Growing up in Brooklyn, New York during the 70′s and 80′s I was always able to watch some very solid college basketball programs in the Metro area. Schools like St. John’s, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Iona, St. Peter’s, Fordham, Manhattan and Hofstra all were just a hop, skip and jump away from where I lived. If I wasn’t able to score a ticket, I’d tune in to watch them on my black and white television. I came across this article from the New York Times on how these schools are in a drought when it comes to making the NCAA tournament. Here’s an interesting take from St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts and Tom Pecora from Hofstra.
St. John’s Coach Norm Roberts notices more players are leaving the metropolitan area than in the past, too.
“Ten, 15 years ago, all the Jersey kids were going to Jersey schools with Seton Hall and Rutgers, and all the New York kids — not all of them, but a lot of them — would stay home,” he said. “I think now you have kids that are seeing different parts of the country from a young age that it’s easier for them to go all over the country.”
Furthermore, Roberts doesn’t think local players are as superior as they once were.
“The whole country’s gotten better,” he said. “Basketball’s gotten better everywhere, and I’m talking about in Oregon and places where it wasn’t very good, it’s gotten better. So now there’s good players everywhere, where once it was ‘the city game.’ It was just New York a lot of times.”
“It’s become not only a national game but a global game, so everyone’s better at it,” Pecora said. “Now there’s rural kids who are outstanding basketball players. The game has broadened and there’s a much more level playing field.”
Christmas day was filled with NBA games from noon to midnight. It also included a very good college game which took place in Hawaii last night between USC and UNLV. The Trojans beat the Rebels 67-56 in the Diamond Head Classic Final. UNLV came into the game 12-1, the Trojans 7-4. The one thing that impressed me about USC was their defense. Head coach Kevin O’Neil has his team playing hard and playing with energy. I pulled out two pre-season magazines and noticed they both had SC picked 8th and 9th this year in the Pac-10.
The game of basketball is all about energy and enthusiasm. Need to play the game with both. Especially at the defensive end…The Trojans displayed it last night!
At Staples yesterday in LA the Cleveland Cavaliers went in and beat the Los Angeles Lakers. The LA crowd was a bit unhappy with the officials (and the Lakers play) so they threw water bottles and foam fingers out onto the court! Only thing that should be on that floor is the players and Laker girls! My guy Chris Richardson tweeted “If Jimmy Goldstein throws his Stetson hat on the floor of Staples Center, it will make my Christmas”
“A good guy but a nasty competitor.”
-Jeff Van Gundy on LA Lakers guard Derrick Fisher