Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday,  December 17, 2012

Basketball 2012-2013

Interesting developments in the world of college basketball with the departure of the Catholic Schools from The Big East Conference.  Not sure if they will retain the name as a new basketball emphasized conference with at least 2 to 4 teams expected to be added soon. But regardless of the name this league will have,  I have some thoughts I would like to share concerning this recent development.

First I have to say what took them so long? The writing was on the wall way back when Boston College did the dumbest move in years and departed for a southern based league which is what the ACC really is.  We all know that football money can build new labs quicker than basketball money. But for basketball purposes Boston College looks silly even being in the ACC. In fact I doubt being in the ACC helps them at all recruiting wise. If they stayed in the Big East the Basketball Team sure would have been better. But again football generates great revenue. But is the ACC a real football power conference? Ummm!

Second and most important.  I honestly feel the Catholic seven would have had Notre Dame if they had moved on this quicker. In fact I wonder if ND would consider joining these teams to make up a truly super league. Yes,  I feel this will be a great league because of the teams, and more importantly the wonderful basketball tradition each brings to the table. Georgetown, St. Johns, Seton Hall, Depaul,  Providence, Marquette, and Villanova all have outstanding tradition and potential tremendous fan bases.  In fact all represent great media markets as well and even have rivalry partners as DePaul and Marquette will be.  This league will be a power conference regardless of what some haters will say. In fact top to bottom on any given year they could compete against any conference in America!

As far as additional teams? I really wish for Butler, Xavier, and Memphis! And if I can get a great Christmas present it would be Notre Dame joining the league as well!  As a last resort Temple would also bo a great addition but they have alot invested in football so the logical choice would be.....St. Joe's who would bring additional history and tradition.  I do not like the league, I  LOVE THE LEAGUE!   Caution please do not have 16 teams because to gain great visibility league teams need an opportunity to play great out of conference schedules as well as develop wonderful local rivalries.

Lastly on this subject I hope to see the new league, regardless of what it is called,  have its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. For the remaining teams in the weakened Big East to try to do a local conference tournament without St. Johns, SHU, and others would be suicidal so the possibility of the teams playing at MSG should be great!

Finally on this subject I personally doubt if the Big East will even be in existence basketball wise within 2 years. Or at the most it will be a mid major basketball league with a stronger, not strong, football presence.

Hoop Group Event at West Orange HS

Spent all day Sunday at West Orange HS watching 6 HS games. Talk about torture this sure was close.  First game had to be a courtesy game for the usage of the gym. In a slow unnecessary game Plainfield beat West Orange HS zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! But Plainfield will always get props from me based on destroying Teaneck last year. I still owe hot dogs to a few Plainfield fans.

Next game was Bloomfield.......oops I mean Hudson Catholic vs a scrappy St. Peters Prep from Jersey City. Now there is hardly any chance for St. Peters to be anything above JV in Jersey City with St. Anthony's and Hudson Catholic also located there. But what a nice club they have and very well coached. Nice size and decent players who will win their share of games this season. They just played a team with better and more experienced talent.

Many people often come to me asking why I am somewhat hard on Hudson Catholic and The Coach. I really am not but it just seems like a movie star is the coach with all the background folks all dressed alike for the act and him wearing Armani sweaters etc.  Not important but whats that all about?  lol!   Honestly the guy does a good job and has done a lot for his players over the years.

Watched Reggie Cameron closely and keeping it real as I always do I have to say he choose the right school. A school that runs a system where he will excell. I still say he has too much meat in the fridge and remains not hungry. He watches the game often and fails to participate despite having great skills and ability. Basketball remains a game of confidence where the strong survive. After HS he has to step it up to get where he rightfully should be.

You either love or hate Kavon Stewart of Hudson Catholic. Nice player who might drive the wrong coach crazy. But at Robert Morris he could be an impact recruit for the lowly NEC school. In Pittsburgh  they will always be JV to the two larger schools currently in the Big East and A10. Thinking about the A10 school if I remember right they are a Catholic University. Ummmmmm!

Hudson Catholic won easy but had all starters on court with a minute and a half remaining in game and up 23 points. Why?  I guess the Hudson Catholic Coach was concerned about St. Peters hitting a 23 point shot!  By the way St. Peters Prep Guard Travis Wyche will have a great career at St. Peters College of the MAAC!

Before the next game I saw the same cast of characters who have hovered around the game for years betting on college games,and making side deals regarding kids going to certain schools. The games were so boring that I spent time air hustling to get information. You have to hear some of the things. "Thats one of my kids,  call me and lets discuss making it happen"  or "I sent him there but I will be making his college decision."   AAU guys making deals on who will play for them this summer, guys smoozing with parents to get an edge, low level want to be agents trying to get a foot in the door, and no one watching the games hoping to discover a player they knew nothing about previously. Sad!

Coaches I saw were from Monmouth, Fordham, Cincinnati, Pitt, West Virginia, St. Johns, and even Temple who was represented by their head coach Fran Dunphrey (sp) who was in the building watching his recruit Josh Brown the super guard fro St. Anthony's. Interesting how many of those coaches just laughed and had fun like they were doing guys out night as opposed to even watching the games.

Nice to see Kyree Irving in attendance looking like he is 20 years old. Wait, he is about 20 years old lol. He was so down to earth it was refreshing.  Also saw the same cast of characters with press credentials walking around getting in the way. Interesting that I have yet to see a story or even a blog they have done. Of course the legendary Tom Konchalski was in attendance and actually watching the games unlike many other so called scouting services.

It was now time for the Roselle Catholic vs Pope John game. And again no sign of Jermaine Lawrence who is reported to be out with a hand injury. I guess he was home in NYC watching TV. Would have been nice to see him at the game sitting on bench supporting his team. Guess he had other plans! You have to be a great player for coaches not to recognize that selfishness.  Heck,  if you have game you could do time for murder and some D1 school will take you no questions asked. One day soon I will see him play an actual game. But for now it would have been nice just watching him cheer for and encouraging his teammates.

Roselle catholic won the game but it was sure interesting. Tyler Roberson is a Syracuse Player if I ever saw one. He is really good and worthy of all his accolades.  Tall, lanky, and extremely skilled. Runs the court and competes every play. Future NBA player!   Malaki Richardson the transfer from Trenton Catholic could be just as good.  He is a tremendous player and only a sophomore. The sky is the limit for him and I predict greatness worthy of the McDonald game if he works hard.

Interesting that both teams with such great players had mix match warm-ups and no team sneakers. Whats happening is the sneaker money now off the table? These guys were dressed like they were getting ready for a game at The Riverdale Y.

I have to point out that Pope John Soph Mustafa Diagne will also be special in a year or so. He was voted best basketball body of the day. 6 ft 9 and built like a rock!

During the game one Assistant from a NJ HS power was sitting back talking loud about Parents texting him. He said they do not know him and he could whip their.....!  You never know who is listening.

Bryce Aiken, freshmen guard on Pope John is a future star. If he gets stronger and grows 4 inches he could be a high major in he same mode of the NYC and NJ  greats he has watched.

St. Anthony's beat a talented Neptune team that will compete for the states. Its interesting how Bob Hurley gets kids to play hard, play D, and compete! I love hearing HS coaches say their kids do not play good D.  Well whose fault is that? Use the Hurley model that dictates defense or a place on the bench regardless of who you are and your offensive skill level. It's not as if St. Anthony's kids are head and shoulder better than kids on other teams. It's just the fact they work harder on both ends of the court and have been taught how to play the game better. It also helps when they know their Coach is not kissing anyones ......!

Karl Towns walked into the gym and he is actually a legit 7 Ft,  strong and agile. I love the fact his Parents are right there with him every step of the way. Dad knows the deal because he was a baller himself. But funny joke from someone in the stands was Dads leather jacket had the Kentucky logo all over the inside lining lol. I guess Karl purchased the Kentucky Ski Cap he had on while he was there visiting.  Love seeing kids commit to schools and wind up with tons of gear that they must have ordered on the computer lol.

Soon after Kentucky Coach Calipari walks in with Assistant Orlando Antiqua who I remember from his days at St. Raymond's HS in The Bronx.  Honestly they arrived like Movie Stars! No Kentucky gear, no fancy bright warmups, just nice tailored clothing and tans. Most likely they came on a private jet. They sat away from the other side away from the other coaches as Rick Patino does when recruiting and actually watched Karl play his game against Teaneck.  They obviously understand how to do it while the other coaches  in attendance were BSing around having fun.

St. Josephs avenged last years Teaneck win with an overtime  victory that was very exciting. In the game karl did not hit one outside shot but was very tough inside and looked much stronger and tougher.  For Teaneck they will always be competitive except for the game against Plainfield last season where they were totally embarrassed to the point I thought there was going to be some movement of some kind within the program. Would nice to see The Hernandez kid play a bit more team ball but thats not what they ask. Right now he would be a great get for a NEC or MAAC level school.  Learn to play better team ball and he could be a A10 player. It would be nice to see them play some tough match-up zone, full court press with traps, and even a half court 131 of some type. You can have an off night offensively but defense must be consistent and  played each and every game. No D? No Play!  Shakir Lindsey is also a very very very special player and I sure hope it all comes together for him.

Watched the first quarter of the last game featuring St. Benedict's vs a Prep School from Massachusetts with a huge team. The prep team looked tremendous on the sidelines.  But horrible when the game started. proves you cannot judge a book by its cover.  By the way both of these teams also looked like they were playing at The Riverdale Y with the mix match warm-ups, different sneakers, etc. Just a terrible look and one I hate to see.

Seems to me that NJ has the best HS basketball talent in the tri-state area. maybe its because of the recruiting that is allowed in NJ that brings so many of the better players across the George washington Bridge and through the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.  But regardless of the reason, it is not even close any longer!

My NJ Top 9

St. Anthony's
St. Benedict's
Roselle Catholic
The Patrick School
Pope John
Gil St. Bernard
St. Josephs
Hudson Catholic


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

As we continue with this crazy basketball season watching teams we love fight for wins it occurs to me that changes must happen in many ways for certain programs to be successful. After all,  it sure is not about only the glitter because much of that has a tendency to turn into litter!

St, Johns of the once all powerful Big East  Loses to The University of San Francisco? Oh well they are still sporting a winning record so does anyone really care about this loss? Will St. Johns sell out the next home game regardless of this past performance? Would be a nice thing but I doubt if we will see St. Johns sell out another game anytime soon unless they change all home games to St. Joseph by The Sea HS located in somewhere NY?

OK maybe I did not get the memo but I was certain that Big East Teams were supposed to beat up on all others outside of other high D1 and power conference teams. What the heck is happening? Millions of dollars in coaching salaries and even more getting recruits from all over the country except the NY Tri-State Area and playing like they have with no purpose on the court is very interesting. Lets see how they do from here out but when all the changes were announced years ago we actually thought St. Johns was back!  This now seems like Bob Hill at Fordham all over again! Anyone else remember when Fordham was going to compete with all the big boys and hired the high level staff who were supposed to, according to rumors, each get a Range Rover as a recruiting vehicle to impress recruits?  We all thought Fordham was taking over. Ditto St. Johns with the new staff they have in place! Right now no one is in fear of playing St. Johns of the powerful Big East Conference. In fact the other local college teams are not in awe of any Big East Program between New York and Pennsylvania. with the exception of Syracuse who is running as far away from the Big east as they can.

Interesting that the Big East Program that does seem to be heading in the right direction is Providence College. Just proves what happens when folks hire substance as opposed to glitter.  And locally teams are itching to play the big boys. I hear D3 Lehman College has reached out to play home and away against St. Johns, RU, Seton Hall, and Villanova but turned down alot of money to play Providence (smile).  I am sure they will get the FDU game on the schedule because a win is a win for teams such as Lehman.

Speaking of Seton Hall I would be concerned and far from satisfied that NJIT could play the Pirates so close yesterday. Maybe it was close because they both have used the Prudential Center as a home court in the past. SHU plays all home games there and NJIT has played one or two some years. Maybe NJIT is just a better team and program now as opposed to what we remember when they were ranked the worst D1 team and program in America a few years back,  going winless for the season. Regardless, all Big East teams should win those type of games by no fewer than 20-25 points and the opposing team should be sprinting to the locker room with smiles on their faces realizing the beating could have been by 50 if they did not play as well as they did.  In a nutshell I will only say un-acceptable!

Speaking of Fordham with a coaching staff I really like, what the heck was that about going into Pa. and getting seriously whipped by Lehigh of the powerful..........heck I cannot even remember the name of the conference they play in and they are right down the road or highway from my home in Pennsylvania.  But than again I could say the same thing about Villanova losing to Columbia earlier in the season. Yes,  powerful Columbia of the powerful Ivy League!  Maybe the Big East should extend invitations to Columbia, Lehigh, and NJIT to join the conference with San Francisco also being strongly considered as well?

I am scared to even look at what other colleges and universities in the area are doing. It is just that type of year thus far. None of the very good kids want to stay home it seems. I guess they feel it is just to close. Yea right, I doubt that! The local programs just do not have it going on. Believe it or not Seton Hall has more glamour about their program this season than SJU, RU, VU, and definitely more than a place like Penn State who has all the facilities and tools to be successful but remains at the bottom of the BIG conference that continues to get even bigger.  The Prudential Center at least has atmosphere that would be impressive to recruits.

Speaking of recruits please allow me to give my take on what it takes to land the top guys and win in the year 2012, 2013, and even 2014.

Recruits want to play in front of a lot of people at home. They want the arena or gym full with fans being supportive.

Recruits want to see committed coaching staffs consisting of people who can get them better and most cases good enough to make money one day playing basketball. Or in some cases maybe I should say to continue making money!

Recruits want luxury accommodations in where they live, how they eat on campus, how they travel to games, and where they work out.

Recruits want respected coaches who command respect and have a track record of winning. By the way thats winning and not whining!

Recruits want to be impressed as they are wined and dined during the recruitment process.

Recruits want to feel as if they are a priority as Dexter Strickland did when he watched North Carolina play a home game in Chapel Hill at noon on TV and Roy Williams still showed up at his 4 PM game at Madison Square Garden arriving to the area via private jet.

Recruits want to see great player development across the board and not watch other kids they once idolized treated unfairly, and not living up to their potential.

Recruits want glitter and substance including first rate tutors, computer access, dedicated learning labs, wonderful practice facilities not shared with the women's team or used for intramurals.

Recruits want to see other high impact recruits considering the colleges recruiting them. Think it was not impressive to Kyle Anderson that other highly rated recruits were considering UCLA? By the way does anyone really feel SHU had a real chance at the time? OK folks read between the lines.....At-the-time!!!!   Remember I still say Kyle Anderson is the real deal and a future NBA Star! Put him on Kentucky and they are undefeated!

So whats the formula for a quick fix and in some cases, but certainly not all, quick births to the NCAA tournament?  Do I really need to say this? You mean you really do not know the answer? You really do not know the one thing that most schools other than the local schools do to attract players? You do not understand what many schools have done with AAU and travel team coaches as well as HS coaches from places such as Chicago, Detroit, etc. going back many-many years?  You mean you have never heard the stories about how certain schools that at one time were spitting images of what FDU was last year becoming national type programs? You mean you honestly thought it was all about coaching?

Lets change up a bit. Or are we? Ummmmmmmmm!  Does cheating actually happen all over America in athletics? What role does the sneaker companies play and how much influence do they really have? Is it true certain Sports Agents have so much access they actually support certain travel teams with under the table contributions? Is it true that on certain campuses there is even an un-official lounge for certain sports agents to come and go as they please? Is it true that on some campuses certain sports agents are almost treated like staff?

All of the above could just be rumors? Or some or all of it just might be true. Many have said that in no way except on years when the stars and moon align  just right will teams from non power conferences, or teams without winning traditions, or teams who do not cheat, make it to the final 4. Just saying what I have heard!

Locally I have heard some interesting rumors that are borderline unbelievable especially considering how certain teams have competed and played. In no way could these rumors be true based on what I have seen thus far. Not only locally but on the national level as well.  During my travels I love going to games and watching what happens off the court while the game goes on. Trust me often the real game takes place in the stands. The deals that are struck you would not believe.......according to what I have been told as well as what I THINK I HAVE HEARD AND SEEN.  But to this day I will never ever understand the NCAA because what we have in place is a system that hinges on amateur athletic destruction as we know it. A system that makes everyone go out and do all they can regardless of committing recruitment violations in an effort to keep up, compete, and to win.   A system so corrupt that kids are completing 4 years of eligibility with 41 earned credits and than returning home with low self esteem and a bunch of free athletic gear that one day will turn yellow and too small to wear as they become bigger from not playing the game as much any longer. Will schools such as FDU, St. Peters, LIU, Marist, Manhattan, and Monmouth, ever really have a chance to be successful and go far in the NCAA's? Ditto SHU, RU, Fordham, Penn State, and others? Do we need to go to a system of D1, and D1AA for the schools who really do not have the resources, commitment, or even deep pocket boosters (wink-wink) to allow them to compete with the big boys?

Lots to think about and remember it all could be just a dream, or at the least just rumors. But despite it all, change needs to happen across the board including the local programs with coaching, player development, facility upgrades, commitment,  event marketing, and other areas that will make local great players as well as some national players consider attending good ole local university!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Interesting basketball thoughts from the weekend!

First of all its a sad day in sports losing Rick Majerus, a great coach who seemed to always do it his way and produced winning teams at many universities.  Rest in Peace Coach!

Also a sad day because Kenny "Eggman" Williamson departed the Earth recently. A memorial service was held for him yesterday at Iona College. A great personality, true character,   and a wonderful person who was from the community and loved by anyone who ever met him. Rest in Peace Coach Williamson!

Basketball wise I am now about to write some things that just might have people up in arms. But as you know and understand about me,  I couldn't care less. I give it to you straight with no chaser! So if you get angry fast please depart this page now.

I will start by including St. Johns, Seton Hall, Rutgers, and FDU in the same category. What category is this you might wish to ask? it is the going nowhere fast category! Sorry, I said it. Than again I am not sorry because  it is what it is.

Seton Hall has had some health issues and things that has kept their best product from being on the floor.  But I have to say where is the depth? Where is the bench?  My thoughts on the direction of this program will be at the end of this part of my post.

St. Johns looks like a team playing a summer league game in the park uptown. Yes, I said it! What the heck? With all the money they spend and continue to spend whats the deal? Plus for the first time since I can remember they actually did not have 1 NYC or Northern NJ kid in the rotation or on the roster the last time I looked. How can you be in the MECCA, close to NJ, Pa., Connecticut, and in NY and do not have an area influence on the roster?  This should be a crime when you think about the SJU history of success. Lucky Marty Markowitz the Brooklyn Boro president is not Mayor because  he would fine them (smile).

Rutgers just seems to be doing the best they can. Unfortunately that is just not enough. What the heck! Is anyone interested? Are they really going to the Big 10? Why? OK it has to be for  Football because no one seems interested in RU Basketball. Sooner or later they will have to win some games. Even than how do they get  8500 fans out for every game. I can see it now: Indiana at Rutgers and the attendance will be 4265. Michigan State 4600, etc.  Unlike UConn, and Syracuse those Big Ten schools are too far to bring a fan base with them,  especially to Rutgers which will not be good enough till they get the formula to attract great NJ, NY, and Pa. players. It will be like traveling to Northwestern years ago. Just did not happen!

FDU is in this category because they are FDU! In  fact they are doing better than I thought they would do thus far. I might even go to a game. I will call my ex player Greg Vetrone and ask him to leave me two tickets. One for me and one for a needed body guard lol.  Maybe I will get the ticket from my good friend James Brown CPA who lives and dies with FDU and Teaneck HS basketball. Wait a moment that came out like I was saying FDU HS basketball. Maybe that's what they should do. Make the program a HS team. After all they made a nice looking facility into a horrible looking HS gym!

So here is what I think about all the programs mentioned. In fact let me say all but FDU which seems to also be doing better and the best they can.  All the programs are lacking attractiveness. They all seem plain with nothing exciting or sexy about them. St. Johns had a great opportunity with the new glamour staff. But they continue to look more like the Milbank Unlimited Team in The Rucker summer league.  What is Seton Hall doing to really get the very good to great area players? Finishing 2nd is not worthy of accolades, especially during a time when it is not uncommon for highly recruited kids to say the correct things to local media people.  St. Johns has attracted highly recruited players as only they can. Unfortunately they seem to not be jelling as a team. Also nothing like that NYC toughness on a team. see Ron Artist reference. Also see Beaver Smith, Frankie Alagia, Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, Mark Jackson, Kevin Williams, etc.

Unfortunately most of the college teams in America are playing to make the NCAA knowing for the most part they have zero chance of winning a national championship. St. Peters knows this as does Manhattan, NJIT, and yes FDU. Unfortunately SHU, RU, and SJU should feel the same way until they figure out how to keep the tremendously talented top 50  type players home, something RU has done in football. Now St. Johns has done what it had to do but the coaching and player development is the same as what is happening at UCLA to date.  But the others?

Lets talk real stuff!   I still say 85 to 90 percent of the college D1 basketball teams cheat in one way or the other. Most commit minor infractions while others are doing major stuff like paying money to players and families, supplying jobs and business opportunities, hooking up rec and even some HS coaches for a home visit, school visit, and a jackpot for a commitment.  So where does that leave most schools? They have no chance of competing. Oh yes there will be the occasional Butler (with 16000 seat arena) VCU (with strong commitment to basketball) and Gonzaga. But for the most part the "Big Boys" know how to get it done. Arriving by private jet, showing up in a limo, playing in front of 20,000 plus, wining and dining student athletes, outstanding training facilities, traveling to away games via 2 or 3 private jets, special training table, etc. Anyone watch that Kentucky recruitment film on TV?

So how do the area teams compete? Or are they just playing to be respectful? I just do not see any light at the end of the tunnel at this point. I do not see sell outs at RU, SHU (I am talking entire building not the curtain thing), or St. Johns on campus or at the Garden. I just do not see what they are doing to make kids grow up hoping to play for one of the power teams in the area. I  remember when St. Johns did not recruit, they selected!

Other Thoughts

Waiting to see what happens to the Head Coach at Hofstra after all the thefts that took place on campus. Now I say everyone is innocent till proven guilty. But I await to see the punishment the head coach will get. The last time I saw similar incidents was at Binghamton, and that was nowhere as serious. However the Head Coach was FIRED! Now I am not looking or pushing for anyone to get fired. Just curious how Hofstra handles this in comparison to Binghamton who in my opinion  handled it wrong and had to pay the ex coach a lot of money when he left.

What is the deal with all the players now sporting beards on the court? Where is Bobby Knight, John Thompson, Dean Smith, and others when we need them?  I always said if I was a HS or college basketball coach a player would have to play like Michael Jordan to get my permission to have corn rows, a beard, crazy hair, a mohawk, super tattoos all over, etc. I know I know I am behind the times. But wow does this new beard thing look ridiculous and some kids look like they are in the Junior .......(fill in the blank) .

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Not alot to say this morning but I do have some personal points to make regarding basketball, the game we love and adore.

It really seems to me that we are getting closer than ever before to the International system where players are being developed from an early age for professional basketball careers. Let me give a few examples:

Kentucky : Nuff Said!

Kids reclassifying to graduate early from HS to get NBA bucks quicker!

The NBA D league actually becoming the farm system it was designed to be with many 1st and 2nd round players spending significant time there.

We are actually pointing kids in the direction of "Balling For Dollars' as opposed to getting them interested in obtaining a great education at good ole academic university. What happened?

Seems to me that we have allowed a lot of people to make the sport their own personal toy or hobby. Yes, David Stern is guilty! So is John Calapari, though I am one of those who really feel he is not a horrible person, just an opportunistic person who figured out how to work the system to his advantage.  The powerful AAU and Prep programs are also at fault with the heavy emphasis on recruiting, sponsorships, and winning.  Laugh if you wish but some AAU type programs are more powerful than traditional HS basketball powers. I know for a fact AAU programs or shall I say traveling teams actually do home visits in an effort to recruit players. And some even cheat with money and gifts believe it or not!

I cannot believe my eyes when I read that Andrew Wiggins, Dakari Johnson, and Karl Towns Jr. all are considering re-classifying in order to graduate HS earlier. Now why would they do that? I remember when the big thing was re-classifying to gain additional years in HS. Still remember A kid from Brooklyn re-classifying and doing 2 extra years before accepting a scholarship to The University of North Carolina. And that was all right in some of our eyes because the kid actually wanted to one day get a college degree so he needed to get his academics in order.

So whats the deal with this new idea of kids deciding on their own to graduate a year early? OK I have it! They say to themselves   "I will just skip myself a grade  though I sure am not worthy of being skipped academically in the eyes of  the school system" Because of the greed and ambition of many others including but not limited to parents, trainers, AAU types, potential agents whispering in ears, and college coaches, I will take my C to B- average and immature personality and graduate from HS a year ahead of schedule.

Maybe I am wrong in thinking they are trying to get to the NBA money earlier than later. Maybe they just want to get to college and hit those sociology, biology, and english books ASAP because they cannot wait to walk across the stage to get their degree. Oops, wrong stage because I am sure the only stage they plan on walking across is the one with the NBA Commissioner calling the names of 1st round NBA draft choices.

Maybe they all were held back early in elementary or JHS allowing them to better develop and be attractive to colleges and universities. Now all of a sudden they are ready to hit the big time based on a majority of opinions, especially those who can gain from them making professional money.  In the Midwest and in Texas this is a common thing done in football towns where the entire population attends Friday Night games. And it is not uncommon in basketball. But again in both basketball and football the reclassification of a kid to allow him to graduate early and get to the money sooner is just greedy and might backfire!

Don't believe me? Do you folks actually feel Nerlens Noel  the 6 ft 10 Kentucky player who reclassified to attend The University of Kentucky Basketball Development Academy will be ready for the NBA Draft after the season? I sure do not! What about the kids who even left college early for the NBA draft and it has backfired? You have to be experimenting with drugs to see 48 underclassmen have applied for the draft and you put your name in after averaging 10 points and 2 assists at FDU (you know I had to give them a shout-out lol).  So many, too many, kids hurt by dumb basketball decisions.

This brings me back to my thoughts on The US becoming more like the International system that has 18 year olds playing for money on professional teams and affiliates. It is done in soccer, and basketball all over the globe. Now we have gone from kids needing to complete College, to being able to declare    hardship after a few seasons, to just declaring hardship after a season, to being able to go pro after HS no questions asked, to having to do 1 year of college no questions asked.  I say thanks to the NBA and NCAA for the biggest child exploitation ring this side of Asia. The college game  has been ruined to the point very few NBA players actually have schools they can be considered alumni of.  It is now a game of The Benjamin's, or balling for dollars even at an early age. For every Magic Johnson there are 20 Les Casons. For every Michael Jordan there are 30 Luther Wrights or Bill Willoughby's , although Bill has gone on to get his degree from..........Ready for this? FDU baby!!!!

In conclusion I have to say basketball is such a wonderful game. I really hope on the AAU, HS, and College side it can again become the amateur game it was years past. A game that kids played hoping for future opportunities gained over a time period that just might be 4 years of college. It is unbelievable that Kentucky, The NBA, and The NCAA, has allowed such a mockery to take place the past few years. Crazy as it sounds, when Notre Dame beat Kentucky this past week it was like the true Student Athletes beat the NBA development league  franchise out of Lexington Kentucky. Lets allow kids to be kids, lets allow young men to develop mentally and emotionally. Lets bring back real NCAA Basketball by making kids stay in college for at least 3 years before being eligible for the NBA draft because Kentucky has figured out the graduation rate penalty thing (if still in existence)  and realizes 13 scholarship players are not necessary when you have 6 freshmen in school ready for the NBA draft.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The college basketball season has come up on us very quickly. We are seeing some major developments in the sport we all love and adore. And nothing including the recent Big East defections is more news worthy than what has happened at FDU (smile)

FDU has won 3 games this season out of 6 played. Maybe they need to put a hold on the back room deal of making the program a JC or D 3 program. Maybe they need to bring those end zone bleachers back out of storage because the Knights are on fire!  I give it to them when I think they are bad. So I need to give it to them when they hold serve in the Garden State. Last night they beat St. Peters for the 3rd win this season. Congratulations to all of the players, coaches and all 75 season ticket holders. Question: Do you think the President of FDU finally knows they have a sports program including D 1 men and women basketball teams? Just curious!

What is happening to the Big East? Contrary to public opinnion I think  a league of St. Johns, SHU, Georgetown, Providence, Memphis, Temple, Villanova,  Depaul,  and others would be a great league. A basketball only league with an opportunity for all the teams to play tremendous out of conference schedules to attract people to games on campus and at area arenas.  This would be far from the old ECAC and one that could be stronger by adding teams like St. Joe's, and UMass. Interesting every one of the teams are potential future top 20 programs!

Louisville to the ACC is one of the dumbest and unnecessary moves in the history of D1 basketball. OK maybe it was a football decision because it sure was not about basketball where they traditionally sell out in that great new arena. Well I guess Rick will look great in NC with the white suit on!

What is it with all these teams joining conferences with no boundaries.  Who ever heard of playing home and away against teams on the other side of the country? I remember when Hawaii had  serious travel challenges as a D1 basketball program. They would come to the main-land and play 4 games in a row and go back. Now it seems they had an easy travel schedule compared to what other schools are doing. What about the Student Athletes? Does anyone care about the long dumb road trips that could affect academic performance?  Where is the NCAA on this? Heck why not have UCLA accept an offer to join the Big East?

Some things just does not even sound right. Syracuse of the ACC? Please! Florida State at Syracuse is some trip! How about Notre Dame in the ACC? I could see the Big 10, not the ACC. ND at NC State? Please! No one cares because money talks and it has never been about the student atheletes. And honestly it never will be.

Speaking of UCLA what is happening? Ummmmmmmmmmm! I sure do not know Ben Howland but I will say it is a great thing his hair is almost gone because if it was not he sure would lose it now based on the turmoil in Southern California.  Lets see they have a new arena, tradition, about 4 to 7 Micky D HS All Americans, lots of money, powerful boosters and playing like FDU.  OK FDU from last season! To me it is about player development and putting players in position to succeed and this is not happening. Interesting how the pitfalls of UCLA makes the case for Kentucky with recruits even stronger. I would bet Shabazz Mohammed is having second thoughts right now. Ditto Kyle Anderson who seems to have the life sucked out of him by the herky jerky way they are playing him.  Tony Parker?  Where is he? The Wear Twins? I bet they wish they would have stayed at UNC. Larry Drew might be the only person happy because he only has to experience the craziness for this season. Everyone knows that the fans will stay away in Southern California if things are not going right.  If things continue all those undergrads will return unless they transfer because none are showing true skills and abilities in Westwood  in ways to attract professional dollars anywhere other than stints in Red China and the new pro league in Alaska.  If Ben Howland does not return, and that is a great possibility, look for Mark Gottfried (sp)  of NC State to be a serious candidate. We could also see the emergence of all the players mentioned to the level we expected. Trust me Kyle Anderson is a winner and will excel soon! Mohammed is, like Anderson, a future PRO! Tony Parker? If he was at Kentucky he would have an agent already!

Speaking of Kentucky I hate what is happening but sure understand it is all about the Benjamin's (dollars). Everyone knows what they are doing, everyone accepts what they are doing, no one cares what they do. They have removed the education from the term student athlete.  Kids are attending Kentucky in the hope of turning pro after 1 season. And they have no problem with this at Kentucky or the NCAA offices. What happened to the college experience? What happened to not growing up to fast? Honestly the NBA should allow kids to go from HS to the Pros again to stop the masquerade taking place. Everything they do at Kentucky is geared to NBA. They really should be taken only courses in banking, investing, and business because they really are there as NBA interns or cooperative education students learning on a college campus before heading to the real world of the NBA.

I again look at the NCAA and wonder how 80 percent of the college programs are cheaters according to many of my friends working in the athletic business. Some more than others, some minor and others major. From illegal trips, to illegal calls, to payments through 3rd parties, to give-backs to programs for players, to years ago paying certain AAU type programs to play pre-season games against college teams (playing with ex players many supplied by the college they play).  And now all this movement between conferences and not a word about the affect on student athletes. Wow!

Until next time I say enjoy a great game near you. I personally am looking forward to the Hoop Group Tip Off event at West Orange NJ HS.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday, November 19, 2012

Writing from NE Pennsylvania, the Poconos to be exact. Well, its that time again for my blog to start covering basketball in the Northeast. I love HS and College basketball but will occasionally write about the NBA. As in the past this blog will be written only when I have something to say and express, which is fairly often. So sit back and relax as I write about the basketball happenings in 3 states.

Rutgers to The Big 10

Wow, I never saw it coming. Is this a good move for Rutgers? I say heck yes based on the direction the football program is heading. Rutgers Football seems to have arrived. But when you put it against traditional powers such as Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and others the challenge will be great. I have seen first hand those programs in action from the private jets, to 80,000 and above full stadiums and very wealthy boosters. Can Rutgers compete in the long run? I say YES!!!  I say it is a great move for the football program.

This brings me to the Rutgers basketball program. Is it me or does the RU basketball program on both the men and women's side seem to be at a stand still. Where is the excitement? Where is the sold out RAC? Where is the great TV Contract? Where is the upgraded RAC, which is all they really need because trust me Northwestern is not that much better if at all.

Looking at RU basketball I really am not seeing much growth this season. It sure will be hard competing against schools with much larger slush accounts if you know what I mean. I really do not see RU in a post season event anytime in the near future unless they decide to take a trip to China in late JULY. The basketball program needs marketing, marketing, and marketing as well as a better product on the floor. Just my opinion!

Seton Hall

Much of what I said about the Rutgers Basketball Program can be said about Seton Hall. Where is the glamour? Where is the potential? When will they be ready for a post season event?  I love the Pru Center and the games there are exciting. Just wonder what will happen with all the BE defections?  I am not so sure a league with SJU, SHU, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Villanova, Temple, St. Joe's,  UMass, and Louisville would not be a great league.  I happen to like it and the out of conference possibilities based on a smaller league schedule.

As far as the SHU team I really need to watch them more. Not sure if recruiting is going in the direction they hoped it would. A lot has to be stepped up. How do they get the Roberson's, Sina's, Anderson's and others to seriously consider attending Seton Hall? Ditto Rutgers! Ditto St. Johns who I think does not have one local scholarship player on the roster!

St. Johns

Watched them play and they are young gifted and athletic. Not sure about the leadership on the floor and the way they play in regards to a post season birth, They seem to be playing at one speed the game I watched. But being young can often take some time in molding players into a real unit.  Also very interesting that it seems they do not have one local player on scholarship unless I missed something. I have never seen a SJU team without local representation. NYC has great HS and JC players. At one time SJU just chose who they wanted. Times have changed.


I have heard whispers that Ben Howland is a bit over his head at UCLA.  Where is the player development? Honestly they have top 5 talent  on the court with very little direction. Georgetown is good but player to player UCLA is 16 points better on an off night. Are you kidding me? What a disappointment it was watching them play.

Where is Tony Parker? Is he sick? Did I miss him playing? When was the last time we saw Kyle Anderson finish with zero point? Where is the team development? What did they do on their summer trip go sight seeing? UCLA has at least 5 future NBA players on the roster. Or do they? It depends on the teaching and coaching. Trust me Howland must be on the hot seat because in no way is that team playing as they should be playing. It is up to the coach to put players in a position to be successful!  Just a terrible job all the way around!


OK no comment lolol    Nah I have to say something. Do they still have a team? Are they D1? Did they move the games to the church basement down the street? Still the saddest program in D1 and I do not blame the coaches. I blame the AD and FDU Administration.  I still say soon they will announce FDU going D3 with no scholarships. I can see it happening. Cannot wait to see that Lehman College vs FDU Game. better yet that CCNY with Coach Tom Green vs FDU game would be even better. I say CCNY by 15 right now if Tom Green is still there!

Julius Allen to Pratt Institute

Great hire by Pratt getting Julius Allen, the former D1 assistant at many schools to take over as Head Coach of Pratt Institute. If Julius stays for a while look for them to be a true power in their league.

Robert Holford to Queensborough CC

Another great hire getting the ex National JC D3 Coach of the Year. Watch them improve right out of the gate. I would not be surprised if this team wins the CUNY CC Championship.

HS Basketball

Looking forward to the Hoop Group Event scheduled for West Orange HS in a few weeks.  Great games with many great as well as underrated players participating.

Well, thats it as a start. Be ready for a lot of controversial posts and stories that many others will not say or share. Until next time, be safe and enjoy the hoops in person and on TV.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

College and Highschool Basketball

I love it! I love the competitiveness of amateur basketball. Although I have recently rediscovered The New York Knicks based on Jeremy Lin, it could never replace the excitement of College and HS basketball when the games and the atmosphere is right.

Such is the case  of the recent two Rutgers vs Seton Hall basketball games which provided the atmosphere and game quality people in he Tri-State area has hungered for. Those games were exciting with a capital "E."  Years ago I was attracted to the game by the great teams at St. Johns who recruited local hungry players from NY and NJ to field outstanding teams selling out Madison Square Garden on a regular basis.  I also loved watching Rutgers at Madison Square Garden and even dreamed of being a Scarlet Knight after seeing RU rock the Garden.

College basketball actually stole me from the Knicks where I was a super fan starting out as a HS kid with a G.O.  card that gave HS students super discounts to attend games. I still remember sitting way up by myself with my ice cream cup, peanuts or popcorn, soda, and if my money was right a hot dog. The entire package would cost me a grand total of $10.00, including the game ticket because those G.O.  cards were wonderful.  Great memories!

Hopefully college basketball is back locally and close to where it was with the start of The Big East when St. Johns and Georgetown was a harder ticket to get than one for the Knicks. Of course the NCAA tournament was always a big deal especially with the great UCLA teams of John Wooden and the great program at North Carolina under Dean Smith. But ESPN brought it all home and in my eyes helped make Cable TV what it is today.

We are very close to NCAA time and everyone is wondering who will be chosen. Of the area Big East teams we know the only one with a chance is Seton Hall unless Rutgers and St. Johns wins the BE Tournament.  Iona and LIU have a chance as does Manhattan if they win the MAC, which is possible.

Breaking College Basketball News

Much has been said the last two days about the state of College Basketball. If you did not read my last  blog please do so because it really has some stuff in there, especially if you read between the lines, that will make you wonder about college sports.

HS Basketball

I love the game of basketball,  especially HS basketball. Last night I had an opportunity to attend a game at Gil St. Bernard's where the home team took on St. Patrick's in the NJ State Tournament. Before talking about the game I have to say how beautiful the school and campus is. It was just like a small college campus and the gym was packed with parents and students having  a great time. With tuition at around $33,000 a year (including lunch lol)  it looked as it was supposed to look.  My understanding is the number 1 JHS kid in NJ will be attending Gill in the fall, and after seeing that place I am stunned more kids are not, especially if they have a decent financial aid program (smile).

After walking at least a half a mile to an actual field-house that was state of the art, I sat down on the side  behind the bench of St. Patricks.  The place was packed and the fans were so into it that two St. Patricks Dads almost came to blows when one felt the other was not cheering for the team and his son but hating on everyone but his son. It was kind of scary but if you have never had a child play a completive sport on the HS level it would be hard to understand that this happens often as we parents tend to be protective of our children  Someone made a nasty comment to me about what happened and I laughed because they had no idea they were commenting to The Worst Dad in The History of NJ Basketball  which I was for many years, something to this day I regret.

The game itself was close going into the 4th quarter. St. Pats was missing 3 very important players who could have made a huge difference. I traveled all the way to this game to see Gil St. Bernard's for myself and to experience what just might be the last game St. Patricks ever plays. The game was won by Gil St. Bernard's, who showed what happens when a group of players play team basketball, which they had to do to win the game because their star player Jared Sina did not look like the highly rated player he is capable of being.

I have always loved the way Jared Sina played. The cockiness, the hard nosed play, the confidence, and more.  But on this evening he had one of those games especially in the first half. He was far from bad, he was far from average, he was just good and not GOOD as in Big East, ACC, good. Now I have seen him play better, and kids have off games which is OK especially when your teammates step up as they did and your team wins the game. But from what I saw I sure hope he plays better from this point on.

Random thoughts from the game:

Gil St. Bernard's looked like a great program and a great place to attend school. If a kid gets an opportunity to attend school there they should run and not walk.

Gil's Coach Sina seemed like an outstanding coach and person. Great fit for the school and program.

If St. Patrick's closes, and I hope they do not, a few of the St. Pat players sure should consider Gil St. Bernard's

St. Benedict's Coach was at the game! Are you kidding me! I guess he just came as a fan lol.
But he is a very good coach.

I loved the support St. Patrick's received with alumni and others from Elizabeth showing up in huge numbers to support the team.

If St. Patricks stays open they will be a great team next season!

St. Patrick's at full strength will be top 2 or 3 next year

I understand even if St. Pats closes down there is a plan to keep it open as a private or charter school with the Mayor of Elizabeth playing a huge role in what happens.

I saw coaches from St. Johns, Penn State, and St. Joseph's in attendance.

It is a shame that some folks who St. Pats really helped have turned their backs on the school. Thank God Kyrie Irving was brought up right and understands giving back,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

General Thoughts

College Basketball

Lots of stuff flying around concerning UCLA and the lack of discipline. I have to laugh because at least 70 percent of the schools playing D1 basketball there are discipline issues. The difference is they are pushed under the rug and you never even find out it was happening. Now do not make me start naming schools and coaches. Many of you reading my blog know exactly what I am talking about.

One of the problems is a lack of a tenure system for coaching staffs. Remember I said STAFFS and not Head Coach. Far too many coaches are at the mercy of advisors, players, and parents regarding what happens on campus. Why? Because the bottom line is winning! No exceptions! Most schools couldn't care less if you every kid goes out to the world with a degree and do wonderful things if the kids did not produce on the court. Yes, I am talking about winning games.   Deans and Presidents have known about drug usage, from players and coaches, bad behavior, excessive cheating by coaching staffs, and much more yet they turn their back because winning brings money for new labs and larger Presidential Cabinet expense accounts.  I say excessive because if truth be told every D1 college in America cheats in one way or another! Illegal practices, free clothing to parents and supporters, small payoffs to get players, Illegal travel arrangements for those so called un-official visits, etc. How does a kid from a struggling family afford to fly to an un-official visit 1000 miles away and come right back home? Please! Also special no show jobs on and around campus, use of vehicles, extra game tickets, special lodging for family on game days, and much much more. And that's the minor cheating!

For years certain teams were known for supplying new Autos to recruited players. Stevie Wonder saw what was happening yet the NCAA never came down hard on such programs saying they, with plenty of great eyes, saw no infractions. How about the schools we love and adore who take a parent with a GED if that and get them a job earning $100,000 while finding them a great home to use for $450 a month? Trust me it happens. How about the schools who hire an AAU guy or a parent as a Coach or administrative assistant at a salary of $100,000 plus. And the person hired comes directly from a job in retail where they might have earned $10 an hour. How about the schools that put out a secrete notice that a certain kid needs $100,000 to sign and folks chip in to cover the cost believing the kid will bring success to the program. And how about the schools that have kids complete 5 years including a redshirt year yet the kid still cannot read or write and no one cares. That also is cheating, cheating the kid and his family.  But most likely no one paid attention because they all felt  the player was NBA bound

So back to all the UCLA rumors. If Ben Howland is released it certainly will not be based on an article in Sports Illustrated. However with a losing record etc. they could use it as an excuse to make a change. But if they get the Mohammed kid out of Vegas, and Tony Parker, he is not going anywhere,  even if he had Bernie Fine type charges. It is all about winning!

This brings me to another point that has pissed me off. Every family with a son who is an AA takes money! Just because a person drives a new car it does not mean they received it from the school. If the family moves into a new home it does not mean they received it from the school. In both cases the parents might have had a college fund that they can now use on a home down payment or for a new car since the child received a full scholarship. Now keep in mind others on that campus, many who might not be as good a player, could have received outrageous perks. But maybe this kid has parents who did not need or would not accept knowing that serious money was only a year or two away in the NBA.

So out of control programs for the most part are the norm. Getting details is another story. And again in their own way everyone is doing some form of cheating, even D2 and NAIA schools.

Speaking of cheating Seton Hall.....................just kidding lol. Just getting the attention of those Pirate Fans! Seton Hall seems to be right there as a NCAA at large team. Who would have thought this in August? Shows that with hard work good things happen. Of course things have to work out for them but I believe they have a great chance of going dancing.

Rutgers continues to show spunk and improvement. They could be special next season. I will leave Mike Rice alone today because coaching wise he is doing a great job. Just wish he would sit down and relax his eyes because he looks like he is ready to pop someone. Oh well I guess I will again be barred from communicating with any coach on the Rutgers staff as Fred Hill had it when he was there. But I do like Mike Rice! I did like Fred Hill at one time!

These days i do not even venture into Queens based on how I hear St. Johns feels about my thoughts on here.  When I do go it is at night and in the back of a van lol. But seriously I do think St. Johns has talent in the coaches and players. The problem is who will come back. I have heard many interesting things. I am a huge Maurice Hicks and Tony Chiles fan and always have been. Just hope St. Johns gets the young players to return and Lavin comes back with a clean bill of health. If this happens we could see a different St. Johns next season although despite the loss o Pitt last night they seem to be vastly improved right now.

Speaking of Cheating FDU.........lololololol.  That does not even sound right based on what is going on over there. Could you imagine FDU doing major cheating? Maybe one of the players got an extra sandwich? Maybe a parent gets a soda on an un-official visit. But the way they are playing and the atmosphere in that place has alot of people thinking it is only a matter of time until they become a D3 type program. And if this happens I am sure NJIT is prepared to take their place in the NEC.

Thinking about how crazy it is that a person like Tom Green gets elected into the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame yet FDU has yet to recognize his achievements with a similar honor. Again FDU sometimes equals Class without the C and the L!

CIAA Going On in Charlotte

What a great time of the year! I had an interesting posting discussion on NJ.Com about HBCU's (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) and the lack of a northern flavor on basketball teams. Honestly I would rather attend an HBCU than one of those D1 programs locally drawing 350 people to games. No knock really, well maybe it is a knock. Hampton or St. Francis in Brooklyn with no campus or dorms? Florida AM or FDU? Morehouse or St. Peters? Those are the D1 programs. The D2 programs like Shaw, Fayetteville, etc. are not bad either.  Ummmmmmm! I just continue to wish the various coaches would consider recruiting northern kids and northern kids would consider attending an HBCU institutions.

HS Basketball in NJ

Heading to that ritzy HS off Route 206 called Gil St. Bernard tonight for the St. Patricks vs Gil game. Should be a great game and as a true basketball fanatic this is a game I need to see. I love Sina's game and attitude. I love the way they play as a team. I really am looking forward to this game tonight.

I also plan to see the Newark Eastside vs Plainfield game. But everyone knows and understands that the Public School game of the year might happen on Weds, March 7 at East Orange Campus HS in East Orange New Jersey. The game would be Teaneck and Plainfield if Plainfield is able to hold off a very good Eastside team. Lots of talk on the HS boards about this potential game.

I am and always will be a Teaneck HS basketball fan. Heck if they asked I could be a booster  lol.  But i also recognize great achievement and that is exactly what schools such as Newark Eastside, Patterson Eastside, Plainfield, Linden, Shawnee from years back, and Teaneck do on a consistent basis. They play and win with home grown talent and send kids to college. Plainfield even has a kid heading to Yale. Most likely he will have plenty of time to prepare for Yale after Weds. lolololol. Sorry I could not resist!

As a side note I love when grown folks come out to support HS kids. It is a great thing to take pride in the HS you attended or the HS in the town you reside in. The support in Jersey is far better than NYC   Rarely are adults without children playing at games in NYC. So all of you older fans continue going to games and having fun because supporting those kids is a wonderful thing. Funny thing about where I live in Pa. is the gyms are state of the art seating what looks like 2500 in the smallest and close to 4000 in the largest yet the teams seem to always be barely decent with the exception of schools such as Pocono Mountain West, Pocono Mountain East and a few of the Allentown area schools. I mean the gyms are better than St. Peters, FDU, Manhattan, Iona, St. Francis, LIU, and others.  And here we have true winners like St. Anthony's practicing at the Rec center and sometimes a bingo hall.

Chris Jones to Pitt

I cannot believe a small portion of the fans at Pitt seem to already be down on Chris Jones without ever seeing him actually play. This is what happens when people who do not understand the game become so called scouts and run recruitment sites. Even Jay Gomes who is usually pretty good does not have Chris as a top 10 NJ senior yet he has him as a pre season 1st Team All State selection. Did Jay forget Chris when doing the list? I had and continue to have Chris as number 2A with Melvin Johnson of St. Ben's being 2B and Quentin DeCoursey being 4 based on Chris outplaying him in a head to head match-up. I think the Newark Star Ledger has a similar list to what I have.

These recruiting services are often bogus. Interesting thing is some folks feel they know it all. OK I have been guilty of this but I promise to change lol.  Those non qualified people and sites  provide misinformation often. Little round guys who were on the bowling team in HS are now ranking players and people are listening. And who does the rankings for ESPN? I love when they introduce Paul Biancardi (sp) their National Director of HS Basketball Scouting lol. I like Paul but they make it seem as if he really is in an office doing rankings with videos etc. Now Dave Telip (sp) is a guy who has done a great job for many years and really knows his stuff. But for the most part the first 25 nationally often is a no brainer. The problem is ranking the rest, many of whom no one actually saw.  Anyone remember the kid who Bobby Knight made up years ago? He actually made up a kid and next thing you know he was top 15 nationally.

Back to Chris Jones who I feel will one day play in the NBA. Why? Because of where he was and where he currently is, because of his work ethic, because of his size, and because of his improving skills. Chris is a GREAT pick-up for Pitt and the coaching staff understands this which is why they hurried and offered before Michigan, and many others who were calling came to see him.  It is true he had no high major offers prior to Pitt, but trust me he had a bunch on the way including strong programs from the ACC, BE, Big 10, and Big 12.  Within one week he would have had at least 7 offers from major programs from the mentioned conferences.

Well, thats it basketball wise. I can be reached at LFBall@AOL.COM if you have questions or concerns

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Morning Thoughts

The RU vs SHU Basketball Game and Rivalry

I guess it is safe to say no one is more pleased than me to see this rivalry develop and bring excitement to the State of NJ and most of the tri-state area. These games between Rutgers and Seton Hall can now be officially called a rivalry and a game that should be televised regardless of win loss records. Almost like the Army Navy game was handled for many years.

Rivalries often either bring out the best in you as a team or a player or they can make younger folks jump back and right into a protective shell. Rivalries bring people out to games and even help fund raising efforts of the schools in question. Recruiting wise kids want to be part of excitement. Because of that many additional nigh level recruits would want to attend Rutgers and SHU if they watched the game on TV because the atmosphere looked electric. I for one continue to be amazed at how both the RAC and Prudential Center look on TV. Big time is a true understatement because if you flipped from a UConn game to the SHU RU game on TV it would look similar. Now Syracuse is a different story but I still question the sincerity of fans there as opposed to fans of local teams but that's another post.

Rutgers won the game but in the eyes of many recruits the game is becoming a draw based on the excitement of the event and the fan turnout. By draw I mean to the game as well as drawing recruits to the participating schools. Though it is not Duke Carolina, it is developing in a way that could really hurt the 3rd area team St. Johns recruitment and atmosphere wise. With no true rival any longer, and a shrinking fan base at games played at MSG, SJU needs to really step it up even though they have had two great wins in a row.

So again RU won the game but Seton Hall will still be a post season team and attractive to recruits just as Rutgers will be.

Mike Rice

OK everyone please understand I have watched Mike Rice since he was at Fordham and I know about his Dad being a college coach in Pittsburgh etc. Mike seems to be doing a great job at RU and when I talk about hating his consistent wild man look on the side line it is just me and my feeling. Others might love it! But he and so many others feel they have to run the side lines coaching every play as opposed to staying calm and understanding most wins are accomplished via great prep work in practice. So again I say sit down sometimes and take in the action and coach your team because you are capable of great things as a coach.

Kevin Willard

I have to start by saying I have also followed Kevin Willard's career from Pitt forward. One of the worst days I experienced was when he DID NOT GET THE University of Delaware Head Coaching job years ago. What a bummer and something most people in Delaware were extremely unhappy about. What a difference he would have made! But Delaware's loss was Iona's gain which is now Seton Halls gain because I just love his coaching style. And like Mike Rice, his future is extremely bright.

RU and SHU Staff's

Not any high profile guys like many others nationally. But these guys are getting it done on the court and on the recruiting trail. Both have hard working and well respected 2nd in charge guys, and others well respected all over the entire east coast.

Facilities of Both Programs

No need to even discuss..........Sorry! But they both do look good on TV.


Kids now want to be recruited by both programs. In fact I am starting to hear how some kids want the challenge of playing against others at schools in the same conference. Both teams have their fair share of local highly rated recruits if not on paper,  by those really in the know like other coaches on the HS and college level.

Now let the rivalry continue!!!!!

HS Stuff

We are into the HS Playoffs in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In PA. it is almost like the CHSAA in NYC. Teams lose and still are in it. Confusing as heck! What is it a seeding round lol. In NJ it is straight win and move on, lose and go home. No exceptions although I still say you never ever get the best 4 teams to the NJ Tournament of Champions. This is easily remedied by saving two at large spots for teams who are upset in the group level playoffs but are clearly better than a group 2 or even group 4 school moving on. An example would be if St. Anthony's is upset by St. Patrick's who will be playing hard based on this being the last go around for the school.  So the true best HS in NJ will be sent home while little Sunshine Valley HS moves forward to the TOC. I want Sunshine Valley to make the TOC but want the field expanded to 8 from 6 to accommodate the two at large teams.

Staying in NJ I see St. Anthony's winning it all with strong challenges from Teaneck, Plainfield, and others. But it is something about playing team ball defensively and offensively that make them special. The potential Teaneck Plainfield game, which would take place next Weds in East Orange, will be the State Playoff Game of The Year and could easily be the Group 3 Championship. I see no team in South Jersey ready to challenge either team. If Gil St. Bernard plays Seton Hall Prep that also will be a great game. Not sure where they would meet up but it would be special.  Sleeper team in group 3 could be Newark Eastside and the team to beat in Group 4 is Patterson Eastside it seems.

Not sure if anyone has followed Woodridge HS from Bergen County. A group 1 or 2 school who really has done well the past two seasons. They have a big guy who got hurt some time ago and caused the PROGRAM to slide a bit.  But this team was destined to be a version of Hoosiers before the injury. I honestly thought they were the 2nd best team in BergenCounty and would play Teaneck in the finals of the Bergen Jamboree. But when you lose your best player things tend to fall apart. Good luck to this developing program.

Has anyone seen Shaakir Lindsey play? If not you need to get to see him because he just might be the greatest attraction in NJ HS basketball now and next season. A 5 ft 7 tough as nails skilled guard with great quickness and passing ability. A one man press breaker who can also hit the open 3. Again I would love to see him go against Aquille Carr in a future game.

Pitt has offered Chris Jones a full scholarship!  It still amazes me that people do not see and understand what more and more high major D1 Head Coaches see in Chris Jones. These Coaches from some very high level programs see the same Chris I see. The Chris who can shoot, run, jump, defend, and finish. This is not a late bloomer talent wise. It is a late bloomer confidence wise only because that was the only ingredient missing.  Funny thing is as I read the Pitt Rivals board and a few fans are questioning Chris based on him not being listed as a top 100 type player.

As I said there and I say here, people doing those rankings always get it wrong after the initial top 25-30 kids.  many of the people ranking never even played or coached the game we love. Yet there they are at games with pens in hand ranking. Funny stuff!  Even the great Tom Konchalski got it wrong when he listed Mike O'Koran as a D3 recruit yet he starred at North Carolina and with the NJ Nets.  How about current players? Ever heard of Jeremy Lamb? You know him! The great player at UConn who was not even a top 150 player coming out of High School according to most services. Well, Chris Jones just might be that next Jeremy which might be the reason UConn is recruiting him. I am sure glad Jamie Dixon makes up his own mind!

St. Patricks Closing

Sad day in Elizabeth NJ when it was announced St. Patricks would close down. Not going too deep on this but I will say Al Harrington owes far too much to St. Patrick's to even say the asinine crap he said to the press when informed the school was closing. Now no one has a right to tell a person how to spend his or her money. But damn!!!!! How soon many forget what was done for them. How soon folks become so into themselves they forget to reach out and help others. Says alot when a person like Kyrie Irving goes back to visit and offers to write a check despite learning to play way b4 arriving at St. Pats as a transfer student. I guess his Parents taught him about life while others fail to do so. Shame on the person with wealth who does not understand that the more you give, the more you will receive and at the same time help so many others. So Mr. Harrington go out and buy a new Mercedes and drive all over NY with the top down as many kids, some just like you were, are hurt by this closing.  I would love to introduce you to Mr. Ray Williams and Mr. Michael Ray Richardson who will tell you how easy it
comes and go's.

Where will the players go? seems the St. Benedict's Coach feels sorry for a few of them and has graciously offered to assist by taking them in. lololololol.  Very nice of him! I would love to see them attend St. Joes or Roselle Catholic. What about the local HS where they live? Oops some of the kids are from out of town. My bad! A dark horse for these kids will be the new school recruiting kids, Pope John in Sparta NJ. They did get a kid from Queens to enroll there as a recent transfer. Kid is a bonafide top 100 recruit with many Big East Teams involved. The coach seems very aggressive and I am sure he is all over this recent development.

Friday, February 24, 2012

RU vs SHU, FDU and Tom Green, and The Bergen Jamboree

Friday Feb 24, 2012

Rutgers vs Seton Hall

Round two of the NJ College Championship game takes place Saturday and what a game it should be. It's Sr. night and very emotional for many as the Seton Hall Seniors say so long and thanks for the memories. This game will be another growing pain game for Rutgers but I will bet they come to play and compete. This is not an easy game for Seton Hall at all. But I do feel Seton Hall will win the game but it sure will not be easy.

I expect a number of recruits will be present at the game. It looks great when the rock is rocking so a win by Seton Hall in a sold out (with curtain up) crowd will impress any recruit in attendance.

NEC Honors Tom Green

Interesting that The Northeast Conference honored Tom Green last night at FDU. For some strange reason I thought it was FDU honoring the man who at one time made them a well respected program and not the laughing stock they now are. But I found out from a friend, who wants his name withheld because it could be rough on him if the people at FDU knew we are friends lol, that it was the NEC doing the honoring. Is this not strange? The conference honors you but the school does not have you in their Hall of Fame?

I watched a movie the other day that my Son worked on. The movie is Morning Glory which is about an early morning news show. A nice young lady applies for a job and the person interviewing her says "why should I hire you?"  He than says why he should not and included in his evaluation of her credentials "and you attended FDU in Teaneck, better known as "Fairly Ridiculous."   I guess that sums it all up and  the ridiculous tag is not the wonderful students, but the administration who allow bad treatment of loyal employees, while not recognizing opportunities through sports to attract funding and additional students. Well congratulations Coach Tom Green,  your award and honor is well deserved!

By the way FDU lost the game against LIU in front of 512 people. They did manage to score 81 points though. Must have been like a Rucker Tournament game since you can score 81 and lose by double degits. Unbelievable! I wonder if Tom Green stayed to watch the entire game? I wonder if he gave the team a pep talk before the game? Yea right lololol.

Bergen Jamboree

Spent a wonderful day out with my Son and Grandson prior to heading to Ramapo University to see the Bergen Jamboree Boys Championship game between Don Bosco Prep and Teaneck HS. Both teams are highly rated state wise and both have very good tradition. No matter what the team records are it is always a war when they play. Yesterday was no different!

I arrived at the game at least 2 hours early only to see TV trucks, outside vans advertising when the game would be televised, and hundreds of fans who like me arrived early to take in the atmosphere and guarantee a seat. By the way the game did sell out as did the semi finals a week ago. This is by far the greatest county tournament in New Jersey in regards to fan support and attendance in addition to tough final games. As the starting time of 7 PM approached fans continued pouring into the beautiful Bill Bradley Center with all chair back seats. Maybe FDU needs to go by and see how it should be done? After buying a bag of  slightly over cooked popcorn which was sold by The Ramapo University Men's Basketball Team and Staff, (Div 3 basketball wow!) I headed to my very comfortable seat, which was surrounded by hundreds of Teaneck fans, many in thier 70s who wore the blue colors of Teaneck HS.

On the other side of this beautiful facility sat The Don Bosco fans who wore the Maroon colors of their team. Scattered all in between were outstanding fans who cheered and appreciated a very good game. Interesting that as I watched in comes a number of college coaches, something that is unusual for Bergen Jamboree finals. Even Pitts Jamie Dixon, Fordham's Tom Piccora,  and coaches from a number of other D1 Programs. And I honestly believe none of the coaches were disappointed they had attended the game.

The Game

As my Grandson Logan, who Doctors predict will be at least 6 ft 10, begged to leave and go to "Home Sweet Home" (I could not believe he said that lol) my Son and I got right into the game. The final had Teaneck winning but this to me was not a great performance and Teaneck has to get into the lab (gym) to get the formula right. This might be controversial but I honestly could see some kids competing with others based on recent exposure. I saw Joel Hernandez, who is a nationally rated top Jr.   have a decent offensive game but every time he received the ball he looked to shoot and in the meantime hurt his team more than he helped them. In fact when he received the ball I became nervous because he certainly was not playing team ball for some strange reason.  I than saw Chris Jones, the star player,  decide to let others handle the task at hand. As my Son said to me, when you are Big East or ACC caliber you want the ball and demand it in games such as last nights. Not to confuse him with Kyle Anderson but he should watch Kyle play the game.  Unfortunately watching this one game made me question not the ability of this player, I questioned his desire. Clearly he is a Big East  and ACC talent skills wise. But mentally is he more suited for the MAAC, CAA, or a strong NE Conference school? Just saying and believe me I know one game does not make a season. But to not be the star you are and  allow another player to make this game about him which caused this to be closer than it should have been is totally unacceptable.

Teaneck does have a number of D1 recruitable players on the team including the two mentioned along with Neville Fincher the 6 ft 8 tough inside guy, and little Dynamite,  Shaakir Lindsey who at 5 ft 7 is often worth the price of admission. So 4 D1 level players playing against a team without one, well maybe they have one, and winning like they did is beyond believe except this was Don Bosco.  Playing Don Bosco is never an easy task especially if the game is at Don Bosco. Maybe Don Bosco played well because the game was being held about 3 miles from their home court. But again Don Bosco is no slouch of a team and those kids compete, compete, and compete again and again and again! You have to give them credit because they were not one bit intimidated by Teaneck's size, record, or talent!  The game was on and the final score was far from indicative of the actual games closeness.

Back to Teaneck's win. According to many in attendance Shaakir Lindsey, better known as Little Dynamite, has been the Teaneck MVP in the 2012 Bergen Jamboree. Often the forgotten one when college coaches talk about Teanecks big 3, he might just be much better than any of us realized. Right now he is getting better and better and he is skilled, tough , and strong as a bull, with no fear of anything or anyone. Again I would love to see him match up with Aquille Carr who will be headed to Seton Hall in 2013. What a game that would be!  The other often forgotten Teaneck player is Neville Fincher. He actually showed outstanding footwork last night and the ability to score and be a factor. Prediction: Not sure when based on his reclassification etc. but this kid will wind up at a place like Kansas, Mississippi State, Memphis, NC Stae, in the near future. I am stunned at how far he has come. Jerome Smart has done an  OUTSTANDING job with Neville, Shaakir, Joel (he has to play better team ball), and Chris (he has to not be afraid to be the star he is).  Now to get through the states to play Plainfield in East Orange. It should be a great game!

Have a great weekend. I can be reached at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seton Hall Ball & More

Wednesday Feb.  22, 2012

Seton Hall

What an evening of basketball for Seton hall University!  Playing in front of a large crowd of around 9000 fans they seemed to have put on a defensive clinic against a team that for years was known for toughness and a defensive presence.  Georgetown University, a perennial top tier team and currently ranked in the top 10 nationally was soundly defeated by Seton Hall last night at The Prudential Center in Newark NJ.

The score is one thing,  but the benefits of the win is even greater in the larger scheme of basketball existence in the NY Tri-State area.  In addition to winning the game, Seton Hall is winning respect all over the east coast and entire United States of America. If they were not before, they sure are a name HS Basketball Stars all over the country now know.

As I have said in the recent past, Seton Hall is a post season team regardless of what they do from this point on. But winning games such as they did yesterday sure solidifies their chances of an NCAA birth. The next RU vs SHU game should be an outstanding one again! By the way the SHU games on TV look nothing short of awesome.  Looks like 20,000 people watching lol.  I guess Aquille Carr knew what he was doing and now his Baltimore buddies are patting him on the back for making such a great decision.

St. Johns

Big win for St. Johns against UCLA at the Garden in front of 7000 fans. I guess it shows SJU has the potential to be pretty good in the future if EVERYONE RETURNS. From there St. Johns beats a decent DePaul team to make it two in a row. With 3 very winnable games remaining on the schedule St. Johns could go into The Big East Tournament one game under 500 and winning two in the BE might get them a spot in the NIT.  But again is this what St. Johns hired Steve Lavin and his super staff for? Does SJU feel attracting 6-7000 to MSG is a great accomplishment? Is St. Johns losing more money than they are making?  Ummmmmmmmm.  If all stays as it is next season in Jamaica Queens will provide lots of stories and even more rumors I am sure.


Still experiencing growing pains despite playing very competitive basketball. This team is all about the future and the future remains bright. Difference between the Freshmen class at RU and SJU is HS rankings. For the most part,  the RU Freshmen have had better seasons and RU did not have to ,,,,,,ummmmm recruit them the same way as SJU recruited the young guys they have. Also,  the RU freshmen seem to understand they are 4 year players while most of the SJU kids are looking for the first train to the NBA.  Kentucky they are not unfortunately!  Rutgers might not make a post season tournament but has a lot to look forward to next season.

Now my one compolaint about RU and it is not fixing up The RAC because it really still looks awesome on TV. Will Mike Rice sit his butt down a few times a game and not look so crazy in the eyes with this young group of kids?  Kids need to see calmness from the sidelines. Jeez!!!!!! But other than that he does seem like a very good coach.


More on this standing all the time when coaching teams. It seems that most of the younger coaches are doing this. From Billy Donavan with his jacket off to the young HS guy coaching in Nebraska. The "I am in control"  syndrome is in full affect. Watch coach K, remember Dean Smith and Joe B. Hall, how about Roy Williams, ever see Mike Brey, how about Bob Hurley?  They and most other successful coaches sit and observe and stand up to make a point not to be seen. Heck some coaches stand all game going crazy like they are coaching in The Rucker tournament in NYC or the Sonny Hill league in Philadelphia.  Ridiculous to say the least!!!

How about the guys who drop to one knee as if they can see the court better lolol. Are you kidding me what is that? I even see assistants on the HS level do this as if to say "I am also coaching this team."   I am sure not against  standing up or doing the knee thing but please do it with purpose!

FDU Watch

I heard from a source that FDU will be the same next season as this season because the school refuses to make the progr..........oops, Team (not a program)  better. So the baseball team again will get the concessions to pay for that big trip south to get ready for the season, and the season ticket holders will remain in the 200's maybe.  Team wise there is talent there but talent often needs to learn how to win and believe in who they are as a team and as players. But I remain very disappointed in what has happened to a team I use to enjoy watching on cold nights while living in Teaneck, NJ. Very sad!!!!


Time for Fordham to put up or shut up. It is but so much the Coaching Staff can do recruitment wise with an old building they are trying to disguise as a NYC equivalent to Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium. The pace is old and no matter what they do it will be the same unless they tear the entire inside out, raise the roof, squeeze 6500 chair backs in the place, and build a practice facility on the side. OK OK I have heard about the Arena that might be built on Fordham Road by the City and private investors. All I will say is the year 2045 sounds right for a ground breaking ceremony. Too bad they are not located in Brooklyn where a dream is turning into a reality.

Hofstra better get it together next season. Nice to have all that talent on the bench, the great coaching staff, and a wonderful facility. Even nice to have that great chicken and rib restaurant called Wings and things right down the street. But losing as they are is not a pretty thing. Will they recover? They should but time will tell! Very good players coming and sitting out!

Manhattan seems to be doing OK and Young Steve, who was such a nice, wonderful, yet cocky in a good way, player when he played for the Gauchos many years ago, is doing great things. This guy understands what needs to be done and get accomplished. Maybe it is from his background as a a kid from a very wealthy area who did not stay home and go to the country club with his friends. He came to the hood and played ball with the best and made alot of friends who will support him in his quest to get Manhattan back where they were and belong. Now with that said Manhattan you also need a new facility  because that tin barn you dress up on game nights, the one with very limited parking, is unacceptable and really not attractive to recruits.

Both Fordham and Manhattan, two very good academic schools, should be smart enough to know putting lipstick on a gorilla will not make him attractive.

Iona made two great hires it seems. Coach Cluess and AD Marshall. The AD was smart enough to get the basketball coach into a long term contract as soon as he was hired. Now there are a few problems i have with staffing at Iona, but I sure cannot say anything about the actual coaching being done. Cluess could be the best actual coach in the entire NY Metro Area hands down. The question is, will there be a Big east Team going after him very soon?

HS Basketball

As we come down the home stretch and county tournaments are coming to an end, the state picture is becoming clearer in NJ.  Over in NY it will be the usual on the PSAL side with Lincoln, Boys and Girls, Jefferson, Cordozo fighting it out for the championship. I guess that Suicide Division in Brooklyn is alive  and well.

In NJ can anyone beat St. Anthony's? Will they win their 2nd state crown and 2nd Tournament of champions trophy? Is Kyle Anderson the true number 1 player in New Jersey? My answers are No, Yes, and Yes. So the question is who is the 2nd best team and player. Is it Plainfield with the no set offense lol? Teaneck with the underrated Chris Jones, Joel Hernandez, Neville Fincher, and company? Will St. Joe's Metuchen with two very good players emerge and be a contender? How about Hudson Catholic getting it together with Reggie Cameron, Mike Young  and company? Maybe St. Pats will surprise a lot of people? Gil St. Bernard is around the corner waiting for the opportunity to win it all.  Yes NJ is getting ready for the 2nd place championship because beating St. Anthony;s seems to be the impossible dream. But you have to be in it to win it.

Teaneck is at the moment the 2nd best team in the state and if they get to play Plainfield it will be an interesting game with the winner having a great chance of winning the state group 3 title and earning a 2 seed in the TOC. That means Plainfield, if they win, would again play St. Anthony's but this time away from home. If Teaneck gets to the TOC as the 2 seed it could be a bit more interesting especially if they are still undefeated. It would be undefeated against undefeated and in a one game situation anything can happen. But most likely it will come down to Plainfield vs Teaneck in a very good game that many have been waiting for.

HS Players

I have been on the HS boards talking about why Chris Jones is a high D1 talent regardless of where he chooses to attend. Some of the feedback I get at games and in email messages are unbelievable. One Guy who I respect very much even said to me Chris had to be careful because the kids in 10th grade across the country are very good and could take his spot one day. Are you kidding me? Another asked about the big fella at Plainfield heading to Yale. They went on and on about how he has no game and just runs. I had to tell them that 60 percent of being successful on the court is competing hard, and that is what that kid does. But truth be told when you attend Yale University you are running straight to success in most cases. He might own an NBA team one day. A great choice for a nice player who understands hard work and competing.  Than there was a guy who asked about Kyle Anderson. The person said he was just average. I had to laugh because if he is average, average is the new word for great! All I will say again is Kyle Anderson = SUCCESS for everyone around him from his teammates, to his coaches, to the people selling hot dogs.

Bergen Jamboree

First off why do people continue to put down young folks playing a sport? Why do people who live in the same town and county of the kids they criticize never ever give credit where credit is due? Bergen County is not a place full of non playing HS basketball players. It is far from being Sussex County in western NJ near the Pocono's. Bergen has turned out many D1 players who have gone to the BE, ACC, CAA, Big 10, Big 12, MAAC, MAC, NEC, and Pac 10.  There are way to many names for me to give. But Teaneck alone had at least 8 in a 6 year period 10 years ago. Bergen Catholic, St. Joe's of Montvale, Don Bosco. Englewood, and many others have turned out some pretty good HS players. Even small Leonia had a kid sign with Villanova years back.

The players are very good in Bergen County,  although a tad bit underrated for the most part.  Presently with the number 2 team in the entire state as well as a few others in the top 20. In fact the championship game of the Bergen Jamboree, the best county tournament on the East Coast if not the Country, features number 10 Don Bosco Prep vs Number 2 Teaneck. Weak basketball? I do not think so!

Championship game is 7 PM Thursday at Ramapo College in Mahwah NJ.  Get there early! I know I will!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just a Little on Recruitment

Friday Feb 17, 2012

Not much to talk about today. Maybe I should discuss Jeremy Lin like everyone else? Nope, but he does make me think about all the HS players nationally who are under recruited. I continue to be amazed at the people division 1 basketball programs listen to regarding potential players. I cannot over emphasize the huge number of services that actually charge for misinformation based on the evaluators they use never ever played the game, coached the game, or until recent years never even watched the game. But there they are sitting court-side taking notes and evaluating players. What a joke!

There are many Jeremy Lin's out there just waiting to be discovered. What ever happened to college coaches actually going to games to find players as opposed to going to games to evaluate players who they read about or get on a list compiled by one of the so called experts?  I again say it is a good thing Dean Smith did not read reports that had Mike O'Koran listed as a D3 player at best by a notable scouting guru who actually is very good if not great at what he does. If this guru can make such a mistake what makes college coaches think they can depend on the ex soccer player looking to be important and make a few bucks?

Speaking with my friends I now understand why certain low and mid D1 teams are not doing well. When was the last time they just went to see Dewitt Clinton in the Bronx? How about just showing up at John F Kennedy in the Bronx where they have Johnny Mathis as the Head Coach and the benefit of Nate "Tiny" Archibald as a teacher in practice based on his long friendship with the coach?   What about all the high schools inn South Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania outside of the Philly and Pittsburg areas? What happened to the time when coaches went on actual 2 week road trips to find and recruit players?

Funny thing how this recruiting thing goes. A kid could go totally under recruited or even not recruited at all. All of a sudden one D1 school expresses an interest and others decide they better go and take a look see. Let that kid get a few schools from out of the area interested and the flood gates might just open. Want an example? I have many but will use only one.

Chris Jones was getting alot  of low D1 looks with the biggest school recruiting him being Rhode Island of the A10. Now those many low and mid D1 schools knew he was a diamond in the rough and would have loved to sign and steal him early. I am not even sure if Rhode Island, which is a very good program,  even offered him a scholarship. But most of the others from the MAAC, and NEC sure did. I even sent a email to Notre Dame telling them to watch him but of course they never did lol.  Fast forward and he starts receiving alot of interest from Colorado and Nebraska and all of a sudden Pittsburgh and UConn became interested.  Than Virginia Tech and calls from other ACC schools start going to Teaneck HS. In fact a very good  and connected friend of mine on the West Coast told me yesterday that both UCLA and UNLY are monitoring him in case certain players do not commit to those schools. I am only telling you what I was told and it sure is not anything I heard from a coach but my person is pretty reliable.  I would not be surprised to see places like NC State and Virginia try to get involved soon.

Now what I did hear from another reliable person who attends games with me is  at last nights Paramus vs Teaneck game at Teaneck coaches from Seton Hall University were in attendance to see what Chris Jones is all about.  Now I will say the recruitment does not surprise me based on this kid getting better every hour of the day. He looks to be a legit 6 ft 6 with true guard skills and great athletic ability which means he can dribble, pass, shoot, run and dunk lol.   But it took 1 or 2 big programs to notice b4 the others realized just what they were missing.

Recruiting remains hard work. And much of the hard work is who do you put your efforts into recruiting?  Why in heavens name are schools such as FDU, St. Peters, NJIT, and Binghamton out at games trying to get the high profile players? Sorry to say you need ALOT TO OFFER in many cases to even get visits from such players. Now do not let me tell you some stories about recruitment in Chicago, and the deep south lol. If i were those types of programs I would be at all the games that just might have that diamond in the rough. Like the kid that Rider recruited who became a NBA Pro!  On the larger school level all 3 local big time programs need to be much more thorough regarding players from NY, NJ, PA. MD., and DC.  Seriously!!!!!  I think Seton Hall and Rutgers understands this!!!!