach McCleod smart enough to embrace Brian Crawford as an Assistant Coach. Might be most important pickup for Coach McCleod for next 4 years based on Brian Crawfords expertise and connections. This will payoff huge! Loved Tyler Harris who will be a special player in college. His future is very bright and if you watch closely you will agree he will be better in college than in HS. And he is BIG! Got to be 6 ft 9 when it is all done. A great get for NC State!

For St. Raymonds it was a pleasure watching Jr. Daniel Dingle play. He is a Jr. who will choose the right school and be an impact college player. And yes he can play! Just another Dingle at St. Raymonds sent there by his Dad. This guy will be a high level recruit next year. Trust me on this! Joining him upfront was Nkereuwem Okoro who is as talented as Dingle. Another Jr. who will have The Parkchester section of the Bronx hopping with college coaches this and next year.

Did not watch the Seton Hall Prep vs Columbia game but was surprised to see Columbia won by a significant margin. Did meet the family of a player named Dallas Anglin and they were very impressive as a family. Nice to see that type of support on the HS level.

College Basketball

Nice to see John Morton at the games on sunday. What a classy guy who should be welcomed into every living room in America. I am stunned SHU did not attempt to get him back. He told me Fordham was doing well and said when they beat SJU grown men cried. Glad John is doing well and I am sure he will be a tremendous Head Coach in the near future.

St. Johns will be better next season  just not sure if they will be the NCAA team everyone predicts they will be. Losing to teams they have lost to is not a good sign for this once powerful program. But folks must be patient. And so must the SJU coaching staff. I guess it is time to actually buy that home Coach Lavin because you might just be around for a while.

Also want everyone to know I am and always will be a fan of both Tony Chiles and Mo Hicks. I do not know other SJU coaches but those two guys are folks anyone would trust with their sons. Both are Class with a capital C.

Rutgers will steal some games this season. Bank on  it!  Coach Rice seemed very approachable at the games. Not sure he was sincere but nonetheless seemed like a nice person.

Kansas State suspends players? Wow! Does anyone believe hanky panicky takes place there? Come on not at Kansas State with boosters and clothes! Is has to be a misunderstanding!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And We Are Off!

College Basketball season is here again and it promises to be very exciting. Here are some thoughts after watching the college basketball marathon on TV and reading reports from other games since Friday.

Is it right for Dads to put family pressure on sons or daughters to attend college where they coach?  Thought about this after checking box score to see how Ray McCallum Jr. was doing at Detroit. Looked to me like he was struggling based on stats I saw. I honestly feel he will be double teamed all year long and without a good supporting cast his job will be very difficult. On a better team in a higher conference he would not experience the frustrations he will feel this season. Maybe at the end of the season his dad will encourage him to transfer to a stronger program in a better conference.

I watched Syracuse highlights and honestly feel they will be exceptional this season. Yes, Villanova is rated higher, but Syracuse has some serious weapons. Watch them have a great season. But than again they always are good.

Seth Curry left Liberty University where he was the star and a stud player. It was the same formula his older brother used to get to the NBA. Now he is at Duke and coming off the bench. Yes he led them in scoring the last game, but was that because of the blow out win? I wonder if he regrets his decision to transfer? Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side.

Depaul University will not be a major player again for many years. They are so far behind and they seem destined to be a back of the pack Big East Team.  Low fan support, limited players, not the attractive place it was years ago, etc.  As good as the new coach might be, they really needed to open the purse and pay for a super star type guy. Or at the least someone with serious Chi Town grass root connection to the Sonny Cox and Mack Irving  type guys running things.

Freshmen all over are stepping up in a big way. Kyrie Irving is doing as expected at Duke. So are many others at North Carolina, and Florida. But Tobias Harris might emerge as best prospect when the smoke clears. Oddly his Brother, Tyler, might develop and be even better. Tyler as we all know signed with North Carolina State. he could be 6 ft 10 when he stops growing. And he has skills and the ability to shoot the long ball. All he needs is more strength as most young players do.


I am so impressed with Rutgers University and Mike Rice the Head Coach. Regardless of this season, they will be better than they have been for many years very soon. A guy who can coach and RECRUIT! He really got every kid St. Johns would normally get when they were good. Of course St. Johns stepped up and got national kids who are rated very high. More on this later in this blog post.
I still feel Rutgers will steal some games and be in most games when they play at home. So far Mike Rice looks like a home run.

Seton Hall has such an uphill battle. It looks as if no one there is getting it done in regards to signing the highly rated players. I  still feel they will be pretty good this season but might drop off severely next season. Coaching wise, we will see just how good a coach Willaard is. I think in that category he will be very good. Recruiting wise, something that causes an attendance buzz, they seem to be taking good players, but not players on the same level as what Rutgers and St. Johns have signed. OK let me just say it again. Seton Hall needs one or two barracuda type guys who do not cheat, but find ways of getting very good players interested and signed. Staff is still a MAAC Staff trying to compete in The Big East. Seton Hall is a great University that has alot to offer. Not sure that the staff on hand has the know how to get it done there.

St. Johns might have lost a game to St. Mary's in California, but they certainly are winning over fans with a star studded recruiting class for 2011 and 2012. Steve Lavin is doing it without the slick back hair. There are alot of rumors flying around about how they are getting these kids. All I know is they are getting kids to travel across country to play for a college in Jamaica Queens. Maybe NYC is a bigger attraction than I realized. Maybe it is the Italian food at that place Lou Carnessecca often ate at. Dante's?  Yes I am sure that helped! Maybe it is playing at Madison Square Garden? Well regardless of why and how, and I have heard how, they are getting it done recruiting wise. I will say they are pushing as if they want to win fast and leave even faster as a coaching staff. They might be on the 4 year plan with dreams of being in another conference on the west coast sooner than later.

Watched Monmouth lose to Stony Brook. All I can say is wow! Great looking building. As I have said in the past, that job is a great one for the right person. Outstanding school, great location, wonderful facility with decent fan support. I know the perfect person for that job if the current coach is let go. Fully thing is my choice is a person who will be let go from his high D1 position this season unless he just wins everything. Monmouth is such a great job!!!!

This reminds me of LIU. Again, LIU will never ever be good again unless they get a Ray Haskins type guy! What a special program it was under him.

Cannot wait to see what FDU does this season. Will more than 235 fans show to games? Will they win and better yet compete every game?

Iona Coach can COACH. But the jury is still out on him and watching very closely.

Last stance at Manhattan I feel. They have to be much improved this season. Can they? Well curious minds want to know. All I hear is how great a person this Slice Guy is. Great to know. Now win some games! And honestly, I am pulling for him because based on what I get from friends, he is the type of guy I we need coaching at a place like Manhattan. Hey Slice, call me and I will tell you about at least 2 sleepers who can ball and help you.

Georgia Tech...........Are you kidding me? What is going on? Well we know the guy can coach, but sometimes you have to be humbled to get back where you need to be.

HS Basketball

Getting back in shape to get some run with Kyle Anderson next summer in a park somewhere in NJ. I have a bet with a few friends that I can score at least 10 in a full playing with him. I think he is terrific, especially to those who really understand basketball. They can call him slo mo all they wish. But he just might slo mo all the way to the NBA.

So excited about Jerome Smart and Teaneck HS basketball I might just send them a check. Of course the check might not be very large, but every dime helps. Again Teaneck could not have hired a better replacement for Curtis March. He is a players coach all the way! Plus kids will have more opportunities than they could have ever imagined. Even the D3 type guys. Plus I now hear they have a 6 ft 8 transfer from St. Benedict's? I look forward to watching them play!

Cannot wait to watch St. Patrick's, St. Anthony;s, St. Benedict's, Rice, Boys and Girls from NYC, Kennedy from NYC, and many others.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Time To Get Into Basketball

Good day  to everyone reading this post. Been away for a long time as I always am during the off season. As I have mentioned to many people, I do not write my blog to just say anything. I do not write my blog to repeat information that most of you already know. No sense talking about IS8 results because it most likely is posted somewhere else already. No sense talking about who is attending what college next season because you most likely know already.

What I will continue to do is share what I know about behind the scene stuff. I will also share some HINTS with you concerning stuff others refuse to talk about.  Watch out for the hints and they might just be about someone or some school you are familiar with.   Ok enough of the introduction or should I say re-introduction to my basketball blog. Lets get down to business!

Recruitment of Area Players

I honestly feel good about attending a game at Rutgers University again after staying away for 2 years. Spoke with Jim Carr a few months ago and we are back on the same page again thank God. Nice of him to reach out. Just wondering if Mike Rice had read some of my stuff while working at Robert Morris? I would bet he told his entire staff to reach out to all the folks who were seen as anti Rutgers because no matter how small they might be in the scheme of things, you just never know! It is a wonderful philosophy, and one others need to have.

By the way, I honestly think Rutgers will over achieve this season and make basketball at The RAC fun for fans again. I see the place as jumping and exciting. I really wanted Rutgers to take Fran or Al, but it seems they made a SUPER CHOICE with good ole MIKE!  And what a job he has done to date! And I would bet money he did it without cheating, scheming, or anything else that would be unethical!
Who would have thought he could recruit as he has the first year? They are doing so well that the underclassmen on the RU team have no choice but to get better fast to keep their spots secure for the 2011-2012 season. This is one of the reasons North Carolina and Duke type programs have always been so good. Competition in practice, and competition from incoming players!

Well, I will be at The RAC this season and hopefully will have a great experience while enjoying the re-birth of a program.

Looking at Seton Hall, and feeling a bit for the fantastic Seton Hall basketball fans, especially those super fans on the SHU Pirate Crew message board. I still believe those Pirate Crew message board fans could compete for most knowledgable fans in America. But unfortunately that does not win games or sell tickets to the Prudential Center. Winning games and getting new players does that. Unfortunately what I see is some very good players this season winning games but a drop off for the next few seasons unless they step it up recruiting wise. Right now, from all my sources, it is an uphill battle!

Though the recruiting is down, the team this season will be very good, especially if they play as a team. Time will tell if this happens. Still remember the Tommy A teams from years back. Nuff said!

Why are kids looking elsewhere as opposed to SHU? I for one feel SHU is a great place for a high ranking kid. NY metro exposure, small class sizes, wonderful fans, tremendous arena, powerful politicians as fans, closeness to comfortable social areas, very good academic reputation, and much more.

What is lacking to me is a bonafide assistant coach who can roll up his sleeves and set the table for the head coach to act as a closer and secure future players. Folks can tip toe around this all they wish, but if you look at other programs that is just what you see. Of course no one is panicking yet because of the season outlook with all the returning players. But if they do not play well, folks will start looking at recruiting earlier than expected. Stay tuned for interesting happenings from South Orange New Jersey.

So it looks as if St. Johns has gotten some serious kids to commit from outside of the NYC area to go along with a commit in prep school who could be the best NYC player this year if he was still attending HS there. Great job by the SJU Staff and others in getting this done! Looks like St. Johns is back! Wow how did they do it? What did they do to get all these great players to commit? Did they watch a video of "Blue Chip" and get super motivated? Did they reinstitute the housing stipend? Maybe the kids all grew up dreaming about playing for St. Johns. Not out of the question even for kids in the deep south and California. After all, it is in New York City.

Well, again hats off to them for getting it done. Nice to see Tony Childs involved and doing a great job. I honestly feel they hit jackpot when they hired him. Tony remains one of the most respected guys ever from NYC working in college hoops as a coach. Columbia should have kissed his butt to get him back as the head coach. He is and always has been OUTSTANDING!

Met Steve Lavin years ago in both Vegas and at FDU during ABCD camp. All I can say is he seemed like a GREAT GUY and someone you would want you kid associated with. He sat by himself, was friendly and engaging with those around him, and very humble. I know he will make SJU a great program again. Just hope he does it in a way that will stay in line with what we remember from years ago when kids went to SJU and worked hard and got better. No need for the one and done players at SJU. Get the tough kids who can play, and keep an eye on the guys around the program. Nice guys I am sure, but basketball and all about it is your job.

Spoke with a prominent players Dad a few times last week. Dad is concerned with all the recruitment of kids at the same position for certain schools. I question any parent who would send a son or daughter to a school with multiple players at the same position in the same class. It is the coaches job to get players and the parents job to guide their kids to the best choice. A 17 year old kid cannot make such a decision by himself.

Well, the kid in Question will announce this week and I already know the choice, and it is a good one no question about it. I will let those who love to report those type of things give you the scoop on where this very good player will attend.

Interested in seeing how both Miles Mack and Kyle Anderson adjusts to playing for the legendary Bob Hurley at St. Anthony's. Both are tremendous talents. Jim Salmon, Jerome Smart, the ex Paterson Catholic Coaches, and both Dads worked together to make these kids great talents. Now Bob Hurley will provide the finishing touch. I still think at my older age I could average 8 to 10 points a game if I player WITH KYLE ANDERSON lol. He really makes everyone good. Some kids will get scholarships thanks to him and the way he plays. Seen this many times in the past and history always has a way of repeating. I wonder what are the chances he stays home and plays for Seton Hall, Rutgers, or St. Johns? One thing for sure, he needs to attend a place that will allow him to be Kyle Anderson!

I am looking for great years from Newark Eastside, Pocono Mountain West HS in Pa, Teaneck (With a great choice in Jerome Smart as Head Coach) HS NJ, Pocono Mountain East in Pa, and Thomas Jefferson in Brooklyn. Of course the traditional powers such as St. Anthony's, St. Patrick's, Rice, St. Benedict's, etc. will be great as usual.  But the HS scene will be more exciting than in past years.

On the college scene FDU has some talent. Just wonder if anyone will attend a game to watch?

Monmouth needs to win or they can move back to the old gym for games

St. Peters? St. Peters? St. Peters? Should be Ok but always an uphill battle.

Iona has players and a guy who also can coach, even though I question his hiring practice. They could do very well. And when Iona has it going, that gym, along with the Pizza shop down the road jumps on game days.

Fordham has an uphill battle regardless of whoever coaches there.  John Wooden would have had a hard time there. Old gym, Fordham road, nuff said! But great academics and nice campus right in thee hood.

Columbia? They do not even care!

Manhattan? Time for slice to take his piece of the pie. Never formally met this guy but I understand he is a OUTSTANDING PERSON. Now he has to be an outstanding coach and get it done.

Rider? Do they still play in that small 1400 sear gym? Well, that says it all if they do.

St. Francis of Brooklyn? Another place that does not even care

LIU? Will never recover from letting Ray Haskins go!  NEVER EVER!!!!!

Penn State? Think this is it for the current coaches. Still remember that Assistant Coach there being so arrogant when I saw him when attending a game there against Rutgers. This is and always has been, a true sleeping giant! They get the right person and watch out!

LaSalle? The head coach would be OUTSTANDING at Penn State........Oops that job is not open.

Temple is the team to beat in the big five despite Villanova's great rep. Should be interesting.

Villanova is Villanova! Great Coach, greater person!

St. Joes? Where very good players attend to become great players. A great teacher and also a better person. Plus great tradition and fan support. Many kids have lost out by not going there out of HS!

Drexel? Great Coop Ed Program!  Not sure what direction the basketball program is heading.

Penn? Not sure about this program in a long time. But they do have some nice restaurants nearby and a great place to play games.

Well thats it for today. Some hints in there and other info. Stay tuned for more stuff as it develops. Good to see the season around the corner coming our way.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Note On Northeast Pa. Basketball in The Pocono Mountaions

I decided to write this blog entry about 2 months ago but did not do so until now based on waiting for the school year to start.  This piece is about the state of basketball in NE Pa. and the lack of exposure many of the kids receive.

But before I do that I need to speak about Pocono Mountain West High School and its Basketball Program.  As you might have noticed I did say Basketball Program and not team. That was done intentionally and was said based on reflecting on what I said some months back about what I thought I was seeing when watching them play a game against Pocono Mountain East High School.

In that blog post I was totally off base and wrong for ASSUMING!  I really became caught up in the hype of the opposing school based on how they were playing against a true legend in Coach Pensyl and all the accolades always given to him and his very good staff. I saw them play against a team I thought they should have beat and wrongly tore into the program based on my expectations heading into that game. For that I do apologize and this apology is sincere! Anyone who knows me and has followed me on my blog or message board postings over the years know I do not kiss up to anyone except GOD,  or any program. I just call it as I see it based on years of being around the game. In the case of Pocono Mountain West I let one performance influence me enough to say a few things that were uncalled for and definitely wrong with no truth or substance.

So I decided to do a bit of research on my own. I also looked hard at what those coaches and others in the Pocono region have to work with. I have come to the conclusion it is a very difficult job to say the least. And though it is difficult, Pocono Mountain West, a relatively new HS has done more in its short existence than most likely any other HS in North America that does not recruit (Oak Hill, Finley Prep, etc.) or take kids from around the world in an effort to win games. For that they should be proud.

Looking at the program you see a well oiled machine that goes from a youth basketball program all the way up to the high school. You see a well outfitted team with a history and tradition. You really see an outstanding coach who most likely has forgotten more about the game than people such as me will ever know.  From a serious web page complete with bios on players that college recruiters can use, to a super tough schedule that shows they are not running from competition, this is the program of choice in NE Pennsylvania.

Lastly I questioned off season conditioning and more when last writing about this program. Funny how I forgot how you can open the gym and say come work out, yet kids often find other things to do. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but cannot make the horse drink. It is up to the parents to get involved and make the kids commit to what the coaches want. It is also up to the parents to trust the coaches and let them do their job. With that said, if this happens at Pocono Mountain West High School, The Best Program in NE Pa., people in the area will have a lot to cheer about this season.

And to Coach Pensyl and his Staff, without saying more than what is necessary, I apologize for not doing better homework before making foolish statements. You truly are an outstanding Staff and a excellent Basketball Program that provides a great experience for all the kids involved and something to be proud of as area residents.  Now I wait for some hate mail from Pocono Mountain East lol.

In NE Pennsylvania people would be stunned by the quality of players that are under the radar. These kids are well coached and in most cases have very good grades. The programs they play in have wonderful facilities and the gyms are often similar to this at mid major universities. Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Mountain West, East Stroudsburg South, East Stroudsburg North, and Pleasant Valley all have gyms that could easily be on the campus of MAAC, CAA, or NEC conference schools. Ditto the places like Liberty based on size, and Easton, and Parkland, all in the Lehigh Valley. Watching games played at these places are great experiences as are watching the football games on a Friday Evening. From great concessions with very reasonable priced food (like they are really giving it away lol) to Cheerleaders for each team. This experience is something I rarely saw watching games in  NY, NJ, and Conn.

This year Pocono Mountain West should be a favorite with at least 2 D1 prospects and others I might not know about. Big tests will be the first 3 games of the season and the game away against Linden who I feel they can beat.

Pocono Mountain East lost a very good, yet underrated player in Kyheim (sp) Hall to St. Francis of Pa. of the NE Conference. But they return some serious ballers with at least 1 and maybe 2 being D 1 material. They also have a wonderful program and a terrific coaching staff.

Stroudsburg is another team you always have to watch out for, The coach there, Coach Thornton (Sp) has been around for a long time and can match X and Os with the best of them nationally.

I want to just acknowledge the new coach at East Stroudsburg South, Rich Baker, the former D1 recruit from Stroudsburg HS who had great games back in the day against great players including Mr. Koby Bryant now residing in LA. Rich has his hands full but I am sure he will get it done in time. It does not hurt that he was on the staff at Pocono Mountain West for a few years and played for Coach Thornton at Stroudsburg. Just hope he gets a good staff including Riley Moye, who works in the school doing public safety.

I now appeal to coaches from D1, D2, and D3, schools as well as those from NAIA, and the Junior College ranks to come out and see the players from the Pocono Area. Jay Wright did and signed one recently from Liberty if I remember correctly.  NEC, CAA, and MAAC schools should own winter homes in the area based on talent that could help them. In fact Pocono Mountain West has a 6 ft 11 kid who can run, jump, and catch and when he gets a bit tougher could be the steal of the East Coast!

Well thats it for now. I hope people will get a chance to see what I saw initially, but lost site of last season, and recognize the Pocono area as a place for sports achievement!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tidbits on my mind

Just thinking about College Basketball as well as the HS game.

I love what St. Johns is doing. They really are getting after it and going after elite players.

I LOVE GARY CHARLES!  However, I doubt Gary Charles would ever say Norm did not go after the right players. That has to be a misinterpretation of something he said. If Gary did say this, and kick a guy when he is down, it would be totally out of his character, and in my eyes Gary always has been a person of high character. And if he did say this, I strongly disagree because who in their right mind at St. Johns or any other Big East program would not go after "The Best."  That is such a crazy thing to imagine or say. You could say Norm did not get the top guys, but you cannot ever say he did not go after them.

I also know Nate Blue and consider him a friend in basketball. He too would never intentionally put Norm down, In fact he even questioned some of my comments on past blogs he thought was negative towards Norm and SJU.

For the record anyone who really understands college basketball knows that Norm did not cheat! If he did, or had influential alumni he could sic on recruits and advisors, he would have gotten a lot more great recruits. Even without cheating, he did a great job of bringing in talent that Steve Lavin just might lead to the NCAA or at the least the NIT.

Love what is happening at Rutgers as well. Mike Rice is proving to everyone what happens when a person gets an opportunity. That includes ME! He is doing a FANTASTIC job that started with the Assistants he hired. SMART MAN.

I honestly think Rutgers games will be exciting again. Place will have big crowds and the future looks very bright as it does for St. Johns.

Seton Hall is doing well also. Not doing it on the recruiting circuit YET! But I think they will step it up. I also knew the staff they have in place would have difficulty going against other BE, SEC, ACC, staffs based on the barracuda policy. We all know every staff needs one, even if he is disguised as a very laid back gentlemen. Still not sold on SHU having one.

Despite this SHU still has time to get additional very good players. And they will once they win a lot of games at home in front of large crowds going crazy.

I love how folks look the other way when things are going great for the school they are cheering for. Many elite kids really are taken care of when they choose a school. Has happened for many years and will always happen as long as it is not widespread.  Many who read this blog know the real deal. You see the kids being recruited by many programs. You know the Advisors disguised as coaches etc. You know a lot of stuff happens. Maybe I need to re-post my stuff on recruiting and what happens in places like Chicago, the deep south, and even up east.

One day a lot of stuff will come out about a lot of  programs people consider squeaky clean.

If people think players, and often advisors discussed as coaches, are not getting great benefits you are wrong. Could be use of a campus facility, buying expensive tickets to events sponsored by organizations, having many kids attend a camp free despite the players paying for the camp through the advisor discussed as a coach, and much more.

How about the old exhibition season rules that allowed AAU programs to use ex college players for games against college programs and get paid.

When we talk bending rules, many know what is really happening!

It seems very quiet on the Fordham front. What is going on over in the Bronx? I still say they need a new GYM/Small Arena badly. I really cannot see any very good high level A10 recruit jumping to there with the facilities as they are. They will get a low end 4 star guy every so often based on conniptions. But watch the 3 star guys role in. Hard to compete with then upper A10 schools that way.

No reflection on the Head Coach! Even if John Wooden himself was the Coach they would have difficulty.

Looking to buy all the basketball magazines as they come out. This is great reading, especially if done before the season starts.

On the HS level looking forward to seeing St. Benedict's and how Tyler Harris does.

St. Patricks will be interesting as well and I know they are loaded. Maybe I will finally get to watch the Great Mike Gilchrist lol. Sorry, still wonder if he is the legit number 1 player in the USA. I even wonder if he is top 10. He might be top 25, and there is nothing wrong with that! Top 25 in the ENTIRE USA! That is a great thing.

Interesting how reputation allows you to gain a certain status. One scouting service says you are great. They all will say you are very good at the least.

Jerome Smart takes over at Teaneck, and what a SMART MOVE that was! I am looking for great things out of Teaneck with Coach Smart at the Helm. He will continue what Curtis March started and keep Teaneck as a household name in New Jersey.

Back to College Basketball.

Looking for the Garden to rock at St. Johns Games

Looking for The RAC to be ALIVE again!

Looking for The Prudential Center to be filled with fans and exciting.

What a great time for College Basketball! Good times have returned. And if we think this year will be good. Wait until next year

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Basketball Thoughts on Local Teams

What a New Year in the Tri State Area of New York City

It is a very exciting time for New York City area college basketball programs. New Coaches at Seton Hall, St. Johns, Rutgers, Fordham, Iona, Hofstra, and St. Francis of Brooklyn. Well the honeymoon is over as of right now. Some of these new guys might not last more than 2 seasons. Unless the place they work really could care less about winning and establishing a good program.

A prime example of this is St. Francis of Brooklyn. Does anyone at that school really care? Who goes there out of HS? Who turns down Stony Brook and similar schools to attend a school in a building in downtown Brooklyn, even though it is fashionable Brooklyn Heights.

St. Francis hired one of the nicest people ever associated with college athletics. He is a nice coach but an even better person. But from watching this school and program in the past, I can tell he will get very little support. I wonder if the College President even knows they have a team or a gym? Still remember how they treated the old coach who was a very good coach. No cell phone, no auto, and most likely no expense account.

The new Coach, who came over from St. Johns when the entire staff was dismissed, has his hands full and I can only wish him well in what could be the worst job in America! Now I do have one bit of advice for the current coach at St. Francis and any other place that wants a winning program. DO NOT BE SCARED OF HIRING OLDER COMPETENT COACHES WHO CAN HELP YOU! The St. Francis Coach did just this by not putting together a strong staff. He even turned down Ray Haskins for a volunteer position. Ray could have helped them as he did LIU years back when he led them to back to back NCAA and NIT tournament births. This new coach did what I thought he would never do, he went and hired guys he can control. Guys with no juice. Guys who cannot get it done at a place like St. Francis.

Oh well it will be another one of those seasons in Brooklyn Heights. 200 people in attendance maybe. And a ton of loses with no one even caring.

The New Coach at Seton Hall will be a very good coach. In fact that is not a problem at most campuses. The problem and challenge for him now and in the future is getting the stud players to attend as PJ and a super staff did years ago. Ditto Tommy Ameker, and even Bobby Gonzalez to a point.

He has very good talent this season. Talent that could lead SHU to an NCAA birth. But after this season he will be on his own and have to get it done with players recruited by his staff.

Now I feel SHU will be in the NCAAs this season based on talent and a very good Head Coach. The problem I see is Seton Hall has a staff that is not ready for prime time recruiting at this time. In fact who are the Assistants besides Shaheen Holloway? And oddly even he has not been around long enough to establish contacts that will get him and SHU players .  I still remain stunned that SHU would not hire a better staff to recruit players. I am stunned they did not get guys with super connections to join Coach Willard and Holloway. What were they thinking?

As I mentioned last week, recruiting starts very early with establishing relationships. And in all honesty it involves for some schools in the mid-west and points south a lot of cash being spent. Not just a courtship of a player! It might be a courtship with presents, but not just talking someone into attending Big University of America. Assistant Coaches that are hired at schools in major conferences need to come with a book of national connections. The days of guys like Dick Vitale going into a home a selling a kid on playing time is over.

Unfortunately many kids and parents have a hand out for extra benefits to attend certain colleges. Think most schools do not have a department set up just for this? Of course they do. It is called the non affiliated "Friends of The Program."  In fact, some of the huge basketball factories have boosters who handle these requests without the Head Coach even knowing about it. Or at least they are smart enough to stay out of the picture and never even discuss stuff with Assistant Coaches. You would be surprised at the schools I have heard pay, and pay well.

So to not have that big donor booster, you need a barracuda as an assistant with lots of contacts from the East Coast to The West Coast.  Tough guys ready to walk down streets in South Jamaica and the South Bronx late at night hoping to accidentally bump into kids as some ex SHU coaches were known to do years ago. Or coaches willing to walk into parts of Baltimore far from the Harber and be comfortable recruiting.

Again Seton Hall will win this season. But getting recruits for the future will be a challenge based on the mentality of kids and advisors as well as a lack of connection to power brokers along the eastern seaboard.

Lets look at St. Johns. If nothing else they will play hard for the new coach because they know he does not have to play them. In an effort to impress, they will work harder than they have ever worked in the past.

Now SJU did not get the dream staff Lavin spoke about. But in my opinion that was a dream team  of recruiters. SJU might just have the best overall coaching staff. In fact I know they have the best staff, especially when it comes to X and Os.

Add very good talent to very good coaching with a proven X and O expert on the staff and that will equal success. In fact I feel Madison Square Garden and the on campus arena will be jumping this season.

Rutgers has done a better job than anyone else locally on the recruitment trail. And I am not stunned by this. Rutgers has a big time on campus atmosphere despite playing in a 9000 seat sorta dumpy and old fashioned arena.

The new kids signed bring great energy to the program despite having to wait a year to play. Is it me or has Mike Rice become a real NJ Hero thus far. He hired a great staff for recruitment purposes. They have the east coast covered. And from watching him for many years, I know he understands the game and is a very good Coach.

I am going out on the limb here and predicting Rutgers will finish with a winning record this season.

Now again get that gym,,,,I mean Arena fixed up. Think Rutgers did well so far? Watch what happens if the crowds increase and they win. They could become a dominant area program.

Fordham has a pretty good staff. Not sure what they are doing and if they will win. Now Rutgers Arena is like the Prudential Center compared to the HS type gym Fordham plays in.

But Tom Picora will get it done. He has won everywhere. Fordham will be no different.

New Coach at Hofstra.  Glad he was smart enough to get Steve DeMeo (Shocked none of the BE schools went after him) and Wayne Morgan, a super addition. Stunned that Wayne is even at a CAA school as opposed to a place like Ohio State,  Seton Hall, etc. They Might be better in the long run than any team in the last 15 years at Hofstra.


It's a shame how some schools get away with cheating all the time and everyone knows.

What BE school got rid of some Assistant coaches and had a tremendous player drop out and disappear back to his country because the coaches did not want the NCAA to talk with him.

Anyone besides me miss having ABCD camp at FDU? How about The Boost Mobile moving to California? Next thing you we might see is The NYC Rucker League and IS8 moving to Upper saddle River!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tough Thoughts and Message to Minority Coaches Tap Dancing

Greetings everyone! That was the nice part of my post today. Here comes the bad part. I am really concerned with a few things I have noticed over the past few months concerning the sport we all love and adore.

Lets start with the transition from college or HS to the NBA. Has the transition been a smooth one for most players? Does that NBA Rookie Program really work? Are they monitoring players and those around them carefully? Are players changing for the bad once they enter the NBA? These are interesting questions, but a better one might just be does anyone really care? Does the NBA care about anything other than the product on the floor at the present time? Yea Yea I know about all the good will, and special programs done by both the NBA and the NBA Players Association. But do they really make a difference? Are they putting efforts into making sure players in the league do not waste away or waste the money they earn?

My thoughts on this are based on talking to many people over a 3 month period as well as reading articles about ex NBA players who were rich and now are broke, in jail, or in some cases died way too early. Recently read how Ray Williams, ex toast of NY and a guy who made a lot of money went from living in Englewood Cliffs in a million plus dollar home to living in his car in Florida. Now he has to take some of the blame. But who were his mentors? Who guided him from his rookie time in the NBA? Oddly I remember Ray Williams as  a hard working nice young man growing up in Mount Vernon NY in a loving family. What happened?

How about the 5 time NBA All Star who was an avid Church goer throughout HS growing up in Connecticut. His family was very religious as was he. He even sang in the Church Choir and might have played an instrument or two. This guy was such a great and nice young man! His story? He got caught up in the NBA lifestyle! He went from home to playing at a low D1 college and grew into a first round draft choice. He made over 120 million in his career and now has almost nothing. He went from Church boy to hiring hookers, to blowing one million dollars gambling, to just being out of control. Remember this was a GREAT KID who went to church and more. Did he participate in a rookie development program when entreating the NBA? I am sure he did! But evidently he and others like him needed more.

How about all the bankrupt ex NBA players back living at home with Mommy and Daddy? How about all the great kids who have been swept off their feet by slick agents and groupies? What is in place to stop this from happening?  And agent wise, most are in it as a business and that is OK. What is not OK is the players are treated like cattle or something to use only for a financial gain. Trust me I know many, and the majority of the ones I know have done a lot of illegal stuff to gain introductions and eventually represent the potential first and second round draft choices as well as those destined for large European contracts.

What is really interesting is how they continue to trot out ex players like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan as success stories. For every Magic Johnson there are 10 ex players who made money and have very little or nothing to show for it. For every clean cut Larry Bird there are many who suffer from depression, drug habits, and often turn to crime. For every successful Michael Jordan there are many unsuccessful ex Stars working for minimum wage.

Maybe it is time for the NBA to re-think the programs for players. Maybe there should be programs in place for every player with one mandatory session each year at the All Star Break in each NBA City? Maybe the NBA needs better security and a better agent policy? I know for certain the NCAA and NBA need to work better together to control agent activity on college campuses. Maybe there should be an open period for agents and those affiliated with agents to attend games on campuses. Have them sit in a certain section and require them to leave shortly after conclusion of the game. All should be screened by the college athletic department, etc. And to do a contract for a player an agent should be approved by the Players Association and the NBA!

I am so concerned about this based on what  I have read as well as what I have seen. I continue to see ex players walking the streets of America without jobs, careers, money, and often in poor health. I see them using past history to gain favors and even beg for loans, One ex NY NBA darling is known for showing up at HS games that bring out college coaches to beg for money he used for a special habit if you know what I man. And this guy was a great guy who volunteered and coached kids even when he was a College 1st Team All American. We need to fix this system now and not later. It is almost like the Romans and Gladiators in the arena. Great entertainment but at what expense!


A Message To The Black Coaches Association and Black Coaches who read my Blog.

I am asking everyone to bear with me on this posting that is open to everyone to read. But I must call this group out over recent developments. So nothing personal, just my feelings and thoughts.

Let me start by saying what the heck are you folks doing? What is your purpose? I am not only talking about the BCA, I am talking about Black Coaches in general! Why are you guys so scared to assist those in need?

Let me start with the BCA. it seems to me that there is little or no concern about the large number of coaches losing jobs at colleges all over the country. Do you even care or do you just like having a convention to get away and relax and party while gossiping? How could you guys have an organization and sit back and watch many of your colleagues suffer mentally and financially despite being good and decent people. How come there is not any REAL employment referral system? How come you guys continue to look the other way as many of your colleagues are mistreated and scorned for no apparent reason? I guess the old saying "Give Them Positions and some money and they will be quiet" is real and alive!

It is a great thing to see when a non minority loses his or her position and gets hired by a friend the next week. I look at the ex Seton Hall assistant who was hired by another local D1 school when the SHU Head Coach was fired. Oddly Dermon Player, another SHU Assistant, who just happens to be Black, cannot even get a return phone call from guys in the BCA as well as Black coaches he assisted for years while coaching Riverside Church. What did Dermon do that makes a BCA member not even return his calls?  Dermon needs to have a great memory on this because he will rise again and be around players others want to recruit. You would think he would get at least encouraging words from BCA members who are in position to hire or influence.

How about Todd Boozeman? Out of coaching for 10 years by following the footsteps of others he learned from. No help! No assistance! He had to start coaching AAU to stay in the game. Now he has built a great program a Morgan State, a perennial loser in the MEAC conference and still cannot get a bite from other schools in larger conferences. Are you kidding me? Guy is a winner and made some mistakes. Yet his fellow minority coaches never even bothered to reach out to assist him by offering him a job.

Let me show you the way it should be done. Jim Calhoun is a winner at UConn. he was a winner at Northeastern. He developed kids and built programs. But he had a friend who lost big at Seton Hall because he might not had been right for the job. That friend was fired and attended camps all summer looking for opportunities. What did Jim Calhoun do? He hired George Blaney as an Assistant. Blaney is now the Associate Head Coach at UConn. His friend saved him! And George has become a coaching model others have tried to duplicate.

No such story with BCA members! Very few Minority coaches who are successful tend to reach out and assist other minority coaches in  trouble. It is a saying that if you make a mistake as a minority coach you could be out for 10 years (Todd Boozman). Make a mistake as a non minority and you land on your feet very quickly through your friends network (Larry Eustacy).  Bob Knight can call people all type of names, throw chairs, and cuss like a sailor at press conferences and his fellow coaches, especially the non minority ones, still embrace him and are proud of him. Let a minority coach do something embarrassing and other minority coaches will run away like they are trying to qualify for the Olympics and hide out like they are on the $10,000,000 version of that new TV show called Basketball Coaches Hide and Seek. It is almost like you guys are scared to be seen or work with people who look like you! I am shocked when I see a minority coach hire two minority assistants.  They hopefully are hiring people who are  the most qualified and Not just friends. And that is the way it should be! But I am still shocked!

Wayne Morgan worked all over the country. He has a tremendous track record of accomplishments. Helped Syracuse get almost every good NYC player they wanted as an Assistant. Went on to become a Head Coach at both Long Beach State and Iowa State. Wayne was out of the business for a while. Not sure if that was his doing or he could not get a sniff. Where were all of his friends from The BCA? He would have been a great candidate to become the Associate Head Coach to many of the so called super minority coaches. He could have been to them what Blaney is to Calhoun. Never happened! Now he is 2nd Assistant at Hofstra and they will benefit from having him there.

How about Ray Haskins the ex LIU Head Coach who took LIU to the NCAA and NIT in back to back years? He cannot get a sniff. Even the MEAC and CIAA schools which are predominantly Black have not accepted him. What did he do but win and develop a program to the point they had to build a new gym/arena to handle the crowds that were attending games. Funny thing is he was hurt by people inside because they wanted his job based on it becoming attractive, which it was not prior to his arrival. LIU has not won since he left! And most likely will not!

I can go on and on about this and the lack of respect Minority Coaches have for each other. I could also give names of some who have really turned their backs on others because they are and have always been tap dancing and  scared of their shadow type individuals who after getting high level positions became paranoid. Heck it is easier for a non minority to get a job at a MEAC or CIAA school than it is for a person of color.

Those that fall into this category, and you know who you are, need to be ashamed of yourself! To NOT return phone calls, to not offer advice, to not help those that look like you and are good at what they do you in your profession gain employment, and to just smile and tap dance as coaches suffer is wrong.

I hope the grass roots people understand what is happening and realize who are really for them and the kids they work with. If anyone reading this wants a list they can contact me at

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Glad To Be back

It has been a long time since I have posted my thoughts. That will change as we get closer to the college and HS basketball season. Those who know and understand me realize I only post when I have something to say. Because I am not a "Real Writer" and this is just a hobby, I tend to not comment much over the summer months. But again we are getting ready to have a great college basketball season in the TRI State area of NY and Pennsylvania. So everyone needs to put on their seat belts for what could finally be a great ride.


I would like to acknowledge Rutgers University and new Coach Mike Rice. I knew Mike Rice years ago when he was a staff member with the Hoop Group. Also remember him playing with a young man I worked with who attended Fordham University at the same time as Coach Rice. That would be Jean Preliou (sp) who was a terrific point guard who played years overseas and now is a D1 Assistant. Just too bad Jean has forgotten his roots according to many. Well none of that this morning but plenty in the future. You folks know me!

Coach Rice was always a hard working and nice guy. My son even remembered him from the days at the Providence Hoop Festival. I am sure Mike Rice does not remember me at all. But one thing for sure, he has left no stone unturned in getting Rutgers back in the positive light with many people who were becoming very non supportive, and yes that included me. I even received a call from an Assistant I always liked who told me the COACHES at Rutgers were not allowed to call or communicate with a certain group of people and I was on that list. Well, it seems Coach Rice has no such list and is making efforts to get RU back on track. And personally I love it, want it, and cannot wait for it to happen! We need Rutgers to be good. They could just develop into a very good program under Coach Rice from what I have heard and witnessed in the past months.

Though I wanted Fran or Skinner for the Job at Rutgers over Coach Rice based on what I felt Rutgers needed, I always felt Rice was capable and a good candidate for the position. Just shows that Rutgers knew what they were doing thus far.  And once Coach Rice was hired, he goes out and gets a great staff that can recruit the entire eastern seaboard. He has a guy who can get in with many people in NYC, and points going north. He has a person who can do well in Washington DC and points south. He has a guy who knows NJ and PA and was loved by EVERYONE for years and now seems back to his old self. He has himself and the many connections he has established over the years. All I can say is RU is heading in the right direction. And they are getting good players to consider and COMMIT!

Now I will do the typical LFBall thing and question the University about commitment to better basketball facilities. FIX UP THE RAC! New floor will be nice but how about better seating, and sound. At least do that!

Seton Hall

Seton Hall excites me beyond believe. I do not care what people say, this team is loaded with talent and toughness. I honestly feel they could beat any team in the Big East. I also feel they will have a rocking good time at the Prudential Center in Newark. That joint will be jumping if the Pirates play hard and together, which is Kevin Willards job to get them to do.

There could be  a problem with multiple guys thinking money contracts and the NBA while playing. If some of them know scouts from NBA teams are watching, and there will be many days of this, it could be problematic unless they realize they have to stay tight as a team. The NBA will be there, but the NBA loves winners. Not too many guys from losing programs are drafted. Especially selfish guys!

The new players along with the returnees make this team one to follow. Honestly I see them in every game they play, no matter who they are playing. This season could be one of the best in Seton Hall history.

Now lets talk recruiting or the lack of it. Seton Hall is doing a very good job. But many kids want to play from the time they step on the court. Looking at the kids in the program, courtesy of Bobby Gonzalez and Demon Player, many would turn down SHU based on feeling the playing time will not be there. Of course the Hall will lose a few starters after this season,  but some of the young players are better than people realize. And the kids being recruited understand this. At Rutgers there is an abundance of playing time available. Thus the early commitments! At Seton Hall the playing time picture is more cloudy.

I still am not thrilled with the coaching staff at SHU. I think Willard will do fine and so will the others who are Assistants. Just do not see that lead recruiter guy who can get after it like guys from other BE schools will. Honestly Shahee Holloway should tear up Northern NJ and NY recruiting wise. Time will tell. The other guys on the SHU staff are very unfamiliar to me. I really think John Morton would have been a great person to get for one of the positions.

This team should do well this season based on WILLARD and his ability to coach talent. And the talent is there to make a huge statement not only locally, but nationally as well.

St. Johns

Many people are sleeping St. Johns, which most likely is fine with Coach Steve Lavin. Based on that, I can see, Coach Lavin walking away with Metro Coach of the Year at the conclusion of this years college basketball season.

The talent, thanks to Norm Roberts, is very good and close to what Seton Hall has. The problem is and has been for a few seasons, consistency in how they compete and play. What St. Johns team will show up? This St. Johns team has some tremendous talent and a very good coaching staff. Not as good as predicted, but very good nonetheless. They have all the bases covered recruiting wise, and a marketing head coach who will generate great interest.

My first prediction on this team is they will sell out many games at Alumni Hall or Louie Arena, or what ever they call where they play in Jamaica Queens. I also predict if they get off to a good start they will have some great Madison Square Garden crowds, especially if they are smart enough to play Seton Hall at The Garden this season.

Recruiting wise I am not impressed. I feel they turned down a good local kid and very good player in Ronald Roberts who will wear an NBA uniform one day after his playing days are over at St. Joe's in Philly. The recruits they have coming in are OK. I always loved what John Chaney told me years ago. He said for him to take a kid from further than 2 hours away from Philly, the Kid had to be a hell of a player! He said he could get decent kids all over the greater Philly area, Delaware and NJ. I agree with that and have yet to see SJU get in on many of the better local guys. If they are getting a kid from California, I question just how much potential he has because if he was that great, UCLA and USC would have road blocks at Airports and on all roads stopping him from leaving. No knock on the kid, just wondering if he will live up to the hype?

But all in All I feel St. Johns is ready to climb back to the top media wise in the NY Metro area. The Seton Hall vs SJU game should be great if they are playing this season. I know the BE has so many teams they might do something different schedule wise.

Other Teams

Monmouth, the mid major sleeping giant went out and recruited the type of players they always have recruited. Nice suburban players similar to those they get from Christian Brothers Academy. Good luck to them because a lot of coaches are following them closely for reasons we all understand. New Arena, great support when they win, great location, very good school. Like I said, sleeping mid major giant!

Binghamton made a very smart move by hiring Ron Brown from FDU. Guy is a true gentleman who will assist Mark Macon on and off the court. Ron is loved by everyone and now has worked in the coaching business for over 20 years including a stint as head coach at Florida A&M University. Tremendous pick-up! Too bad he is not there with Julius Allen because the two of them together would have turned NY and NJ upside down. Funny how when one door closes (FDU) a BETTER ONE OPENS (Binghamton). And if people have never seen a Binghamton game they are missing a treat. Those games sell out and they are everything FDU games should be but are not.


All I will say is WHAT HAPPENED? This was the best Mid Major program on the East Coast for years. This is the year or else from what I hear. Same guys watching Monmouth are watching Delaware. Great university, great location, great fan support when they are doing well.


Spoke to a few folks about certain guys not even getting return phone calls when inquiring about open positions. One guy whose name keeps coming up is Dermon Player. Sources tell me he cannot get a single bite. Yet the other Assistant who worked with him at SHU has landed on his feet. I wonder why? I think many are missing the boat with Dermon because he brings a lot to the table. He would be a tremendous asset to many programs. Just funny how he is searching for employment based on feelings about a guy he worked for. Not right in my book! Funny how some guys can get fired and be employed in two weeks by friends who are coaches while others cannot get a sniff, even from people who they assisted years ago. I hope Dermon gets back into the Metro Hawk Program, develop some kids who go on to become Micky D All Americans, and remember the way he was treated and by whom. Honestly, those who have not even returned his calls might just be in trouble because Dermon still has a lot of pull in NYC with the major AAU programs.  He would have been very good at Iona, but they took the HS Assistant instead.

Looks like all that sneaker money from years ago is disappearing. I wonder what happened? Maybe they realized running camps and supplying AAU teams with funding did not necessarily translate to sneaker sales or a guarantee future professionals would wear a certain brand of sneaker. Of course the economy also has played a part in this development.

Well, thats it for now. Look for more thoughts from me on a more regular basis from this point on. I am now on my way to NYC to get some St. Johns tickets. Then it is off to Seton Hall to purchase tickets. And this hurts me to say but...................I will then go to Piscataway to buy a few tickets. Have to squeeze into those tiny hard seats lol.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just On My mind!

Monday morning and reflecting on the basketball scene as I sip on a nice cup of tea. Lets start with the NBA.

People are saying David Stern should be upset with what Labron James did with the 1 hour special last Thursday. I find that quite funny because what David Stern is upset about is HE DID NOT THINK ABOUT DOING THIS HIMSELF. Trust me in the future the free agent sweepstakes will be on TNT with major sponsors and David Stern himself on the microphone announcing who is going where because in the future David, being the smart guy he is, will have everyone announce on the same day. I am sure he really was all over some of his senior advisers for not thinking about doing this earlier and hates the fact they missed out on a huge revenue day with multiple sponsors.

Back to Lebron James and the others. Lebron had a right to sign where he wished. I for one am very surprised it was with Miami and not back with Cleveland. I guess when you make the money that these guys make, an extra twenty five million is just a drop in the bucket. All those ex NBA players struggling out there must be wondering why they were born so early lol. I would have loved Lebron James and others to give back to a fund for disadvantaged ex players and NBA employees. Maybe they can get the old Maurice Stokes game up and running at a location such as NY or Miami with all proceeds including sponsor money going to a special fund!

Playing wise I commend Lebron, Wade, and Bosh for all making this happen. But I doubt they will be the super power winning 5 NBA titles in 7 years. In fact I doubt they will win one in the next 4 years. They will however be a sell out at arenas across the country with 2 2/3 super stars and a bunch of USDBL type players on the squad. The real winners here are Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer, the ex Duke stand out who is being paid more than anyone would have expected when he came out of college years ago. When the 3 amigos hooked up together it opened the bank vault for others because on a PR tip teams had to do something to prove they were attempting to improve their teams.

Jordan Farmer to the Nets? WOW! Why? They did not get Labron or anyone similar but they got Farmer! Nuff said!

The Knicks have reclaimed the NY metro area with the Amar'e Stoudemire acquisition. Trust me this is huge and many feel he is really better than Bosh! However please note the Knicks took a huge chance on this one, and much because of the PR factor, because not many teams were really interested based on the past condition of his leg. In fact many say the leg could not even be insured so if he goes down the Knicks will just loose the money the paid him. But if that leg holds up he will be a great addition to The Knicks.

Last NBA thought because I really am not a professional basketball fan but had to watch this past year because the local college scene was so dreadful. The Cleveland owner is human as is Labron. He has a right to be upset and express his thoughts any way he wishes. As a person who has experienced discrimination I get upset when guys take what he said and makes it into a racial thing! What he said had nothing to do with race!!!! He would have said the same thing if it was Larry Bird, or the Johnny Rocket the high flying 6 ft 11 forward from Mars who can jump, shoot, pass, and defend. Do not let the green skin fool you. Special announcement about him on TNT hosted by David Stern.

College and HS Basketball

I wonder how The University of Miami feels with all the NBA hoopla in the city? I would bet it will impact attendance. However that impact will be negative because everyone is embracing the Heat. The University of Miami has now moved down to the B Team category from JV. Even Luke will be more involved with the Heat in the future lol. I do think the hoopla will help Miami recruitment wise. All eyes have been on Miami for the past couple of days and the Miami Coaches are most likely milking the situation to the fullest.

Seems all quiet on the St. Johns front. I still say they are going to regret the day they let Ronold Roberts go to St. Joe's in Philly. But we all know St. Johns has returned to the sexy Status in the area they had years ago. With great returning talent, thanks to Norm Roberts, they will be a great team to follow. But thus far I see no headway into the homes of the elite recruits needed for St. Johns to get to the next level of the Big East. Still waiting for that top 20 type guy to commit!

Seton Hall is loaded! Willard could have not planned a better start for himself in his dreams. This team has no excuses. The talent is there thanks to Bobby Gonzales and Dermon Player and the experience factor is in their favor. The marketing department at Seton Hall should be working over time in an attempt to lift that curtain a notch or two this season and attract 13,000 fans to many games. I for one am very interested in seeing what the Pirates do this season. The talent is really in place for a special type of season!

Rutgers seems to have a very good staff in place and willing to work. The question is will Mike Rice be that Ambassador Rutgers needs all over the State of NJ and into NY and Pennsylvania?
Great staff in place with connections from the south to the north. Looking forward to running into Coach Rice this summer somewhere and seeing how approachable he is after watching the ex coach change right in front of our eyes from being a great personable guy to a paranoid person who no one could talk to and a guy who told his assistants who they could and could not speak with. Unfortunately the talent is not there for them to do much. But maybe Coach Rice will make them that special Providence type team Rick Pitino had years ago. Anything is possible. Those Rutgers kids might decide to leave everything on the floor and steal a bunch of games they would normally lose. Nowhere to go but up at Rutgers. Still waiting for the RAC facility improvement plan and really Hope they will do something soon. It is almost a crime what that place has become appearance and attendance wise.

FDU does not renew Associate Coach Ron Browns Contract!Classy guy who deserved better and got it. Ron Brown is now an Assistant at Binghamton University. Shows good guys sometimes land on their feet at better locations than where they were. Ron was hired based on Mark Macon remembering him from his days playing at Temple and Ron always being encouraging to all A10 players while at West Virginia. Ron Brown is CLASS with a capital C.
John Morton to Fordham? GREAT MOVE for everyone involved! I love John Morton and what he brings to the table. This guy is such a winner and will always be a favorite player to me going back to his days playing for Sol Frazier at Walton HS in the Bronx. John was classy then, classy at Seton Hall, and Classy at St. Peters. Go get them John!

Speaking of Fordham. Whats up with the GYM? A10 and a old matchbox gym? Please! That will always stop them from getting the very good A10 recruits. How do they compete for players being right off Fordham Road near the South Bronx Boarder? Yes the academics are GREAT! But kids love facilities more than anything else. how about 4 games a year in Madison Square Garden. How about working with the city to build a 10,000 seat arena in the Bronx for the entire boro to share? Well at least they have a very good coaching staff in place with Tom Picora in charge.

Iona? Iona fans can dog me and anyone else all they wish. As person who has ALWAYS talked about the great benefits of a Iona degree, especially for basketball players, I still feel they are behind the 8 ball and should have put together a better basketball staff. I will however wait until they play before saying anything else about them. But I will say it must be nice to go from HS Assistant to D1 Assistant without ever serving on a D1 staff anywhere. Especially with so many experienced guys looking for employment. Again not as much a knock on the person hired as it is on the process.

Manhattan? Will this be the year Manhattan returns to past glory? Will the Head Coach regret he did not join Steve Lavin at St. Johns? Again I hear the Head Coach at Manhattan is one of THE GREAT GUYS in College Basketball.

Monmouth and its new basketball facility is waiting for a winning team and fans flocking to games in record numbers. Will this be the year? Everyone is watching and many coaches are very interested in a school that has the potential to be the best mid major program on the east coast.

Hofstra? All I can say is they were smart enough to hire Wayne Morgan as an Assistant and that along with Steve Demeo (sp) alone will make them very good. Now Steve will hopefully not bolt to LaSalle which wants him very badly.


Loved the story on Johnny Mathis in NYC Daily News. One of the great guys in NYC basketball and a guy I am proud to have as a friend. I hope he feels the same way about me lol.

Ran into new Rice Head Basketball Coach Dwayne Mitchell at an event on Saturday night. Had a nice talk with him and think we both see some things different. He will be an outstanding Coach and hopefully continue the tradition at Rice HS that has gone on years dating back to Dean The Dream Meminger and Charlie Yelverton and the big guy Lionheart (sp) who attended Georgia.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It has been a while since I have posted. Here are some thoughts on various items that I have thought about.

I said it years ago and people laughed. I said often that Hamady N'diaye of Rutgers would one day be drafted by an NBA team. Well my prediction happened and despite very little fanfare over the years he emerged as a 2nd round draft choice. Like people say as kids "Told You So."

I noticed that the number of International players drafted in the first round is down from years ago. I guess NBA General Managers are now smart enough to know a 18 year old from Europe is not the same as a seasoned USA player in most cases. Glad to see that international trend end!

Scotty Renolds not even drafted? This might just be a blessing to him in the long run. Now he chooses where he wants to go and attempt to make a team. I predict he will play many years in the NBA and some GM will be sorry they did not draft him!

Who is advising all these guys to come out early? Mickey Mouse? Such greed by many so called agents really is hurting the players and college basketball. To be a 2nd round pick is not a guarantee of making a team. Lots of similar players all over summer leagues wishing to this day they had done it different. Hello to both Mr. Cooks, ex NYC Playground Legends.

John Calipari is so interesting. He says this is the greatest day in Kentucky basketball history! Is he kidding or did someone slip something into his diet coke? He should be called on the carpet for two reasons. How do you not win the NCAA Championship with 5 1st round players on your team? He should have been in hiding from embarrassment. Academically the President of The University of Kentucky should be furious with this 1 and done thing Calipari is doing. Kentucky is in horse farm country and that's just what the basketball program is doing, Breeding basketball players using the University of Kentucky facilities. I wonder if anyone cares that those kids might never be able to understand contracts or function as regular folks when careers are done. To have 4 1st year players and 1 Jr. leave at the same time was academically embarrassing. I guess Kentucky only cares about winning and making money! Sad!!!!!!!

I also love the way Calipari uses the media. He is front and center for cameras making statements and gaining photo opts that every HS player in the country will see. Than he makes statements such as "My Wife says he is like a son." Talk about using the media to recruit for you, he is the master! The NCAA should stop this from happening. They are promoting 1 and done and that academics are just not that important. Honestly the HS to NBA rule needs to be looked again. Maybe it is not that bad after all.

Labron James to Knicks? I doubt it! When will they realize that the current coach is so wrong for the Knicks, and for the NY Metropolitan Area? This guy needs to be in the Southwest somewhere. I cannot even imagine LaBron being comfortable talking to this guy.

How could the area teams pass on Lance Stephenson? Who is in charge? oops forgot who is coaching the Knicks.

HS Information

A very good comment on a recent blog post suggested Jerome Smart was not the first choice for the Teaneck HS coaching vacancy. I honestly cannot imagine who would have been a better candidate than Jerome Smart unless Kevin Boyle, Danny Hurley, and Bob Hurley all applied. I did like Donald Osbourne as a future coach but not sure if he was really interested. Jerome brings alot to the table and will continue where Curtis left off while providing more post HS opportunities as well as exposure for his players. This was not a good choice, it was a great choice.

By the way I often thought about Curtis March screaming etc. It bothered me and later I realized how wrong I was! Ever hear the other top coaches in NJ? The top coaches in NYC? They all say things I cannot repeat here. ALL OF THEM! It is the passion they have for coaching and getting players to compete better.

In later years I realized how wrong I was and what an impact he made on the kids. I am so grateful for all Coach March did for my son and many others as a caring coach who took Teaneck to heights not imagined by anyone. He was far from the typical 3 to 5 Bergen County public school coach. I for one am sad to see him go. But at the same time so thankful Jerome Smart will head this great public school program in future years.

Lastly those kids that did not attend Teaneck went other places for reasons other than Curtis. They were pushed by people with no real idea of what they were doing. They were also looking at the grass being greener. Patterson Catholic is nowhere near the academic school Teaneck is, and we understand Teaneck has issues. I doubt Coach Smart will need to recruit as other do because Teaneck is a basketball town with one of the best feeder systems in the state at the Richard Rodda Center which runs youth basketball leagues on two beautiful indoor courts.

Dwayne Mitchell to Coach Rice HS in Manhattan

Coach Mitchell is a no nonsense type guy who rarely seems to smile. However he is destined for coaching greatness because one thing he can do well is COACH! Guy has been a great coach for years even with his younger Gaucho teams. Parents knew their kids were in great hands with him and he would be a responsible and caring person who would keep the kids safe and together as they traveled to various tournaments often playing 3 games in one day. Still remember him at Milbank after his young 13 year old team had played. He had them all sit on the bench together and eat lunch before heading to another part of the city in a semi formation for the next game. no less than 8 future D1 players was on that young team!

However, I do hope Coach Mitchell understands that as quick as he moves up, he could move down. So in the spirit of Moe Hicks, who always acknowledged everyone as if they were long lost friends, he needs to pick up his head and learn to smile and be cordial to those he knew when he was coaching the young kids. Nuff said!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Lakers Win

Great win for the LA Lakers over the Boston Celtics. However it still amazes me how people use the "We" when describing NBA teams they follow. We have to win the next game or We will pull it out, etc. Great being a fan but where is the real affiliation? Do these fans actually think those NBA or NFL players really care about representing them as citizens of that city on the front of their uniforms?

Heck Nate Robinson looked like a 5 year Celtic the way he was into the games and that is OK. All the players put alot into the game performance and play with pride. But we should never get it twisted, they are professionals playing for dollars and not good old state university, area high school, or really the city on the front of their uniform. Pick a team to enjoy. Follow the team. Enjoy the game. But keep in mind they represent an organization and owner more than the city.

That brings me to college fans. I fully understand people taking pride by becoming die hard fans. Just attending a college for two semesters gives you a history and a base to support and follow. Graduate and it is really your school playing. This is what is great about college athletics. In the NY area all the schools seem to have sincere and very knowledgeable fans. I would bet many coaches sometimes wish the fans were not as knowledgeable. A great fan to many coaches is that person who worships the coach and sees him as a person who can do no wrong. I would bet most college coaches, especially the younger coaches, read the Internet daily including message boards and blogs. I know for a fact many read this blog and some have even called me on occasion to complain or at the least had someone else call. If it was up to many, there would be no message boards or bloggers.

The true fans are what makes college sports so special. Though many student athletes get perks that we know about but look the other way, most people look at them as amateur's playing for good ole state u. Just young kids competing and representing the University!

However to the University it is big business. It is not as much about developing young men and young ladies as it is about winning and making money for non revenue sports, the new science building and university advertising. It is the reason the transfer rules are ridiculous. Schools need to hold on to certain players they feel will benefit them. They would let a bench warmer on scholarship transfer to a rival down the street. But a star player needs to get a Presidential Pardon to change schools. Thus the case at Monmouth University.

Though I feel kids need to be loyal to schools that give them an opportunity when they were not highly recruited, they should not be held hostage in a program that seems not to care or willing to accept being average at best. I look at the Monmouth situation two ways. For the transferring player the grass might look greener than it really is and he could wind up playing far less minutes and having a much smaller role at the school he transfers to. What happened to staying with who gave you an opportunity when you were not well thought of as a player. Now all of a sudden everyone wants you. On the other hand what is going on at Monmouth for this kid to run like he is doing. What made a kid who loves basketball just walk away from the sport to play intramural frisbee at a D3 school? Very interesting! Maybe it is just a coincidence.

It seems to me no one is really watching what is going on at Monmouth. Waine Szoke where are you? I continue to say Monmouth should be one of the top mid major programs in America. No excuses because they have all the ingredients. Great facilities, great campus, beach nearby, great academics, great college area, outstanding fan base when they do well. So what has happened?

Seems from the outside looking in no one is under pressure to win or achieve. I am sure the Coach knows his stuff, But in no way should they be what they have been for the past few years. Does the President know they have a team? I know that has been the case at FDU for many years. Never figured Monmouth was the same. Why build the new arena if you do not care or expect to win? Just build a huge Rec Center for intramural sports. Make it state of the art, etc. After all, with what they are putting on the floor they could not fill half of the old building and that building was really not that bad. I would bet Rider would love to send special trucks to lift the old Monmouth Facility and transfer it to the Rider campus.

Well, enough on Monmouth. Stevie Wonder can see that they need to change some things. Or maybe Stevie is the actual President.

Kids Visiting Area Colleges

Still waiting for the big bang at local colleges recruiting wise. Will the kids now stay home? Will any stud type players turn down the perks at some of those other places, if you know what I mean, to attend school locally? Or a better question might be will some area schools find ways to offer perks if they have not done so in the past? Lets see what happens. We are watching and listening.

Best Teams in Area next Season

1. Seton Hall
2. St. Johns
3. Hofstra
4. Rutgers
5. Fordham
6. Manhattan
7. Iona

I really think both Seton Hall and St. Johns will be best Big East Teams in NY, NJ, and Connecticut. I feel they will beat both Syracuse and UConn this season. Bobby and Norm sure did not leave the programs without very good talent.

Iona at number 7? We are watching Iona very closely lol. Have some thoughts but will wait to share after watching more closely.

Teaneck HS Basketball Coach

I have gotten at least 5 emails from various people asking me my thoughts on Jerome Smart being named Head Coach at Teaneck HS.

I have known Jerome for many years from a distance. Never had much to say to him since Jimmy Solmon was my real contact and a person I spoke with often. But from what I have seen Coach Smart is very impressive. I never even considered him as a candidate when we were trying to figure out who would get the position. We thought it would be the ex Bloomfield Tech guy and that excited many of us. We thought it would be Donald Osbourne the Dwight Morrow girls coach and that also was an exciting thought because this guy will be legendary one day. We even felt the job could go to a college assistant. But no one even thought about Jerome Smart.

One thing we all wanted was a guy who could continue and expand on what Curtis March did at Teaneck. He made Teaneck HS a state wide name and one that college recruiter respected. Teaneck, a middle class community was the first school district in America to voluntarily integrate it's school district many years ago, always had good teams. When Coach March took over they became a GOOD PROGRAM with many kids going to D1 and D2 schools after Teaneck. They also won State and sectional titles and were regulars on state top 20 lists. We were scared that Teaneck would just name a care taker of the program, or someone who would not put time and effort into keeping the program on at least the level it is currently on.

To our surprise Jerome Smart is named the Head Coach. And WHAT A GREAT SURPRISE IT WAS. I say it was an OUTSTANDING CHOICE, and Teaneck really hit a home run with this. Yes a Home run!!!!!!!! Jerome will do all that Curtis did and maybe more based on college contacts, AAU contacts, style of play, level of competition, schedule they eventually play, and placement of kids in college. I am so excited I might have to move back and get my grandson Logan to enroll in 14 years since Danny Hurley is no longer at St. Benedict's.

If you watch Coach Smart coach his all star 17 and under Playaz teams you will notice a fairness and loyalty factor. You will see a bunch of kids who respect him and want to play for him. It will be no different at Teaneck. This guy is loved but more importantly admired. The days of kids running off to the Catholic schools could be over. Teaneck will continue in the great tradition of Curtis March and remain a serious state contender.