the 2011-2012 Season has been very exciting in the case of a few local college basketball teams. Lets start with the great win by Rutgers at Pitt last night.
Rutgers went into a place where until this season Pitt had lost very few games. They went in to win as opposed to not lose or just compete. Seems like the same thing but to play to win is playing with confidence knowing what you are capable of accomplishing. Playing not to lose or to compete is playing hoping to win and having a great showing regardless of the outcome and final score.
In the past Rutgers fell into the hoping not to lose category. But it is certainly a new day in Piscataway and again the future is very bright at the RAC. Young players with confidence along with a motivating coaching staff can do that. The interesting thing about Rutgers is the team is so young. I am sure out of conference scheduling will be difficult in the next few years because teams will not want to play them. This means the out of conference schedule could just be action packed with teams like Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, and yes..........Baylor.
I tend to cringe when reading a few Rutgers fans saying Pitt is not that good so the win was not huge. Though no harm was meant, it sure is a put down of the effort those young fellas gave last night. Pitt is Pitt! Hard out when they play home and plenty of hoops success in the past and also in the future. When you can beat Florida, UConn, Pitt, and hold serve in the games you are supposed to win, it means great success is taking place. So again great job by Rutgers helping in bringing great college basketball back to the NY Metropolitan area along with Seton Hall.
Seton Hall continues to be the darling of local college basketball. Heck they are becoming a darling on the national scene! But one thing for sure, people are not looking at them, as a Cinderella team such as VCU, George Mason, or even Gonzaga in the early years. They are a legit program in a premier conference playing well. And if people do not believe that the success of Seton Hall made it easier for Aquille Carr to commit, they are mistaken. The program potential is very clear! Again I still remember 15,000 at Seton Hall games, including celebrities, years ago at The Medowlands.
The Rutgers vs Seton Hall game will be a season highlight when it is played. I really hope they make the game the Governors Cup with the entire state being made aware of the game taking place.
St. Johns continues to struggle. When they get it together, and they will in time, we will have a basketball hotbed in the NY area. Yes I want all three teams to do well and establish natural rivalries that will lead to sold out arenas and gyms. I want the Governor of NY to bet against the Governor of NJ on the outcome of the St. Johns vs both Seton Hall and Rutgers. .
St. Johns just seems to be missing something and no one can figure it out. The players are pretty good but young. But so were the Fab 5 years ago! In the meantime I just hope they put on neck ties and shoes for the games they play in the future because that grunge look is getting very tired. Plus what is the purpose? Not like they are on a winning streak!
Just looking at box scores and noticed Temple won at St. Louis. Great win for the Owls who continue to get better this season and remains a favorite in the A10.
Also interesting is Towson lost again in front of 700 reported attendees. I wonder what their season ticket number is?
Interesting to see Umass beat NC Charlotte in front of 2700 at UMass. Wow where did the people who did the marketing go when John Calipari left? I guess the coach is important for attendance. 2700 in that 10,000 seat building they built to replace "The Cage?"
Now on the contrary John Calipari left Memphis and they hired a guy who the fans love. He has recruited well and last night, as it is on most game nights, 16,000 plus were in attendance. That program continues to do well and the future is very bright.
Two very good local games tonight. Manhattan at Iona should be interesting though I expect Iona to win the game against Manhattan. FDU at LIU? Now who do I think will win? What a hard thing to figure out. OK, I will just say LIU! Now you people know I was not doing a blog without mentioning FDU!
One last item about Rutgers Gym which is called the RAC and not the RAG, as some people call it lol. I agree with those who feel all that is needed is:
- New larger chairs all over the facility including the bleachers that the students sit in, and the bleachers near the RU bench.
- A new sound system
- Video scoreboards
- newly decorated hallways
- additional bathrooms. expanded concession stands
- a new practice facility attached to the RAC
- a new paint job throughout
- an expanded from the outside in lobby area leading to the facility
- 10 special hospitality suites in the place of the offices above for big donors and receptions
By the way that started with me thinking just new seats and a sound system. Than my mind just went all out.
Well, thats it for today. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do writing it. EMail me at LFBall@aol.com if you wish to further discuss anything I write.