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Tony Graham

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Will suspended Wagner men's hoop's star play vs. Monmouth Thursday?

from NEC web site.. and Staten Island Advance

Seahawks find Vinson under tree
Christmas finds dismissed Vinson back at practice, awaiting clearance to play
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Wagner College doesn't play a game for another eight days, but this evening might deliver one of the highlight moments of the season.

When the 4-8 Seahawks take the Spiro Center floor for their first post-Christmas practice, senior center Durell Vinson will join his teammates for the first time since being dismissed from school in September for violations of the student code of conduct.

Though school administrators have consistently cited student privacy rules in declining comment on the specifics of Vinson's troubles, sources have told the Advance in the past that the product of St. Augustine Prep in Richland, N.J., had a volatile relationship with a female student at the school.

The same sources said that since his September dismissal, Vinson has completed two college courses at a school near his home, and also attended anger-management counseling sessions as part of the criteria for reinstatement.

That done, the 6-foot-7 preseason all-Northeast Conference selection is now registered for classes for the spring semester.

And he's allowed to practice.

But he is still not officially eligible to play in games.

"We're waiting for an NCAA waiver," coach Mike Deane said while watching film in preparation for his team's Jan. 4 game at Monmouth.

Deane, whose team lost its last game, an overtime 92-86 heartbreaker at Indiana State on Dec. 21, is hoping Vinson will become eligible within the next few days.

"We want things work out for Durell and for us," he said. "There's no doubt we're a better team with him, and we think it's important for him to have the opportunity to play and to graduate."

Last season, the Vineland, N.J., resident averaged 15.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game and was named a Northeast Conference second-team selection. The Wagner center ranked among the Top 10 in the league in points, rebounds, blocked shots and field-goal percentage.

My thoughts on MU vs. LMU game

MU goes 5-7 in non-conference. Best since 6-5 a few years back (2004) when Brian Boxler helped lead MU to the NCAAs. I mention that in part because Boxler was at the game today, no longer playing pro ball.

I felt 7-5 or more would be excellent, 6-6 very good, 5-7 decent, Ok. 4-8 would have been mimimum acceptable.

Now MU needs to go at least 11-6 NEC rest of the way (went 12-6 NEC last year) to finish 16-14 regular season and clinch seventh straight winning record.

Overall, another impressive showing by MU..but just don't carried away. Only a grinch (that would be me) would point out - would MU have won if best two LMU players had seen action? Or one of them? Or had 6-10 Lehigh center played? Just food for thought.

For whatever reason, Lehigh and LMU point guard/ball handling play was horrendous (10 assists, 40 turnovers) over the two games, and MU capitalized with 24 points off 21 TOs today.

Meanwhile MU motion offense has been something to behold with 39 assists on 54 baskets in the two games.

"The Jet" had a marvelous all around game and is blending in beautifully and vice versa with the senior front court players and guards Whitney Coleman and Alex Nunner.

As he said the other day...'"basketball is basketball". Doesn't matter that he's a freshman.

Defense has done a better job vs. the 3 (10-for-31) in the two games. Opponent teams did not appear to have PGs who could drive and dish effectively.

Note: Marques Alston has now scored double figures the last four games. Today had four assists, no TOs. Yaniv Simpson dropped in his first collegiate trey..MU now 2-2 on current six game home stand.

Should MU fans be optimistic about going back to the dance? Definitely. As we speak no one in the league looks like the Duke of the NEC. Wagner (4-8, 3-8 vs. D1s, 1-0 NEC) here Thursday


MU Women down Lafayette (courtesy MU web site)


Note to Press readers - game ended too late to make Monday Press per early New Year's deadlines . I will have a follow story for Tuesday on Marisa Jiminez and a story for Wedneday on MU women's NEC outlook.

Veronica Randolph scores career-high 26 points in Sunday win

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Junior Veronica Randolph led four Hawks in double figures with a career-high 26 points as the Monmouth University women’s basketball team defeated Lafayette 79-62 Sunday afternoon at Boylan Gym. The win, MU’s second in a row, improves the Hawk’s record to 7-4 on the season, while Lafayette has now lost 11 straight to fall to 2-11.

“We got out to a good lead early and maintained our intensity for most of the second half,” said head coach Michele Baxter. “We were able to capitalize off most of their turnovers, and Ronnie (Randolph) really showed how versatile her offensive game can be.”

Freshman Brooke McElroy and Jennifer Bender each chipped in with 12 points, while Marissa Jimenez contributed 11.

The Hawks got off to a hot start, jumping out to 43-25 halftime advantage. At one point, the Blue and White held a 32-18 lead, with Randolph scoring half of that point total at the 7:30 mark of the opening stanza.

MU converted 31 Leopard turnovers into 29 points for the game, and the Hawk’s bench outscored Lafayette’s 35-19.

The Hawks hit 29-of-41 free throws in the game, and out rebounded Lafayette by a 42-33 margin.

Monmouth returns to action by resuming their Northeast Conference schedule when they host Long Island on Wednesday, January 3 at 7 p.m.


MU men's hoops vs. Loyola Marymount game story for Monday Press


WEST LONG BRANCH - Jhamar Youngblood of the Monmouth University men's
basketball team roared towards the basket as Loyola Marymount defenders
swarmed in his direction.
Displaying inherent point guard instincts the freshman whipped the ball
to the left wing where a wide open Whitney Coleman swished a three.
"Even in practice we've been sharing the ball and everything is just
carrying over,'' said Youngblood after the Hawks buried Loyola's
wounded Lions 81-53 in the non-conference season finale for Monmouth (5-8)
before 1,500 fans at Boylan
Loyola Marymount (8-8) played without its two top scorers, 6-2 senior
Brandon Worthy (season ending ACL injury), a 1,200 career point scorer
who was the No. 2 scorer
in the West Coast Conference (18.5 ppg.) and No.
5 WCC scorer, 6-8 senior Matthew Knight (17.5 ppg., strained knee).
"It really didn't matter to me if they had all their starting five out or
one guy out,'' said Youngblood. ""We were going to go out and it was going to
be the same thing.''
""Watching them on tape they're definitely a much different team than they
were with those guys, especially on the offensive end,'' said Dave Calloway,
Monmouth coach. ""I think that was the
biggest thing that hurt them,.
""But I would also like to think our defense had a little something to do
with that as well.''
""In the games we were losing, everybody wasn't playing as a team,''said
Youngblood. ""But now wer're starting to jell as a team and we're getting
victories on both sides of the court, offense and defense.''
Youngblood tied his career high with 20 points and established career
marks with
six assists and five steals, had just one turnover over, and nabbed six
The Youngblood/Coleman back court combined for 13 assists and two turnovers.

After Loyola Marymount (8-8) whittled a 12-point Monmouth advantage to 33-
31 at the
outset of the second half, Monmouth took off.
The Hawks, featuring back-to-back transition dunks by Dejan Delic (17 points) and
Coleman went on a
dazzling 24-0 run.
Monmouth led 57-31 on a layup by
Alex Nunner with 10:32 remaining to clinch its second win in
nine attempts and first since 1990 over a WCC team.
""I just remembered, there would be a media time out, I would just keep looking (at
the scoreboard) and they still had 31 points,'' said Coleman who added 15
points and tied his career high with seven assists.
""I would just be like, ""Let's just crush their confidence, let's keep playing hard, keep
talking on defense, and just keep them where they were at,' ''' said Coleman.
The lead eventually swelled 81-47 on a layup by Shawn Barlow with 1:40
Monmouth returns to NEC action
on for the balance of the
season 7 p.m. Thursday when it hosts Wagner.
""Momentum is huge in college basketball,''said Coleman. "'We're on a huge
rise including the Stockton (exhibtion) game, we won that big. Now it's big
for confidence.
""I think we've found an idenity as team we didn't have at thd start of
the season.''

Momouth began the game shooting incredibly well, mixing cuts to the basket
with some accurate outside marksmanship.
It hit 10 of its first 13 shots and led 26-14 after Corey Hallett
found a cutting Youngblood. It's marskmanship peaked at 12-for-17 and its lead
held at 31-19 after Marques Alston stroked a 3 from the right corner with five minutes
left in the half.
But then the offensive flow waned as Monmouh failed on its next eight
possessions and missed its next six shot attempts.
Led by nine points by Boston College transfer Adoyah Miller (team high
14) LMU
closed within 31-28 before Youngblood
capped the Hawks' final posession of the half with a layup for a 33-28
Monmouth ended the half 13-for-24 (54.2 percent form the floor), had 10n
assists,and seven turnovers, but was utrebounded 19-12. LMU, however,
had just two assists and nine turnovers.
Youngblood's 12 points and eight by Delic led the Monmouth attack.

Your MU vs. Loyola Marymount post game remarks

This be the place. Also, I will file my game story to the blog fairly soon after the contest as well.

Happy New Year everyone!



Saturday, December 30, 2006

MU women's game day box/per MU and the immortal EO

Yes, I know football (JETS) is on TV, but that's at 1 p.m.

Hey, I'm going to miss the Eagles
-Atlanta game to cover this one (though I'll be keeping track) even though the women's game will not run in the Press until Tuesday paper due to early New Year's Eve deadlines.

But I don't mind. For one thing it's my job, but also MU women are playing well and should take this one. If MU wins it will mark it's best start since going 9-4 to start 2002-2003 on its way to an 18-11 (12-6 NEC) record.

Is anyone going to stay for this game???

3:30 p.m. Sunday

88.9 fm,

Monmouth: The Hawks (6-4) come into this afternoon's contest off a 76-64 victory over American in their last game nine days ago. In that game, junior center Lindsey Zegowitz enjoyed a break out performance, scoring a career-high 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds. The Hawks shot 50 % from the floor for the game, while limiting American to 29.7 %, including 6-of-29 from three-point range. The balanced Hawks attack featured two other players, Jennifer Bender (12) and Brianne Edwards (11) joining Zegowitz in double figures, while the Hawks bench outscored the Eagles reserves 31-10. Bender is the lone Hawk averaging double figures at 11.4 points per game, but Monmouth, who is 4-1 at home, goes 10 deep regularly, all of whom score.

Lafayette: The Leopards (2-10) comes into this afternoon's game off a 70-59 loss to Division I-A newcomer New Jersey Institutue of Technology on December 28. They were led in that game by Emily Garner's 20 points, as she was the lone Leopard to crack into double digits on the score sheet. Lafayette turned the ball over 24 times in the game, compared to dishing out just seven assists. Garner leads the Leopards in scoring, averaging 11.1 points per game. Lafayette has played fourNortheast Conference teams already this season, falling to St. Francis (N.Y.) 61-48, Wagner 72-65 and Fairleigh Dickinson 63-48, while defeating Mount St. Mary's 68-55. Wagner's win over the Leopards is the lone win of the season to this point.

MU men's hoops vs. Loyola Marymount advance story for Sunday Press


WEST LONG BRANCH - The Monmouth University men's basketball team (4-8) won't
have to face the two biggest guns in the arsenal of Loyola Marymount (8-7) in
Sunday's non-conference game at Boylan Gym.
Fifth year, 6-2 senior Brandon Worthy, the No. 2 scorer in the West Coast
Conference (18.8 ppg., 1,255 career points) is done for the season with
a torn ACL suffered Dec. 19 in a double overtime win over Boise State, while 6-8
senior Matthew Knight, the fifth leading scorer in the WCC (17 ppg.),
is out with a strained knee
cap suffered in a Dec. 22 loss at the buzzer to Long Beach State.
"I remember those kids from two years ago when they were sophomores,'' said
Monmouth senior Dejan Delic who led the Hawks with 16 points in an 83-70
loss to the Lions in the 2004-2005 season opener in Los Angeles. Worthy scored nine points in the 2004 game while Knight had 14.
Sunday's contest marks the second in the home and home series.
""They were like unknowns then but they were still unbelievable players,''
said Delic.
""It's obviously good for us, but I feel sorry for them,'' said Delic. ""I
don't wish anybody injuries. But we've got to use this opportunity to get a
"I have never been a part of team that lost their two best players in back-
to-back games," said LMU coach Rodney Tention on the school's web site
following the Long Beach State contest.
"I told the guys it was an opportunity to step
up,'' he said. ""We are good enough to win games with
anyone we put out on the court. We have to find a way to get it done."
But Friday, playing without both players for the first time, the Lions were
mauled at Akron, 92-52, and committed 30 turnovers in losing to the Zips (8-
Adoyah Miller, a 6-5 senior transfer from Boston College, had averaged 21
points and six rebounds in the two games preceding Friday while hitting 9-
for-16 from downtown, but Friday scored eight points and was blanked from
""He can really shoot it,'' said Monmouth coach Dave Calloway. ""They have
size, they rebound very well, and they really look to post.''
LMU boasts nine players 6-9 or taller on the roster. Three are freshman
including seven-foot, 260
pound Max Craig.
Monmouth has lost seven of eight games to WCC teams last prevailing Jan. 2,
1990 at Pepperdine, 56-54, when Alex Blackwell scored on a rebound after
future NBA player Doug Christe blocked a shot by Calloway.
""This (Loyola Marymount) is a marquee team,'' said Calloway. LMU was
picked second in the WCC behind Gonzaga. ""It's a name program,''said
Calloway. ""This is a
great home game for us.''
""We're very, very excited for the
game, especially since we won the game
(over Lehigh) Friday night,'' Delic said.
""We started getting back faith in our team and basketball in general.''

My thoughts: If MU can keep Miller from going off it has a decent chance. LMU is very big. Bunch has to play their big guys at least even as rebounding could be a problem.

On the other hand..they had virtually no time to prepare a suddenly somewhat inexperienced team (in new roles at least) for MU's motion offense. So if the Hawks run it well they could score some easy baskets. This is also a game MU may need to hit its outside shots.

This looks like a game that could be played in the 50's or 60's which is what MU would prefer (in every game).


Re: The MAAC - Saturday Letters to the Editor published in the Asbury Park Press

Appeal denial of sports center

In response to the Dec. 15 article "Zoners say no to athletic center" and Tony Graham's Dec. 16 column "West Long Branch Zoning Board "out of touch,' " it is hard to comprehend the lack of understanding the three board members who voted "no" have on the issues.

Graham is correct; these are the "out of touch trio." They are doing the bidding of the West Long Branch mayor, who placed them on the board for this sole purpose. This is a shameful display of arrogance and an undeserved negative reflection on the town.

The students at Monmouth University and the community of West Long Branch are being denied a necessary facility. Facilities that have become antiquated over time need to be upgraded. I hope this matter is appealed by the university through the courts.

Bill Frech


Board made right decision

The Dec. 16 column by Tony Graham concerned the defeat of the Multipurpose Athletic Center (MAC) of Monmouth University. Graham's attack of the three members of the West Long Branch Zoning Board was unprofessional, uninformed and unwarranted. The column was a scathing attack on three members of the board who had the courage to stand up and vote their conscience on what is beneficial to West Long Branch.

Graham is only interested in the athletics of Monmouth University, and he has no clue of the problems that will be generated from a 5,000-seat facility in a small town. The Zoning Board has the responsibility to vote on the basis of what is beneficial to West Long Branch and not to Monmouth University alone.

University cars are parked on private lawns, and traffic chokes local streets for hours after events with half the capacity of the MAC.

Graham should contain himself to reporting sporting events. Let the representatives of Monmouth University and the borough reach equitable decisions without ridiculing the individuals who are trying to perform good public service.

Michael Pagones


Interview with new MU Promotions Director

In response to the departure of Tom Manzo from the Monmouth position of "Assistant Athletics Director/Marketing, Spirit and Promotions," and some critical comments here on the blog about MU not doing enough promotional work this year for its teams, Friday I spoke with Manzo's successor.

He is...Cliff Rowley: originally from North Brunswick

Background: Took the job at MU Sept. 25. Was with the NY Yankees for about seven years in their corporate marketing department. He said he will keep me advised of promotions coming up at MU games (men's and women's).

Comments from him:

"We are changing some things around. We are going to be doing some things differently. Promotions - we give out T-shirts every day, we give out subs every day, we do the Pepsi Crawl for Cash (from TG - my personal favorite - where's my blindfold?), things are the same.

""I'm still getting my feet wet with things. I think people just need to be patient and understand we do plan on doing everything as is, nothing has really changed.

""We are looking to bring in some more corporate type sponsors, and those I'm bringing with me from the Yankees are going to try and help out some programs and things we can do more for our fans, more promotional nights.

""This season, right now, we're kind of doing everything we did last year. Next year you're going to be able to see a huge difference in promotional nights.

""Look, it's tough, too,this time of year (Xmas break) the kids are gone. I don't have a band, cheerleraders, I don't have anything.

""Our last women's game - (from me, that was the one that had 76 in attendance) we had a Take a Kid to the Game Day promotion, we gave out some basketballs and things.

""There are a lot of good things that are ahead. It's kind of a work in progress at this point.''

From me - Remember this folks and you know this as well as I do: You can give away cars, money, etc., and have high wire acts at halftime, but nothing promotes fan interest like winning.


LMU preview/your predictions/what do you think the Boylan Gym attendance will be?

This is a copy from my post late Friday night..could find nothing new on the net this morning ...don't be fooled..this is still a good team....Akron pressed LMU...MU will not do that....

MU (4-8) now 4-7 in non-conference games. To assure seventh winning season in a row ..18 regular season games left..MU would have to go 12-6 to arrive at 16-14 including LMU game...

All below taken from the LMU web site: First - the injuries

Last week started for the Lions with the loss of the West Coast Conference's second leading scorer in 5th year 6-2 senior Brandon Worthy, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. At the start of the second half of its next game the Lions saw senior Matthew Knight, the fifth leading scorer in the WCC, go down with a strained left knee cap.

Worthy ranked second in the West Coast Conference in scoring at 18.8 points per game. The preseason Mid-Major All-American also ranked 17th in the WCC in rebounds (4.5 rpg), seventh in free throw percentage (77.2%), ninth in assists (3.69 apg), seventh in steals (1.77 spg), ninth in three-point percentage (38.8%), 10th in three-pointers made per game (1.46), and 11th in defensive rebounds (3.54). Worthy's playing career at LMU concludes with 1,255 points, ranking 16th all-time in LMU history. Worthy is also ranked fourth all-time in free thorws made with 437, eighth in assists with 320 and seventh in steals with 157.

With Worthy already out of the season, the Lions lost another All-WCC performer in the next game against Long Beach State as 6-8 senior Matthew Knight (17 ppg.) went down with a strained knee cap. Worthy and Knight have combined for 50 percent of the Lions offense so far this season. Junior Jon Ziri, who missed the Boise State and Long Beach State games due to a concussion suffered in practice, is expected to play this weekend.

Ziri played 20 minutes and had seven points vs. Akron Friday.

Below from the LMU Web site Friday night:

Akron, OH (Dec. 29) - The Loyola Marymount men's basketball team fell to the University of Akron 92-52 on Friday night at the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio. The Lions struggled from the start as they finished the game with 30 turnovers and shot just 36 percent to fall to 8-7 on the season. Akron improves to 8-3.

The Lions trailed by as many as 28 in the first half while the Zips scored 18 points on 15 first half turnovers by LMU. Akron used a 16-0 run early to go up 20-4 in the first half as the Lions never really challenged from there. The Zips led 42-20 at the break and increased the lead to as many as 42 in the second half.

No Lion finished in double figures as the final seven minutes the Lions displayed their youth, playing three freshmen and two sophomores. Adoyah Miller, who was fifth in the West Coast Conference in three-pointers per game at more than two per contest, finished with eight points, going 0-for-4 from long range. The Lions went 0-for-8 without a three-pointer before sophomore Corey Counts hit a pair in the final two points. He finished with eight points off the bench.

Marko Deric, Damian Martin and Mason Maynard all added seven points for the Lions. Nate Linhart and Quade Milum finished with 12 each to lead Akron.

The Lions 30 turnovers led to 31 points for the Zips while the Lions managed 11 points on 19 Akron turnovers. Akron finished shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 55 percent from long range (11-for-20). The Lions finished 2-for-10 from long range.

LMU will finish the non-conference season at the east coast road trip against Monmouth on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 10:30 a.m. (PST).


MU men's hoops: My thoughts on Lehigh game

Ok..let's not go optimistic crazy here though it does make one feel better about MU's NEC chances. Lehigh (College 270) had a higher RPI than six NEC teams though less than Monmouth's (224).

This was a game MU figured to win at home (as it did with LIU and Hartford and we know how those games went) but one that had fallen into doubt off recent performances.

Also..Lehigh played minus its 6-10, 300 pound senior center averaging about 10 points and six rebounds who will be out 4-6 weeks with an injury. Having said that.... this was the same Lehigh team which was minus the big guy when it almost defeated Rutgers last week (I'm not exactly sure what that says for RU).

Lehigh also has now dropped 11 road games in a row and hasn't won on the road in December since 2004 and just took itself right out of the MU game with its avalanche of turnovers. At one point early in the second half it had 13 TOs and one assist. .

Monmouth began the night shooting fouls at 64 percent and went a still a not so hot 17-for-25 (68 percent) but did convert 10 of 12 from the line in the second half.

I thought MU hoisting 24 3s is still too many (MU went 6-for-24). I would like to see about 14-18 per game, depending on how the game is going. (OK I'm being picky).

And now the positives. Where do we start?

As I said in my Press story....offensive tempo was very good. MU ran the shot clock down effectively looking for good shots, got the ball inside to Bunch at times, and found cutters for layups. I thought John "Big County" (so named by a blgger) Bunch took more than three shots (he should be taking 6-10 in my opinion). To be fair though he only played 16 minutes Friday as there was no need for Dave to use him much in the second half as the outcome became obvious. Bunch only played four minutes in the second half)

Friday is how MU HAS TO PLAY on offense. Pass the ball, run the motion offense, take time off the clock, make the other team play defense, get the ball inside to Bunch, Marques, and Delic who can also post up. MU has some 3-point ability but that CANNOT be the first option.

Defensively MU made a subtle change in sending the 6-6 Delic to the front of its 1-2-2 match up zone ..guess it worked. MU did a real good job doubling Lehigh players in the corners and did not allow many open 3s.

Individually Bunch with seven points, eight rebounds, 3 blocks and Corey Hallett (season high seven points, five rebounds, one block, two steals) were a decisive presence inside. Bunch looked mobile and healthy.

I said to Corey after the game, "Corey I'm not going to interviww you, don't want to jinx you." Over the years whenever I've done a story on Corey it's been a kiss of death.

Youngblood - "The Jet" displayed a savvy flight plan, showed good poise in running the show. Some nice penetrations and dishes. Can probably get to the hoop almost any time he wants to, an ability that will be needed in any number of future situations. But also showed the knack to distribute which I watched him do so well in pre-practice team gym sessions in Sep-Oct...and was limited Friday to 24 minutes (one under his season average) by early foul trouble.

Marques played with some zip and spark in his game which - seemingly - has not always been present this season. Dealt a dandy almost touch pass inside to Bunch which "Big County" slammed with two hands.

Am not going to mention every player..but as the story indicated - a "group effort"

Some notes: MU now has four non-conference wins, one more than last year and most since winning six in 2003-2004. I said four was the minimum non-conference win total acceptable for this team and at least it has accomplished that with wounded LMU arriving Sunday. That's a suddenly "winnable" game though I doubt it'll be as easy as the Lions' blowout loss to a good Akron club may make it seem.

Someone posted about the lack of what one would call "fan intensity." Well, there were few if any students around (they are on break) and no cheerleaders or the pep band which I have also been told will not be present Sunday due to the Xmas break. Still, pumped up by this win, I think you'll see a good lively crowd Sunday for LMU.


Friday, December 29, 2006

MU vs. Lehigh Press game story for Saturday paper


WEST LONG BRANCH - Finally, Friday night, there was a sighting of something
that hadn't been much in evidence so far this season.
""Monmouth basketball,'' said senior forward Marques Alston after Monmouth
squashed Lehigh, 67-39, in a non-conference game.
The 1,550 fans at Boylan Gym watched a Monmouth team (4-8) that controlled the
clock, made intelligent passes, sank back door layups, and played a matchup zone that held the
careless Mountain
Hawks (5-10) to 29 percent shooting (13-45) while they were committing 19 turnovers
turnovers with just four assists.
" "I told the guys down in the locker room it was the first time I've
reallly seen us come together as a group,'' said Monmouth coach Dave
Calloway. ""I started sensing it the last couple of days in practice and it
showed as a complete group effort.''
" "We knew we had to stay in (inside the paint on defense), rebound, close
out (on shooters) and everything would come together,'' said Alston.
""We're trying to get back to pride in our defense. Tonight reminded me of that, especially last year and the year before
when we had Tyler (Azzarelli) and Chris (Kenny).''
In just his second career start and first since sophomore
point guard Mike
Shipman became academically ineligible, freshman Jhamar Youngblood led
Monmouth 16 points, had three assists, four turnovers, and two steals.
"'I just picked my spots,'' said Youngblood who opened Monmouth's scoring
with a left wing 3 but also ran the offense soundly while occasionally
scooting to the basket or dishing the ball on drives.
"I knew when to go (to shoot) and when I felt like it was time to bring
the ball out I brought it back out,''said Youngblood. ""I ran the team, I
didn't try to force anything tonight.''
With Monmouth ahead at the half by 13 points Alston, who added 10 points
and six rebounds, gathered his teammates around him at free throw line
just before the second half tipped off.
"We wanted to get the team (Lehigh) down to where they can't do
anything any more,'' said Alston. ""And we got 'em.''
Leading 38-26 Monmouth put the game away with a 12-0 run capped by a Dejan
Delic 3 with 10:08 left.
"This feels good,''said Youngblood. ""We've been practicing well together
as a team and I knew the same energy, the same team concept, everything was
going to carry over from practice.""
Lehigh, which hasn't won on the road since February of 2006, was
paced by
freshman guard Marques Hall's career high 18 points, 15 in the second half.
Though he struggled from the field (1-for-7 from 3) Delic notched a
season high six assists as Monmouth finished with 16 assists and nine
Calloway said he thought Delic played well. ""People don't realize Deki
has a very good all around game and tonight was a perfect example, he does a
little bit of everything out there.''
The biggest roar from the stands erupted with 40 seconds left when walk on
Steve Bazaz, a Shore Regional High School graduate, sank two free throws for
his first career collegiate points.
Twenty-one year old freshman Yaniv Simpson also collected his first career
points (four) in the waning moments.
NOTES.. Monmouth concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule 1:30 p.m.
Sunday at Boylan Gym vs. Loyola Marymount (8-7). The West Coast Conference
team, which will be
minus two of its top players who are injured, lost at Akron (8-3) Friday night.

Monmouth, which had surrendered an average of over 77 points in its last three games, yielded its lowest point
total since last season's 41-21 conquest of Princeton.
Lehigh suffered its lowest scoring game since it
was limited to 37 in a defeat by Washington last season.

MU men's hoops vs. Lehigh/post game comments

This is the place. I will also post my game story at some point tonight.


Blog count hits new monthly high!

According to our latest report - page views for this college sports (mainly Monmouth University) blog reached a new monthy high over 11,000 through Thursday.

That would be an average of about 20,000 over the last two months ....still No. 1 for blogs originated by the Press, though boy's high school basketball is closing fast.

But this isn't a contest in that regard. My point here is to let everyone know that your views and comments are being seen and discussed by many people and that this is YOUR blog.

There is certainly a lot going on with MU athletics at this time, basketball, football, the emergence of men's soccer as a nationally ranked program, the MAAC issue, etc.

Again, this blog is for all local college sports defined as MU, Brookdale, OCC, and Georgian Court, so anyone with views on athletic programs at those schools should also free to join in any time.

Thanks for posting!


"Jet" propelled

Some more comments from MU freshman guard Jhamar "The Jet"" Youngblood who will start at the point Friday night vs. Lehigh with the academic ineligibity of sophomore pg Mike Shipman. These comments did not make it into the Press due to (of course) lack of space..

Jhamar on the importance of the game: "This game is real important. The few last practices have been like great, intense practices on defense and offense. Both sides have been looking better than they were.

""We're looking at this as a game to get us rolling, get us on a streak.''

Jhamar on playing in losing games, more than he did total probably during his varsity career at high school power St. Pat's of Elzabeth: "Nobody likes losing.
""But with the guys we had (in high school) we had lots of talent. We dominated.

""Now it's a different situation, you've got to work harder, you've got to think the game more.

""At St. Pat's we just dominated with talent. We had guys who could jump higher and run faster (than opponents). Now it's a different situation. I've got to be like a leader more for these guys and think the game more than ever.''

My thoughts: Jhamar is the most talented guard in the MU program right now, probably one of the most all around talented guards in the NEC as a freshman. He has genuine point guard instincts. He'll be more of a scoring point guard than Shipman or Tyler Azzarelli.

Having said that it's a tough situation he's bring thrown into and he's bound to make some mistakes during the course of the season but MU will live with that.

Overall, MU will need Marques Alston to begin to "step up" and be more of a post factor than he has, and Bunch to begin to approach the form of last year.

With Shipman out Alex Nunner becomes the No. 3 guard.

The turnover situation is going to critical for the balance of the season. The MU guards, Whitney Coleman and Youngbood, have to be good at taking care of the ball.

I think it would behoove MU, as I've been saying all year, to slow the pace down and run the offense through Bunch and or Marques, and then go from there.

Lehigh is a nice club but, again like LIU and Hartford, a team MU should beat especially at home if it is going to emerge as at least an upper echelon NEC team. So far MU hasn't shown that will be the case.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lehigh report/highlights from Lehigh game notes/

Lehigh (5-9)

10 at Oregon $ L, 77-65
11 vs. Portland State $ L, 94-90
12 vs. Cal-State Northridge $ L, 74-68
17 CORNELL W, 90-71
19 SACRED HEART W, 72-63
22 at Quinnipiac L, 71-55
25 at Harvard L, 83-75
27 at Notre Dame L, 93-87
29 SWARTHMORE W, 96-33
6 at Princeton L, 44-43
9 at Miami L, 79-58
11 HAVERFORD W, 83-39
22 at Rutgers L, 67-61
29 at Monmouth 7:00

Note from me: Lehigh is 0-7 on the road this season..

Lehigh heads to the Jersey Shore this evening as the Mountain Hawks take on the Hawks
of Monmouth in their fi nal non-league road contest of the season. Lehigh has been off
since December 22, following a hard-fought game at Big East foe Rutgers, in which the
Brown and White fell 67-61.

Note this: The Mountain Hawks are looking to snap a ten-game road
losing streak tonight that dates back to last season, and are seeking their fi rst road victory
in the month of December since 2004.


No. Pos. Cl. Name PPG RPG Note
1 G Fr. Marquis Hall 7.6 4.9 ast. 0 turnovers in 33 mins. at Rutgers
13 G Sr. Jose Olivero 18.5 4.1 11 pts away from 7th in LU history
Note this kid: 20 F Jr. Bryan White 5.8 4.6 Car. high 18 pts vs. Mon. 12/12/05
5 F Sr. Kyle Neptune 11.6 5.1 Game-high 20 pts vs Haverford
42 F So. Phil Anderson 4.6 2.2 64 pts this season - 27 last season

Lehigh Top Reserves
3 C 6-10 Sr. Jason Mgebroff 10.8 5.8 Will miss next 4-6 weeks w/ injury
10 F Fr. Zahir Carrington 5.3 3.0 10 points, 6 rebs vs. Haverford
21 G Fr. Matt Shamis 1.9 1.0 Taken just 3 shots in last 4 games
23 F So. Greg Page 2.8 1.5 12 pts, 10 rebs vs Swarthmore
33 C So. John Gourlay 0.3 0.2 Out since 11/29 with injury
35 G So. Matt Szalachowski 2.8 0.7 DNP at Rutgers (injury)

Although Lehigh has yet to emerge victorious in a road game this season, the Mountain
Hawks have had a chance to win nearly every single contest, including last week at
Date - Opponent Note
11/10 - Oregon LU down 44-36 with 11:49 to go, Oregon wins by 12
11/25 - Harvard Behind by 22 in fi rst half, closed to within six with 2:57 to go
11/27 - Notre Dame Up 13 in the fi rst half, lost by just six
12/6 - Princeton Held a seven-point second half lead, lost with no time left
12/9 - Miami Jumped out to 16-5 lead, within eight with 5:27 to go
12/22 - Rutgers Led 49-39 with 8:03 left, lost by six points

Lehigh outscored Rutgers 28-16 in the paint last week, the ninth time this season the
Mountain Hawks have outscored their opponent in the paint, and the sixth time the
Brown and White has scored at least ten more points in the paint than the opposition.
For the year, Lehigh has outscored its opponent 408-300 in the paint, an average of 29-21.

Lehigh enters this evening’s game leading the Patriot League in scoring offense, averaging
71.3 points per game on 48 percent shooting. The Mountain Hawks have scored 70+
points seven times already this season, after hitting for that many points just seven times
all of of last year. Lehigh has surpassed the 90-point mark three times this season as well,
the most in a single year since the 1991-92 season.

NOTE: two of the wins have been against D3s Haverford and Swarthmore.


In games it has won this season, Lehigh
has gotten off to a quick start in each,
outscoring its opponent 189-109 in the fi rst
half, on a combined 49 percent shooting.
The Mountain Hawks have held opponents
to an average of 30 percent from the
field in those fi ve fi rst halves, with three
teams failing to shoot over 30%. In contrast,
Lehigh has been outscored 318-284 in
the first half of games it has lost.

NOTE: Lehigh is shooting 36 per cent from 3. Monmouth is allowing 43 percent from 3, last in the NEC in that category.


MU men's hoops advance vs. Lehigh for Friday Press


WEST LONG BRANCH - Monmouth University freshman guard Jhamar Youngblood, a dynamic
performer mainly off the bench this season, apparently is about to assume more of a
major role.

Coach coach Dave Calloway of Monmouth (3-8) said Youngblood will start in the back
court Friday vs. Lehigh University (5-9) replacing academically ineligible sophomore
point guard point guard Michael Shipman.

"""He (Shipman) said he thought one of his grades should have been different and he's
going to talk to the professor,'' said Calloway. ""But right now he's ineligible.''

"Basketball is basketball,'' said the 6-1, 180 pound Youngblood, who has played the
fifth most minutes his season.

He said his youth is not an issue. ""I don't care if I'm playing against guys who are
30 or my age,'' said the St. Patrick's of Elizabeth graduate, Monmouth's first recruit
from an NJSIAA Tournament of Champions winner.

""So that freshman thing to me doesn't matter,'' said Youngblood. ""I'm just out there
being a player.''

The energetic Youngblood, the Hawks' No. 3 scorer, is averaging 9.6 ppg. but has 10
assists and 29 turnovers.

Shipman, averaging 7.1 points and 4.9 assists per game, is the only Monmouth regular
with a substantial plus assist to turnover ratio and had posted 38 assists and 19
turnovers over the last seven games.

""I talked to him (Youngblood) a little bit about how he plays,'' said Calloway. ""When
he had Ship in there he could just concentrate on scoring.''

Calloway said Youngblood may now have to concentrate more on setting up the

""It might affect his scoring a little bit but might help his overall game and make
him a better all-around player which will help us later on down the road,'' said

' ""I believe in God,''said Youngblood. ""No matter how this situation came it

""I'm starting, now I've got to take control and replace Ship (Shipman). Ship has
been playing well so now I've got to just carry on and be a leader out there for some

Monmouth hosts Loyola Marymount (8-6) 1:30 p.m. Sunday to conclude the
non-conference portion of the Hawks' schedule in which so far they are 3-7.

Calloway said he also hopes to find more playing time for center John Bunch (4.6
ppg., 4.4 rpg., 26 blocks) who is playing just over 21 minutes per game. ""John, knock
on wood, is feeling better,''said Calloway of the 7-2 Bunch whose Monmouth career has
been hampered by knee problems.

Calloway also said freshman forward Rickie Crews, who has played in just one game
this season while serving a number of ""violation of team rules" related suspensions,
has been suspended until Tuesday after arriving late for a team workout Wednesday
morning but said the 6-7 Crews is academically eligible.

Senior guard Jose Olivero scores 18.5 ppg. to lead Lehigh which Nov. 27 lost 93-87
at Notre Dame and bowed last week 67-61 at Rutgers after leading by 10 points with 8:03

Lehigh embarrassed Monmouth last season in Bethlehem, Pa. as the Hawks committed 25
turnovers in a 71-57 defeat.


Just got back from MU men's hoops practice

Nothing dramatic today...except Shipman remains academically ineligible. Doesn't appear that will change. Jhamar starts in the back court Friday vs. Lehigh and I would think for the foreseeable future.

Later this evening I will publish Friday's Press story for advance on the Lehigh game.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Letters to the editor re: the MAAC

Our news desk tells me.....

The Press will be running some letters to the editor - beginning Thursday - from folks critical to my published stance which was critical of the WLB Zoning Board rejection of the MAAC. There may be also one or two letters who agree with me.

When they run, I will publish all of them on the blog in the event you wish to comment.


MU men's hoops practice news - Rickie Crews suspended again, Mike Shipman may be academically ineligible

1. Rickie Crews - It appeared to me before today Rickie, who has been bouncing between suspensions all season and has played in just one game, might be able to begin working his way into the rotation. But coach Dave Calloway said today Crews has been suspended for one week from all basketball activity for being late to this morning's workout. Calloway said he will ""lift the suspension" Jan. 2 which is next Tuesday.

Calloway said Crews made it successfully through the first semester academically.
""He did OK,'' Calloway said. Crews, who turned an ankle last week in practice, had
practiced Tuesday.

So he will not be available for Friday's game with Lehigh (5-9) or the Sunday 1:30
p.m. matinee with Loyola Marymount (8-6).

My thoughts: !@$#@#@!

2. Shipman - appears to be done for the season due to academic reasons. ""He (Shipman) thinks there's a
mistake with one of the grades ,'' Calloway said. ""If for some reason that's true than
obviously he'll be back, but otherwise he will not play.''

Shipman practiced today and will be able to practice with the team the remainder of
the year, Calloway said.

My thoughts: Assuming Shipman's season is over it means more playing time for
Jhamar ""The Jet'' Youngblood who now will start, though his minutes would have been
increasing anyway.

Shipman, howeever, is the only true point guard on the team with 49 assists and 33 turnovers, 38
assists and 19 turnovers over the last seven games.

Youngblood (10 assists, 29 turnovers) technically would be the point guard though
Coleman (16 assists, 24 turnovers) served some time in that role last season.
Youngblood was not recruited as a point but, I believe, can handle the role more
effectively than his current numbers would indicate.
In the guard rotation Alex Nunner, who has been looking better lately, moves up to No. 3 with Yaniv Simspon swinging between shooting guard and small forward.

All this would be moot if Shipman is right and there was an error in his grades..we'll know more on that Thursday.

In my opinion - Calloway doesn't hold out that much hope for the player being

In other practice news today..John Bunch ran well up and down the floor with no signs of his knees acting up. Marques Alston had one of his better practices, I felt.
Simpson, who has missed most of the year with shin and knee ailments, practiced for the second day in a row. A potentially lethal shooter, he appears rusty at this time.


MU men's hoops

I am departing now for men's hoops practice which was to start at 4 pm...I will file a report later this evening.


MU football: Jackson's Tim Nolan set to visit/per

Nolan, 6-foot-4 and 295-pounds, played offensive tackle, offensive guard, and defensive tackle in 2006. On offense he finished with 47 pancake blocks, while on defense he added 70 tackles and 5 sacks. His performance earned him All-County, All-Conference, All-Shore, All-Group 4 Central Jersey, and All-State honors.

"I believe I had a great season," said Nolan. "I developed as a defensive player and had great strides on the offensive side of the ball. My team did well. We fell a little short, only making it to the state semi's, but making it there was an accomplishment."

Nolan's recruitment has remained consistent throughout the process.

"I'm hearing from a lot of D1-AA schools right now, like Delaware, Monmouth, and a lot of Atlantic-10 schools," said Nolan. "All the schools said they loved my film and will definitely be calling in the next few weeks."

Nolan does have an official visit scheduled with Monmouth in January, and hopes to get a few others finalized soon. So what is he looking for in a school?

"Good facilities, coaches, the environment and social activities," said Nolan.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Quick poll question (before hoops season resumes in full swing)

In 5-10 years the "flag ship" sport of Monmouth U. will be (and please offer reasons)....

1. Men's basketball

2. Football

3. Other


Monday, December 25, 2006

MU Football: TR North standout Arin West to visit MU/St. Peter's star visits Hawks/ more on Ogden

All of the following courtesy of

College recruiters constantly scour the country looking for athletic and versatile high school players for their programs. One player who definitely fits this mold is DB Arin West of Toms River North, who excelled on both sides of the ball during his senior season and is now dealing with his recruitment.

West, 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds, finished his senior season with 76 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries while playing as a safety. As a quarterback he also completed 99 of 161 passes for 1,165 yards and 8 touchdowns, while also rushing for 533 yards and 4 touchdowns on 137 carries.

"For me I think I did pretty well," said West. "The team also did well, especially with all the new players. They really came in and helped out, even if it was their first year ever playing football."

With his versatility, West already holds two offers and is also talking to a set of Atlantic 10 programs.

"Recruiting is alright," said West, who is being recruited as a defensive back. "I have full rides from Albany and Monmouth, and I'm just talking to William & Mary, Villanova, and Delaware."

West also has his first official lined up to Monmouth for January 19th. So what is he looking for in a school?

"Mostly just seeing if I'd be able to maybe come in and be an impact right away," said West. "Also definitely a school with a good educational reputation."

St. Peter's Prep defensive end Ravi Pradanhang was believed to have quite a few Division I offers. In fact, the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder currently holds just a pair of offers from Maine and Monmouth, but is getting serious interest from BCS conference schools.
Monmouth and Maine are the only offers I have," he said. "I took a visit last weekend to Monmouth and it went well. I was really impressed by the social life up there. The football players were really close."

Plenty of other schools are looking at the three-star prospect.

"I'm still talking to New Hampshire, Massachussetts, Connecticut and South Florida," he said. "I'm waiting to hear back from UConn and South Florida; they say they'll be in touch at the end of January. I think they are still looking at tape."

Pradanhang claims there are no favorites for his services.

"I'm still taking visits and I'll be choosing later at the end of January," he said. "Really, I'm looking for a place with strong academics because I want something in the future besides just football. As far as football goes, I'd like to be challenged and go where the competition is the best."

The No. 30 strongside defensive end in the country has a tentative visit planned with Maine on January 12th.

This season the Garden State prospect helped St. Peter's Prep to an 11-2 season.

OGDEN (from

Ogden, 6-foot-3 and 230-pounds, finished his senior season with 88 tackles, 15 sacks, and 35 tackles for a loss. His performance on the field earned him 1st team All-State honors, plus he was named the Passaic County Defensive Player of the Year. For his career at Wayne Hills, he finished with the school record for both sacks (40) and tackles for a loss (77), while finishing only three short of the tackles record (232). The previous record for sacks and tackles for a loss at Wayne Hills was held by Ryan Neil, who played at Rutgers and is now with the Buffalo Bills.

"The season went fantastic for me," said Ogden. "After be named All State 1st team my junior year, I knew teams were going to run away from my side or double and triple team me. I knew going into the season I had my work cut out for me and that there were a lot of expectations. I was going to have to step it up and make plays from the backside and my teammates were outstanding. Teams we played learned quickly that they could not concentrate on only one player, as our defensive front four was unstoppable, the linebackers were relentless, and I credit the defensive backs for many of our sacks in passing situations. As far as ending my high school career, I was part of three straight State Championships, it was a dream come true. I will live with this amazing feeling for the rest of my life."

Earlier in December, Ogden took visits to both Monmouth and William & Mary, but it was the Jersey school that stood out.

"Deciding on Monmouth was simple for me," said Ogden. "I met Monmouth coach Scott Van Zile, who played his high school football in North Jersey and I quickly understood where the Monmouth program was going and where they wanted to be. When I went to a Monmouth game I was impressed with the team. The school was beautiful and the football atmosphere was great. At the time I did not realize that they had so many great athletes from New Jersey on the team. Some of these players I either remembered playing against or reading about in the papers. On my official visit to Monmouth everyone was just great to me. After meeting head coach Kevin Callahan and the rest of the coaching staff I felt that this was a sincere staff. The coaches, players, and administration made me feel wanted, it felt like home. After traveling as far north as New Hampshire and as far south as Williamsburg, Virginia, I decided to take the Monmouth's offer. I wanted to keep it home in my own state of New Jersey where my friends and family can come and watch me play. In addition to Monmouth's success, I felt even bigger things are going to happen at Monmouth. There are more and more New Jersey high school players deciding to play there. I wanted to be part of this program and the positive feeling going on down there."

Aside from Monmouth and William & Mary, other schools that were involved include New Hampshire, Lehigh, Lafayette, Cincinnati, and Stony Brook.


Some thoughts on the MAAC from an MU athlete

This was sent to me via e-mail from an MU student athlete who, obviously, put a lot of time and effort into these thoughts and asked it be placed on the blog.

I felt it was so well done it should stand it is...

Just a couple of thoughts on the MAC controversy:

As an MU student, especially one who has lived off campus for the past few years, I do understand what a toll both the students and the University as a whole places on the surrounding community. We are outsiders who come in for the winter, stay four years, and then leave without thinking about the impact we make. As a collective group, I don't think that we as students realize just how much we affect our neighbors.
However, I also believe that we, as a student-body, contribute a great deal to those in the community. Whether it is tutoring students, hosting sports clinics and camps for kids or taking part in beach clean-ups, there are a number of ways that we give back to the surrounding neighborhoods. Now, I'm not saying that just because we participate in community service projects we have the right to demand that the MAC be built. That is entirely untrue. Yet shouldn't a relationship be based on give and take?
As an athlete, I am naturally all-for the MAC being built. Not only will it provide better, more sophisticated facilities for our sports programs and students, but it will give every member of the Monmouth community, both those who attend the university or are simply fans, a place to truly embrace. While our facilities now, especially Boylan Gym, serve the purposes they were built for, it is safe to assume that they are far below Division I program standards. And this goes far beyond the Gym itself. We also lack the strength and conditioning space, sports medicine facilities and locker-rooms that come with being a Division I school. From being in my fair share of athletic facilities over my four-year career as a collegiate athlete, I know what is good and what gets by, and what we have at MU is by far the latter.
Yet maybe this is exactly what the surrounding community is worried about: perhaps they see the MAC as just another step towards making MU even larger. Maybe they view the MAC as one more way for MU to make their presence in the community known. A facility like the MAC would certainly improve our status in the sports world, especially in terms of recruiting athletes to play here and having the ability to draw larger crowds to sporting events. Yet at the same time, I think the community also needs to remember that we are a small Division I program. Regardless of how great our facilities are or how big of an arena we have, we aren't trying to be Rutgers or Penn State. That's why student-athletes come to MU: it's an opportunity to play at the Division I level yet still have that small-school atmosphere. If our athletes wanted to go to a bigger school, there are plenty out there that would have been more than happy to take their tuition checks.
Having gone to a few of the board meetings, especially the one in November when residents were given the chance to have their voices heard, I was able to get a clear picture as to what many of the opposing arguments were about. It seemed to me that many of the problems were centered on traffic congestion, both during construction and then again when events would be held at the MAC, and how MU was planning to control the number of vehicles in and out of campus. It is understandable that residents in the community, especially those on the streets directly around the Monmouth campus, would be concerned with traffic. MU brings in a lot of people on a daily basis: whether it is driving to and from class, sporting events or other events held on campus, there are a great deal of cars on the streets. Yet is also my understanding that MU has agreed to do all the necessary things that would ease the potential traffic problems, including paying for extra police to guide cars out of the general vicinity, and that both the school’s and the town’s traffic experts have concluded that traffic issues would be less of a problem than people are making it seem. There is also the fact that many of the events hosted at the MAC would end later in the evening, thus placing less of a strain on traffic congestion in the area.
The issue of the number of full-capacity events allowed at the MAC was also raised, which ties into the previous traffic concerns. It was of some concern that, due to the large seating capacity of the new building, MU would feel the need to host events that would fill every seat. To accommodate the board, MU lowered the proposed number of full-capacity events from 25 to 16 in a calendar year. Since many of the “events” hosted would more than likely be both men’s and women’s home basketball games, as any Hawks fan can tell you, for a regular season home game, a draw of 2000 is a big deal. It is highly unlikely that a full-capacity crowd would be met on any regular basis. This is not in any way a knock to our basketball programs; it’s just simple facts and number crunching.
At the same meeting, I also heard a large number of residents stand up and speak FOR the building of the MAC, and it was great to hear so much support for something that seems so hated. It is obvious that there are those who are not in favor of the new facility, and they succeeded in voicing their concerns and getting their opinions heard, so to hear from those people who genuinely support the Monmouth community and the building of the MAC was like a breathe of fresh air.
I will never be able to use the MAC. Even if it does get built, I will never be able to fully take advantage of all that it has to offer to the Monmouth community. However, that doesn’t make me any less interested in seeing it built. As an athlete I know the pride that comes along with having first-class facilities, the kind of facilities other programs visit and say, “Wow, what a great building”, or “I wish we had a place like this.” While I myself will never lift a weight in its strength training room or get my ankles taped in the sports medicine center, I hope that future Monmouth Hawks will be allowed that opportunity.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays to all

Just want to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and a big "thank you" for continuing to help make this the most read blog originated at the Press...

It has been an eye-opener for me to find out how many people (a growing number) have found this blog and take MU athletics to heart. I do not beleive even the coaches of some of the sports or the editors at the Press realize the passion and knowledge of many MU fans.

I am not going to bug any MU coaches for the next few days but will continue to welcome any comments, thoughts, etc. right here or on other published blog topics which I will keep an eye open for.

I plan on attending MU men's hoops practice Wednesday and or Thursday.

Remember..this blog is for all local college sports..all MU athletics, but also if anyone ever wants to comment on Georgian Court, Brookdale, Ocean, please feel free to do so.


Friday, December 22, 2006

MU women's hoops - a winning team in a lonely gym

Despite a winning record (6-4, 1-0 NEC after Friday night's non-league win over American), MU women drew a "crowd" of 76 to Boylan Gym, that's seven-six (unless that was a typo), according to the official box score I saw on line.

Prior to the game the Hawks' average home attendance was 132 fans per game with only St. Francis, N.Y. drawing less (129 fans per game) in the 11 team NEC. That's awful, and Friday was beyond rock bottom, in my opinion.

The average home game attendance so far this season at NEC home games is 340, nothing to write home about there either, but still higher than the MU average.

As for somewhat equivalent leagues - average home attendances prior to Friday -

America East - 902
MAAC - 651
Patriot - 578 question - what don't the MU women draw better, at least around 300-500 fans per game? FYI - No wise crack answers will be published. None. Zilch. Don't bother wasting my time or yours.

Any suggestions for boosting attendance?
Mine - is more true doubleheaders with the men. I know AD Marilyn McNeil feels the women's games should stand on their own. In my opinion, and she knows how I feel, while this is admirable it's not practical as the attendance numbers show.

But doubleheaders would not be a cure all. Other ideas? More promotion?

Granted, a championship caliber team would probably help. In that vein MU hasn't helped itself. . It's had decent enough clubs certainly, with no losing records since 1998. It reached the NEC final most recently in 2004 and 1999 but was blown out at SFPA both times. (It hasn't won since the 1980's) and in the last two years has suffered first round home game elimination in the NEC Tournament. That surely doesn't build the box office.

A first place regular season run and hosting the NECs, would certainly be a boost. That may be a problem this year with defending champion Sacred Heart , RMU, and Quinnipiac all playing very well but this Monmouth team may have a shot.

Yes, I know this isn't Big East caliber women's hoops, but its' really no better or worse than the above mentioned leagues and probably a number of others.

All this being said "crowds" of 132 per game are woeful. And 76?. Yeh, I know it's Xmas weekend, students aren't around, etc. But still..76? ..Yikes!!

Does this team deserve better fan turnouts? How can it gain it? Does it matter? You tell me...and the MU administration via this blog.

Again.. serious and genuine comments ONLY will be accepted.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another verbal football commitment for MU/Dave Ogden is a two-time Associated Press First Team defensive end

Dave Ogden, a two-time Associated Press All-State First Team defensive end , who has helped lead Wayne Hills High School to consecutive NJSIAA North Jersey Section I, Group III football championships, said Thursday night he has made a verbal commitment to Monmouth University.
""The program is on the rise, they're quality kids, they're really good football players down there,'' said Ogden, 6-2, 245 pounds. ""I think the competition is great. I know I can make an impact in that team, I know I have a shot to play early.''
Monmouth will lose its three senior down lineman from its 10-2 team of 2006.
Ogden, who said he was also recruited by William and Mary, had four sacks in the 2006 sectional final 23-12 win over Parsippany Hills.
""It's (Monmouth) a Jersey college,'' said Ogden. ""I'm a Jersey kid. I thought it would be a perfect fit for me down there.''
'' ""For Monmouth to get Wayne Hill's Dave Ogden is as huge as it gets,'' said Chris Melvin of
""He's an intelligent young man who never delivers a performance shy of impressive,'' Melvin said. ""I've seen all of the top players from throughout the entire state and Ogden's talents are parallel to any of the recruits going to the big time programs.''
Melvin said in 2006 Ogden registered 88 tackles, 15 sacks, a school record 35 tackles for losses, and broke the school career record of 40 sacks formerly held by Ryan Neil of Rutgers.
Earlier this week Monmouth received a verbal commitment from Manasquan High School First Team All-Shore center Jim Sullivan.


MU Women hoops Friday preview vs. American from EO game notes and me

Monmouth Women vs. American
First a few notes from me: at 4-4 in non-league games Monmouth, with three non-league foes remaining, American (5-7), Lafayette (2-8), and NJIT (2-8) is shooting for the most non-league wins since taking five in 2003-2003.

Also...NEC is ranked no. 24 of 32 in women's conferences by is 195..third highest in the NEC...and now..heeeeeeerrrrre's Eddie....



7:00 p.m.

WMCX, 88.9 fm,

Monmouth Women: The Monmouth University women's basketball (5-4, 1-0 NEC) team looks to rebound off a 75-67 overtime loss to Drexel last Saturday. The Hawks, who have alternated wins and losses in their last six games, have never beaten American, going 0-4 all-time. In their last time out, the Hawks held a nine-point first half lead before bowing to Drexel in overtime in Philadelphia last week. Brianne Edwards, who scored a career-high 18 points in the game, hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to send the game into the extra session, where MU was outscored 17-9. The Hawks have one more non-conference game before playing six NEC games, and then finish their non-conference ledger against NJIT. Monmouth is lead in scoring and rebounding by Jennifer Bender, who is averaging 11.4 points and 6.3 boards per game. Monmouth leads the NEC in rebounds per game with 40.4, even though no Hawk averages more than Bender's 6.3 per contest.

American: The Eagles (5-7) come into tonight’s game fresh off a 73-56 defeat of the Northeast Conference’s Wagner Seahawks (1-9, 0-2 NEC) on Friday night. Liz Hayes paced four Eagles in double figures with her game-high 15 points, and Sahar Nusseibeh added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. American was down 31-30 at the half, but scored 43 points after intermission to run away with the victory. The contest marked the first time all season in which four Eagles scored in double figures.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sweet 16

Just spoke with Dave. He said today for the first time this season everyone practiced..a total of 15 players and ex-Hawk Blake Hamilton. Yes, Rickie Crews was back at practice as was Yaniv Simpson. Calloway said practice was "intense".

Monmouth continues practice 3 p.m. Thursday, then 9am Friday, is off for the Xmas break...and then resumes practice 7 p.m. Dec. 26th.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thoughts from a MAAC opponent

I received this via e-mail and then asked and received permission to publish it on the blog:

Dear Mr. Graham:

On Saturday, December 16, 2006, your column appeared in the Asbury Park Press. In bold letters, you claimed that the "West Long Branch Zoning Board is 'out of touch'". You accused the three members of the board who voted to deny Monmouth University's recent application to build a 5,000 seat arena of being selfish and wrote that they should be ashamed of themselves.
Sir, I disagree with you. The zoning board members are appointed to represent the Boro of West Long Branch, and those three members voted correctly that an arena such as this is not "inherently beneficial" to the Boro and its residents. The university has already increased its enrollment beyond the number made in a promise a few years ago, and it has expanded its geographical footprint beyond another promise it had previously made. It is reminiscent of the old Pac-man game, as it gobbles up everything in its path.
Are you a resident of West Long Branch? Do you live in the area near the university? How many Zoning Board meetings did you attend, and did you hear the concerns of the residents? You describe those concerns as being "perhaps some additional vehicles on their streets at 9 in the evening". What do you mean by that? There would be significant increased traffic both going to and coming from events. There already is a problem with traffic and parking due to the university. My street, and others in my area and elsewhere, is used by students who do not park on campus, and leave their cars all week, despite assurances by the university that there is sufficient parking on campus. I have seen these cars interfere with leaf collection, telephone repair and tree trimming by companies to protect power lines.
You addressed the university's intention to limit the "capacity events" hosted by Monmouth University, and then you wrote, as the university stated, of the probability that the arena would be made available for area and community functions, and as a host for high school athletic events. More events, more parking and traffic problems, far in excess of the 16 "capacity events".
You quoted Mr. Christopher, the Zoning Board chairman, as saying that the "university compromised greatly. Further, he is quoted as saying that "I am sure there were others and residents who disagree with me". Well, unless he was not listening to the testimony and comments from the public and his own board members he had to have heard the objections and reservations of the attendees at the meetings he was conducting.
Finally, you concluded your column by accusing the three board members who voted to deny the application of having a political agenda, of being "out of touch", and of acting selfishly and shamefully. Mr. Graham, I submit that it is you who is out of touch, and of having such a narrow focus that you cannot see the forest for the trees.

Sincerely Yours,
Monroe Fisher

My comment: I replied to Mr. Fisher that we agree to disagree. Just a few other thoughts on my part.

I felt some of his comments "I have seen these cars interfere with leaf collection, telephone repair and tree trimming by companies to protect power lines" were really not directly related to the MAAC but were separate issues.

As for the traffic dealing directly with the is on the record the traffic engineers from both sides were in agreement.

As for the "capacity event" situation..this from reporter Carol Gorga Williams' Press story on the WLB Zoning Board meeting: "On Thursday, the school proposed 16 university-sponsored capacity events and said non-university events would - (and this is key in my opinion) - have to be approved by the borough in advance. Those would include functions such as high school graduations and athletic tournaments.

So...if I have this correct..other events beyond University events could not be held without Boro permission.

As for public opinion, in my column Mr. Christopher was quoted as saying, """I could see no reason, with all of this, of voting against it,'' said Christopher. ""I'm sure there were others and residents who disagree with me.
""But there were residents last (Thursday) night and throughout the application that agree with Monmouth.''

I do not pretend to be aware of these of these "promises" or "geographical footprints" Mr. Fisher refers to. That doesn't mean he is incorrect, but also here we do not have MU's answer on these matters.

Even though we differ on our views I respect Mr. Fisher's opinion and am asking anyone replying to Mr. Fisher, pro or con, to do the same.

Please be advised to limit your comments to the issue at hand and do not make it personal in any way, or it will not run.


MU basketball discussion

Oops..sorry. Forgot to enable comments on first post!

Ok, by semi popular demand, here's a non-MAAC question for you...

We know MU doesn't have a MAAC (yet) and a relatively small football stadium though both are at least adequate by NEC standards.

But..all that considered..should MU right now (if it can do it) seek to bolt the NEC within a few years in, at least men's and women's basketball and sports perhaps other than football? At the moment the NEC is ranked 32nd and last in college basketball by

If somehow MU manages to win the NEC again this year it is almost a lock to be in the NCAA play-in... er "first round" game again .

One reason, in my opinion, MU does so poorly in non-conference games is because, with the occasional exception, it has mostly NEC players. Join a better conference and, presumably, you get better players which in turn may help close the gap vs. non-league competition.

Following are leagues it might be feasible for MU to attempt to align in basketball and most other sports with the # referring to the current men's hoop ranking by

I have been in a number of gyms of these schools and some are no better or not much anyway than Boylan (heck, I'd take Boylan over the Broncs Zoo!) ..though others certainly are...

True there would be some travel issues but, if you're going to travel "up," you may have to travel....

But look before you leap! Since Rider and Marist left the NEC for the MAAC about 10 years ago neither has been to the NCAAs..and Drexel, I believe, has not made it since leaving as the dominant team in the A East for the Colonial Ath. Assoc.....

America East #23
Boston University
Maryland-Baltimore County
New Hampshire
Stony Brook

Colonial Athletic #15

George Mason
Georgia State
James Madison
Old Dominion
Virginia Commonwealth
William & Mary

MAAC #25
St. Peter's


Holy Cross

If you're thinking A-10 or a conference in that range..well have to have a MAAC up and running (or about to) I would think.


Monday, December 18, 2006

MAAC comments

Comments of outrage, anger, frustration, and bewilderment over the WLB Zoning Board action vs. the MAAC and critics of the WLB mayor and government continue to appear on various blog topics, so I have created this file to centralize additional MAAC remarks.

Again, feel free to e-mail our news dept. - metro editor John Schoonejongen (, Investigations Editor Paul D'Ambrosio (, and Managing Editor Gary Schoening ( with any concerns, issues, knowledge, information, or background for the Press to review or pursue re: the government of WLB, and specifcially the MAAC issue.


My thoughts on the Stockton game

General review: ...MU did what it had to do to win back some respect and credibility, at least with itself.

1. I didn't think the MU 3-point defense exhibited much improvement in closing out on shooters.. RSC is just not a good 3-point team.

2. Yes..Bunch looked good but he's got to do it against taller, stronger players where he was successful at times last season and also against Rider, and sporadically at other times this season. No question he is moving better..and MU, in my opinion, must look to get him the ball. He will pass it out or hit cutters if double and triple teamed.

3. Corey Hallett: I liked the fact he tried to force his way inside a few times though results weren't great. Barlow probably does have more offensive potential. Shawn is actually a very good shooter from 15-18 feet. But is he ready for more than cameo appearances? He has to make progress in practice where, not his fault at times, he sometimes doesn't get that much of a run either. If Corey continues to stuggle maybe Dave gives him a few more minutes in games, just my guess. Dave has done this with Nunner who has shown increasing improvement after his 1-for-12 start from 3 for the season.

4. Youngblood's prognosis? He was sick today and Alston was not feeling well either according to Dave. I don't know if "the Jet" is going to start when the season resumes, my inclination is no, but I believe he will see increased action. He's (Jhamar) got to be out there.

5. Is Shipman the MU point guard of the future, or do they need a more ball-control patient guard? Shipman's assists to turnovers has been great lately.

My only problem with Ship is sometimes shooting too early in the shot clock. Then again, I have this problem with the whole team. I'd like to see him drive and dish more.

Having said that, if Delic is open he might as well let it fly (as long as he's hitting of course). He appears to be "in the zone." I agree with Jason Krayl on Coleman and Bunch. They need to be significant factors at both ends of the floor if MU is to be a factor in the NEC.

5. Is Alston sluggish this year? Not sure. In my view (and I guess yours, too) he may not be exploding to the basket as he has in prior years. Hard to say. He may be having some knee or back problems but no one has said anything.

In summation: I guess Monmouth would win the NJAC (D3 New Jersey Athletic Conference). Aside from that, I don't know what Sunday's game proved except that Bunch appears to be as healthy as he has been in a while, and at least that could be a significant development.

Also ..Though RSC coach Gerry Matthews hopes to continue the series next year Dave told me he is probably going to play D 3 William Paterson in the 2007=2008 preseason...but "down the road" may play RSC again. Apparently Dave wants to play mainly different NJ D3 schools in the preseason.

Also II: I will be going out of town on vacation for a few days ..BUT... will take my trusty computer along and will be talking to Dave after practice resumes Wednesday to check on developments and will be keeping my ears open for additonal MU football news. So do not hesitate to post at any time on any MU/local college subject..

Also III: As for the MAAC - I am told MU and its lawyers will gather after the holidays to marshall their forces and decide on a course of action. I have also suggested that WMCX and the OUTLOOK get involved in some manner.

and one more thing... sweet it was!!!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

MU football news: Manasquan center Jim Sullivan verbals to Monmouth

Jim Sullivan, center for the 12-0 Manasquan High School South Jersey Group II championship football team, told me Sunday night he has accepted a full scholarship to play football at Monmouth University.
Sullivan, 6-3, 280 pounds, a First Team Asbury Park Press All-Shore performer, said he had been offered a full ride by Wagner and had drawn interest from Holy Cross and Lehigh.
""I chose Monmouth because the coaches seemed like really good people, all the kids there I could see myself hanging out with, and because I'll get a good education,'' he said.
' Sullivan said he plans to major in the areas of business and finance. Sullivan is the son of Manasquan assistant coach and former Red Bank Regional head coach Barry Sullivan. And he was a happy Eagles fan Sunday night!!

My thoughts: With senior center Tom Mauro having completed his eligibility Sullivan, I imagine, could be in the mix next fall as a true freshman, though sophomore Andrew Musick (6-2, 285) was listed as Mauro's back up. Am not sure if Musick played this year. He did not see action as a freshman. Also, you never know if another returning O lineman could move over.

Guess we'll have more of a clue in the spring. Also, senior linebacker Mike Nunziato's father e-mailed me Mike would not be returning for a fifth year of eligibility.


MU vs. Stockton story for Monday Press


WEST LONG BRANCH - Big John Bunch of the Monmouth University men's
basketball team spun, deposited a shot from in
close, and appeared satisfied as he rumbled back down the court.
Perhaps one reason for the good feeling, aside from the score
in the Hawks' 75-42 exhibition
victory Sunday over Division III Richard Stockton College, was that
the Monmouth University senior was feeling no pain in his surgerically repaired
""The body has been feeling good the past couple of weeks,'' said Bunch.
""In the
early season part of the season I was sluggish and couldn't get up and down
(the floor).''
Granted, Stockton had no player taller than 6-5 with which to combat the
Monmouth center who had 11 points, blocked seven shots, and grabbed five
But mainly it was Bunch's health which he seemed to feel was standing tall.
""It's just enabled me to be more mobile around the rim,'' said Bunch.
""Every time I would try to make a move (earlier in the season)
I would feel a sharp pain
in my knee.
"One week I took a week off, didn't practice and I didn't play,''said
Bunch. ""I think I needed that.''
"'I thought John looked good,''said Dave Calloway, Monmouth coach. ""Even
the last week or so it looks like he's moving a little bit better.''
Bunch's most effective outing this season was a 12-point, six rebound
night Nov. 30 at Rider, but overall he has not been as effective as last season when he averaged eight points, five rebounds, and 2.96 blocks per game.
""I thought
he made good decisions (Sunday) in there (the low post), looked better, looked more
comfortable,'' said Calloway.
There was also a Shawn Barlow sighting Sunday as the seldom used 6-11 redshirt center, with
one career basket, slammed home a loose ball, sank a layup, and grabbed two
rebounds over the final 7:38.
""Any time I can get in and contribute I feel like I improve,'' aid
Barlow. ""Any time I can do that it's a plus for me.''
""He's in a little bit of a rough spot because there's four seniors
in the
front court and there' only so many minutes in the front court right now,''
Calloway said.
""My goals for this year are just to get better, as a player in practice or
any time I get in a game,'' said Barlow. ""Just to keep getting better and eventually make
solid contributions to the team.''
Stockton coach Gerry Matthews did not appear surprised
with the
afternoon's result.
""It (the game) shaped the way it should have,'' said Matthews. ""Who
expected them to shoot nine-for-12 from 3 in the first half? That certainly
didn't help anything.
"'We obviously struggled inside with the ball. Bunch had quite a few
blocks in the second half. That's things we don't see on a regular basis.''
Dejan Delic shot 5-for-8 from 3 to lead Monmouth with 19 points. Whitney
Coleman added 16 points and Alex Nunner 11.
Neptune High School graduate Kevin Brown and Lacey graduate Jordan
Krzeczkowski were among three players for Stockton to score eight points.
NOTES...Calloway said senior forward Marques Alston and freshman guard
Jhamar Youngblood both saw limited action Sunday because they were not
feeling well...Calloway said forward Rickie Crews' suspension for
"violation of team code of conduct,'' will end Wednesday when
the team is next scheduled to practice. Calloway also said freshman Yaniv Simpson, plagued all season by
knee and shin problems, has been cleared to resume practice Wednesday...
The Hawks return to regular season competition 7 p.m. Dec. 29 at
Boylan Gym vs. Lehigh (5-8, 3-8 vs. D1 opposition) which plays Friday at Rutgers.

MU rolls past RSC

The Monmouth University men’s basketball team defeated Division III Richard Stockton College 75-42 in an exhibition game Sunday at Boylan Gym. Monmouth was led by Dejan Delic’s team-high 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range. Whitney Coleman scored 16 points while Alex Nunner and John Bunch each had 11 points. The 7-2 Bunch also blocked seven shots and had five rebounds. Kevin Brown, a Neptune High School graduate, and Lacey graduate Jordan Krzeczkowski each had eight points Stockton.


Stockton post game comments/your views

Please post them here.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Stockton coach Gerry Matthews - flying high under the radar

This is the Press Sunday story on Stockton coach Gerry Matthews leading into the MU-Stockton game


This is how Gerry Matthews had always hoped it might be, walking onto the floor at
Monmouth University coaching college basketball.
The difference is he won't be coaching Monmouth, the object of his affections when the then fledgling Division I job became vacant in 1987.
""I certainly was interested in it,'' said Matthews, the coach of Division III Richard Stockton College (5-3) which visits the Hawks (3-8) in Sunday's 1 p.m. exhibition game
at Boylan Gym.
The game marks the first for Stockton vs. a Division I program in Matthews 21 years as coach.
In 1987, already two years into what has become a highly successful run with the Ospreys Matthews, who had previously guided Long Branch and Rumson Fair-Haven Regional High Schools into NJSIAA prominence, yearned to take over in West Long Branch.
""But at the time they felt they needed, for credibility sake, someone who was already on the Division I level,'' said Matthews, a long time Brielle resident.
That someone turned out to be then Columbia University coach Wayne Szoke and both programs have since prospered.
Szoke put Monmouth on the Division I map and 10th year coach Dave Calloway, despite the Hawks' rough start this season, has maintained that status.
At Stockton Matthews, who has never had a losing season, is nine career wins shy of 400, and has led it to 10 NCAA Tournament berths including a trip to the Final Four in 1987. His .695 winning percentage ranks among the top 25 active Division III coaches.
Matthews also hoped he might have drawn some interest from Monmouth when the coaching positioned opened again, briefly, when Szoke stepped down in 1997-98.
Calloway, Szoke's first recruit out of high school and then an assistant coach, got the call.
""I think I was more interested back in '87,'' Matthews said. ""After that you move on and deal with what you have and not what might have been.''
Both Monmouth and Stockton would have preferred a
pre-season game as opposed to playing Sunday. But Monmouth's early start to the regular season precluded that after
which Calloway felt a game during Christmas break would benefit the Hawks by breaking up their long holiday playoff.
Matthews was just happy to play any time, though due to Division III rules, Stockton was unable to formally practice last week while Monmouth had no such restrictions.
And, while the outcome will never be officially be logged in the Monmouth win-loss column Matthews said it will count on Stockton's record, again via Division III rules.
""I took the game with the hope we can move it to the preseason and go from there,'' said Matthews.
""The other part is to let the kids play better people and see where they're at. I think our kids are a little more psyched up for the game than Monmouth's kids, at least
I think they are. I have to hope his kids are flatter than hell.''
Kevin Brown, a Stockton freshman guard from Neptune, said the game with Monmouth is comparable to how Monmouth views its games with the Seton Hall and Clemson types.
""It's a big deal,'' said Brown. ""Everyone's excited and juiced up. Everyone is talking about how the team is looking going into the Monmouth game, and "are we ready?"
""As a school we should be very confident, if we go out there and play our game we feel there's not too many teams that can play with us.''
For Matthews today will mark a brief view into Division I. Than it's back to Division III with its lesser scope but also less pressure.
""I've been able to have the best of both worlds,'' said Matthews, a full time coach since retiring as a high school teacher in 2000.
""I've been coaching basketball,'' said Matthews who turned 65 in October. ""I did 35 years as a teacher and have a pension and health benefits and my family has had stability.""
Matthews also directs the Shore Conference boy's and girl's basketball tournaments.
His future at Stockton? ""I have a contract which runs through next year,'' he said. ""After that I have to see where I am health wise and with everything else.''
As for today, whether Matthews is coaching Division III or Division I, some things never change.
""It's a game,'' said Matthews. ""You play to win.''


Reminder Stockton game at 1 p.m....etc.

Apparently not everyone has received word the game is at 1 p.m., it having been changed from 5 pm.

Dave told me Dejan Delic will not start Sunday (he will play) because he was late for a morning workout. This is a team badly in need of alarm clocks under their Christmas trees.

Jhamar Youngblood will start in a three-guard alignment, with Corey and Marques up front.

Dave also told me Rickie Crews is making progress and his suspension could be lifted by the middle of next week, if his progress continues.

Re: the MAAC. I have not heard from one person today, not one, even attempting to defend the "Out of Touch Trio" on the WLB zoning board.
I would think this is mainly due to the fact their actions are - indefensible. The more and more I learn about the situation in WLB is that it's all political (no big shock there!) and that the "Out of Touch Trio" are mere puppets of the anti-MU mayor.

Also I heard one of the "Trio" has been bragging around town that he/she will do anything that is anti-Monmouth. People like this have no right to public service, none whatsoever.

Now, I am not stating any of this is fact, it is what I have heard. But if it even has an inkling of truth a number of people on the WLB zoning board perhaps should be asked for their immediate resigation...again, this is just my opinion.

I have also generally been informed, despite cries from fans, etc. for retaliation on the part of the MU administration, MU will continue to take the high road on this issue.


Tony Graham colum for Saturday Press panning WLB action blocking the MAAC

Folks, sorry I am pasting this so late...

I have just a few words for the Out of Touch Trio of the West Long Branch Zoning Board of Adjustment, Ellen Anfuso, Douglas Bostwick, and John M. Aria.
The words would be, "selfish, selfish, selfish", and "shame, shame, shame.'' These are the members of the Board who Thursday combined to stall a proposal for a multipurpose athletic center (MAAC) for Monmouth University.
While four members of the Board, Chairman Rocco W. Christopher, Board Secretary Irven Miller, and members Samuel Guidetti and James Meola voted to approve, the vote fell one shy of the required five affirmative votes needed to pass.
Even though the measure was defeated, notice my interpretation is ""stall" rather than defeat.
Said Christopher, "My personal opinion is, if the college appeals our decision, if they go to court, the courts will decide in their favor.''
The only statment issued by Monmouth Friday was, ""We are all very disappointed in the vote and the University is exploring all options at this time.''
Said Bostwick after Thursday's vote, ""I live a block away from it, and I see what is going on.'' And what, pray tell, would that be?
Contacted by the Press Friday night, Bostwick declined to comment further.
The Boro of West Long Branch Friday, at least in e-mails to me, was being vilified, portrayed as a town of heartless residents who appear willing to sacrifice the good of the University and the local area over concerns dealing with perhaps some occasional additional vehicles on their streets at nine in the evening.
Aside from the Out of Touch Trio, I doubt this to be true.
Now I understand the concern over potential parking and traffic woes for MAAC events, even though both sides have concluded that would not be an issue.
""Our traffic engineer and their traffic engineer said the same thing,'' said Chistopher. ""It (traffic associated with the MAAC) should not be a problem.''
Let's be realistic, this isn't Giants Stadium.
Christopher noted that Monmouth has done virtually everything possible to assure the MAAC, which would be located inside the campus, would be responsive to any local community concerns.
There was the matter of the Zoning Board asking the University to limit the number of crowds at the arena that might draw 4,000 or more.
Originally requested by Monmnouth at 25 such events, the University agreed to 16. ""Monmouth compromised greatly,'' said Christopher.
The fact of the matter is Monmouth has rarely come close to a crowd of 4,000 for a men's basketball game.
""I could see no reason, with all of this, of voting against it,'' said Christopher. ""I'm sure there were others and residents who disagree with me.
""But there were residents last (Thursday) night and throughout the application that agree with Monmouth.''
Aside from providing the obvious boon to Monmouth men's and women's basketball and its athletic programs overall here is a proposed facility that, from what I understand, would be made available to area and community functions. In the athletic vein it could host high school and local recreation events.
As for Monmouth, beyond athletics, the University plans to move its book store to the center, helping along with fitness facilities, to make the MAAC a campus destination.
This, in turn would free up space in the current student center for academic and student services programming.
The main arena is slated to be available for the entire undergraduate population and professors for annual events like Convocation and Founder's Day, events that today can only accommodate 700 people in Pollak Theater.
How anyone, without a specific or political agenda can oppose the MAAC, at least to me, defies logic.
Unless, of course, you're Out of Touch. If that's the case, your actions are selfish and shameful.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Possible future football Hawk?

Courtesy of

This week, Scott Schultz became the first member of the talented group of seniors at Wayne (NJ) Wayne Hills to end his recruitment as he committed to Connecticut. Another player who is now entrenched in his own recruitment is Michael Fullam, who spoke to about the championship season for the Patriots and his recruitment.

Fullam, 6-foot-4 and 206-pounds, showed off his versatility during his senior season by lining up at linebacker, wide receiver, fullback, and tight end.

"The season was great," said Fullam. "I couldn't have asked for more. Another 12-0 season and state champs again. It was the most exciting year of football I ever had."

Fullam, who has held an offer from Temple since the summer, is now dealing with his recruitment.

"It's going very well," said Fullam. "I'm starting to hear from some more schools now, such as Rhode Island, Monmouth, Akron, Toledo, Western Michigan, and Central Michigan."

Most schools are recruiting Fullam as a linebacker, and he is beginning to make plans for his first visit.

"I will visit Monmouth, but I haven't made any other plans to visit other schools yet," said Fullam.