November 18, 2013
What a roll I have been on for the past few months. I actually took time off from watching basketball on any level to complete some pressing projects. No IS8, No Fall Ball, and definitely very little if any NBA basketball. However, now it is time to return to the game I love and adore with a lot to say and post about. Remember, I might have been away but I have sources in place including many college assistant coaches, HS coaches, AAU guys, official and unofficial scouts and even a player or two, or three to keep me informed. So welcome to LFBallonHoops 2013-2014 basketball blog. Yes, the same blog many coaches hate and others fear based on me telling the real deal about the world of basketball including underhanded stuff including cheating and treating players wrongly. Yes, I am back and again will be honest and fair. But beware, you will not even know I am watching or in the building in most cases because I am just sitting back watching.
So with the intro out of the way, my main man Jesus Shuttlesworth from NJ, and The Coach from NYC will be watching along with me this season as we cover hoops from NY to Pennsylvania. Lets go!!!!
Before starting up again I decided to check out the schedules of all the local teams to see how they are doing thus far. Some you can see are on the road to improvement, some are the same, and others have young assistants from all over the East Coast watching to see if there will be an opening in the spring. Yes the circle is starting to form outside the arenas of some great mid major programs. Lets see, who are some of the programs that could be considered great jobs? Delaware and Monmouth come to mind based on facilities, campus, and potential fan support. So lets see what happens after the season.............................or during the season, though I doi feel Monte Ross will get it together at UD and end with a great record and re-build what was at one time one of the premier mid major programs in America. Now King Rice at Monmouth, with the new building, near the beach, with potential great fans? Ummmmmmmmmmm!
Lets look at the local big boys and whats happening:
Seton Hall, the University with some of the greatest fans on the planet is currently 2-1 with the potential to get much better. Willard is a far better coach than people give him credit for. The recruiting has come around and getting Whitehead, though at what cost, helps but I am not convinced he is a program changer as much as a important piece in a well oiled machine, ala John Morton years ago. By the way, I am a huge John Morton fan!!! Playing games in a true showplace, and one of the best in America, SHU has too much tradition, great fans, good players, and great coaching to fail! Ups and downs might occur but at the end of the day we should see a great product on the floor at the Prudential Center
St. Johns is BACK!!!!!! Most likely the best in the area with a national type team with kids from all over the country. Interesting to me that kids are flocking to Queens, NY from other places and kids from NYC are flocking to other places from NYC. Do the kids from NYC know something others do not? Well, regardless SJU is looking good only losing to Wisconsin in what seemed like a close game on paper. And if you think winning at the Kohl Center in Madison is easy you are sooooo wrong! The coaches are on point for SJU, the players are tough and focused, and the fans are back in the building. With MSG still a home court for many games, it will not be long till local players again allow SJU to choose them as opposed to them choosing SJU. Have you seen the new MSG? I hear it is spectacular!
Rutgers has brought home Eddie Jordan! Just that alone makes them a very attractive team to me. I am telling everyone that Eddie Jordan will get it done at RU! I am telling everyone that soon the RAC will rock like it did years ago! I am telling everyone that sooner than later RU will be a force to recon with! Joining the Big 10 does wonders for RU financially and image wise, although the Big East is nothing to sneeze at. RU now can get the Chicago, Indiana, St. Louis, Pennsylvania, kids along with the NY and NJ kids they often recruit. Lets not forget the DC connections through DC Assault and other programs. Now if only they could fix up that building. The new scoreboard is nice. But that's the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. MORE IMPROVEMENTS IN OFF SEASON because the other BIG schools have incredible facilities minus Northwestern and you see where they typically finish in the standings. RU is 2-1 with 3 close games only losing at UAB.
Monmouth is 1-1 beating Penn (zzzzzz) and losing to Hofstra. They better get it together soon. They would be a great team if they could suit up the coaching staff .
St. Peters 0-3. Why even be D1? Ok OK I get it, tradition from years past. They were great playing at the Jersey City Armory. Eldnardo Webster where are you? Heck do you have a grandson to send there?
Binghampton is back!!! back to where they were when they were members of the State U of NY Conference as a D3 member. Great Great fans and horrible team. Academic people with no clue ruined this program and they might not ever recover. Great academic school! Great facitity! Horrible team! Currently 1-3
Manhattan College is 2-1 and young Steve who has lived and breathed basketball from birth will get it done and move on to a higher profile program. Interesting hopw they make that aluminum barn look good on game days. Anyway a solid program that seems to always do well.
FDU.........Next! Just kidding!!! Well they still are D1. They still are called the Knights. They still give scholarships. And they still lose and play in front of 125 people. Will this program ever get it together? new coach Greg Herencia (sp) who at one time was an Assistant at SHU takes over and has a lot of work to do. This guys does know how to recruit and shake hands with the right people. Use to be a bit on the cocky arrogant side but hopefully now a bit more down to earth. I will not be as hard on them for a while. Just bring back the stands on the end and look like a D1 college program and not Bergen Community College playing a game on Sunday Afternoon in Paramus!
Hofstra is doing quite OK thus far. Than again why would they not be able to improve on a disaster season. Nowhere to go but up. Great opportunity for any coach based on where they were. I just still am amazed that Al Skinner was not hired at Hofstra. Guy grew up 3 miles from the school and would have given them instant credibility.
LIU actually had around 2500 people at their first home game this season in a great looking gym. This program just might turn out to be the best mid major program in the area. Convenient location, great facility, recent winning tradition, gorgeous female students on campus, and much more. I do feel the gym should be named after Ray Haskins who took LIU to the NCAA and NIT two consecutive seasons, something that not was done for many years. He sold the place they were playing in out so much they had to build a new facility. Anyway, LIU is building somthing very very special and becoming a great stepping stone job. By the way they only lost to Indiana by 1 single point!
Temple is 1-2. I hear someone went to the Mt. Airy section of Philly recently looking for John Chaney. Seems they are just not the same without him, though they still are pretty good. they currently are 1-2
Fordham is 2-1 but looking good thus far. Great coaches and a great tradition. They have even made that old gym sort of a Palestra Type facility. I mean it looks good, but still a hard place for recruiting against the great teams they play against. Than again St. Joe's has 3200, LaSalle has about 3000, Rhode Island has a big place but gets around 2 or 3 thousand a game, so maybe what they have is adequate for the league they are playing in.
Yes, the College basketball season is off and running. I have discussed some of the local teams and still wondering about how players like Kyle Anderson will do this season, will Chris Jone survive at Pitt, will anyone attend a game at FDU, will St. Anthony win it all again, will Roselle catholic be the team to beat, will St. Joe's Metuchen win it all, Will Christ The King in NY be great, will Boys and Girls be the best in NYC, will Teaneck again choke in the states, Will RU vs SHU sell out at last, will SJU be a NCAA team, will Monmouth turn it around, and last but not least does anyone really care about the Knicks and The Nets when College basketball Season get going good?
This blog will be done as consistent as possible. I hope to post something at least 3 times weekly and often even more. If you have a comment or even complaint feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org