Well it was an up and down day for hoops in the tri-state area. Lets start with Rutgers loss at Notre Dame. As I watched the game on Tv I continued to feel sooner or later this program will get it right. The young talent is there although no where like what St. Johns has in their freshmen class. But for some strange reason they are more effective based on the way they play. I guess it helps RU to have a few older players on the roster who actually play.
Talking about older RU players what in the world is happening with Dane Miller? Is there some type of curse on the RU program? Go back, go way back, and you will notice almost every young player arriving on what they call the "Banks" who had a great first year seems to experience the sophomore or junior jinx. Not going to mention names but from Harve' (sp), to JR, to Farmer and Griffin, to Chandler, and now Dane. Not sure if that is the correct spelling for those young men but something must be wrong with the water. Maybe its those famous grease trucks selling food? By the time many of those very good players get to their Junioir year they rarely resemble the player that many thought they would be after great 1st and 2nd years.
Now it cannot be the coaching because there are 3 head coaches in the equation. So what could it be? Dane Miller should be a stud player right now based on his potential and early play in his first two years. OK I will go out on the limb and say maybe, and it is a small maybe, the players have far too much to do on the RU campus between basketball activities. Maybe they need a team dorm with a no nonsense Dorm Director and even better a curfew daily. Maybe they need better trainers in the strength and conditioning areas as well as a special practice facility that the players can use 24 hours a day in an effort to continue to improve.
Now I know there are exceptions to what I am saying and what I am saying might sound off the wall. But this team needs something in the future besides great recruits to make it reach its potential because much of what is needed is in place and now it is up to all the RU Powers to bring the plan together. JMHO!
By the way a loss is something you try to avoid. ND is playing great especially at home. With a young team it is often about effort and competitive approach more than the final score. After all they did not go into South Bend and lose by 30!
St. Anthony's beats Thomas Jefferson of Brooklyn NY! I love what has happened to Thomas Jefferson in Brooklyn. For years they were a very good team. But in the last few years they have actually turned into a basketball program with wonderful coaching and people around the program with teaching ability. It also does not hurt to have coaches who have played Division 1 basketball at a high level. Well, watch out Lincoln and Boys and Girls, two great programs year in and year out, there is a new kid on the block who at one time was a major player in the Brooklyn Suicide Division. The name? Thomas Jefferson!!!
I love the way no one seems to give St. Benedict's credit in the tri-state area. But why they continue to not compete in NJ championships is mind boggling. The story I heard many years ago was the decision to leave the state HS sports association was based on the soccer program at the school. They at the time had a nationally ranked team and wanted to control scheduling etc. Based on that we really do not get to see them in Star Ledger rankings, State rankings, or given credit for the way they played St. Anthony's. I honestly feel St. Benedict's vs St. Anthony's in a repeat game this season could have been a St. Benedict's win. I said could have been! They might be the only team in the state that could accomplish this.
So here are my state rankings again:
Hudson Catholic (Yes this high)
Gil St. Bernard
Seton Hall Prep
My top 5 Senior Players:
I will never understand how on a certain site they do not even have Chris Jones in the top 10 state wise. The person running the site is pretty good but he sure missed this one. Some of the people on his list are so politically correct it is a shame. So here is my lists based on actual play and not politics or reputation.
Top 5 Seniors
1. Kyle Anderson
2. Melvin Johnson
3. Quentin Decourcey
4. Blaise Mbargorba
Top 15 regardless of Class
Karl Towns Jr.
I have to admit I did leave a few players off who should have made my top players regardless of class list. None more glaring than Reggie Cameron of Hudson Catholic! I feel like an idiot about this oversight because he is definitely one of the top players regardless of class as is his teammate Mike Young! My mistake and they both are now added!
This is only my list, not that it means anything lol. can change 3 more times before the season concludes. Stay tuned!