December 23, 2011
It is 2 days prior to Christmas and many people are scrambling for great deals on presents. The malls are crowded and items are flying off the shelves. Before I enter the "Shopping Zone" I need to post a few items I feel necessary when it comes to Boys HS Basketball in NJ. Later I will again do New York City and even find time to do Northeast Pennsylvania.
I have watched over the years many of the people who call themselves excellent talent scouts and evaluators of players post top 10 teams and players. Some have great credibility while others, many of whom never played or coached basketball even on the CYO level, do not and thus do a horrible job. Interesting thing is people tend to listen to these guys who in many cases are great people but when your true experience was with your HS Chess Team what do you really know about evaluating basketball talent on any level.
It is for these reasons I tend to really enjoy guys like Jay Gomes, Ed Butler out of Essex County, and Tom Konchalski, the HS basketball GURU. even though he once rated Mike O'Koran a D3 player lol. .Even the young HS kid with a service seems to do a very good job! But most of the others? Well, enough of that. Today I am putting out my list of the top Programs and Sr. Players in New Jersey.
Lets start with teams. This will change back and forth as the season progresses with upsets etc. Yes upsets happen as we all saw on Sunday at West Orange HS, but at the end of the season I expect the rankings to look like this or close to it:
1. Guess? OK St. Anthony's with a great coach, great player, and outstanding supporting cast
2. St. Benedict's easily with a cast of great players and a superb coach
3, Plainfield who will face Teaneck in Sectional finals in a few months
4. Teaneck who rarely gets credit despite its record over past 15 years and multiple D1 recruits
5. Hudson Catholic who could wind up at number 2 or 3 when they jell and mature
6. Gil St. Bernards with a great Player and a few very good Ivy type players. A TEAM!
7. St. Josephs of Metuchen with a top 5 national freshmen and outstanding Senior
8. Seton Hall Prep with a few good players including Dallas Anglin
9. St. Patricks based on tradition and the unknown. Players? Coaching?
10. Trenton Catholic who looked like JV as most do against St. Anthony's but with at least 3 or
4 potential D1 players and a very good 1st year coach in Mel Weldon.
Lets look at the top seniors in the state of New Jersey as of today. Not last year or even the future. Right now! Lets put the politics away and pick the top guys not on potential but on performance, approach to the game, consistency, etc. Being 6 ft 11 or 7 ft does not matter if a player does not get it done and that includes kids being recruited by Duke and Kentucky.
Top Seniors or shall I say my super 10
1. Guess? OK Kyle Anderson, Nuff said! Ok I will say more. He makes everyone a star. Again I say
I would average 10 a game at my age playing with him. Might even get a scholarship to FDU!
2. Melvin Johnson from NYC Rice HS and Miami Recruit (ready for the 3000 fans a game lol).
Rice closing sure was a blessing to The Garden State.
3. Chris Jones - Teaneck. Playing with a purpose. Remember intelligence does not equal softness
This is the type of player that could sign with a North Carolina and contribute significantly by his
Junior Year. In the A10 or BE with certain teams he gets it done from day 1.
4. Quinton Decosey - St. Joseph's of Metuchen a tremendous slasher and overall player who will
be a star at Temple one day. He even looks like a star on the court and runs and plays with a purpose.
A true favorite of mine and many others!
5. Blaise Mbargorba - Peddie Runs and blocks shots and is tenacious on the court. A real big guy
who will be a very good college player
6. Dallas Anglin - SHP OK everyone continue sleeping this kid. He only is consistent with game!
Hofstra has a wonderful player in him and he will excel in the CAA
7. Brandon Taylor - Trenton Catholic Looks lazy as heck on the court but has played well enough to
get my 7th spot. The Locks he wears might be cute to the girls but to play on my team you would
have to play like Lebron or Mike Jordan. This is my one pick that I am not 100 percent comfortable
with based on his performance Sunday. But it was against St. Anthony's !!!
8. Jerome Finke - St. Anthony's Make sure he brings Kyle Anderson a Christmas present because
as good as he is, and he is good, Kyle makes him and everyone else better.
9. Don Hoffman - Gil St. Bernards A winner playing with a great player at GSB. Plays hard all the
time and gets it done on both ends of the floor
9. Justin Sears - Plainfield Ivy bound player who many will work for one day most likely. But
honestly this kid can play. Not often a kid attending a Charter School plays and stars at the 4th
best HS in the state, a school he does not even attend.
10. Charles Cook - Trenton Catholic and James Madison commit is a player who brings it all the time!
Along with the super freshmen and hopefully Brandon Taylor Trenton catholic under former
basketball great Mel Weldon, will become the team they are capable of being!
Honorable Mention? No such thing!!! Work hard and get on this real list!!!!
Local College Tid Bits
Iona is back
Hofstra is heading in the right direction
Siena College actually draws more people than many Big east Teams for home games
FDU ......... Is FDU!
Tom Green the former FDU coach is head coach of CCNY, a D3 CUNY conference school in NY. Maybe he will meet up with FDU in the near future when FDU goes D3. Right now CCNY has the better gym and program.
I would love to see a game between NJ Tech and FDU as the prelim to a game between Bergen Catholic and Paramus Catholic at Bergen Catholic, I guarantee the place would be full!
Coaches all over the country are sleeping very good and talented players in NE Pennsylvania
St. Johns continues to make me wonder if this whole thing is a dream?
Rutgers had the RAC re-done with sound system and seating? oops another dream!
Seton Hall is actually 10 and 1? Hey it is not a dream!
Is Monmouth doing better under a King?
Whats up with the new facility at Rider? Or did they forget?
St. Peters, oh St. Peters, I sure hope you do well. Seems you are on the right track!
Fordham , calling Fordham!!! Where is Fordham? Have not seen anything on them! Even heard they played a game at the Garden. Was it a secret? Do they have a SID over in the Bronx?
Is it only me or do many in North Jersey feel William Patterson and Ramapo are better programs than you know who? OK FDU again!
Did I tell you I think Tom Green was treated unfairly? Did I tell you I think he is a heck of a coach?
Honestly my feeling about FDU has nothing to do with the coaching staff including Greg Vetrone who played for me when he was in College during the summers. In fact I think he is doing super stuff considering he is at a school who couldn't care less. I heard the current president does not even know they are a D1 program and the AD feels it is better that way. I guess it is a safe job for him. For some reason I thought I heard the AD would be heading to a huge West Coast University by now. Ummmmmmmmmm! So Greg please do not take this stuff personal! We all know you are doing the best you can at a D1 school with a D4 budget.
Well, again I say if you are out and about please take time to get to a game and as always enjoy the hoops!