Monday, December 23, 2013

December, 23, 2013

Well,  we are officially off to the races in NYC, NJ, and Pa as far as HS Basketball. Interesting that college basketball minus maybe St. Johns in NYC, is at an all-time low in regard to fan support and expectations.  When FDU can go out and beat the two premier basketball programs in NJ despite not winning a meaningful game all season it's a strong message that work needs to be done in both Piscataway, and South Orange.

In all fairness basketball has also  been quite interesting in other parts of the country with some upsets and other contests that should not have been as close as the final score. I mean the team I wish to see right now is none other than the Knights of FDU! I am reviewing the schedule to make sure I can catch that great FDU vs LIU game. It is least I can do based on the hard time I have given them over the past few seasons. I hear from reliable sources that on the FDU campus I an along with the Governor, a wanted man. He for support, and me to jump and tear apart for the things I have said. I guess the AD would be the first to get a punch in lol!

NBA Draft wise the Tri-State Area could be shut out with local players only getting tryouts through free agent camps etc.  But as far as players I sure would take Oklahoma State Guard Marcus Smart or Duke Freshmen Jabari Parker as the first pick in the 2014 draft. Aaron Gordon would be next followed by Julius Randall!  As they often say, And A Young Man will lead us!

Seton Hall and Rutgers are in such a bind. So close for the stud players who want to get away. Poor fan support based on a poor product on the floor currently. Recruiting budgets good but far from where they need to be to compete against the big boys.  Neither has a practice facility. So how do you get players? By winning! But how do you win? By getting players!  What do players want and not in this order:  Great fan support, great facilities, outstanding tradition, great coaches who can teach, beautiful campuses, and solid education opportunities leading to great graduate school and employment opportunities  especially for those not skilled or big enough for the NBA.  St. Johns? On their way to reestablishing themselves as a legit program soon to be recognized again nationally.

This brings me back to FDU. Congrats on a job well done winning against the big boys. I am so looking forward returning to to see the new end bleachers if nothing else. Hope I am able to buy a ticket!

HS basketball was in full affect at West Orange HS on Sunday. Some pretty good games though I still feel to charge $12 is way too much,  especially when the participating schools get zero and the MVP awards are not more substantial!

Sat with a great group including a very animated gentleman who has a son playing for The Hun School. As I listened to him talk about his son over and over it made me realize how  I must have sounded  talking about my son as I did. So nice to see a great dad supporting his son!  Such memories although if I had to do it again I would change some things about my approach. Boy would I be different and much better! lol

Seems Hun lost to a good Gil St. Bernard team who will be even better in time with more maturity. West Orange upset a solid CBA team who will be better as season goes on.  Linden defeated a solid but often out of control Newark Tech. I do have to shout-out  Otis Livingston Jr.  Still remember seeing him on the St. Pats team as they warmed up a few years ago. I really thought he was the mascot based on his than height.   Well fast forward to now and I see he is taller and in my opinion the best guard on the court during his game and might be the most improved player I have seen in 20 years on the HS level.  Such a nice kid who sincerely thanked everyone who complimented him on the game he had. If he came this far in a year or so,  the sky is the limit for him.  Plus again he seems like a wonderful young man!

The later games started with Teaneck, who has missed going to the state finals the past few years storming on the court to take an early lead on last years State Champs Roselle Catholic HS. Well, it was good at first but became quite ugly to say the least,  except the better team with the better recruited players including two very tall African players won the game. Ummmmmm, I wonder how long the commute is daily for them?  Lastly on this:  Does Teaneck Ever Run a play or set? Just curious!!!

Next up was Bob Hurley HS....oops I mean St. Antony's HS. But if there is a NJ Treasure it is Bob Hurley!  Just watching his team warm up is worth a regular price of admission.  But not $12.00 (smile).

I left before the last game but heard it was a great game won by St. Joe's  with many D1 players vs Shore HS from South Jersey who looked like a freshmen team during warmups. Well,  good solid coaching and a kid having a career day often keeps you in  the game. They were in it against the best team in NJ if not the entire area for an entire game.

Until next time!

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