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Sunday, November 04, 2007

My take on the men's preseason game

Of course Rickie Crews didn't play today, and he figured to start and potentially brings another athletic dynamic into play.......


But let's say he remains "The Phantom" for whatever reason....


From what I saw today...Hawks are more athletic than has been seen in WLB for some time but most inexperienced team since Dave started five freshman in '98-99 (and you know how that went!).

I think going to a pressure defense..certainly in spurts..is a good idea because this team has no half court offense to speak of with the lack of an established big man....In half court will look to Jhamar or Whitney to go one-on-one...

Other problems... were outrebounded by a D 3 team with no major size........George Barbour's foul shooting, probably his weakest point and a potential problem late in games at least until he improves.

Late turnovers. MU looks like it may have problems finishing games when ahead late....but much or most of this can be traced to all this youth.


Positives...A lot of upside to the young players. Barbour will eventually be a force inside and an above average rebounder....

Rutlidge..a teriffic athlete, should get lots of playing time as a rookie...great attitude..


I like Hett at the PG....may have some problems early in his career due to inexperience, but has a bright future, knows the game, etc. etc.


Nunner deserves some time... junior..knows the "O" and the "D"..still needs to prove he can make a few 3's when it means something......


Simpson..a potential zone buster, but that's about it


The big men
Other than Barbour who figures to play a lot...



DelTufo looks a bit overmatched a freshman but has some nice moves inside...

I'd still like to see more of Barlow..doesn't get much of a chance...just my opinion. It's not like he has to beat out Bill Walton in the middle. I'm not even saying start him, but I'd like to see him get some minutes and see what he can do ......

Dutch - has miles to go offensively but is steady, intelligent player. Adam appears to have fallen to near the bottom of the rotation for now.


Each practice, each game this year, will be like an audition for playing time. Lineups and rotations may change day to day, game to game.

Overall - young team will go as far as Jhamar and Whitney can carry it while it hopes others develop.



Rickie Crews remains a wild card, but until it can be shown he is going to play and be a factor on a regular basis - I have to keep him out of the equation...


Soooooo.....




At this time I don't see this team making the NEC Tournament...... At this time is the operative phrase. Hawks are a year or two away from contending again in the NEC - in my opinion........

34 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

I disagree with a couple things you said about today's scrimmage.

1. Barbour looked awful. He couldn't hit a free throw to save his life and he was constantly outplayed by various D3 athletes. Not nearly the stud you made him out to be, but its very early still.

2. Barlow didn't get much playing time, but he certainly didn't deserve it. Got an assist but I don't like what I see from him. I'd start the two true sophomores over him as the big man.

3. Gaitley surprised me a little bit as far as being a leader on the floor. While he was on the floor, he was constantly helping out his teammates.

4. We know Whitney and Jhamar are stellar players. This team will go however far Hett and Rutledge can carry it because whether they make the right adjustments or not determines what type of season the Hawks have. Hett wears his inexperience on his sleeve while Rutledge looks like a solid and mature player despite his freshman status.

12:30 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

The game:

With Barbour free throws are going to be an issue. The coaches work with him every day.


Was called for walking several times as he made his move down low. But he was aggressive and he did grab six offensive boards....Has a huge upside in my opinion.

Barlow: Played a whopping five minutes. This kid has some ability...more on offense than Dutch or Adam combined - again this is merely my opinion.


All I'm saying is the coaches should - in my opinion - give him a chance, and not bury him right at the start of the season.

He may never be anything - true. But at least give him a shot.

Dutch is a very intelligent player and knows the game, has some leadership qualities, does a lot of the little things you need. He will play.

It'll be a growing season for Hett whether he's ready for not. You have to worry whether these games vs. Seton Hall and UND and the like will take a toll on his confidence and that of others as well.


RJ, don't forget, is a prep school kid - so as you observe - appears more solid and mature. I think he will be a very good player.

Right now - aside fom Whitney and the "Jet" this entire team is a work in progress...and the progress will vary player by player.

11:22 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

The game:

With Barbour free throws are going to be an issue. The coaches work with him every day.


Was called for walking several times as he made his move down low. But he was aggressive and he did grab six offensive boards....Has a huge upside in my opinion.

Barlow: Played a whopping five minutes. This kid has some ability...more on offense than Dutch or Adam combined - again this is merely my opinion.


All I'm saying is the coaches should - in my opinion - give him a chance, and not bury him right at the start of the season.

He may never be anything - true. But at least give him a shot.

Dutch is a very intelligent player and knows the game, has some leadership qualities, does a lot of the little things you need. He will play.

It'll be a growing season for Hett whether he's ready for not. You have to worry whether these games vs. Seton Hall and UND and the like will take a toll on his confidence and that of others as well.


RJ, don't forget, is a prep school kid - so as you observe - appears more solid and mature. I think he will be a very good player.

Right now - aside fom Whitney and the "Jet" this entire team is a work in progress...and the progress will vary player by player.

11:22 AM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Hit a Free Throw said...

Who would have thought my name "hit a free throw" would be used so much so early and we are only one game in to the season. As I mentioned on the other comments page, this team will certainly have a struggle in the out of conference games. They could possibly be ugly at times, so we shouldn't be surprised with the results each week. Once we get in to conference play I really hope we find the chemistry and get rolling and surprise a few people.

12:23 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After last night's game I'm picking MU to finish 12th in the NEC!! And we all know how many teams are in the league!

Realistically, who do you say they'll beat? I know it was just preseason, but to be embarassed with a scare form an undersized D3 team???
I'll be surprised if they win 5 games this year!

12:49 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Fordy said...

Im going to miss watching John Bunch plaY!!!

2:24 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No big man who can play -- where does that put us this season...and for the next few seasons as well?

Calloway has to take some hits here -- to make a mistake and recruit one inept big guy is one thing...to compound that mistake with 2 or 3 more additional inept bigs is terrible; and we'll all be suffering from those mistakes for at least 2 more seasons after this one.

7:04 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Hawk Fan said...

I love reading these blatently negative and pessimistic comments from idiots who couldnt start for their CYO teams.

These kids are division one players, its a young team give them some time.

Barbour is very talented, the person who said he looked awful should see him at practice.

Sean Barlow def. deserves more time if youve seen him at practice, the genius who said he didnt deserve playing time based on five minutes is clueless that is barely enough time to make a determination.

Whit amd Jhamar will be solid.

7:10 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just an addition to my last note...

Before anyone says to me that these guys are just freshmen, let's remember Dobriansky & Gately are REALLY sophs, and Barlow is REALLY a junior!

7:20 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the Calloway issue . 13 free rides and just TWO D-1 players !!!! When will he be held responsible for the program ? 6-24 record or two more seasons of the same old excuse ?

8:07 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I am firm in my belief Barbour will be a very good 4 or even 5 in the NEC.

Are you going to see that this year?. Maybe flashes at best. Is he going to struggle at times this year? Maybe more than a few times? Yes. And his foul shooting has to improve..

BUT - in my opinion - he has the physical strength and tools to be a very nice player in the NEC.

Dutch and Adam do have a long ways to go, Dutch on offense but I think he will somewhat make up for that with rebounding, defense, and knowledge of the game.

Adam - in my opinion - needs to really get serious with the weights....

He does have a nice outside touch, actually.

Again.. usually it takes the longest for big men to develop.


Look at Jemino Sobers at CCSU. Did really nothing, was a non-factor for the most part his first three years. Last year at 6-7 was the center (in the NEC of of course) on a championship team.

So - yes - if none of the 3 are significant contributors in their careers than Dave does take a big hit. If just one comes through eventually in major fashion - in the NEC - that can often be enough.

Sometimes you have to have patience, not easy I know.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, though I think you're being a tad hasty.

8:14 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Oh yeh, Barlow. If they don't play him we'll never know...

8:14 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: 2 D 1 players. In my opinion that's an ignorant statement..besides Jet and Whit - in my opinion Barbour, RJ, Hett, and Rickie Crews are definitely D I players...another player ot two on the fringe...maybe some are not..



But if you look at the NEC...you may be hard pressed to find many teams with an abundance of legit D1 players...


I'm not saying it doesn't happen..but really all you need is six, maybe seven.

Now could this team go 6-23 this year or have even have fewer wins? Yes, and it may well do that.

But as a fan you just have to ride it out and try to project this team next year and the year after...

8:29 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tony , The Men's Basketball blog is off to a fast pace.. I like your Quick Poll's that you added now ,65 votes on your question s about Rickie ... Keep up the polling question they are a great way to get a pulse on the issues... Why not have a few key game issue be polled as a post game post ? Keep it going the better the question the more blogs will vote ...

8:33 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rickie a D-1 player ? I don't think there are many programs D-1 that would keep such a player in their program .Ignorant statement 2 D-1 players .... 3 of the four are frosh and at best the lowest level D-1 just look at what other programs made them real offers... So if i am so IGNORANT my math is RIGHT then 7 out of 13 are D-2 or D-3 players something the program should be proud off RIGHT.

8:44 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes as a fan we need to protect this team ( PLAYERS )now and in the future and RIDE it out agreed But way do we have to protect the COACH ?????????????

8:50 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Yes..we love the polls once we found how to do it!!

We've had them for a few weeks now..on the MU blog and also they are very popular with the high school football blog....

Yes, many polls this season. That's my plan. Probably at least one question for each and every game...

Sort of an easy way for people to offer an opinion on a subject weithout taking time to write...nothing wrong with that..

8:58 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: D 1 players.

I am giving you my opinion on the ability of the players in the program now, including the freshmen.


True, you are entitled to your opinion.

Maybe I was a little strong there with the ignorant comment.
I do apologize for that. My bad.

But I think your remarks will prove to be off base. How's that? Better??

From what I have seen in practice.....not just the game Sunday....I still say it's way off base to blatantly say Whitney and Jhamar are the only players with D 1 ability on the team.

In the NEC - Really, solid D1 players do not overflow the rosters. If you have six-seven (some will have more, true) but six-sevn is all you need to win a championship.


If you're delving into numbers: Monmouth's best team ever - in my opinion - '96 champs.. had an excellent starting five (Corey, Giraldo, Stafa, "G", and Q. Lee) and Jack Gordon was the sixth man. Six legit D I players. That was it. Otherwise it was not a deep team, but that was enough.


As for Rickie..he is a legit D1 athletic talent...

His issues are another issue.

CCSU had about 5-6 last year far as I could tell ..at least who contributed anyway..

My goodness, MU isn't even 0-1 yet and the blog is gathering steam!!

Just wait another month. Yikes...!

9:26 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

You are allowed to criticize the coach here..always have been..just stick by the blog decorum rules.

Thank you...

9:27 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

Unrelated and i know i am going to get killed for this but where was T.J., I only ask because i know you had taking a liking to this kid. Actually thought he could have given "spark plug" minutes this year.

11:49 PM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: TJ. Heard he was walking on at Wagner but I do not see him listed on their roster on their web site..

Mu I think will be Ok at guard this year. Now if TJ was 6-8 we could talk...

11:54 PM, November 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

I love this clown who calls people who criticize this team as 'idiots who couldn't play for their CYO teams' -- like that has any bearing on the topic!

The point is -- this team OBVIOUSLY has too many non-D1 players on it (and will for the foreseeable future). You talk about not needing too many support players around your starting 5, but that's based on having an above average starting 5! We don't!

You talk about giving these guys some time -- I'm willing to give a break to DelTufo & Barbour, but not Simpson, Gately, Dobriansky, and above all, Barlow.
You continually talk about the 'nice touches' you see on their shots in practice -- but in a game we see what happens to those 'nice touches' when an opponent is in their face.

There was one mention earlier about Barbour being compared to Blake Hamilton, and while I'm willing to give him some time, because I do see some potential there (even though he showed a definite lack of fire on Sunday),I'd like to paraphrase an old phrase "I know Blake Hamilton, and George Barbour is no Blake Hamilton".

9:34 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Did you know when Blake was a freshman.....he would be Blake Hamilton???

How about Corey Albano? Jack Gordon? etc. I'm not saying any of these players will be them....but I think you have to let this roster play itself out..one way or the other...

Again..just my opinion. I am not about to rush to judgement.

We don't know, not even you who seems to have a crystal ball, how some of these players will be doing in 2-3 years.

Is this is a rebuilding process??...Absolutely.


And every team has its deep reserves..scholarship kids who don't pan out and don't play much if at all...

Most of all - MU needs some of its younger players..within a time framework of 2-3 years..to validate they are legit D1 players....

If they do? Fine.

If they don't...well.....let's reach that bridge when we get there - though you already seem to be starting to cross it..which is your perogative...

Me? I am willing to give this roster time and patience.....

11:15 AM, November 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

Great addition with the polls! They should add a great element to the blog and to the MU season.

I agree with your last comment here. When Blake Hamilton was a freshmen, he made a lot of the same mistakes that Barbour made on Sunday, and Blake turned into one of the best players MU has had.

I've been following the Hawks for about 12 years now, and I expect this to be a rebuilding year. However, I have seen much worse showings in the past 12 years than I saw on Sunday. I was actually quite impressed with the new defense the team was running...full court pressure! WOW!

I think given time to develop in the preseason games, the Hawks could impress quite a few people when it comes to conference time. When put in pressure situations, the best of the best will rise to the top and I think it will take a month to figure out who those players will be.

Don't count them out. Give them a chance! And if anyone remembers last year's game vs CW Post...it was a similar situation. It seems we haven't walked all over a D3 team in quite a few years.

12:42 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Despite the grim outlook some have expressed here I see by the poll the majority so far are picking MU to win at least 10 games or more..so someone must think this team has a chance to at least be competitive..

1:00 PM, November 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,
Obviously you didn't like my last note, per your crystal ball reference to my opinions. Ignore them if you like, but I stand by them.

I'm not saying this team is empty on talent. Besides Youngblood & Coleman (givens), I liked what I saw from Hett. When I said Barbour doesn't match up with early comparisons of Blake Hamilton you wondered what I thought of Hamilton and a few others when I first saw them.
To me it was apparent the 1st time I saw Hamilton of his ability -- I didn't get that feeling with Barbour, although I think it may surface down the road. I'll tell you who will be a star though is Rutledge. You can see it in guys like him, their court presence. He'll easily be our best freshman.
I think Nunner will be adequate, but not anything special. DelTufo is a maybe to me right now.
The one guy who can make a real difference I think is Crews -- if he ever decides to come and play to his ability.

The main point of my negativity is that I see none of our big 3 ever being major players (even though I'll give Gately some credit for that court presence I just mentioned), and if you think the rebounding has been bad the last few years -- just wait, they couldn't even handle #35 from Wm. Patterson on Sunday!

4:47 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: the polls again. Yes, they should be fun.


By the way..CW post is D2 but that may be splitting hairs.

Are there suspect players on this roster? Yes. Some more than others. But given their still overall youth I am not about to bury anyone, and especially the freshmen ...............

5:22 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

The big 3 ( assume you mean Dutch, Shawn, and Adam) and maybe Dutch a little less but they are in that suspect area. But, at least they have a long way (in their careers) to go....

You may well be on the money about RJ. He also has that extra year of experience of playing against prep school level competition...

5:53 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: rebounding. Yes. A problem waiting to happen.

I think Barbour will be a force to some degree and RJ can really get up in the air. Jhamar is going to have to rebound along with scoring, driving the bus, and singing the national anthem..

5:56 PM, November 06, 2007  
Anonymous Hawk said...

I will not mention my name, but I played with Blake, and when he was a freshman we had no idea how good he would turn out to be. Barbour is as advanved if not more than Blake at this time, period. Im sure others who were around the program might agree.

7:49 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

The coaches feel - Barbour - as a freshman, is more advanced than Blake at the same stage. Of course Blake took off as a sophomore.


I believe Barber is a lot better than he showed in Sunday's game..but he will also have games like that during the year as part of being a freshman. Blake was just a deep reserve as a freshman....

Again though, with Barbour, he'lll have to become more proficient at the foul line...

8:10 PM, November 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony,

Any idea how Colgate is this year?

And do you know who the kid sitting on the bench in street clothes next to Crews during Sunday's game is? a possible recruit?

6:33 AM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Re: Colgate - picked 3rd by league coaches and the middle of the pack Patriot by national magazines..Has 11 returning lettermen..

Player next to Crews is this year's walk on...in my opinion won't see any meaningful time.


2007-08 COLGATE UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL ROSTER
No. Name Pos. Cl. Ht. Wt. Hometown Previous School
1 Kyle Chones G/F Sr. 6-5 227 Cleveland, OH Fork Union
2 Alex Woodhouse F Jr. 6-8 201 Alexandria, VA Hayfield
3 Mike Venezia G Fr. 6-1 180 Westfield, NJ Westfield
4 Kendall Chones F Sr. 6-6 250 Cleveland, OH Fork Union
5 Trevaron Vinson G Jr. 6-2 195 Grand Prairie, TX James Bowie
12 Joe Hoban G Fr. 6-1 175 Malvern, PA Malvern Prep
13 Kyle Roemer G/F Jr. 6-3 216 Martinez, CA De La Salle
14 Joe Guiler C So. 6-9 213 Johnstown, OH Johnstown Monroe
22 Tim Pounds G/F Jr. 6-4 200 Dudley, NC Hun School
32 Daniel Waddy G Sr. 6-2 181 Tucson, AZ St. Mary's (CA) College
34 Willie Morse G Jr. 6-2 205 State College, PA St. Bonaventure Univ.
40 Ben Jonson F So. 6-6 225 Dallas, TX St. Mary's
41 Alex English C Fr. 6-11 230 Phoenix, AZ Paradise Valley
42 Peter Minchella C Sr. 6-10 240 West Lafayette, IN William Henry Harrison


2007-08 NEWCOMERS (3)
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/Previous School
Alex English C 6-11 230 Phoenix, AZ/Paradise Valley H.S.
Joe Hoban G 6-1 175 Malvern, PA/Malvern Prep
Mike Venezia G 6-1 180 Westfield, NJ/Westfield H.S.

10:52 AM, November 07, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

TG,
I say to the other posters, give these kids a break & a chance!! Our men's team is very young but very athletic and will gel as time goes by soon. Given the pre-conference schedule, it will only make them better as a team!!

6:58 PM, November 07, 2007  

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