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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Lindy's college basketball annual

I have finished reviewing all the NEC teams for my men's hoops preview which I will shortly be submitting to Lindy's for their publication which comes out in October. I have spoken with either every head coach or a school's sports information department.

Yes...the deadline is actually the middle of this month. Obviously things can change over the ensuing weeks/months but usually nothing major develops, though I believe when MU got John Bunch it was in late summer.

Anyway...since I don't think Lindy's would be real happy if I ran everything on our blog here in July - I will none the less place some skeleton info on the NEC teams here later this month. But I will save team summaries and my predictions until Lindy's hits the news stands.

It's safe to say this....MU is definitely in for the rebuilding year most everyone has envisoned , especially in comparison to what many NEC teams have returning.

MU, CCSU, and FDU appear to have the fewest players of significance returning even including MU's Jhamar Youngblood, FDU guards Manny Ubilla and Cameron Tyler, and Tristan Blackwood of CCSU.

On the other hand - Sacred Heart, Wagner (with Durell Vinson returning as a RS senior) and RMU are deep in experienced talent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Tony meant to say was, "We're screwed"

1:59 PM, July 04, 2007  
Anonymous BlueDevil said...

Pre-preseason picks:

1. Sacred Heart
2. Fairleigh Dickinson
3. Mount St. Mary's
4. Central Connecticut St.
5. Wagner
6. Robert Morris
7. Monmouth
8. Quinnipiac
9. Long Island
10. St. Francis NY
11. St. Francis PA

NEC Tourney:



11:48 AM, July 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

To Blue Devil:

Why is FDU so high, same for CCSU? Both were hit hard by departing seniors.

Are you under estimating Wagner? and RMU?

I can see SHU up there..maybe the Mount..though not sold on them...

Guess you were not impressed by the late run of SFPA...

Bottom could be right. But who knows? Look at last year.

It makes for good off season banter tough.

Sort of like a "Cold Stove" summer version of "Hot Stove" (baseball) for NEC hoops....

4:10 PM, July 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any word on which team/teams had the best recruiting gets this offseason?

9:45 PM, July 05, 2007  
Anonymous mu mystery coach said...

Hi Tony, Hope all is going well for you this summer. I cannot wait until the Lindy's hits news stands. Until then, I was looking over the key returners for each team and trying to make an extremely early prediction for next year.
1. Robert Morris: aj jackson- 17ppg 8rpg, tony lee-16ppg jeremy chappell- 15ppg returning. Keys: Finding a big man to compliment AJ Jackson and finding someone, possibly Tony allen or Chappell sharing the load? to play the point guard with Derek Coleman gone. I feel that AJ Jackson will take a big leap forward this year, with the NEC heading for a down year as far as returning big men are concerned, and will be complimented well by the guard duo that is explosive as 2nd/3rd options.
2. Wagner. durrell vinson's return, mark porter- 14ppg, james ulrich-13ppg jamal smith/joey muddweiler-11ppg. I feel that Durrell Vinson's return will make him the 2nd best big man returning to the NEC this year and will enable him to carry Wagner to the 2nd place finish in the NEC. I have watched Mark Porter now for three years, and have always been impressed with his overall game- last year averaging 14ppg/5rpg/5apg. Jamal Smith is a good hard-nosed small forward and Joey Muddweiler will make anyone who wishes to double Vinson pay dearly. James Ulrich, although undersized (who isn't who Mike Deane recruits?), is a viable second bigman option playing alongside Vinson.
3. Sacred Heart. They return a lot, all major contributors but Jarrid Frye who regressed as his years in the NEC went on in my opinion: joey henley- 11ppg/4rpg, chauncey hardy-10.5 ppg,forwards: ryon howard/brice brooks guards: drew shubik, luke granato, ryan litke. Henley is a bruiser at 6'5 manning the PF position. Howard and Brooks are undersized workers at the big man positions. Hardy has a chance to be a special player in the NEC, as he showed great talent last year as a rookie. Shubik, Granato and Litke can shoot the lights out. Unfortunately for SHU fans, they do not have a solid low[post option like RMU/Wagner, which will likely leave their outside shooters covered tighter than the other team;s role players.
*I would just like to say that in my opinion, the talent level drops dramatically after the top 3 teams as far as I can see it, but I will attempt to figure out the rest of the league anyway here in my July early Pre-preseason picks:
4. Quinnipiac:demario anderson: 15ppg, karl anderson- 7ppg. They return a big gun in DeMario Anderson, who I remember playing a big part in CCSU's and QU's offense over the years in the NEC. He is a strong guard who has range on his shot. Karl Anderson has underachieved in my opinion, and I think made a mistake by choosing QU over Monmouth way back when. However, with their new coach and new gym I feel that karma might be sliding their way this year. If they can find some spare parts to mesh with DeMario Anderson and a breakout year from Karl Anderson I feel that QU could end up being the 4th team in a 3 team race.
5. Mount St. Mary;s: chris vann-13.5 ppg, jeremy goode-10ppg, forwards- atupem/beidler guard:joey butler. I feel that the backcourt of Vann/Goode could be a good one. Atupem/Beidler are not terrible inside players, they know their roles and do what is needed of them. Joey Butler is a solid third guard. I feel that anyone from 5-10 could finish in any of those spots, but based on returning players I think that the MOUNT gets the nod because they have 5 solid players returning in my opinion.
6. FDU: cameron tyler-14ppg, manny ubilla-12ppg, eric hazard-5ppg. Yes Eric Hazard seems to be their top returning big man option. However, Tyler is a speed demon and Manny can flat out score. Tom Green has a way of getting talent and meshing it together, so I feel you can never count him out.
7. Monmouth: jet youngblood: 12ppg, whitney coleman: 9ppg, mike shipman: 5 ppg. Led by the scoring of a speedster 'Mar Youngblood, Monmouth will make the NEC tournament this year. Very much like FDU, Monmouth will rely on two guards Youngblood and Coleman to lead their team. Mike Shipman could help this team win if he plays with passion and works on his decision-making. Finding a front-court option should be interesting. Rickie? Barbour? Dobriansky? Little Voice in Barlow's Head? All seem like interesting options.
8. st francis pa:
devin sweetney-13ppg, chris berry-12ppg, marquis ford-9ppg, bass dieng returning forward/center. I don't want to count them out after their strong finish last year. Devin Sweetney is the real deal, a player who can do everything on the court. Marquis Ford and Berry are athletic guards who compliment one another well. Bass Dieng is their main returning big man, noticing a trend of a lack of quality big men here towards the bottom half of the NEC.
9. CCSU: tristan blackwood- 17 ppg, joey seymore- 7.5ppg. I think Howie and Tristan Blackwood are in for a long year filled with double and possibly triple teams.
10. st francis ny:
robert hines-16ppg, jammaal womack-10ppg, guard-marcus williams forward-john gooden
Hines can score. However, his shot selection is awful. He might be one of the top returning bigs in the league, but this team has a hard time scoring. I am not impressed with womack, as I feel that he rushes/forces things often for a pg, which doesn't help when your Number 1 option has poor shot selection as well. Williams and Gooden are solid role playersin the NEC.
11. liu:
eugene kotorobai- 10ppg, jaytornah wisseh- 9ppg, big man-allen guard-mattison. This team's chance was last year. Losing Aubin Scott and James Williams kills them. Wisseh seems like he could be a nice NEC guard with great penetration skills, and Eugene Kotorobai can shoot it possibly better than any returner in the NEC. However, they just don't have enough to get it done at all.
-Overall I feel it will be a down year for the NEC, with Robert Morris and Wagner as the only really strong teams in my opinion. MU might not have much returning, or a great outlook for next year....but I don't think many teams in this conference do. I am all about having pride in the conference and wanting it to do as well as possible, but for MU's sake it could be very beneficial if the league has a down year overall. Hopefully MU can be competitive and do well against the teams that I feel they are pretty much on the same level with. Please leave comments and let me know what everyone thinks.

10:30 PM, July 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

One of my Lindy assignments is to pick a potential NEC preseason Rookie of the Year..

Last year I took a shot with Devin Sweetney of SFPA and he was certainly in the running..made all-rookie team...

I want to make another phone call or two but I have heard either from the teams themselves (and every team thinks they have just recruited the next Rahsaan Johnson) or from other more independent opinions

- that SHU has a very good big man coming in, a freshman, who may beat out their 7-footer Liam Potter.

RMU has the frosh guard`Wallace from Seton Hall Prep, and there are a few others of alleged note including, of course, some JUCOS..

Q Pac may be on to a frosh guard that was supposed to go to Wichita State...

No one locally was salivating over any of MU's recruits which doesn't mean they won't be effective either now or in the future....

Barbour is an unknown here in the East but earlier on the blog, if you recall, he got favorable reviews from the West Coast..

Without seeing any of them play..but just from hearing about them's how I would rate them as to their impact on the MU team this year...

1. Barbour
2. Tie: Hett and Rutledge..since they play different positions..each should play a lot..Hett at guard and Rutledge as a wing man

4. DelTufo..but if MU gets little or nothing from any of their returning big men he will get a shot...He probably will anyway...

Next week I hope to see Barlow in action in the NCAA summer league...I probably won't see anyone (of the future or returning players other then Youngblood and Coleman) in action this summer.

I may see some of the women in the NCAA` league

Bascially with MU men - with only three players of proven consequence returning at this stage - my thinking is-

"Jet" and Whitney are locks but that Shipman is going to have to win his job back on and off the court, meaning he has to keep his grades and his game in order - or Hett will get every opportunity to run the show..

10:44 PM, July 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

To MU mystery coach - I have basically made my Lindy's picks..we are` similar but not entirely the same among the upper echelon and differ considerably after that..

As you and others note..after about the top 3 it's any body's guess...

I guess I don't have to run little capsules of the teams now that you've done it so well...!@!!

12:46 AM, July 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re newcomers:

A 6-7 freshman at RMU by the name of Royal, 6-9 Mehmat Sahan at SHU, and the possible guard at Q Pac have been mentioned to me as Rookie of the Year candidates ...

Don't know how much the RMU kid will play because they have so many veterans..but the kids at SHU and Q Pac will have a chance to make impacts right away...

10:26 AM, July 06, 2007  
Blogger JMG1mON said...

Tony, don't mean to hijack a thread (don't even need to post if you wish), but Monmouth has changed the date of the Robert Morris football game to Sept. 15th.

7:01 PM, July 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Robert Morris game. Maybe they planned on keeping it a secret.

That still leaves them an open date Oct. 20 as their search to replace St. Peter's on the schedule apparently has yet to bear fruit.

But at least there's no longer a two week gap after their opener at Maine.

1:36 AM, July 07, 2007  
Anonymous bluedevil said...

These were very, very early picks and I'm waiting to see the NEC summer preview with a complete list of returning and new players for each team.

Tony - I may have FDU and CCSU a slightly inflated. They may fall a few spots than what I have now, but I really value coaching and experience. IMO - FDU and CCSU still have enough returning to build around. I also thing outside of SHU, yes this will be a down year for the NEC.

Wagner has never been a team that has impressed me with their attitute. Yes, they have some good talent and could finsih 2 spots higher than I have them now.

RMU has a new coach and I thought someone else had left the team. Regardless, they choked last year and they are not a better team this year. They can't win on the road and no one fears them. Everyone is overtaing them!

Basically, I think SHU will run away with the NEC.

I think MSM will be a very good team, Milan Brown has them in the right direction.

FDU can put togeather a nice season, but can be beat in a tourney game by peaking team like Monmouth.

CCSU returns 2 scoring guards, and Howie has a huge 10 player class coming in. They will have growing pains, but will surely make the NEC tourney and probably be peaking in late Feb. The 4x COY will not miss the playoffs!

Wagner has a nice frontcourt, but I'm not sold on them yet. They are an enigma and could finish anywhere(see past 2 seasons).

RMU has a new coach and if the couldn't win the NEC last year, they have no shot this year!

Monmouth is one of the better coached teams and like CCSU may have a rough early part of the season, but I wouldn't want to play them in the tourney.

QU has a new coach and Demario will not be enough. They will take a few seasons to rebuild.

Either LIU or one of the St. Francis twins may make a run at playing in a tourney game, but will not finish any better than 5th place and will lose a first round game.

2:31 PM, July 07, 2007  
Anonymous bluedevil said...

MU mystery - good work and I think you have vaild points.

After reading your analysis, I'd probably drop FDU a little and move Wagner up.

I do have a few comments on you stuff.

1 - RMU is not that good. A new system and I think they lost anyother guy from next year. How do you think Rice is going to mtach up with Dave, Howie, Green, anbd Deane? No way they win the NEC!

You understimate SHU. They lost 1 player and add a few nice recruits plus Hassan (from BU) is eligible. They won't play much D but they will run up and down the court like LIU teams of the 1980s.

QU also has a new coach and just 1 impact player - Anderson. No way they finsh better than CCSU or Monmouth! Moore has no mjaor recruits and has yet to caoch against the NEC top coaches.

You undesold CCSU huge. No way in hell Howie misses the playoffs. We will be guard oriented and take time to gel, but how is QU or SFPA a better team?

SFPA has a nice core and has had some bad luck over the past few season. I really hope they can put it togeather, but it will be a big achivemnet just to make the NEC tourney.

2:41 PM, July 07, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I think - when they are published - and we are`talking like October - some of my picks will jolt a few people.

Of course - preseason picks while fun - are also meaningless with 2006-2007 in the NEC as EXHIBIT A.....

I learned many moons ago that good players make for good coaches and this is not to take anything away from Howie, Dave, or anyone else.

How has Phil Jackson done minus Shack, how did Hubie Brown fare with the Knicks?: etc, etc. Good coaches? Yes. Did they have championship players recently? We know the answer to that.

I have always felt coaching can make - generally - about a half level difference, mainly in college and high school in most sports.

In the pros, it really is all about talent.

Joe Torre had a ton of rookie pitchers this year..look what happened!

Let's focus in on NEC hoops and take a theoretical team with one really good player and some so-so players.

In an 18-game season the average coach- maybe with this semi average team - goes 9-9, 8-10:, the good coach gets it to 10-8, maybe 11-7.

The below averaqe coach goes 7-11, maybe 6-12 ( my thinking is it's harder to over achieve than under achieve).

Just a little off season rambling here.

Also - in college coaching - I believe recruiting is at least 80-85 percent of the game, maybe more, and you go from there...

Needless to say - it's critical.

Ok..The Manasquan Reservoir is calling - I gotta go fishing now!

6:32 PM, July 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...some of my picks will jolt a few people"
Tony, it's sounding more & more like you're going with the Hawks as the cinderella team of the NEC this year!

7:39 AM, July 08, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Cinderella. Hopefully for MU fans there will be no pumkin sightings.

10:00 AM, July 08, 2007  
Anonymous bluedevil said...

Tony - I agree players (and talent) win games, but let's not compare pro coaches to mid-major hoops coaches. Your in the wrong time zone.

College coaches in general (and at all levels) have a much bigger impact on team attitute, strategy, and results, than pro counterparts.

Also, a baseball coach has a much different impact than a hoops coach. Its 2 different games.

If a coach coach like Calloway or Howie can get his players to buy into a system, mix up defenses, and get them to play smart and with heart. That menas a lot. I'm bet NEC coaches win (or lose) about at least 4 conference gfames a year.

Coaching is about preperation, strategy, and tempo. The players must execut it.

2:20 PM, July 08, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I agree that pro and college coaching are vastly different animals..must not have made myself clear on that.

NEC coaches win or lose up to four games per year? That's very much on the high end in my opinion.

Your statement - "Coaching is about preperation, strategy, and tempo. The players must execute it" is - in my opinion - very accurate.

But in the end it almost always comes down to talent and then how it is used.

2:35 PM, July 08, 2007  
Anonymous Gym rat said...

Tony as a player a decade ago, I can only say one thing and that is a team MUST have a heart and with out it they will go no where..MU had no hart as a team midway thru their season and after the season what little if any was cut out.The key will be how they come back to WLB campus after the summer apart .Just look at the JSBL roster and you can see they flew coup.Let see big blue ocean, a free place to live and eat, work on their skills and take a class or two to help the GPA. Not a bad deal in my book .Wonder why not many takers? Well its early summer days so we will see come winter brake pre NEC my guess 2-9 and NEC 5-11 ,so I place them close to the bottom of the pack.

9:45 PM, July 08, 2007  
Anonymous mu mystery coach said...

I actually do not have a good read on newcomers to the NEC and made my picks solely on key returning players. Again, I said it was early and they might change especially after reading T-Graham's preview in the Lindy's Annual which I buy every year. To CCSU Blue Devil: I might've underrated Howie's boys, however last year on this blog I said what a great coach he is albeit he is a bit crazy on the sidelines. Sometimes I wish Dave would show some of the fire that Howie does, just some though. When I read up on the newcomers to all teams, I will update my picks come October-ish. But early on looking at key returners, RMU, Wagner and SHU look tough to me. The more I think about it, the more I like Wagner's roster and nucleus and their coach; which is hilarious because I absolutely HATE Wagner, my least favorite NEC team outside of FDU; but I respect Deane and as you said coaches are very important at this level.

11:28 PM, July 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MU BBall program is in deep trouble 8th 9th or last its going to be a rough season for everyone,so lets face the facts now.The coaches made huge mistakes all of them not just Calloway,Claz,ect in their respective roles.If no one in the Unversity cares about what they are doing then its the same old day to day BS ,people on the inside know that CALZ makes more calls about the line up in Avon pick up BBall games then he does to high school coaches ,and Calloway cares more about the weather for a round of golf then the program, just check with the Pro at Deal CC.So dont worry about the NEC preseason rankings they don"t mean a thing , so why not take a huge step back and talk with the players from the past few season 04/07 some very good ones and a poor one and ask a few basic questions.You will scratch your head when your done and understand the real issues .You can"t build a program for the long term with out RESPECT of everyone in the program.Some time next season it will be clear as a bell to everyone not just a few as today.Tony take the time and ask around start with Tyler 4.0 GPA and a year under his belt at a big time program he can lead you in the right direction for sure "ALL The Presidents Men" ring a bell to you.

9:37 PM, July 09, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

After giving it some consideration I ran this last post because it was so - well - comical???

So when they start 1-10 next year or finish 9th or whatever it's because Dave is playing too much golf? Bugged the NEC offices? I guess you must know Calz personally to be so in tune with his phone habits?

I'll be sure to check with the pro at Deal, Ron Ratner of the NEC , and the Avon pick up ball commissioner ...

Where were all the critics when they were going to the NCAAs???

Does Dave get credit for recruiting Tyler by the way?? Blake? Boxler? etc?

Now...did the coaching staff make mistakes leading up to the potential trials and tribulations of 2007-2008?

Of course it did and - Yes - next year - in my opinion - has all the ear marks of a rough one.

These things happen. Almost no one wins all the time.

Have Howie's teams been up and down? Tom Green's? And so forth. You make it sound like MU has been the dregs of the NEC.

You - and others - would be less out of joint had MU enjoyed the success last year predicted for it and more likely to accept whatever 2007-2008 brings.

I think - what one needs to look at in 2007-2008 - is do these young players have the potential to be a championship team as juniors or seniors??

That is the bottom line.

10:20 PM, July 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a pattern at Monmouth... On the years you expect them to win the NEC, they don't... On the years you don't expect them to win the NEC, they do... That bodes well for this season... And before people run Dave Calloway out of town, just remember there's a good chance you won't get a good coach who will do very well and then not jump ship at the next possible moment... I say sign Callahan, Calloway and Deano the Machino to lifetime contracts.

Hook'em Hawks.

3:30 PM, July 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now i don't want to get killed for mentioning a walk on but any truth to the rumor that T.J. ended up at Wagner and will play next year? Only askng because my son adored that kid, very respectful and hardworking as far as I know. It's a shame he got chased. Get healthy T.J.

11:46 PM, July 12, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

T. J. told me he was leaving to, hopefully, earn a scholarship some where.

When I talked with the Wagner SID recently about their 2007-2008 team he was not mentioned, though if he were to walk on there his name would not have come up.

A` walk on getting "chased?" That's a new one on me....

As for him playing for Wagner this year - if indeed he is there - and while I do think T.J. has some ability - I'd be surprised if he were to find minutes on this veteran Wagner team...

12:28 AM, July 13, 2007  
Anonymous the little voice inside barlows head said...

yes tony "chased" would be accurate.

2:48 PM, July 13, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: T.J. Ok..if you say so. `Again. I like T.J. He's a walk on right?

Maybe he goes somewhere and is an MVP. I wish him the best.

3:00 PM, July 13, 2007  

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