Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alot Going On In College Basketball

Lots of stuff going on in college basketball

Hope all turns out well for Herb Pope of Seton Hall University who was rushed to the Hospital on Wednesday.

Also hope for the best concerning Robert Mitchell and Kelly Whitney and their situations. How soon we forget!

Glad Craig Carter has found a good position at Siena. He will get alot of kids with Head Coach Mitch B who is a master recruiter himself. Siena will not miss a beat and will still pack them in for games in Albany.

Glad to see Jim Carr hook up at Wagner. I think he will do a very good job. I always felt Jim had alot of good in him. Still remember the good in him from his support of me years ago as opposed to last few years at Rutgers.

Glen B to St. Francis of Brooklyn is outstanding. I really like him and wish him well. Now he needs to hire a very good staff of local folks to get it done. St. Francis is one of the toughest jobs in America based on campus and facilities. Still remember telling the ex President of St. Francis at a academic meeting I was attending in Brooklyn years ago that coaches Ron Ganulan (sp) and Glenn deserved cars and cell phones to do a good job lol. He looked at me as if I was saying they needed $5,000,000 to improve the program.

Looks like Darryl Jacobs is in the mix for the Head Coaching job at CW Post where Tim Cluess did a great job before taking over at Iona. Darryl is an outstanding candidate who I have watched from a distance for many years. Despite not knowing him well I have snuck into a few of his practices and games and often wondered why he was not on the D1 level. Ditto when it comes to Ron Brown of FDU not getting a higher level D1 Assistant position. All the changes and people still do not understand the need to get good assistants with NYC ties. Ditto Julius Allen! Say what you wish but this guy can teach, coach, recruit, and lead. And yes I am still his biggest fan in more ways that one.

Lets look at Rutgers University of the Big East and their coaching search. Seems they are down to a few candidates including Mike Rice the energetic Head Coach at Robert Morris.

I remember Mike Rice as a player at Fordham University as well as a member of the Hoop Group. Very personable and hard working and someone who HAS PAID his dues despite having alot of coaching contacts via his Dad and others. He has earned consideration as opposed to guys who seem to be being pushed for many mid major jobs based on name recognition etc. Mike Rice worked his way up starting as a camp guy in the Poconos and at Hoop Group Events. I just hope if he is hired at Rutgers he does not make the mistake of bringing a weak staff. He might even wish to consider his ex Fordham Teammate Jean Preilou (sp) who has many years of experience nationally although he is often accused of forgetting his roots in NJ and NY.

I still love Fran F for Rutgers. Call me crazy but he will compete right out of the gate. Super competitive guy who WINS and does it while establishing great relationships with community folks across the country via AAU and High School programs. Fran is the only guy who could compete against the movie star and glitz image Steve Lavin brings to prospective players living rooms. Recruiting is key at Rutgers and Fran is just what the Doctor ordered.

Getting Fran will require much more than money. He will demand better facilities and marketing. Not sure this would be a priority for other coaches being considered. But Fran would want a first class program from top to bottom right away. Many Fans will return because he is a winner! All that negative stuff will go out the window because he is far from what folks describe him as. Yes he will challenge his players. Yes he will not accept his staff being lazy. Yes he will challenge Rutgers fans to stand up and be vocal at games. Yes he would win, win, and gain the respect for Rutgers that they desire. I might even go to a game or two if Fran is the coach lol.

I am stunned that folks are not pleased with Al Skinner being considered. Let me start by saying Al Skinner is NOT LAZY! Where that came from I do not know. Al works very hard and allows those working for him to do their job. He definitely closes deals and will be very good in living rooms. What folks are confused about is his personality. He does not KISS UP to players in HS. He RESPECTS them but will not overly kiss their butts to get them. He will let them know he is very interested but not to the point he is buying them. I know this for a fact. He will also not recruit kids with bad character or crazy acting parents even if he is friends with the parents lol. Trust me on that! All he has ever done is develop kids and win. He took under recruited kids and even made a few into NBA players. He is also a true players coach loved by many in NY, NJ, and Pa. He also has a rep for developing assistant coaches who go on to become head coaches on the division 1 level. They become good because Al gives them the responsibility and room to grow and get better. So again all that lazy talk is pure BS. He just will not waste time chasing kids just to show his school was considered when the kid goes to Kansas or Kentucky on the 1 year and done plan with benefits. Now Rutgers will have to do alot of the marketing because Al will be strictly the basketball coach and not the guy walking all over the state of NJ shaking hands from Leonia to Toms River. He will be too busy developing kids and winning games.

I do not have any inside information on the RU search. But I am telling you that all three of these candidates are great choices. All three would give RU new life if hired. So folks can have their favorite, but any would do well. It is like loving chicken and having your choice of BBQ, Fried, or Baked! It is still chicken and tastes very good! I do have a hunch who they will go with at Rutgers. But based on knowing all 3 guys I will refrain from saying who. But than again it could turn out to be the current Temple Coach or even Brian Gregory. But who ever it is needs to bring a good staff because recruiting in the BE is a serious challenge that requires serious skills. Lastly. If the Temple Coach takes Rutgers watch Temple jump at the opportunity to hire Al Skinner within a week. He really is more of a home run than folks realize.

Mo Hicks seems headed to St. Johns. I honestly do not like this move. Now you are wondering why I do not like this? I do not like this for the same reason I did not like Kamani Young coaching at St. Johns.

We need Mo Hicks to continue saving lives and developing people at Rice and The Gaucho's. What a loss it will be for him to be The Director of Basketball Operations at St. Johns. Guy is too damn good for that position. He has done so much at Rice for many people. And lets not forget him winning the NYC Public School Championship at Louis D. Brandeis HS years ago when he led a group of kids to the championship by switching defenses 3 and 4 times on single possessions which confused the heck out of other teams. Folks forget how great a coach he is.

Yes he is qualified for a job at St. Johns. I just hate seeing him go. It is very similar to how I feel about Danny Hurley leaving the HS Ranks. But Mo has to do what he has to. Seems like only yesterday that he was playing in King Towers before going on to Loyola of Maryland from Rice HS. Recruiting wise we seem to take alot for granted. He took over for Lou Demeo who started the turn around at Rice with Filipe Lopez and others. Mo continued the tradition by getting kids from all over NYC to travel to Harlem to a 6 story building with a gym the size of a classroom and make it into a national power. To this day some kids travel two hours or more to be part of the Rice program. If he leaves he will be surly missed. One last thing for people who think they can do what Mo did at Rice. He did well based on being a great coach and a EVEN BETTER PERSON who is LOVED BY EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!! I and many others are so proud of what he and Kamani have done developing young men.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rutgers and More


The Fred Hill era is over at Rutgers University. Interesting how the AD called Hill "Freddy" in his statement as if they are good buddies and everything is OK. At last the leaks to the newspapers by both sides will stop.

If Fred Hill, or should I say Freddy Hill, accepted $850,000 to walk away from $1.8 million I would be stunned. Often in settlement cases they agree on a figure to be released to interested parties with the actual amount not disclosed based on embarrassment to either party. Yes the amount could be known based on various reporting factors. But when you have contributions from outside sources you never know. Fred might have gotten an additional amount they are not talking about.

Well what happens from here? Does Rutgers have a coach waiting in the wings? Are they now talking to a few people? Will they please Bob Hurley by hiring Mike Rice, a great guy who took Robert Morris from lousy to very good during his brief tenure there? Would that make Hurley send alot of players Rutgers way and if he did would that be enough to make them a yearly NCAA contender? As much as I admire and respect Coach Hurley, I doubt it.

How about all the Hoop Group connections including a strong one from one of the great people in basketball Rob Kennedy? Rob Kennedy feels Rice is the perfect guy for the job based on his experience at various universities and time as a Hoop Group Director. Well the departing staff at Rutgers were sort of a Hoop Group connection as well. Many even joked even if Rutgers did not win many games, they would still run the best camps in the country lol.

Well besides all of that I really like Mike Rice as a future coach at Rutgers or anywhere else. But I also like Jim O'Brien and Fran Fraschilla as well.

People can say what they wish about Jim O'Brien but as a person who knows him via recruiting and other basketball activity in New York and New Jersey I will tell people this guy is Class with a capital "C." Still remember how he raised his daughters after a family tragedy years ago. Still remember how he turned Boston College into a eastern power. Also remember how kids loved playing for him. And what happened at Ohio State was a crime that Ohio State paid for dearly. People with little true knowledge can say what they wish about a person who is a proven winner. But those who understand a little better realize that Jim O'Brien would be a very good if not great Head Coach for Rutgers.

Lets talk Fran Fraschilla. I laugh when I think about what folks say about him. I laugh when I read the vicious lies others people make up about him. I laugh at how people get it twisted when it comes to the type of person he is. I laugh because many have it very wrong. Fran is an OUTSTANDING CANDIDATE for the Rutgers Head Coaching position. In fact, he might be the only person who could go head to head against Steve Lavin in a living room based on recognition and competitive factors. But let us go beyond that. Fran is a outstanding coach who would not accept losing and would recruit as if his life was on the line. I for one am shocked he would consider coaching in the east again. I have not spoken to him in years but understand from others that he was happy living out west. Well if Rutgers hires Fran, a new day stars right away because this guy will win quicker than any other candidate. Everyone I know loves Fran and appreciates how he came from a small D3 CUNY school to where he was and is now. I also know Darren Savino is very close to him. I wonder if he would keep him on the RU Staff? They have named Savino coach until a permanent coach is named. UMMMMMMMM?

Downside of Hiring any of the 3 mentioned

The one thing I have to ask about is Frans treatment of staff ala Bobby Gonzalez. I am not sure if staff ran from him or was it Bobby G during his days at Manhattan. I will have to ask Tony Chiles about this when I see him. Someone left Manhattan to go to Iona and I do not know if it was during the Gonzo or Fran era. But even if it was Fran, he is older and wiser now and I am sure it would not be the same way now. Again he would make Rutgers competitive from day 1.

O'Brien has been far away from the college game and that could hurt him recruiting wise. I also think FALSE info and perceptions about him could b a factor. But if Rutgers does homework they will see he is a good person. As good as he is, he would take his time building RU into a Big East contender.

Mike Rice has the entire package as well. Young and dynamic to say the least. But will hiring him be just another Hoop Group guy bringing other camp guys to a Big East program? Rice would need the right staff to get it done at Rutgers. In no way should he bring his entire Robert Morris Staff. This is the big league and takes some connections, wheeling and dealing to get it done.

I really like all 3 candidates. But I love Fran as the coach of Rutgers at this time based on what they have been through and need. Rutgers needs some serious healing based on alot of years of turmoil and poor basketball performance. Rutgers needs to fill the RAC and make the games interesting again. If not Fran, I hope whoever it is they do a great job because the tri state area needs Rutgers to be good.

Lastly. Not sure this would happen but Eddie Jordan would be a HOME RUN as well. people forget he coached at Rutgers in the past. He would be great with the right staff as well. maybe bring Phil Sellers as Coordinator of Basketball operations or something similar.


I think both Jeff Robinson and Jeremy Hazell will return to school if there are no hidden factors (grades, etc.).

Next season should be great with all the new coaches including Willard. I really hope SHU sells out every game and against Rutgers gets 15,000

I hope Rutgers averages 8000 this upcoming season. The right new coach and this will happen.

St. Johns with the Hollywood guy will definitely see a attendance bump.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


More on Rutgers

Folks continue to beat around the bush. The big question seems to be will Rutgers actually fire Fred Hill if he does not accept the buyout? Are they negotiating him returning for one season at full pay and giving him an additional $600,000 at the end of next season based on timing? One thing for sure, Rutgers looks very confused and any kid considering going there has to be a bit concerned with how they do business.

Honestly I wonder why people are so upset at Fred Hill for not accepting $600,000 when he is owed $1.8 Million? Fred knows his chances for getting a head coaching job in the near future is slim and none. Why should he walk away from what he should receive based on his contract?
Would you? He is not a Rutgers grad! His loyalty is to him and his family at this time. Rutgers knows what they need to do to solve this but the question is will they do it?

My Law Degree from UCLA gives me enough insight to understand Rutgers has a weak case based on cause. When they agreed to bring him back based on state budget concerns and saving money his deal started again from that day. Everything that happened prior to the day the AD said he was coming back went into the old files. Fred Hill had a fresh start!

So now Rutgers has to figure out how to make this "Cause" thing stick, and that's the hard part. Cursing at a baseball game in front of 100 fans will not fly. Even if he pulled his pants down while doing it. How about the failed drug tests, etc. His word against the AD if it was communicated. How about not being allowed at the baseball game? he parked far away and watched from his car because he loves his dad. Any Judge with a son will understand this.

Rutgers could have fired him based on his record weeks ago but did not. RU did not want to feel the heat for paying him when the State of NJ is experiencing severe budget problems. But now they have a problem and if it goes to court they might just have to pay him even more in damages, etc. Thus the delay in firing him last week or at the latest Monday. They need to make a deal and $600,000 will not cut it at this time. Only way the $600,000 would fly is if they had some sort of pictures lol.

So what happens next? Rutgers will have to pay Hill much more if not all of what they owe him. He should, but might not even accept that. Those "Cause" charges are so weak he might just milk this to get even more money. Stay tuned!

I have heard from a very reliable source that Jeremy Hazell has a very good chance of returning to Seton Hall. My source, a NYC Legend well liked by Jeremy and many others, went face to face with Jeremy and told him he was making a mistake. He asked Jeremy how much did he like Europe because he was not making the NBA this season. Oddly he said Jeremy just stared at him and said he was still feeling it out. Some advisor seems to have gotten into his head making him feel he could play in Europe a few seasons and make alot of money before making a NBA team.

Calling Jeff Robinson, Calling Jeff Robinson. The plane for Argentina is leaving from gate 43. Last call! You have missed all the planes to NBA cities so board quickly. However there are plenty first class seats waiting for you to South Orange New Jersey, a place that needs and adores you. A place where you can further develop and gain an opportunity to get on a plane to a NBA city in the near future.

I really hope someone gets to Mr. Robinson soon. He has a great upside and another year at Seton Hall would be so helpful. However when it comes to Herb Pope I am not so sure. I think this was his plan from the day he arrived in South Orange. I for one thought he was a one and done player at Seton Hall prior to him playing a game. After watching him this season I felt he needed to come back for more seasoning if you know what I mean. My gut is he is ready to make money and it does not have to be the NBA.

Lastly on Seton Hall. I wonder if the new coaches really care if these guys come back. remember the first year is a honey moon year unless they go 0 and 25, etc. They might use the departures to build the Pirate program as they wish with the type of players and attitudes needed to make it a true program. One thing that will always stick out to me was when Bobby Gonzalez was fired and they interviewed Jeff Robinson and he called Coach Gonzalez "Bobby." I remain a Gonzalez fan but thought that spoke volumes about many things.

Still waiting to see what St. Johns does to fill out their coaching staff. I honestly think Lavin should step back and reevaluate what he has done thus far with Ron Roberts, and the make up of his coaching staff to date. Dunlap and Charles are great, but all the others are far from what is needed. How he allowed Grasso to go to Fordham is mind boggling.

Speaking of Tony Childs. Tony would be perfect as the Head Coach of Columbia University. Tony could be the only person on the planet who could make Columbia a winner. I wonder if they have contacted him? If they have, I think Tony would have to listen. But we all know about schools like Columbia. They have to form a committee to choose a committee to get a final committee to reconmend the top 3 choices to go before another committee who will rank the top 3 and send to the President who will rank and send back to the AD who will make the choice after the Columbia Basketball committee meets all 3 final candidates at a wine and cheese reception.

To make sure people read the whole blog, when I mentioned my UCLA Law Degree It stood for the University Corner of Lenox Avenue. If folks comment about it they did not read the entire post lol.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

disappointment and more

When Steve Lavin was introduced as the new Basketball Coach at St. Johns University everyone was excited and feeling he would take the Red Storm to heights they have not been in many years. Much of this had to do with the potential dream team coaching staff he was talking about. Now it seems that the staff of Lavin, Slice, Leitao, Grosso, and Young, which would have been a world class staff, is being replaced by Lavin, Tony Childs (who really is a GREAT Addition), and Rico Harris which is a addition I will never understand unless he is bringing 2 top 10 players with him to St. Johns.

The staff at St. Johns seems to be turning into a A10 or MAAC quality staff except Tony Childs and even he does not have experience getting top 20 HS players. What the heck will Rico Harris bring to NYC? Are you kidding me? It makes Lavin start to seem like a smooth talker and showman. Was Leitao ever in the mix? Was Slice using this to get an extension or raise from Manhattan? How could Grasso not be considered? He and Childs together could have been special even though they would still need lessons on how to get the top guys......... if you know what I mean.

If Dunlap comes it will help and restore some credibility in my eyes. But all this hiring guys over the many great college coaches and recruiters with NYC ties is unbelievable. In fact if they were smart they would hire Ron Neclerio, take him out to buy 3 suits, and make him coordinator of basketball operations and skills director, which is a name I just made up lol. Or they could make him Director of player development. He would be a magnet for many kids because he is really loved by all the good area players. Remember I am saying he needs to be part of the new St. Johns Basketball program and not necessarily one of the 4 coaches who are on the road.

Also concerning me is the treatment of Ron Roberts from New Jersey. This kid can play and has a tremendous upside. Steve Lavin should really want this kid because not only is he a good player, he seems to be a good citizen. To part ways sends a horrible message and one associated with sneaky underhanded programs. St. Johns under Norm Roberts and others including Louie stood for CLASS with a capital C. Kids might transfer but for the most part it was kids transferring in and not out. If Lavin runs off the current players it will be a real disappointment. Why would he? Maybe because everyone knows the talent is there to win next season and if he does not he will look bad. If he does it will be with Norms players.

I hate to go from being so upbeat about Steve Lavin being hired to feeling so low. But it is like someone promising to bring you take out from Peter Lugars Steak House and they arrive with Burger King food off the dollar menu. I honestly felt St. Johns was back with this hire. In fact I thought they would have the best staff in the area. But right now it seems like the will not be the center of attention many thought they would be.

I for one want to see St. Johns back in the mix for an NCAA tournament bid in the very near future. I also want St. Johns to start selling out Madison Square Garden again. It can happen. But to get there Steve Lavin has to now walk the walk since he has already talked the talk.


Again I say RU has a right to do what they wish with Fred Hill Jr. But the way he was let go was sneaky and under handed. They should have done it weeks before and paid him. waited for an excuse to let him go in a money saving effort. Who says corporate America is not alive and well on college campuses?

Fran Frishcilla would be outstanding at Rutgers. One thing different between Jim O'Brien who I also like alot and Fran is Fran will win quicker. Fran would in the words of many old timers "TURN IT OUT." He will have a very good staff and recruit as if his life depends on it. He also happens to be a very good coach and very personable. The RAC will rock and so will the games in Newark against Seton Hall.

Seton Hall

Many people and programs have the glitter and excitement on paper. That's nice on paper. Others have substance which takes you farther especially when it comes to winning basketball games. Everyday I am more impressed with the Coach Willard at Seton Hall. He and his staff seem to have substance above glitter. They will not be Broadway right away, but could get there very soon. This hire looks better everyday because he did not come in talking dream team coaching staffs. So all we can see is good and impressive people joining him and a program with some substance. Think those kids will not benefit from Coach Holloway?

Quick story. Still remember Coach Holloway as a senior at St. Patrick's. In a scrimmage game against Teaneck he had his way with a young Teaneck guard named Brandon Constantine. At time outs and after the game he took time to point out things to this kid he did not even know. He was actually teaching and coaching without realizing it. Brandon went on to have a great career at Teaneck and I am sure part of the reason was what he got from the scrimmage and words of advice from a true HS All American

Hey maybe Ron Roberts will look at SHU? I know if Fran goes to Rutgers he will be all over this kid.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Basketball Insight and Personal Feelings

College Basketball Happenings

Here is where I get a few more folks upset. But what else is new? I have a hard time accepting what is happening to Fred Hill Jr. The main reason is it makes you not trust folks in high positions. Please do not get it twisted, I know Fred and I are far from buddies and certainly not on the level we were many years ago. But I have this thing in me that makes me speak my mind and call it as I see it.

Just as I said with the Binghampton University Coach Kevin Broudus who was treated unfair in my eyes, I say the same thing about Fred Hill Jr. Just as I defended Gary Waters who also was not treated fair, I defend Fred Hill Jr.

I am not saying Rutgers did not have a reason to fire FHJ a few weeks back based on where they wish the basketball program to be at this time. That's their right even though despite my personal feelings about the entire RU staff I felt he deserved another year at least if they could not get a home run choice to come in as a coach. So they give him the extra year based on various factors including the NJ State Budget crisis.

Now they go the sneaky route and look to fire him for cause in a money saving effort. Think he will not fight that and WIN based on timing and reasons for termination? It is a sneaky low down thing to do when you plan and scheme on a person in an attempt to fire them. I honestly felt if this was the plan and wishes of the Rutgers President and AD, it should have been done weeks ago and done in a way that would not make potential coaches scared to accept positions at RU based on how and why FHJ is fired if it comes down to that. Again, all I am saying is it looks sneaky and makes RU come off looking untrusting.

Lastly. So he cursed on the sideline of a baseball game involving his Dad in front of 100 people if that many were there. I would bet if he had won 22 games last year and this year people would be defending him. If he hid drug test results did he do it for himself or to protect the kids? Furthermore though it is not a good thing, coaches all over America do the same thing and way more often. In fact one thing that makes the job at RU so hard is they have no slush fund to use as they please or boosters to make it happen if you know what I mean.

Well I will stay tuned for RU developments as most people will.

Seton Hall Basketball

Seems Seton Hall is getting great PR with the new coaches and direction. Great to see them on the circuit but really looking forward to seeing them on the recruiting road getting BE quality players. I say BE quality and not national top 10 players because in all honesty it takes more than recruiting, coaching, facilities, and campus to get 90 percent of the super recruits.

I really hope Seton Hall adds a great big man coach with connections. Though they might not get those top 15 kids now, as soon as they start averaging 14,000 in that Newark Palace to go along with the great SHU Education we could soon see some top notch talent at The Hall.

I also hope all of the players who declared for the draft from SHU return to school. With that returning talent SHU will be very good next season. Now add the incoming freshmen and the depth could be much better than this past season.

St. Johns

Sorry to see the dream staff has not come together YET. However if anyone knows Tony Childs, they will tell you he is a GREAT addition to the St. Johns. A NYC person who graduated from Columbia University who just happens to have some of the best connections in New York City and the entire eastern seaboard. They could not have hired a better non controversial person than COACH Tony Childs.

Again I say St. Johns has returned to Broadway with Madison Avenue PR behind them. They will get 15,000 in Madison Square Garden and sell out most of the home games in Queens. I honestly can see SJU back on many of the top NYC and NJ player lists.

Lastly. I again say Ron Roberts will be a special player at St. Johns


I am happy and I am sad that Dan Hurley is the new Wagner Coach. Happy for him because he will do a very good job. Sad because I now will have to start looking for other schools for my Grandson Logan who is 2 and 3/4 years old and in the 100th percentile Internationally height wise, to attend since Danny will no longer be coaching HS basketball.

Wagner is a place that could develop into a super mid major program. The people on Staten Island will turn out and sell out that 2500 seat gym. Danny has a chance to really get it going. He is also strong enough to hire a strong staff who will work the pavement for him and Wagner. Alot of guys on the Ferry as we speak heading to Staten Island to try to get an interview.

St. Francis Brooklyn

Honestly if there are 360 D1 schools in America, St. Francis could be number 350 in regard to campus, campus life, facilities, commitment. very good academic programs and very good faculty. But building is in downtown Brooklyn in Brooklyn Heights next to office buildings, stores and more. What a hard sell! They need the right person. Again I say Darryl Jacobs who would be a perfect fit and a person to build the program up. But again a hard sell.

Columbia University

Always a step child sports wise in the Ivy league and in NYC, but a GREAT University. This would be the place for a guy like Norm Roberts. he would do a terrific job here and build the program to new heights. Norm would also be very good at Binghamton University.


Might have made the best hire of all the local teams. Coach Cluess is not a good hire, he is a GREAT HIRE and an Excellent Coach. He will have Iona in every game and they will win some they were supposed to lose.

The one great thing about recruiting players for Iona is the kids that graduate get GREAT JOBS! Always!!!! The alumni network at Iona does a better job that all the others in the NY Tri-State area when it comes to job placement for basketball players. Those ex Iona players do a great job assisting current players as mentors, intern supervisors, and future employers.

While thinking about Iona I have to say how ugly the Ruland incident was. I still remember when all that was happening and the whispers at various tournaments on the AAU circuit. Ruland really deserved better.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Very Short and Quick Post

Again I say the Assistant Coaches on a staff are very important. The Head Coach closes the deal but in most cases it is the Assistants that bring the top guys to the table. Trust me on this if nothing else.

People seem to be a bit upset because I feel some programs need stronger staffs. Sorry, that's how I feel. I just want the area teams to do well! Time will tell if coaches have the right people.

Steve Lavin can call all the AAU and HS power brokers he wants to if he thinks that is the way to get it done. However, there are some others who could give him the great insight. Let me start by saying 80 percent of the guys mentioned for assistant jobs are not what he needs and they sure as heck are not what is expected at the new St. Johns. I do not care about NBA backgrounds, coaching experience with AAU programs, etc. Lavin needs GREAT and CLASSY guys on his staff.

He needs Leitao, Slice, Kamani Young, and Ron Neclerio!!!!!!! Yes I said Ron Neclerio!!! He than can bring in Gene Keady frown and all to help as a volunteer or P/T guy. Now if he cannot get these guys I would sub Book Richardson in there if he is available at any of the positions. If he can get Jay Williams, he too could be a part of the staff if others decline. The new St. Johns staff should be so good that when they enter a gym to recruit all eyes are on them and they command attention.

If Lavin comes up with some of the guys mentioned, St. Johns would be right back where they were in the past. The exciting thing to me was the fact St. Johns would have a great staff. Lavin alone is not as exciting as him with a world class staff.

It seems the Playaz Basketball club is having an event this weekend. I just found out because with the closing of NYCNJHOOPS, alot on information is not available. Wish it was still going because it was a great basketball connector.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Is Needed!

Building or Re-Building A Basketball Program

Let me start by saying most if not all guys coaching college basketball in division 1, 2, or 3 should have forgotten more than I will ever know when it comes to coaching, recruiting players, and running solid programs. Despite that fact, I still need to give my opinion on what is necessary staff wise for programs , especially local Big East Programs, to succeed.

Being loyal is a great attribute. being loyal to a fault can be considered dangerous. With this in mind I feel everyone should sit back and see what happens as the new area coaches assemble staffs. However I will say you cannot expect to win the NJ Tournament of Champions or the State of NY Championship with coaches who coached at the JHS level the prior year. What needs to happen is you get a mixture of experienced people at the level you are competing and mix them with 1 or 2 up and coming guys from a different level.

What I am really saying is a MAAC staff, regardless of how great they were in the MAAC could have difficulty going against a staff such as the ones in place at West Virginia, Syracuse, UConn, Marquette, North Carolina, Georgetown, and Duke etc. These schools have seasoned recruiters in place who UNDERSTAND how to get it done at THE HIGH D1 LEVEL! If you look at the teams who really trail in the standings alot of it has to do with the caliber of assistants especially recruiting assistants. But time will tell and I hope the staffs at the various BE schools are STRONG enough to keep tri-state area kids home.

St. Johns Brings Keady?

Hope he comes as a volunteer coach at the most. Those coaching spots need to be filled by guys who will be held responsible. Hard to get alot from a person who really is retired and just doing a job as a favor. Heck even John Wooden himself could not help St. Johns as much as a strong solid staff of experienced guys that are hungry. But again if Gene Keady, FROWN AND ALL, comes as a volunteer it should be a decent addition.

Well one thing for sure, St. Johns has knocked everyone else off the sports pages the past few days. This is when the recruiting wars start. And believe it or not the Sports Information people are really unofficial members of the RECRUITMENT STAFF at many universities. This is when they need to be pumping out info and keeping their university in the news in a positive way. Seton Hall has done this but all the others are almost invisible. Remembers HS Players are on the Internet and read newspapers.

Lots of college jobs are opening up and it is very important to get the correct assistants. Steve Lavin was smart enough to take less salary so that the assistants he hires will be the best based on financial compensation. Hired Head Coaches need to put ego aside and get a staff that will help as opposed to being a staff that will just agree with everything he Head Coach says. Forget the politics, go get a people that can help in the long run or else change will again come in 3-4 years.