Interesting thought occurred to me this morning concerning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight for equality for all people. I can not speak about 40 years ago, but I can speak for how life is today among young men playing HS and College Basketball. Racial issues seem almost non existent among players. Players seem to respect each other regardless of skin color or where they are from. Think about it!
Now coaches and athletic departments are not always that way unfortunately. There should not be an all white or all black coaching staff or actual college team anywhere in America! If Brigham Young University can integrate , so can those deep south historical Black Universities including Moorhouse where Dr. King attended in case you did not know. They say Moorehouse men are very special. By the way you would be amazed at the arena they have on campus. Not huge but nice just as Florida AM who has a nice 10,000 seat facility better than anything their next door neighbor Florida State has on CAMPUS.
It seems most college players have lived what Dr. King dreamed. But the others involved have a long way to go. Some D1 schools still only hire token Black Coaches to recruit and they have zero say so on the bench. Some Black Coaches are fired and it takes them years to get new jobs as oppossed to others who seem to find jobs much quicker and often are picked up the following year after being let go. Please note I am referring to competent coaches not hiring a coach just to be hiring a minority. But again some things are just not fair and that applies to the world of Athletics. We have come a long way, but we are still quite a way from where we need to be. And again, this goes both ways. I for one am so happy to see the various Black Conferences with White players on the various teams and even some White head Coaches and Assistant Coaches. Dr. King would applaud this. So would he applaud the steps other schools such as Kentucky, Mississippi, and Mississippi State have taken in recent years.
Locally Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. Johns, and most of the others including even FDU, have done it the right way and practiced what Dr. King hoped for.
Electric, moving, exciting, creative, entertaining, interesting, fun, competitive, and outstanding! Who? Why Aquille Carr of course! In a nutshell one of the best players I have ever seen pound for pound. This kid is the best entertainer I have seen on the court since Julius Erving played in The Harlem Rucker before playing in the ABA. Now I see why the crime was almost non existent when he had a game. He is that good and that entertaining with a wonderful attitude with teammates who are so horrible they could not start jv for Lockadovia HS in Brattleboro Vermont! He was patient with them, he was encouraging with them, and he made them competitive because he is really that good and that tough!
This kid could be the best HS Player I have ever seen along with Tim Thomas, Vince Carter, and Pearl Washington. Is he a program changer? In more ways than one! He will help Seton Hall win games from day 1, help Seton Hall attract players, and help increase attendance to the point the curtain will need to go to the tailor to be shortened because the Seton Hall games all of a sudden will become the place to be. In fact I need to get on the phone and make friends with that coaching staff or at the least buy season tickets lol.
Now the trick will be getting him to sign in November. We all know a verbal will not stop other schools from getting in touch with him through people in the Baltimore area. And we also know that he will be offered some serious cash down the line from one of those schools who couldn't care less about him as a student and just wants to win and make money. So what do I do if I am SHU? I assign an assistant coach to him! That coach will move to Baltimore and take an apartment near him just as schools did years ago. I would than start recruiting the big 6 ft 10 kid so I can go to more games. Than maybe the other guard! But no matter where he looks he will see Seton Hall represented! Please read my blog from over a week ago where I discuss the recruiting process to fully understand what happens now.
Getting this super talented and exceptional player is as huge as any commitment I have seen since Filipe Lopez and Zendon Hamilton signed with St. Johns, or maybe when Phil Sellers turned down Notre Dame and went to Rutgers, or even when Jeff Ruland turned down Joe B Hall and Kentucky to go to Iona. All program changers based on success that came with the signings. In the case of Seton Hall this is Eddie Griffin/Tony El/Andre Barrett rolled into one commitment.
Basketball in NJ has changed for the best. Rutgers is in a position to be a post season team for years to come. The natural rivalry with Seton Hall will be one that even the politicians will get involved in. Yes, sonny days are here again in the state of NJ. Every kid will now be attracted to local BE schools and the others will get whats left because they too will benefit from Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St. Johns being better.
Speaking of St. Johns I wonder if Steve Lavin ever returns based on his illness? Will he return or just go back to the broadcast booth? If he does not return, I would imagine Coach Cluess from Iona will be looked at strongly. However that would be something that passes through Lou Carnesseca based on a few items I heard about but not necessarily factual.
Speaking of College Coaches I think Steve Masiello from Manhattan will be on some lists after this season or next season. I also feel Danny Hurley will get major offers after this season. How does Danny leaving Wagner affect me? Well, now my Grandson has to work harder to be in position to be recruited by Danny Hurley, who I think will be an all-time great college coach when it is all said and done.
More HS Stuff
The Armory was.......an armory lol. But it brought back memories of me as a young boy watching the ECAC game of the week on channel 9. Elnardo Webster was lighting folks up and big George Govan rebounded what he missed. Saw a game they played against LIU and the place was rocking as a guy named Larry Newbold turned it out!
Watching Aquille Carr against..............................................? Wow I almost forgot because all I remember is his outstanding performance. Against St. Benedict'a is what I was saying. And trust me when I say St. Benedict's is a very good program with some great players. But watching Carr make a game against them competitive with one of the weakest group of teammates I have ever seen was a sight to see.
St. Benedict's has great coaching and even better players . Isaiah Brisco is a great freshmen with tons of upside. On a side note lets get that package deal to SHU, RU, or SJU with him and Karl Towns in the future lol. But this kid despite the baby fat is very good. Also on the team is a true PG and a good one at that in Tyler Innis, the Canadian import destined for huge things. Melvin Johnson? Easily the 2nd best senior player in New Jersey who unfortunately will be playing in front of 3300 fans at Miami as opposed to future sell outs at the 3 local BE schools. And last but not least on my kids with tremendous upside is a guy who someone will steal in November. I am talking about Isaiah Watkins the 6 ft 9 skilled kid from Canada who is battling confidence issues. I am telling anyone who will listen, this kid will be a great college player! They were way too good for Carr's team Patterson HS. But Carr sure was the best player on the court.
This event sure has the potential to have better match ups in the future because the games were way too one sided. All of them! I would have loved to see Aquille go against Teaneck and their dynamic little PG because that might have been even more interesting, Teaneck kid is tough and quick with confidence.
St. Antony's won easily over St. Peters zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Teaneck beat a Canadian team zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The games really were non competitive and at this stage of the season does not really help as the teams head down the home stretch to county tournaments and the States. Just saying.........
Speaking of great upside. One day Neville Finch from Teaneck will be a Monster in the paint! As soon as he gets consistent and learns to control his emotions while playing hard. Chris Jones will be a 6 ft 6 guard in college. Based on his work ethic and great attitude I feel he could be a big time player at a big time University. Juel Hernandez? A junior who all you have to remember is Ricardo Greer, the former Pitt star. Shout out to the Coaching Staff at Teaneck led by Head Coach jerome Smart, who really is just that smart (smile). These guys really are goof to the players and for the players. Teaneck Basketball continues in the footsteps of the great Curtis March!
More College Stuff
Seton Hall will finish the season with a winning record. In fact I think they will at least be 23-7. I also feel Rutgers will be around 500 but watch out for the next 5 years because they really have turned the corner. RU basketball is again entertaining and very competitive without the BS ! I do not even mind sitting in the seats that need to be redone. SJU? I say around 500 also but wonder what is really going on. I really thought it would be sell outs at the Garden by now.
Did anyone know that the schedule FDU played thus far was not really super competitive? They did play both Louisville and Providence for the guarantee money for more hoagies and sodas after the games. But honestly speaking they could beat any other team they play. I predict they will win at least 2 games before the season ends. Wait their phone is ringing and it is the NJAC asking for a meeting!
NJIT really would be the top seed the areas losers tournament with Binghamton, St. Peters, and FDU. But pushing to be included is Marist of the NEC. Or is it the MAAC? Or maybe the ECAC? No thats no longer a league so it must be one of those mentioned. I guess NJIT will get the bye! St. Peters will get it together. Lost a lot of players to graduation. Next year they will rebound and be more competitive. Binghamton still draws fans and when they win it will be a hard place to play. The question is when will they win? FDU? Same story, different day!
I would love to see Iona go against Seton Hall for the area championship. After all they are the two best teams in the area.
I am still looking for any player who attended Iona who is not successful in life. Has to be one or two. No matter how hard I try I cannot find any ex player who is not well spoken and successful. I guess Jeff Ruland knew what he was doing when he signed there many years ago (smile, wink-wink).
Have a great evening. I can be reached at LFBall@aol.com or 570 484-8235