What a weekend in local College basketball! lets start with Seton Hall University. Never thought they would get off to such a bad start despite losing Hazell for the first part if not the entire season. Thought they had a good enough and tough enough point guard in Theodore, good players on the front line in Pope and Robinson, and very good young talent. Honestly I am not surprised, I am stunned! This team should never lose to Richmond or other similar teams. What player on Richmond was even recruited by a Big East Team?
Well here goes folks rolling eyes at me again and people hurling insults. But I have to be honest with my thoughts and feelings. Seton Hall, The Seton Hall Community, The Seton Hall Alums, and the Subway Seton Hall Fans deserve much better than they are receiving.
Lets start with the talent. I still say the talent is above average and capable of a post season tournament. Will it happen? Well it sure does not seem it will at this point. But anything can happen.
How about the coaches? I feel they have to take some of the blame because they have not done the job YET! I say yet because they can still get it together. But what are they really capable of doing? Are they the right guys for this job? Honestly I love the loyalty Willard showed with his hires. He also wanted folks he felt he could trust and that is understandable. But to bring a mid level MAAC staff to a Big program in a major media market was shocking. At least Willard's Dad could have provided necessary stability and insight! But what is in place at SHU is a result of SHU not being committed to competing at the highest level basketball wise.
I and no one should be blaming Willard for anything except not putting together a better staff. Sorry, just my opinion! But SHU and the head folks are the ones who let this proud program down. Why play in a state of the art building that seats over 18,000 with no higher attendance expectations than 10,000 a game. They should be pissed at the number and looking for a marketing team to fill the arena up. Why settle for a coach at salary they offered when they needed a media darling with outstanding skills to take over this program. This SHU program had all the ingredients that a very good hire could have turned into a true NCAA contender. Good guard play, plus athletic and skilled front court guys, plus heart, could just be the correct formula once you add very good and experienced coaching and motivation.
So the staff is what it is, and the arena is where it is, and the talent level is what it is and I doubt it will be better after this season, so what is next? I will wait until halfway through the BE season before actually saying what I feel needs to happen although I know what will definitely happen one way or another!
Rutgers is doing a much better job than folks thought they would. Recruits are interested and committing although I am not convinced some are real program changers are good program maintainers if you know what I mean. From what I have seen it will still be about development at Rutgers and I feel Mike Rice and his Staff will develop those players and by the 2012 season we will see a totally different Rutgers program.
Now I still feel they are not getting it done administration wise. Where are the plans for the practice facility? Where are the REAL plans for the RAC renovation project? When will it actually start? Who do they have in place marketing wise to start getting fans out. This team has only lost 2 games and could actually be undefeated at this time, though the schedule thus far is far from a real competitive one.
Looking forward to the North Carolina game this week. I honestly feel Rice will have them playing hard enough to steal the game or at the least be very competitive. In fact I will be stunned to see this team, despite the lack of fire power, be blown out against anyone.
Looking at St. Johns I see they only have 3 losses. Not bad but I expected them to have zero loses at this time with a veteran team back. The losses are to St. Mary's, St. Bonaventure, and Fordham. All three were winnable games and the Red Storm should be undefeated at this point.
Well now it is almost time for the Big East Season to kick in. Games against the top teams should be competitive and they should be able to handle the local challenges. If this SJU team does not make it to a post season invite, it should be considered a bad season in Jamaica Estates.
Attendance wise, something I always look at, they seem to be where they were last season. Thought the on campus arena would average at least 5000 a game if not sell out for the season. At this point games at MSG might just be similar to past years. And boy do many of us hunger for the days when SJU packed the Garden and proved college basketball could sell in NBA cities.
Saw St. Patricks play on TV the other day and finally caught Michael Gilchrist in action. Well, I was really impressed with him and the entire roster of future scholarship athletes. I now see what everyone means by him not excelling in one on one all-star type games. In a team setting he is OUTSTANDING! Playing with others trying to gain reps, he might look a bit lost based on the selfish play of others.
Would love to see a charity double header at Rutgers, The Pru Center, or Medowlands involving St. Anthony's, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick's, another Private/Catholic School and 4 of the top Public Schools in NJ in a 3 day tournament for charity. The New Jersey Challenge! Wow.
Or maybe the 4 best from NYC and NJ in a tournament. Not a showcase, a tournament! Where is Bobby Jacobs when we need him? lol
Lastly on a sad note it is so unfortunate that Jeremy Hazel was shot in the arm while visiting home for the holidays. What are we doing about this violence and how can we prepare our youngsters to be aware of the hate and opportunistic folks looking to get to them. Person might have just been jealous of who hazel is and what he has accomplished thus far.