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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dave Calloway on MU recruiting class/plus notes/MAC NEWS/ more than will appear in Sunday Press story

2007-2008 MU men's hoop recruits

James Hett, 6-1 point guard (Monsignor Farrell, N.Y.) 18 ppg., 6 apg.
Nick DelTufo, 6-7 forward (Mendham ) 15 ppg., 8 rpg.
R.J. Rutledge 6-5 guard forward (Nortfield Mount Hermon, Mass.) 15 ppg., 40%
from 3
George Barbour 6-7 forward (Torrance, Calif. High School) 12 ppg., 7 rpg.


Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
Now Dave Calloway, Monmouth University men's basketball coach, is
counting on his 2007-2008 incoming class of four freshman to deliver for the
Hawks, and rather quickly.

Calloway said Monmouth has received signed national letters of intent from
its spring recruits, guard/forward R.J. Rutledge, and forward George Barbour,
who join point guard James Hett and forward Nick DelTufo who signed with
Monmouth in the fall.

""We have four freshman where probably for the first time we will not red
shirt anybody,'' said Calloway. ""All four could see immediate action and
extended action.
""That will be very unique in itself.''

Calloway said Hett and DelTufo remind him of former Monmouth players Tyler
Azzarelli and Russ Anderson, each of whom played on two Monmouth NCAA
Tournament teams.
""James reminds me of Tyler in so many ways,'' said Calloway. ""The
leadership spot out of point guard.
""His offensive game is similar but in particular James really has the same mentality Tyler did on the
defensive end, really does a great job of keeping guys in front of him. I
think he'll do a great job at the point in the match up (zone).''

Calloway said DelTufo is a little bigger than the 6-7 Anderson. "'But the
same heady, type player, very smart, can step out and make shots.
""He didn't have a ton of Division I scholarship offers just like Russ but
all Russ did was play about 25-30 minutes a game right from the beginning and went to the NCAA Tournament twice.''

Rutledge, said Calloway, is similar some ways to former Hawk Gerry Crosby who teamed
with Rahsaan Johnson when Monmouth went to the NCAAs in 2001.
""He's (Rutledge) silky, athletic, smooth, can really step out and shoot
it,'' said Calloway.
Rutledge's father, Ron, was an assistant coach at St. John's coach in the
""R. J. knows how to play and had a year to develop at the prep school
level, too,'' said Calloway.

Barbour, said Calloway, was the last piece to the puzzle. ""But he might
have been the biggest piece,'' said Calloway.
Monmouth's has no experienced front court players returning this fall.
""I think he (Barbour) gives us someone who's going to be able to come in (and
contribute right away),'' said Calloway who said Barber reminds him of
former NEC Player of the Year Blake Hamilton.
"'He (Barbour) has lightness on his feet, he's actually maybe
an inch biggertand even a little more solid than Blake coming out of
high school,'' said Calloway. ""I think he has a chance to have a very good career.''

Calloway said all four players, either on their recruiting visits or shortly
thereafter, decided on Monmouth right away.
""The fact that all four guys made their minds up in a fairly short amount
of time is a little intruiging to me,'' said Calloway.
""I think it's going to be a special class.''


Calloway said Monmouth's preseason game will be Nov. 4 vs. Division
III William Paterson and that the Hawks will also play Lafayette in a
""closed scrimmage" prior to the season.

Calloway said there is nothing official on rumors Monmouth could open its
season as Seton Hall's first opponent at the new athletic facility in Newark.

Calloway on Rickie Crews, ""Final grades will come out in another week or
so, so we'll see where he stands. So far he seems Ok.''

Calloway said Mike Shipman and Whitney Coleman may be playing in the
Jersey Shore Basketball League this summer where they have played previously. Other MU players? ""That might be it, actually,'' he said.

Re: The MAC. The big day is May 14th, circle it on
your calendars!

If there are no objections from the WLB community (in other
words - private law suits, etc.), then the MAC is a GO.

I am told if all is well - ground greaking might the take place near the end
of June!!

Then, last I heard, building might be ready by mid 2008-2009
season and definitely by 2009-2010 season.



Anonymous mu mystery coach said...

I really hope Coach Calloway is dead on with these kids. If the four of them can pan out where DelTufo is able to play at somewhere in between Brent Wilson/Russ Anderson then he will be an efficient, reliable backup for the Hawks. If James Hett can run the team with the poise and authority that Tyler was able use as a young So. then MU should be very happy with his signing. Also, the biggest need from him is to be that aggressive, intense defender at the top of the matchup. I feel that not having that tenacious little guard in that spot last year hurt MU immensely. RJ Rutledge seems to be very interesting to me. Listening to people describe him as silky and an excellent outside shooter excites me. I hope that he could become a good scorer/shooter on the wing for MU. The late addition of George Barbour could be key for Monmouth. If they really landed a good big guy it could be quite a good get for us. I just hope his injuries will not have a lingering limitation on his effectiveness for MU. Once again, I really hope this class is as good as Dave thinks.

10:34 AM, May 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

My early take is...a possible rough year in 2007-2008....though I think they at least make the NEC Tournament - I think -

and then blossoming as an NEC contender by 2008-2009 ...

11:27 AM, May 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking cautiously forward to the upcoming season. Not expecting great things -- just promise for the following year and something to build on.

It'll be real interesting to see how MU progresses with 6 freshmen (2 redshirts & 4 true frosh). The downside is, there are no scholarships for the 08 season, and in 4 years MU will have to completely re-load, bringing in another 6 new people. Hope they can somehow get out of this strange cycle.

1:55 PM, May 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

think you have placed 2007-2008 in proper perspective..but don't lose sleep over four years from now..

While I see your concern - in the world of college basketball few rosters remain intact for that long a period of time..there will probably be an opening here or there ...

Just hope this group matures enough to make a few NEC title runs between now and then.

And you never know if something will open up for '08-09. Not saying it will or that I have "inside" information....but in college hoops it happens all the time..

2:16 PM, May 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tony, where does your "Jet" fit in with all this and Whit and Ship in the Shore League and no other players as per Dave. What's up with the Jet. Huh?

8:57 PM, May 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Dave did not mention "Jet" playing in the JSBL. Next time I talk to Dave I'll double check. I believe there are leagues around Newark where Youngblood hails from..but I don't have a definite answer to your question.

9:20 PM, May 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tony keep me updated I would like to know if he is gonna play so that i can check him out.

9:19 PM, May 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Overall, I'm pretty happy with the recruiting class and I'm looking forward to see how they progress. I would have been ecstatic if it had included Jermaine Smith, but obviously there wasn't room at the inn for everyone.

This leads me to a question however. When the last scholarship came down to Barbour & Smith, and they both had offers from MU, Barbour apparently committed first and got the slot. Then Smith made up his mind and also wanted to come here. My question is, at that point didn't MU have a say in the matter? It seems as if once Barbour committed, MU was forced to take him -- am I right?

2:12 PM, May 08, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

After they both visited MU felt Barbour was the better player... that's what I hear anyway...

This is like the NFL draft.. right? ("We got the player we wanted all along'', the Giants said). Isn't that always the way??


Anyway when Barbour committed they took him.

Let's put it this way..had Smith been their drop dead first choice..they may have asked Barbour to wait just a little bit (while they put in a quick call to Smith)

Now, had Smith committed first....would they have taken him? Very good question. I don't know if MU will ever tell me - for publication anyway - if it wasn't Barbour.

So maybe it came down to who accepted first..

But again.. had they wanted Smith that much more than Barbour I have to think they would have stalled Barbour and reached out to Smith...sort of fascinating.

2:45 PM, May 08, 2007  

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