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.


Portside said...

Please tell me why you have an obsession with Fran Fraschilla? Here is a guy who is almost 52 and had two big time jobs and couldn't get the job done. Not only that he's had a few code of conduct issues. That being said there are at least 30 quality YOUNG head guys or assistants that should be looked at before Fran names should even come up. The reality is if Fran couldn't win consistently at St. Johns or New Mexico then it sue as hell wont happen Rutgers. I hope Rutgers takes a shot a young solid assistant with recruiting ties to the area.

LFBall said...

You are wrong. Fran won everywhere he has been. He left for reasons other than his winning record. He has also matured alot over the years. Trust me he is the best with Al Skinner being a close 2nd.

It all really does not matter because Rutgers will hire Mike Rice. Not a bad choice at some places but Rutgers could have done better. Another Hoop Group Person just as Freddy, Jimmy, Dennis Gregory, and Darren Savino were. Same contacts same type of guy. He does seem like a very good coach from what I have seen. I also have met him on many occasions and he is an OUTSTANDING person from what I experienced. But this is the Big East. Rutgers fans get ready for business as usual. Just hope I am wrong!!!

Portside said...

I did not know a 90 win and 65 loss record, including going 42 and 36 in conference games in 5 years at big time programs made you a great coach. Why not throw in Jim Harrick, Dave Bliss and Kelvin Sampson too for the Rutgers job. I see no reason why Fran Fraschilla should get another chance at a major job.

Moving forward since Mike Rice is the guy I think it's mediocre choice. I'm sure he will come cheaper than most other guys but I can see him making Rutgers a player in the Big East. I'm hope I'm wrong. I would have looked to seen them go after Joe Dooley an east coast guy who really deserves another chance to be a head guy. He helped Kansas get many of the East Coast kids they have now. Plus he's a good guy maybe too nice for the major inter-collegiate sports world.

LFBall said...

I think we kind of agree. Good luck to Mike Rice but he better have a GREAT staff to get get it done at RU. Honestly I still see them as a middle of the pack at best program even though that is an improvement over where they have been in the past. I do not think opposing Big East fans or coaches are shaking over the choice. Mike Rice will make Rutgers competitive I am sure. Post season? When? Not so sure! Rutgers improved with this hire but how much I really cannot say. Great opportunity for Rutgers to get a Program Changer as a Coach and they went for the easy and obtainable choice. But at least he will be personable, and likable by everyone in addition to being a pretty good coach. Hoop Group Contacts are great but rarely will that close a deal.