It's interesting how many of the kids being recruited know all about the various message boards on the Rival network. They seem to read those boards more than you can imagine. Some even become upset with a school based on what might be said by a poster with no idea of what they are talking about. Plus many fail to realize it is their thought and not reflective of the coaching staff at a particular school nor the majority of that schools fans.
However when a featured article fails to mention the players from one of the 6 best HS Program in New Jersey along with St. Anthony's, St, Benedict's, Hudson Catholic, Gil St. Bernard and Plainfield, somthing seems wrong. Not only is it a slap on a program that has won consistently for many years, it is a serious blunder based on players developing now and in the future. As I always say it is better to be safe than sorry. Also I love saying never burn bridges!
This is the case that recently happened when the Teaneck HS Players received no respect on a local NJ Universities fan page. What made things even more interesting is Teaneck beat a very good team with two high level recruits including 6 ft 9 frosh (he was at least 2 inches bigger than Neville Fincher when he stood straight up, something many young kids rarely do on or off the court) Karl Towns Jr. .and a smooth and explosive wing player in Quentin Decosey. I agree that both are special and Towns Jr. is potentially top 5 nationally in his class now as well as when he is a senior. But to not even discuss the Teaneck players after they won the game?
Teaneck has 3 legit D1 players and a possible 4th in Shaker Lindsey. If people do not think Chris Jones is a serious recruit they will miss out on a tremendous talent and even better person. He totally outplayed Decosey, who I love as a player), scoring 25 points and getting 10 boards. He will be a 6 ft 6 guard in college. In fact if the local A10 and BE Schools do not get all over him I am sure the good ACC and SEC, along with A10 programs will join the chase as his season progresses. This kid is the real deal! Neville Fincher is a 6 ft 8 or 6 ft 9 tough guy learning to play the game correctly. Everyone who watches understands he will be a better college player than HS player. Tough and extremely athletic! Lastly Juel Hernandez is a kid everyone continues to watch. I have received at least 6 calls over the last year from very large programs asking me my thoughts on him. Not sure of his level in D1 basketball but I do think with maturity this 16 year old kid in his CORRECT GRADE will be very good. He is as close to Ricardo Greer the former Pitt player as you will find. Again just a matter of confidence and maturity for him to play high level D1 basketball.
With a Coach like Jerome Smart, a person who has coached many great HS players as a HS Coach and as a top AAU Coach, you know these young men will be prepared for the college level. It also will not hurt them that he knows at least one coach from almost every college on the east coast.
Now back to Chris Jones. Based on him being an extremely intelligent kid with super supportive parents, just like Fincher and Hernandez, he might just decide to sign at a level below his ability in order to play huge minutes right away. Maybe Siena will steal him? Maybe Rhode Island? Could Hofstra snatch him up? Maybe so but again this kid is a high level talent who I have heard is the most improved HS player in the State of NJ and rated in the top 5 or so players in the state.
St. Benedict's is back and a formable opponent for St. Anthony's at the New Years Day Jump Off at Hackensack HS. I am excited about this game and all the others because I have not seen these type of match ups in NJ prior to the post season in many years.
St. Anthony's vs St. Benedict's
Teaneck vs St. Patricks
Plainfield vs Hudson Catholic
Englewood vs Hackensack
All I can say is this must be a fluke or something that happened by mistake. Or maybe I am dreaming? 6 of the top HS Programs in NJ the same day and another game that is a rivalry is more than you can ask for. Whats the cost $20? I doubt that much but if it was it sure would be worth it. On a side note I look forward to watching my guy Donald Osbourne, one of the top coaches in the entire tri-state area reshape a program that should be a top 15 program in the state yearly in Englewood HS. I am Also excited watching Aaron Taylor resurrect a once great and proud program at Hackensack HS. I still remember him as a humble but tough player with alot of class 15 or so years ago.
Back to St. Benedict's. The current coach at St. Benedict's is OUTSDTANDING! I have watched him do nothing but win with well coached teams with talent he developed. People forget he was the coach at St. Joes of Central Jersey, the team that now has the top rated Freshmen in the state. This team has at least 4 or 5 potential high major prospects including 2 from our neighbors in Canada.
I am so excited about watching the St. Anthony vs St. Benedict's game I might arrive at 7 AM that Sunday!
Lets talk Hudson Catholic
My first question to everyone is where was Hudson Catholic the past 8 or 10 years? In fact where were they the past 25 years? In fact where were they the past 40 years when it came to the boys basketball program? In the same breath let me ask where was Bloomfield Tech many years ago? Where Is Bloomfield Tech now? All I will say is the person who made Bloomfield Tech a PROGRAM and the person who has made HUDSON CATHOLIC a legit regional if not national name is the same person! His name is Nick Mariniello and he learned from some of the best! Still remember him as an Assistant at Marist HS when they were a NJ power under Mike Leonardo.
Now why am I writing about this program and coach after they were upset by a less talented team in Rutgers Prep? I write because upsets happen everyday in sports. Also I write to say Rutgers Prep is a very good TEAM. But to crucify Hudson Catholic for an upset loss is 100 percent wrong. These are young men not NBA players going against HS players. Hudson Catholic has underclassman as stars and as starters. Sleep on this team if you wish. I honestly think as they mature as a team they could be a hard out. I also feel this season is just a warm up for them because they or St. Benedict's will be the top team in NJ next season hands down. Yes, better than Gil St. Bernard, and better that St. Anthony's, although we all know Bob Hurley has the ability to mold an average team into a great team.
So all this fire the coach stuff needs to be laughed at! In fact the Coach at Hudson Catholic will never have a hard time getting a coaching job. After all, he has a great track record coaching and HELPING KIDS! Plus he could always be an Actor or model lololol. Had to throw that in (smile).
Seton Hall Wins Again
Folks can think what they wish but to win at Dayton is huge based on the tremendous support they receive year after year after year. This is a game that many teams would lose. In fact it is a game SHU might have lost in the past. Like I always say, winning can become a habit! Next up Longwood and I certainly hope SHU does not enter the contest over confident. A win would mean going into the Syracuse game SHU would be 11 and 1 with momentum! Just wish the game was in Newark!
NJ Tech is up next and that should be a win and warm-up for the Florida game and a homecoming for ex RU Standout Mike Rosario. It would be a great thing if Rutgers wins and recruits in the area can see that leaving the area is not a priority to be respected and successful. Well, I cannot wait to get feedback on this game including the reception Mike Rosario receives. I honestly hope and feel he gets a standing ovation. That would be classy and a good message to potential recruits.
St. Johns wins and its a great thing. But to beat Pan Am Airlines or is it Texas Pan American, is a building block but nothing to break out the champagne over. Providence is a huge game and luckily a home game for the Red Storm. Than it is UConn away! Should be interesting!
Until next time enjoy the hoops!