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Date Posted: 11:13:14 09/20/05 Tue
Subject: Why I feel good about the Upcoming MBB season.
OK... I know that there has been a ton of change as far as the MBB team is concerned. The core of original assistants (Casey, Latina, Pat Sellars, Steve Pikel ) have steadily moved on to bigger and better things (St. Johns, Sacred Heart - [and IMHO heir apparent when Dave Bike steps down],the basketball juggernaut UCONN, and the head Spot at Stonybrook)
The replacement assistants of the original 4 have not been as high caliber as the originals. I feel that there has been a void of ideas, recruiting connections and leadership. I think that Howie realized this with the departure of Latina.
All coaches have to be 25% shark and perform tough tasks, Clearing out the remaining coaching staff was probably a tough task, but I think it was necessary to keep the program moving forward as opposed to the 'stuck in neutral' state that I think we all have seen in the past 2-3 years.
This Program needs excitement and enthusiasm to begin at the top and we will see that excitement filter down to the Players. The new crop of Assistants look to have a fine mix of experience and enthusiasm; from the short clips in the paper, Howie likes what he sees.
As for the players, I was upset to hear that DA left the program, but I can bet that Howie challenged him to be a Defensive force to compliment his offense. He did lead the team in turnovers last year and being the guy who gets the ball. That keeps points off the Centrals side of the scoreboard and has the potential to put up easy points. it looks like there was a difference of opinion between what Howie wanted and what DA wanted.
As for the remaining players, I really think that they are a great bunch of guys who enjoy playing ball and will stick together.. thru thick or thin. Although the size is not really there. I can see a 3 guard set in my future.
The incoming players look to be talented and will probably add some quality minutes.
So, take all those coaching changes, add some dedicated returning players, some new talent and you can see why I feel good about the upcoming season.
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Re: Why I feel good about the Upcoming MBB season. -- J.J., 13:42:37 09/20/05 Tue
Although it is about a month before practice, I like the early thoughts. My main concern is on the court and not the bench or the changes in personnel.
Without D.A., Lenny will really have to step up and score more, Chiera can't get ice cold in the middle of the season, Javier must remain the fire and spark for the offense, and Tristan must continue to be a lock down defensively and dish out the assists. We have a solid back court and if Obie and Jason stay healthy then I'm really happy becasue those 2 are always solid in my book and any added production from Sobers is a bonus.
The biggest question is: how has Middleton and Ingo progressed? The development of these 2 "projects" will be a big key. I don't expect too much scoring but we have to keep other teams from easy points inside - like Monmouth did. These guys need to block shots, grab rebounds, and match up well with the other big men in the league - especially at Monmouth, FDU, Wagner and even SHU's big man.
If that pans out we will be fine and ready for a strong run in March!
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Re: Why I feel good about the Upcoming MBB season. -- Mike, 21:46:16 09/20/05 Tue
I would expect a good season. The departure of DA was both shocking and dissapointing, but we will move on, I just wish it was earlier so they could have placed his scholarship elsewhere. I would expect Tristan Blackwood to step up BIG TIME, I believe he will see 30+ minutes per game, and will consistently produce 8-10 point with solid defense, while controlling the point. Lenny will almost certainly change his roll to more of a shooting guard with strong offensive production than a point guard controlling the pace. Justin had an off year last season, but had nagging injuries that were not know to most. Obie will be a WORKHORSE on the inside, rebounding, and scoring. Hickenbottom will need to control his temper but should drive to the inside stronger than even, while knocking down 15 footers with no hesitation. Mojica will fire the team up but needs to use his head when he's on the court. I believe Howie can harness his enthusiasm and Javier can consistently put up double digit points each game. Ingo and Middleton are BIG question marks (no pun intended), Ingo showed progress towards the end of last season, and I know Jermaine has been working out with Obie a good bit lately. I know little of the new recruits, but they are NOT of starting caliber..perhaps some time of the bench if needed. I was disappointed with the lack of recruits this season, but that is to be expected from a small mid-major team after a bad season. Luckily our core of players have mostly returned. I see Sobers producing very little, but he did have shin(?) surgery in May and should be healthy, perhaps the situation with him almost leaving will motivate him more. If one of the big men (or a combo) can surprise us with some solid minutes and strong D, then we are certainly a contender. On a side not, when I was on my way to class this evening I did see Javi, Justin, Obie, Jermaine, and Tristan outside of Kaiser hall, it looks like they were already practicing, even though formal practice does not start until october
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