Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Local Thoughts

I really love the new "Love Festival" taking place at Rutgers University. Everyone is now taking a step back from the Fred Must Go Chants. Fans are writing apologies on message boards and even wondering what it will take to make the NIT. Same fans who after Rutgers beat a lowly Caldwell College team were out for blood and wanted the New AD to make a change right than and there. All of this is really comical but very real and a great introduction to the world of sports as seen through the eyes of average fans.

Fans, including me, often love to celebrate victories and even tend to see great things ahead of them after unexpected performances such as the huge RU win against Georgetown. But anything less than a win in the next game will automatically bring many if not all back to where they were after the Caldwell game. And that is a sad commentary and the basis of my blog today.

I will be the first to say I am most likely not even important to the RU, SHU, or SJU Coaching staffs based on being a "NOBODY" as one poster on the RU board always says. I will also admit I have been very disappointed in some of the things done by Fred Hill and that has nothing to do with his won-loss record. It has more to do with other issues and attitude. But no need to talk about that now.

Though I am a nobody, I still would like to give my take on the Rutgers situation. Let me start by saying regardless of how many wins Rutgers gets the rest of the season, Fred Hill should be evaluated on Team Management, Team performance, and his ability to motivate, etc. It does not matter if he beats the remaining teams on his schedule. What matters is the way his teams compete. Now why do I feel this way? I really feel they have shown IMPROVEMENT! I think they have shown players are developing! I think the Georgetown game shows fans will still come out if the kids play hard and compete! All that is needed now is a few more pieces to the puzzle. Those Pieces include A re-done RAC, Practice facility, marketing campaign, and a few more players.

It will still be very hard for Rutgers to compete against the huge powers in college basketball recruiting wise. It will also be hard for SJU and Seton Hall as well. That's because the money is not there that is needed to get the Big Time Recruits in most cases. I said most not all. It is the Dane Millers, Jeremy Hazel's, Mike Rosario's, Justin Burell's, Anthony Mason Jr's and similar type players that will make local BE teams strong. These guys are top 50-125 type guys. On occasion you might steal a top 15 guy based on them wanting to stay local. But for the most part it takes arriving on private Jets to watch them play 2 hours after being on TV, Helicopters landing on the HS Football field, and alot of other impressive acts..

Fred Hill Jr., along with Bobby Gonzalez, and Norm Roberts will eventually be able to get those top 15-20 guys. But it will take alot of patience and understanding from fans and school administrations to make it happen. We could look back 6 years from now and laugh at what might have happened if FHJ, BG, and NR were let go too soon. I know some smart person will say we will smile because it would be a disaster to keep them and because they were let go, great things have happened. I say to that, it is not so easy at the 3 local BE schools or even at the non BE schools.

Now is this an endorsement of some coaches? NO! It is an endorsement of some programs and what I think needs to happen to make them successful in the long run. I would rather have a coach who loves his job and getting better daily than a coach who is just passing through on his way to bigger and better things.

Back to Rutgers in particular. I was at a game at Kean University a month or so aga. Think it was that special event for inner city scholarships. As Fred Hill walked in I heard folks around me saying "Dead Man Walking." Funny thing he kept his head up high and worked the room despite all the negative electricity coming towards him. Honestly I was extremely impressed with how he carried himself. Who would have known that he would work his self back into the good grace of many area fans and maybe the RU Administration. What a lesson he gave everyone who watched than and is watching now! He never gave up and his team realized this and have responded accordingly.

So call me names, laugh at what I say, hate me, or what ever you choose. But one thing for sure, I know folks thought alot of local coaches were down for the count and are now changing sides. Maybe some of those haters will not hate me as much (they will always hate me lol).

Watched the NBA All star game and could not believe that there were players I did not know. Shows I do not watch the NBA on TV. One thing I do love about the NBA is the team of Ernie, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith. They are outstanding and honest. Charles Barkley is the only guy who has the nerve to disagree with David Stern on national TV.

I agreed that the Dunk Contest was HORRIBLE! As Charles Barkley said, They have to change the way the contest is set up. I would love to see the amateur winner compete in the main event.

These guys are great and very entertaining.

Again I say the big fella on Rutgers is NBA bound. I honestly also feel he would not be the same player if Greg Encinique had not transferred. In fact Rutgers is a better team now than they were.

Seton Hall is jelling at the right time. The guard play is very good. The big guys are doing the best they can and hopefully they will put more points on the board. But they are playing better as a team. Bobby Gonzalez continues to recruit the players he can that can help his program. As I mentioned it sometimes takes big money to get certain type players.

The Seton Hall vs Rutgers game is now a huge game based on r=the coaches, players, and Rutgers playing much better. This game should be a sell out. Anything less should be unacceptable.

St. Johns is up and down. However I still say the talent is there and they do compete every game. It is just a matter of time. My gut is Norm will get another year.

Despite what I feel I have heard from a college coach that a high level AAU guy in the know feels there s=will be changes at a number of schools in Pa. NY, NJ. Guy is very connected and respected.

Teaneck HS

This is a public appeal to the people in Teaneck NJ. I beg the AD, Ron VanSader, a wonderful guy and great AD, to pick the right guy as the new boys basketball coach at Teaneck HS. Please do not let the hard work of yourself, Curtis March and others to go down the drain. There are many great candidates interested including a HS guy who made a technical HS a NJ power (He would be great), a local D1 assistant (he would be great) Another D1 Assistant (He would be great), a former D1 assistant with great AAU and college connections and a master teacher of the game who served as a NY HS assistant to see if he would enjoy (Great candidate).

It is very important to choose a person that will continue to make Teaneck a program as opposed to being just a team.

I hope they put some local folks such as Jon Cano, James Brown CPA, and Dr. Herman Snyder on the committee. This is a great opportunity for Teaneck.


Runs with Scissors said...

Helicopters on the football field?

LFBall said...

Yes similar to how Greg S, the RU Football coach arrived at a local HS football game to recruit a certain kid. It made a huge impression. Just as it was when Roy Williams took a private Jet from Chapel Hill right after a national TV game and flew to NY in time to see Dexter Strickland at the garden play a game.

stocks2500 said...

what do you think of the recent rumor that Tom Barrise of the Nets is the leading candidate for the FDU head coach?

LFBall said...

I remember him well. But not sure he is the answer. Sometimes Guys use friends in the press to start a rumor to get their name mentioned leading to consideration. A local college coach use to do this a few years back lol.

I think FDU needs a complete over haul with everyone being reassigned to other areas. They need a guy who can promote as well as coach the team. A person with incentive clauses in his contract based on attendance and wins.

Honestly a guy like Steve Marseallo (sp) from Kentucky (Might not take it), One of the UConn guys, Richardson from Arizona, etc. And they need to allow the coach to re-hire Tiny Green from years ago!

FDU really might be one of those schools better off as a D3 program if they do not put more into the program!