Subscribe Now!
GannettUSA Today

Monday, January 15, 2007


If MU men's hoops is to bounce back and make a run for a high NEC Tournament seed and be a serious contender for the NEC Tournament title this season, what current player in the rotation will need to improve or upgrade his game the most to make a significant difference?

Listed alphabetically:

Marques Alston
John Bunch
Whitney Coleman
Dejan Delic
Corey Hallett
Alex Nunner
Jhamar Youngblood



Blogger bob curran said...

My choice would be Youngblood.He wasn't even a point guard in High School,so he is still learning the position.Once he gets more comfortable at the point,I think the offense will run more smoothly.Whitney is too good to be putting up goose eggs.He needs to be more aggressive on the offense.Marques MUST be the focus of the offense....more inside out action.This will give Whit and Deki better looks.Corey is a 6"10 center who would rather play the perimeter.The guy actually played well there in the Summer League in Belmar.This guys confidence is shot.Calloway needs to try a different approach with him to get a better effort.

10:54 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Jason Krayl said...

*Tony I'm not sure if this is applicable here or somehwere else, you can put it where it is best served, but I've been doing some reflection on MU hoops on my day off today*

Reading some of the criticisms and discontent here has not been easy for me this morning. I feel many of the same sentiments, and do not disagree with much of what has been said, but it really upsets me. It is not the crtiques alone, but the substance of what has been said. I have also been wondering if this might be the end of the Monmouth run of six winning seasons, and 3 NEC championships and that is a disappointing thing. While I truly hope that this season can be turned around, the problem is greater than one season or one player improving. Monmouth basketball is greater than any one player or one down season. What scares me more is a sharp downward descent, after all that has been accomplished and all this program has been through to get to where we are. This is something I hope does not unfold.

On this season, I still would not discount the Hawks, and what they can still achieve. I have been around this program long enough to learn not to be fatalistic about anything MU hoops. From Mustafa's miracle 4 point play at Marist, to the 21 point comeback at Trenton my freshman year to beat St. Francis NY in the NEC Finals, and everything in between, I know enough to know that MU always has a chance. Whether they get the #1 seed or the #8 seed, I would never discount the Hawks.

I have been a MU fan, player, and fan again for my entire life, by birth, choice, and loyalty, and take great pride in not only the program, but the university. At 25, and having been out for three years now, I think I am finally realizing how great it was and proud I am to have been part of helping build this program. I still can remember being a ball-boy watching my idol John Giraldo will MU to victories, or Al Blackwell overpowering guys. I can also remember the lean years, and the sadness I felt as a kid when Wayne Szoke left and the years that drove my father crazy when they couldn't win. Most importantly, I think about my freshman year and the years since then, that propelled the six straight winning seasons and the ascent to where this program now stands. It is very special, and I hope the kids that are on the team do realize this and dont take it for granted. It's not just about being a Division 1 basketball player or geting a $100,000 scholarhsip. It's about the memories, it's about pride, and it's about things much bigger than yourself. As Ive matured as a person I have realized that those were the four greatest years of my life, and I would do anything to be able to go back and do it again or play just one more basketball game. I still get knots in my stomach after losses, and admitedly get chills when the band plays the school fihgt song and the team runs out to take the floor at Boylan GYm. When the current players graduate and dont have basketball anymore, they will realize how lucky they were and how much they miss it. To this day, I see people all the time who comment on how great our teams were at MU and how they loved watching us play. As an 18 or 21 year old kid you dont realize it, but so mnay people take pride in you and your teammates, and look up to you, even at a smaller Division 1 institution like Monmouth.

So with all of this rambling, I just hope if the players on this year's team do read this, they realize what Monmouth basketball means to me, and to all those who have come through and played, and to the fans, and to the community. Players like Dave Calloway, and John Girlado, and Corey Albano, and later kids like Rahsaan Johnson, Kevin Owens, and Blake Hamilton worked so hard to help this program reach this point. It would be such a shame for this great thing to end. In short, I think the Mathchup defense and the offense work, and I think that MU needs to get back to playing typical fundamental MU hoops. I am hopeful, yet fearful at the same time. It matters to me not a great deal how one season unfolds, but what is a grave concern for me is how the overall development of players and the program unfolds.

Thank you Tony.

11:58 AM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The team as a unit needs to step it up,if they play smart MU basketball then we will see 9-4 over the next 13 games.Corey and Bunch need to give the team points and rebounds every game the rest of the way.Youngblood needs to SLOW down and he will be fine.

3:00 PM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't really pick out an individual IMO.

- Bunch needs to put up some points and get rebounds.
-Hallet needs to produce a bit better.
-Youngblood needs to watch his turnovers.
-Deki needs to learn to drive and take better shots.

And finally, Rickie Crews needs to prove why he should be on this team.

3:49 PM, January 15, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Having posed the answer is

- John Bunch.

While MU has other issues, Bunch needs to play at a consistently higher level than has been the case thus far if MU is to salavage at least a decent season.

His current stats of 5.5 ppg. and 4.7 rpg. are down from last season's 8.0 ppg., 5.2 rpg.mumbers.

Also, MU went 6-1 in games last year when "Big John" notched double figures and is 2-0 this year (Rider and MSM).

I know he has the knee problems which he has been battling but he just can't have games of one or no field goals and no rebounds (vs. Qpac)if MU is to have a shot to win games. He needs to score and rebound consistently for a team that appears to be offensively and glass challenged.

As far as him getting the ball in the right spots and shooting quicker without bringing the ball down first, these are items for him and the coaches to be working on this week.

I am not knocking him here at all. As I have stated before MU is fortunate he's here and we have to realize this is only his second year overall and first full (and last) season of D1 ball.

Also as I may have noted before, he may have been the prime reason MU was as successful as it was last season.

John was very good about talking about his poor performance after the Q pac game, and I know fans appreciate hearing from athletes when they are having off days just as they do when players are doing well.

So, anyway, as for a player that needs to make strides I go with "Big John" who I feel needs to have a very good remainder of the season for MU to have a reasonable shot at the NEC regular season and or NEC Tournament title.

7:37 PM, January 15, 2007  
Anonymous The Fonz said...

Steve Bazzaz...cmon Steve you blew that last game in CT, let's get it together huh?

9:27 PM, January 15, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Yes...Steve did miss that last minute 3 at Qpac. Darn!

9:36 PM, January 15, 2007  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home