Had a very good basketball weekend. Spent all day Saturday watching hoops on TV. You folks saw my thoughts yesterday.
Sunday was a very interesting day for me basketball wise. Drove to my old stomping ground of Teaneck, NJ for The Playez HS event which was OUTSTANDING! I also made sure to Tivo the St. Johns game for review when I returned to my Pa. home. Before going to the Teaneck HS gym I had to stop at my old home based on reports from James Brown CPA, who is a great basketball fan and FDU Booster. I was stunned to see my old home torn down, swimming pool included, to make way for a mega mansion. And to think I thought my home was nice lolol. Hopefully who ever moves in will have a basketball playing son who can keep the Teaneck name alive.
First of all I have to say the crowd was exceptional! The gym was packed and Jim even joked (but he was serious) that the Playez wants to get as many folks in as possible, and trust me they did. The fans were true HS fans who watched and enjoyed the games. This was North Jersey HS Basketball at its best. The matchups all seemed very good as well even though Teaneck was blown out by St. Anthony's in a game that should have been better considering 2 high D1 commits from St. Anthony's did not play. 17 D1 colleges showed up including 2 head coaches from Rutgers and Lasalle. Is it me or does Rutgers seem close to turning the corner?
First game I saw (there were 2 prior games I missed) was Hudson catholic coached by the ex Bloomfield Tech Coach against Englewood which always has good players. The Hudson catholic players for the most part were young, with a few being looked at as future D1 recruits. Englewood had size and players. Hopefully the Coach is developing these kids better than in years past. He is a very good coach, just needs to do the extra with kids year round.
Next game I saw was Don Bosco Prep vs Plainfield. Very good game with good players on both sides. Vaugn Grey, a Paterson native, for Don Bosco and Tyrone Johnson from Plainfield who is as great a basketball player as he is a football quarterback squared off. Both had good games but I wonder if either are really 1st level high major recruits or high major backup recruits? They both are highly rated but could easily fall into the A10 or Colonial category, and it's nothing wrong with that. I did hear all 3 area Big East Teams are interested in both players. Oddly a player who will most likely never play college basketball impressed me the most. I am referring to Gary Nova the outstanding Don Bosco Quarterback who is a pure shooter and TOUGH LEADER. He will be a great walk-on at any basketball program after the football season ends. And from what I hear he is a bigtime recruit. Plainfield won this game but it was a good one.
Teaneck was next with Legendary Coach Curtis March. Brought back memories for me watching them take the court and sitting with some of the same people I sat with at Teaneck games years ago. Al from Passaic/Patterson, James Brown, Jon Cano, Jordan Brown, the most knowledgeable 7th grader in the area who sat with us as a 2 year old years ago. Great memories but a much different type of Teaneck team playing St. Anthony's. Teaneck played scared and was thugged by a short handed St. Anthony's team. Scared beyond believe. It was not until they brought in the young Teaneck kids including the son of ex Iona great Tony Hargraves, that they even resembled a team. And boy did this unit (as Hubie Brown would say) play hard. I was very impressed and predict they will be outstanding in years to come carrying on the Teaneck tradition although Jim Solmon reminded me I said the same thing about this years team last season. Needless to say it was all St. Anthony's. Side note. Great to see my longtime Teaneck friends, The Glowskies (sp) are now working at St. Anthony's. Teaneck residents now making a difference in Jersey City. In fact Matt is the Principal of the school. Outstanding!
The last game was a great matchup with Paterson Catholic playing St. Peters Prep. Talk about energy and players? First of all how did SHU and RU allow Ron Roberts to leave the state and commit to St. Johns? They needed to get the Governor and National Guard involved. It should have been road blocks from Jersey City to Montclair to keep this kid home. What a player, what an athlete, what a competitor. I am predicting even without all the super ratings, this kid will see NBA minutes one day. Also on his team was a strong and skilled guard named Miles Davis. And not only was he tough, he could shoot the lights out. Now if he also plays a horn.....look out! I hear alot of folks are interested including Rutgers. On the Paterson Catholic side Fuquan Edwin is A STEAL and could be best guard at SHU since Terry Dehare (sp). Talk about the total package? He just might end up growing to 6 Ft 8 or so. Skilled, athletic, tough, focused, quick, team player....WOW! I still love Kyle Anderson who does many things the average fan will never notice. I love the way he takes his time and even plays second fiddle on offense to allow older players to shine. Folks forget he is only a 10th grader. He could be 6 ft 10 when it all is said and done. Plus you feel safe when he has the ball. Something good will happen. Little Myles Mack is a version of Calvin Murphy. he can flat out play and score points. In the final quater he led his team to victory despite the score being close at the end of the 3rd. He is very good. Will he be a high major backup recruit or a 1st level recruit to a place like Dayton, Richmond, or UMass. No doubt he has bigtime ability, but where will he fit in size wise. I hear Georgetown is all over him. That's great! just hope they are not recruiting him for a role off the bench as a spark. I love Derrick Randalls potential. But he needs to be a bit more focused. He is a BE caliber player. I hear he needs a prep school next year. I guess that is why the Coach from South Kent Prep was at the game.
All in all a great evening. Now looking forward to attending the Homeless Classic at Kean University next Sunday.
Had an opportunity to speak with Scott Adabatto, the SHU Assistant who was at the game dressed in a great suit with shirt and tie. Looked bigtime as he should. Also saw Fred Hill dressed in a suit and tie. Big time look. Did not notice if FHJ had a red tie on.
Scott was interesting and told me they do read my blog and often get good laughs from it. Glad they enjoy it.
I did write some strong stuff about SHU yesterday. I stand by what I wrote. But please do not get it twisted. I believe in Bobby Gonzalez. I still thing SHU will run off a string of big victories. I again must say Bobby has fought for opportunities and no one has ever given him anything! He earned it as a youth coach, observer, volunteer, and much more. I am pulling for him. It was not too long ago that we sat together at HS games in NY when he was a volunteer at Tolentine HS. And Dermond Player is in my book a great role model for many on the AAU circuit. Watched him grow up from the Upward Fund to Young Life, to Riverside, to SJU, to SHU.
Read on a message board where a few folks were wondering how Lance Stephenson got to Cincinnati. I loved the different postings and all I can say is what interesting concepts. makes you wonder.
Loved how folks said FHJ and Rutgers would never pay kids etc. That my friends is true. So often when you see local teams not in the mix for certain kids, there is a reason, or at the least the price for dealing with them is too much lol. Funny thing is some kids have no clue. They might think they are just getting the usual. Still remember a kid from a school far away wondering how his AAU Coach and HS Coach and Parents all had new Auto's from same dealer and he rode a Bike despite being 19 years old. Again many would be surprised at the deals that have taken place and continue each year. Even on the Mid major level regarding trips to games and accommodations.
Watched SJU game on my Tivo. All I will say is this was a game SJU should have won. They have to win those games! And talent wise they should be improved enough to do just that!