Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And We Are Off!

College Basketball season is here again and it promises to be very exciting. Here are some thoughts after watching the college basketball marathon on TV and reading reports from other games since Friday.

Is it right for Dads to put family pressure on sons or daughters to attend college where they coach?  Thought about this after checking box score to see how Ray McCallum Jr. was doing at Detroit. Looked to me like he was struggling based on stats I saw. I honestly feel he will be double teamed all year long and without a good supporting cast his job will be very difficult. On a better team in a higher conference he would not experience the frustrations he will feel this season. Maybe at the end of the season his dad will encourage him to transfer to a stronger program in a better conference.

I watched Syracuse highlights and honestly feel they will be exceptional this season. Yes, Villanova is rated higher, but Syracuse has some serious weapons. Watch them have a great season. But than again they always are good.

Seth Curry left Liberty University where he was the star and a stud player. It was the same formula his older brother used to get to the NBA. Now he is at Duke and coming off the bench. Yes he led them in scoring the last game, but was that because of the blow out win? I wonder if he regrets his decision to transfer? Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side.

Depaul University will not be a major player again for many years. They are so far behind and they seem destined to be a back of the pack Big East Team.  Low fan support, limited players, not the attractive place it was years ago, etc.  As good as the new coach might be, they really needed to open the purse and pay for a super star type guy. Or at the least someone with serious Chi Town grass root connection to the Sonny Cox and Mack Irving  type guys running things.

Freshmen all over are stepping up in a big way. Kyrie Irving is doing as expected at Duke. So are many others at North Carolina, and Florida. But Tobias Harris might emerge as best prospect when the smoke clears. Oddly his Brother, Tyler, might develop and be even better. Tyler as we all know signed with North Carolina State. he could be 6 ft 10 when he stops growing. And he has skills and the ability to shoot the long ball. All he needs is more strength as most young players do.


I am so impressed with Rutgers University and Mike Rice the Head Coach. Regardless of this season, they will be better than they have been for many years very soon. A guy who can coach and RECRUIT! He really got every kid St. Johns would normally get when they were good. Of course St. Johns stepped up and got national kids who are rated very high. More on this later in this blog post.
I still feel Rutgers will steal some games and be in most games when they play at home. So far Mike Rice looks like a home run.

Seton Hall has such an uphill battle. It looks as if no one there is getting it done in regards to signing the highly rated players. I  still feel they will be pretty good this season but might drop off severely next season. Coaching wise, we will see just how good a coach Willaard is. I think in that category he will be very good. Recruiting wise, something that causes an attendance buzz, they seem to be taking good players, but not players on the same level as what Rutgers and St. Johns have signed. OK let me just say it again. Seton Hall needs one or two barracuda type guys who do not cheat, but find ways of getting very good players interested and signed. Staff is still a MAAC Staff trying to compete in The Big East. Seton Hall is a great University that has alot to offer. Not sure that the staff on hand has the know how to get it done there.

St. Johns might have lost a game to St. Mary's in California, but they certainly are winning over fans with a star studded recruiting class for 2011 and 2012. Steve Lavin is doing it without the slick back hair. There are alot of rumors flying around about how they are getting these kids. All I know is they are getting kids to travel across country to play for a college in Jamaica Queens. Maybe NYC is a bigger attraction than I realized. Maybe it is the Italian food at that place Lou Carnessecca often ate at. Dante's?  Yes I am sure that helped! Maybe it is playing at Madison Square Garden? Well regardless of why and how, and I have heard how, they are getting it done recruiting wise. I will say they are pushing as if they want to win fast and leave even faster as a coaching staff. They might be on the 4 year plan with dreams of being in another conference on the west coast sooner than later.

Watched Monmouth lose to Stony Brook. All I can say is wow! Great looking building. As I have said in the past, that job is a great one for the right person. Outstanding school, great location, wonderful facility with decent fan support. I know the perfect person for that job if the current coach is let go. Fully thing is my choice is a person who will be let go from his high D1 position this season unless he just wins everything. Monmouth is such a great job!!!!

This reminds me of LIU. Again, LIU will never ever be good again unless they get a Ray Haskins type guy! What a special program it was under him.

Cannot wait to see what FDU does this season. Will more than 235 fans show to games? Will they win and better yet compete every game?

Iona Coach can COACH. But the jury is still out on him and watching very closely.

Last stance at Manhattan I feel. They have to be much improved this season. Can they? Well curious minds want to know. All I hear is how great a person this Slice Guy is. Great to know. Now win some games! And honestly, I am pulling for him because based on what I get from friends, he is the type of guy I we need coaching at a place like Manhattan. Hey Slice, call me and I will tell you about at least 2 sleepers who can ball and help you.

Georgia Tech...........Are you kidding me? What is going on? Well we know the guy can coach, but sometimes you have to be humbled to get back where you need to be.

HS Basketball

Getting back in shape to get some run with Kyle Anderson next summer in a park somewhere in NJ. I have a bet with a few friends that I can score at least 10 in a full playing with him. I think he is terrific, especially to those who really understand basketball. They can call him slo mo all they wish. But he just might slo mo all the way to the NBA.

So excited about Jerome Smart and Teaneck HS basketball I might just send them a check. Of course the check might not be very large, but every dime helps. Again Teaneck could not have hired a better replacement for Curtis March. He is a players coach all the way! Plus kids will have more opportunities than they could have ever imagined. Even the D3 type guys. Plus I now hear they have a 6 ft 8 transfer from St. Benedict's? I look forward to watching them play!

Cannot wait to watch St. Patrick's, St. Anthony;s, St. Benedict's, Rice, Boys and Girls from NYC, Kennedy from NYC, and many others.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Time To Get Into Basketball

Good day  to everyone reading this post. Been away for a long time as I always am during the off season. As I have mentioned to many people, I do not write my blog to just say anything. I do not write my blog to repeat information that most of you already know. No sense talking about IS8 results because it most likely is posted somewhere else already. No sense talking about who is attending what college next season because you most likely know already.

What I will continue to do is share what I know about behind the scene stuff. I will also share some HINTS with you concerning stuff others refuse to talk about.  Watch out for the hints and they might just be about someone or some school you are familiar with.   Ok enough of the introduction or should I say re-introduction to my basketball blog. Lets get down to business!

Recruitment of Area Players

I honestly feel good about attending a game at Rutgers University again after staying away for 2 years. Spoke with Jim Carr a few months ago and we are back on the same page again thank God. Nice of him to reach out. Just wondering if Mike Rice had read some of my stuff while working at Robert Morris? I would bet he told his entire staff to reach out to all the folks who were seen as anti Rutgers because no matter how small they might be in the scheme of things, you just never know! It is a wonderful philosophy, and one others need to have.

By the way, I honestly think Rutgers will over achieve this season and make basketball at The RAC fun for fans again. I see the place as jumping and exciting. I really wanted Rutgers to take Fran or Al, but it seems they made a SUPER CHOICE with good ole MIKE!  And what a job he has done to date! And I would bet money he did it without cheating, scheming, or anything else that would be unethical!
Who would have thought he could recruit as he has the first year? They are doing so well that the underclassmen on the RU team have no choice but to get better fast to keep their spots secure for the 2011-2012 season. This is one of the reasons North Carolina and Duke type programs have always been so good. Competition in practice, and competition from incoming players!

Well, I will be at The RAC this season and hopefully will have a great experience while enjoying the re-birth of a program.

Looking at Seton Hall, and feeling a bit for the fantastic Seton Hall basketball fans, especially those super fans on the SHU Pirate Crew message board. I still believe those Pirate Crew message board fans could compete for most knowledgable fans in America. But unfortunately that does not win games or sell tickets to the Prudential Center. Winning games and getting new players does that. Unfortunately what I see is some very good players this season winning games but a drop off for the next few seasons unless they step it up recruiting wise. Right now, from all my sources, it is an uphill battle!

Though the recruiting is down, the team this season will be very good, especially if they play as a team. Time will tell if this happens. Still remember the Tommy A teams from years back. Nuff said!

Why are kids looking elsewhere as opposed to SHU? I for one feel SHU is a great place for a high ranking kid. NY metro exposure, small class sizes, wonderful fans, tremendous arena, powerful politicians as fans, closeness to comfortable social areas, very good academic reputation, and much more.

What is lacking to me is a bonafide assistant coach who can roll up his sleeves and set the table for the head coach to act as a closer and secure future players. Folks can tip toe around this all they wish, but if you look at other programs that is just what you see. Of course no one is panicking yet because of the season outlook with all the returning players. But if they do not play well, folks will start looking at recruiting earlier than expected. Stay tuned for interesting happenings from South Orange New Jersey.

So it looks as if St. Johns has gotten some serious kids to commit from outside of the NYC area to go along with a commit in prep school who could be the best NYC player this year if he was still attending HS there. Great job by the SJU Staff and others in getting this done! Looks like St. Johns is back! Wow how did they do it? What did they do to get all these great players to commit? Did they watch a video of "Blue Chip" and get super motivated? Did they reinstitute the housing stipend? Maybe the kids all grew up dreaming about playing for St. Johns. Not out of the question even for kids in the deep south and California. After all, it is in New York City.

Well, again hats off to them for getting it done. Nice to see Tony Childs involved and doing a great job. I honestly feel they hit jackpot when they hired him. Tony remains one of the most respected guys ever from NYC working in college hoops as a coach. Columbia should have kissed his butt to get him back as the head coach. He is and always has been OUTSTANDING!

Met Steve Lavin years ago in both Vegas and at FDU during ABCD camp. All I can say is he seemed like a GREAT GUY and someone you would want you kid associated with. He sat by himself, was friendly and engaging with those around him, and very humble. I know he will make SJU a great program again. Just hope he does it in a way that will stay in line with what we remember from years ago when kids went to SJU and worked hard and got better. No need for the one and done players at SJU. Get the tough kids who can play, and keep an eye on the guys around the program. Nice guys I am sure, but basketball and all about it is your job.

Spoke with a prominent players Dad a few times last week. Dad is concerned with all the recruitment of kids at the same position for certain schools. I question any parent who would send a son or daughter to a school with multiple players at the same position in the same class. It is the coaches job to get players and the parents job to guide their kids to the best choice. A 17 year old kid cannot make such a decision by himself.

Well, the kid in Question will announce this week and I already know the choice, and it is a good one no question about it. I will let those who love to report those type of things give you the scoop on where this very good player will attend.

Interested in seeing how both Miles Mack and Kyle Anderson adjusts to playing for the legendary Bob Hurley at St. Anthony's. Both are tremendous talents. Jim Salmon, Jerome Smart, the ex Paterson Catholic Coaches, and both Dads worked together to make these kids great talents. Now Bob Hurley will provide the finishing touch. I still think at my older age I could average 8 to 10 points a game if I player WITH KYLE ANDERSON lol. He really makes everyone good. Some kids will get scholarships thanks to him and the way he plays. Seen this many times in the past and history always has a way of repeating. I wonder what are the chances he stays home and plays for Seton Hall, Rutgers, or St. Johns? One thing for sure, he needs to attend a place that will allow him to be Kyle Anderson!

I am looking for great years from Newark Eastside, Pocono Mountain West HS in Pa, Teaneck (With a great choice in Jerome Smart as Head Coach) HS NJ, Pocono Mountain East in Pa, and Thomas Jefferson in Brooklyn. Of course the traditional powers such as St. Anthony's, St. Patrick's, Rice, St. Benedict's, etc. will be great as usual.  But the HS scene will be more exciting than in past years.

On the college scene FDU has some talent. Just wonder if anyone will attend a game to watch?

Monmouth needs to win or they can move back to the old gym for games

St. Peters? St. Peters? St. Peters? Should be Ok but always an uphill battle.

Iona has players and a guy who also can coach, even though I question his hiring practice. They could do very well. And when Iona has it going, that gym, along with the Pizza shop down the road jumps on game days.

Fordham has an uphill battle regardless of whoever coaches there.  John Wooden would have had a hard time there. Old gym, Fordham road, nuff said! But great academics and nice campus right in thee hood.

Columbia? They do not even care!

Manhattan? Time for slice to take his piece of the pie. Never formally met this guy but I understand he is a OUTSTANDING PERSON. Now he has to be an outstanding coach and get it done.

Rider? Do they still play in that small 1400 sear gym? Well, that says it all if they do.

St. Francis of Brooklyn? Another place that does not even care

LIU? Will never recover from letting Ray Haskins go!  NEVER EVER!!!!!

Penn State? Think this is it for the current coaches. Still remember that Assistant Coach there being so arrogant when I saw him when attending a game there against Rutgers. This is and always has been, a true sleeping giant! They get the right person and watch out!

LaSalle? The head coach would be OUTSTANDING at Penn State........Oops that job is not open.

Temple is the team to beat in the big five despite Villanova's great rep. Should be interesting.

Villanova is Villanova! Great Coach, greater person!

St. Joes? Where very good players attend to become great players. A great teacher and also a better person. Plus great tradition and fan support. Many kids have lost out by not going there out of HS!

Drexel? Great Coop Ed Program!  Not sure what direction the basketball program is heading.

Penn? Not sure about this program in a long time. But they do have some nice restaurants nearby and a great place to play games.

Well thats it for today. Some hints in there and other info. Stay tuned for more stuff as it develops. Good to see the season around the corner coming our way.