Monday, May 17, 2010

Interesting To say The Least!

I think it is a good time to say a few things that will make people think about future actions. Let me start with a short story about the City of Chicago. Years ago DePaul University was the toast of the country with Head Coach Ray Myers. With a team of very good local players who grew up loving DePaul and two kids from New Jersey including Whitney Hustons brother, Coach Myers took the team into the NCAA's and they became the darlings of America.

Great story and one that could not have happened without the assistance of local HS and AAU Coaches. Ray knew how to wine and dine these guys and make them feel important. He listened to them and they always left feeling they were part of something special. Those Coaches, including many who are still in power in Chicago, had the same type power as NY/NJ HS and AAU types but used it differently.

Lets look at Philadelphia. Years ago Temple University went out and hired a new coach from "The Neighborhood." That neighborhood guy was John Chaney who was an outstanding player in his time, a very good D2 coach at Chaney State, and a fixture at summer games in the Baker league and Sonny Hill HS League. Temple not only hired John Chaney local legend, they hired an entire city and the gates opened up to Temple to get the best in the City. Put that with Johns greatness as a coach and motivator, and the rest is history. Soon Temple became a national player and had to build a larger arena. The big thing here is the community felt they were part of this rebirth and celebrated the success. They were so good that when national type recruits came in for visits to places like Villanova, the Villanova staff would make sure to drive all the kids being recruited by both schools past the then (no bad side now) bad side of Temple.
Think NY/NJ will not embrace the same way?

I now turn to the NYC area including New Jersey. We laughed when St. Johns met with local AAY types to discuss the coaching opening. What are they doing we all including me cried out! I could see Gary Charles walking in with a 5 piece suit and matching hat. I could see Jim Salmon with his Playaz gear on stopping by. I could see the New Heights staff attending. I could see Riverside and The Gauchos in attendance. What would they talk about? Now reflecting on what happened in both Chicago and Philadelphia, I see what happened as brilliant. Nothing had to happen. But they all felt as if they had a say whether they did or not.

Look at all the winning programs and you will see Head Coaches who are very connected and personable. You will see guys who many in the AAU ranks feel are approachable. It is a gift that only one recent coach in the area had. That was Tommy Ameker the ex Seton Hall Coach. Tommy made everyone feel he was their personal friend. Everyone felt they could get to him. Everyone felt what they had to say to him was accepted. Tommy would take a call from a AAU guy pushing a kid with D5, yes D5, talent and act as if he was really interested because he knew in the future that coach would have an Andrew Bynum type kid. Trust me on that one lol.

Well now we are heading into a new basketball season with new coaches all over the place. Yes the X and Os are important. Yes they need to be out generating interest. And yes the recruiting is very important. But when they start the recruiting process they must understand the importance of the current players on their rosters. These are the same players who have come from high schools and AAU programs they will be contacting for future players. These programs must be also recruited. And that starts with the professional and considerate treatment of players signed and in the program. Trust me Pat Kennedy The Ex DePaul Coach realized this and will never ever recover even though he is at a Towson University riding it out. What goes around comes around I always say!

This brings me to the main points. I think one of the biggest mistakes is running kids off teams thinking you will get better talent. I love the fact Mike Rice has convinced Carroll to honer his scholarship and attend Rutgers. Do I think Carroll will be an impact player? No! He will be solid! But I know who his Dad is lol. I am disappointed at what is happening at St. Johns. Omari Lawrence transferring? Now you know he was encouraged to do this. Why would anyone look to leave a revitalized program that will be exciting this season? How about Devonte Grace? We all know the deal! Now the interesting thing will be what damage control is in place. Remember they already parted ways with a very good player named Ronald Roberts who will have a great career at St. Joe's in Philly. I say not a good start and it takes away all that was done with the summit they had.

One thing that could allow area coaches to do as they wish is the ego on the part of area coaches. Some are more interested in getting positions than they are in the well being of kids that played for them. If this happened in Chicago or Philly they might just close those programs down as they did with Depaul years ago. And DePaul still has not recovered! Personally I think alot of eyes are being raised by some of the moves taking place. St. Johns ridding themselves of current and future players? Iona hiring a full-time assistant coach of color with no college experience over candidates of color who would really help right away?

Sooner or later people will wake up and really take a look at what is happening locally. Some are making the correct moves while others might just feel they are so big they can do what ever, to whom ever, they wish. I have my thoughts on what the season will bring. To put it lightly, I expect to see similar changes in the spring of 2013. I hope I am wrong!


pico said...

You're spreading rumors.

Omari Lawrence had talked about transferring all year. Davontay Grace might not even be a Big East player.

Who are they connected with?

Who is Mo Hicks (now/ soon to be on the St. John's staff) connected with? Sad to see Omari go, and good luck to him.

But if these things smash the egos of the local coaches, we can see why Jarvis didn't want to play with them; they don't have that many impact guys, and even when the head coach has decent relationships with them (Norm Roberts), they still are sending their impact players to Villanova and West Virginia.

LFBall said...

Just saying what it could be. Trust me i know guys who know guys lol. Thanks for the comments

By the way Mo Hicks is great but not a guy who is connected like people think. Tony Chiles is very connected. Both will do a good job but I am telling you Lavin has a huge task ahead of him.

Theo Rabinowitz said...

Where were these blog posts when Norm Roberts' OWN RECRUITS were transferring?? Do you not think they were being pushed out?? Let's not be naive. And yet all we hear from media members is how great his connections were to those in NYC. Yet, he could never land an impact recruit and the players that HE RECRUITED continued to transfer out every year. So was Norm burning bridges also??

Theo Rabinowitz said...

Where were these blog posts when Norm Roberts' OWN RECRUITS were transferring?? Do you not think they were being pushed out?? Let's not be naive. And yet all we hear from media members is how great his connections were to those in NYC. Yet, he could never land an impact recruit and the players that HE RECRUITED continued to transfer out every year. So was Norm burning bridges also??

LFBall said...

Sorry Theo. I am only saying how I feel. Kids always transfer but in this case on the heels of a new coach it comes off a bit different than it does when they transfer under the watch of a coach who has been in position for a few years. Just looks interesting with two guys who were commits and another who could have gone many places yet choose SJU to help get them back where they were. Everyone is connected in some form and people will start to look at this. Just my opinion.

Theo Rabinowitz said...

But again, where were you when Norm was doing this?? Dexter Gray, Ricky Torres, Mike Cavataio, Q'arran Calhoun, and those are just off the top of my head.

Does Steve Lavin have a big job ahead of him?? Of course. Did he assemble a MUCH better staff than Norm Roberts?? Without a doubt. He also closed on his first real recruit. Norm couldn't close on anybody.

I think the St. John's program has a MUCH more qualified individual at the helm right now than they did 2 months ago.

LFBall said...

I felt the same way when he was hired. In fact I was so excited I wanted to buy season tickets. But that dream staff never happened. I also feel Poolee is good but the type of good that could have been acquired on the East Coast. Folks are hoping he is this stud type recruit and I am not sure he is,But when you have been down it is easy reaching for straws. John Chaney once said he only goes out of the Philly area for impact type kids. Thats what St. Johns did under Louie did years ago.

Not saying Lavin will not be a huge hit in NYC. Not saying he will not bring St. Johns back. Not saying he will not eventually get those stud recruits to stay home. I am only saying some things bother me whether Norm does it or Louie did it, or Laviv does it. The difference is when a new coach starts the perceptions of getting rid of kids seems worst based on that old cleaning the house stuff.

Lastly Norm did not leave the house bare. The kids coming back can really play. In fact with or without Norm they would be much improved next season. With Dunlap on board to assist with the X and O situation the 2010-2011 Red Storm should be good team.

Theo Rabinowitz said...

This is a much different time than when Louie coached at SJU. The fact of the matter is that the talent level in NYC has been watered down drastically, and many of the kids here are vastly overrated. Lavin is turning this into a national and international program. He has a progressive mindset that while most kids from this area do want to leave the City, why wouldn't the elite prospects that DON'T live in a big city turn down the chance to come to a big city for college?? That is the type of thinking SJU needs. Lavin is going to offer the best level prospects available, regardless of where they're from. No reason why St. John's cant be a national destination.

And no, the original rumored coaching staff did not happen, but the staff that he is going to have in place is an incredible staff. Dunlap is one of the top X's & O's guys around, Chiles has raided the NYC area while at Drexel, Hines has been extremely highly regarded at the NBA level (great recruiting tool) for working guys out, and Hicks is a phenomenal addition. That staff is so much better and highly-qualified than the previous staff that it's not even comparable IMO.

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Anonymous said...

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SPK145 said...

How come nothing on Lance "Still Immature" Stephenson?