Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fans and More

"Fred Hill Must Go" they are saying again after a short love fest in Piscataway NJ, home of the Rutgers University Basketball program. "Norm Must Go" they are saying in Jamaica Estates NY, home of the St. Johns University Basketball program. In Newark NJ there are whispers from many fans that they too want change based on recent efforts and losses.

Down at Monmouth some fans are hoping for a change. Ar FDU in North Jersey a Change will most likely come. Over at Manhattan it is a possibility that change could occur. How about at Marist where they have 1 win ala Siena from years ago when they fired the coach at the time Rob Lanier. Lets hop over to Brooklyn where St. Francis is not really getting it done but you never know what will happen there based on Brooklyn CHSAA politics. although Nash is a Class guy doing the best he can with very limited resources and a real lack of a true campus.

I cannot remember ever seeing NY/NJ area basketball so down and fans so ready for change. The odd thing is I really feel folks might be jumping the gun a bit soon but that is why we are fans and not ADs. Hopefully ADs at these schools do not read message boards although I do know at least 3 from schools mentioned that do. I hope the ADs involved are not listening just to disgruntled fans, but are looking at where each program was last season and the season prior to that and comparing those seasons to where their programs are at the present.

Now before folks start saying I am such a flip flop guy, they should step back and re-read many of my posts. I have always attempted to keep my thoughts positive as possible with the exception when it came to the treatment of kids I felt were being jerked around. And no that never included Keating lol. I just thought he could have gotten 7 minutes a game even as a recruited walk on based on the lack of a true PG at RU. I know I would put him up against a certain RU PG right now! I try to keep it real and positive even though I might not be a fan of the person personality wise. This is the reason I say the following.

I am a Fan! It is addictive and my personality is affected! Yes being a fan of college basketball can make your mood swing in many different directions. Maybe there is a need for a doctors prescription or over the counter medication. Regardless, being a Fan can make you lose your temper, be impatient, unforgiving, opinionated, and even a know it all! If you are wondering, yes I fall into Fan category with some of the symptoms mentioned. So do many others, especially those that cheer for certain teams and live and die with every win and loss.

Certain Fans want all the coaches from the programs I mentioned terminated by any means necessary Forget about budgets, Forget about commitment. Forget about a lack of great available head coaches. That is unless you are ready to pay a guy over a million plus with extra attendance and performance incentives as well as large camp money with area endorsement deals. Of course I am talking the Big East programs. For those not in the BE, the coaches also need better compensation and definitely a commitment to basketball with facility improvement and a marketing plan. Something most do not have. Especially the market plans to attract and develop a true fan base. People who do marketing at Binghamton should definitely be contacted , especially based on turmoil with the program there. And even with the turmoil and missing the entire starting team, they still get close to sell out crowds every home game.

Now where does that leave us as Fans? well this fan has some thoughts on this. I really feel Rutgers has shown alot of improvement. I think Fred Hill has shown patience with players and has really set the team on the right course. They won 5 of 6 Big East games prior to the UConn loss. In a bad year UConn is a top tier program with the support of an ENTIRE STATE, and unlimited resources. YES UNLIMITED! As does West Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, and a few others have. Please do not let those silly reports fool you regarding basketball budgets, That's only the money on paper. Not the money from many other sources. This is not a bad thing for them. It is a bad thing for those who have to compete against them with much less resources. It is the reason you will never see a top 5 type talent at a local school since St. Johns dropped the living stipend.

Local Big East teams face challenges you would not believe when it comes to recruiting. Does anyone really think the Number 1 10th grader in America, who is 6 ft 11 265 will really consider Rutgers? That was Jeri Quinn throwing RU a bone based on what they were going through at the time. This is not a RU knock. It is just me telling it like it is. Rutgers, SHU, and SJU are really using pea shooters to fight recruiting battles with guys using tanks. So to get around this the area teams need to be patient and continue to build solid programs by developing kids like the big fella at Rutgers who is a definite NBA 2nd round selection right now.

St. Johns, SHU and Rutgers needs to be a bit more patient when it comes to coaches. Yes I said it! And it is something I might not have said 2 months ago. Not sure if anyone else can make a difference at either school. And those looking to get rid of Bobby Gonzales remain way off base. If he is let go in the next two years it would be cause for a major investigation and really put the SHU program 10 steps back. I still think he needs to check his personality and management style with his coaches. More on that at another time. But he is the face of SHU basketball and it is more a good thing than bad thing. Rutgers wins 5 of 7 and some fans are back crying. They lost to UConn, not Southern Conn. State University. Not even to Central Conn., or The University of Hartford. Was this a horrible loss? Heck no! especially coming after winning 5 of 6 including Georgetown. St. Johns beats South Florida which is an improved team. St. Johns and Norm will be so much better based on addition and subtraction in the future.

The local teams from smaller conferences are also struggling but competing. Looking at Manhattan is interesting because the guy there is in such demand as an assistant he might have taken a pay cut to become a Head Coach. If he lost his job he would most likely make more money. Alot of people are waiting to go after him if this happens. Even if it does not happen, he must get feelers every week. Marist is interesting as well. My gut is he gets another year. But it has to be a huge improvement. FDU? Please!!!! Waste of energy and space (The Gym.....Not an Arena). Monmouth? Everything going for them except a winning team. This should be Siena South based on program potential. Kind of place where every year should be a very good year. St. Francis? Brian Nash might as well be signed for life. This is the kind of job a person takes as a stepping stone. Ditto FDU, St. Peters, Siena, Manhattan, LIU, etc. They play to get beat within the first two rounds of the NCAA. Monmouth on the other hand could be that perfect job based on location, fans, and new facilities. Same with Delaware where a change could occur as well.But a new day might just be needed. But it seems like the coach at Monmouth has a lifetime contract. Besides he really is a good coach. Just a matter of time..

Hats off to Kevin Willard at Iona. He has brought that program back to life. But I doubt he is ready for a BE Head Coaching job...............yet!

I still feel St. Patrick's has been screwed

Bergen Jamboree? Teaneck are you kidding me. a 26 to 25 loss? I hope the Slick Hair One who is coaching at a new school gets serious consideration for the open position as Boys Basketball Coach. I also hope the 2 D1 Assistants interested get an interview. I also hope a buddy who was a D1 Assistant is considered. GREAT JOB and one they unfortunately cannot fill from inside based on magnitude and potential of the program.

Half Hollow Hills? They are the number 1 HS Program in New York State right now. Just shows what can happen with 3 great HS players and a few guys who accept their roles.

I still feel St. Anthony's could beat Patterson Catholic even though PC has the better players. Than again I might be wrong because the players at PC are tough and accepting of their roles. Especially Kyle Anderson. I still love his game and would love to just play one pick up game with him this summer to relive my park glory because I know I could score 14 in the park playing with him lol. Pass from Anderson to LF for two and I trot back up court with my thumbs up lol. Please do not let this kids lack of super stats fool you. he is just allowing his older teammates to get off! PC vs St. Anthony would be a game I would attend.

Speaking of Paterson Catholic. can someone donate enough money to have that floor done this summer? Wow!!! In past years Nike or Adidas would do this.

Jim Ring of JFK HS in Patterson NJ? say what you want, but he just Wins, Wins, and Wins every year despite not getting all the good players in his district. Love the way his young son has grown up to look just like him on the Kennedy bench.

have a great week and attend a game in your area and cheer and not jeer those involved. I know I will. Yes Curtis march I have learned my lesson lol.


SPK145 said...

Gonzo as the face of SHU basketball is the reason I want nothing more to do with SHU basketball. And to think all the calls I made to former players, SHU Board of Regents, and leading NJ politicians to get him hired. Big mistake, even if we somehow make the NCAA's this year. I'm embarassed by what goes on with him and his cronies.

You sound like a Vitale clone standing up for all of these coaches that don't deserve it. Self-serving, egotistical, arrogant jerks. They are already overpaid in the scheme of things. This is basketball, a recreational sport, not life or death.

LFBall said...

Steve you know I respect you and really understand where you are coming from. The problem I have is who could you get that is better? Some mid major guy who wins in a conference of 2500 seat gyms where the average attendance is 1200 a game? Or a guy who wins against D1 teams that should be D2 programs if not D3? You can do alot worst than Bobby Gonzales. When you tell me Seth Greenburg ios ready for a school like Seton Hall, I will understand better.

Rumors are going around that changes will be coming in large ways coaching wise at area schools. I honestly feel Rutgers, St. Johns, and SHU are taking steps in the right direction. Problem for you is SHU really has been better than the two others in the past few years so the bar is set higher for you.

In regards to the other coaches.I am sure Fred Hill and Jim Carr are not thinking about me because I am not important. But I would bet when and if they do it is with hate lol. But fair is fair and RU has improved somewhat as has SJU.

The game Tuesday will be HUGE! A SHU win could be serious in more ways than 1. And a SJU win could harm SHU because I am sure the AD at SHU just needs an excuse.

Dick Vitale..........Please! Though he is entertaining lol. I want to be like Jerry Walker in your eyes lol! He is your version of my Gene Marshall.

SPK145 said...

I'm tired of hearing about overpaid, excuse-making coaches. I'm tired of hearing about pampered, spoiled players.

The team, the players, the coaches, the AD are all interchangeable and replaceable but the school is the constant. It's about the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back, not the name on the bobblehead, not the name on the letterhead, etc.

Fred Hill makes $500K a year and we should care about giving him more time? What a complete crock, a waste of time.

Gonzo built his team on the backs of transfers, never a good recipe for success in the Big east. He makes over $400K. Why make excuses for him?

Norm Roberts? I'm not sure what he's done other than to babysit the program for a few years. And he makes over $500K and he needs defending.

Put up or shut up, there are plenty of viable candidates for any metro area job.

LFBall said...


Not as many as you think. I read who the candidates are at FDU this morning and I do not see any of them being outstanding including Barise. Watch out if they give that job to the current coach. It would mean FDU has serious California connections if you know what I mean,

I still think despite the transfers, something St. Johns did well for many years, SHU is moving in the right direction. You and the coach need to just have lunch at the White Castle in Orange and talk during lunch and when you go to the bathroom after eating lol.

FHJ has stayed the course and done better. I have to give credit where credit is deserved. 5 of 7 with a win against a ranked Georgetown team? Pretty good to me!

St. Johns beats South Florida and the talent is better. I think they will be greatly improved next season with the old leaving and the new arriving.

SPK145 said...

The FDU coaching candidates are REAL weak. Almost seems like they are going Division III.

I'd go with Gonzo to that White Castle on Scotland Road anytime. He pays, of course.

And BTW, it's Jerry Walker number 1, Shaheen number 2, then you at number 3 in my book.

Just tired with excuses, it's only college basketball.