Sunday, February 29, 2004

Daily Swarm

Will recruiting change with all the scandals? It should (story here).

In another "Where are they now" - Joe Hamilton has a good outing for the Orlando Predators - going 19-29 with 6 TD passes and he runs for 2 more. Fantastic Little Joe!! His team wins 59-43. Here is a re-cap.

Ok, does it hurt GT that we are running a 9-10 man rotation. I say no. Here is an ESPN story asking the question - is there such a thing as too much depth? Here was my response at the Hive:

To me the importance of a strong bench is MORE critical than ever, but the importance has shifted. Fifteen years ago, the strong bench mattered IN the game most. It was less important from season to season because coaches could make plans for graduating starter, etc.

In today's game, the bench matters more for the continuity of a program from season to season and longterm. With players leaving early and injuries someone has to be able to step into those roles. Coaches cannot plan for departures like they used to. We were helped with a bench when BJ / Isma'il were suffering from late game cramping early in the year. We were helped when Nelson / Bosh left the program unexpectedly. It has been an advantage with Hewitt's strategy of rotating up to 5 different guys on the opposing team's leading scorer.

However, players today are generally in such good shape that running 35-40 minutes a game is not that big of a deal. So a coach can do fine with 8 or less in the rotation. Cremins did very well with that scheme. But watch out if one or two guys leave early or someone gets hurt. It can be a quick downward spiral.

One of the Hivers reported that he talked to Coach Hewitt at Morris's recent playoff game and asked him about Morris and GT. Here was his comments. No change in announcements - we should hear something probably in April.

In the continuing St.John's coaching saga, one writer finally makes some sense (story here). Hey, St.John's people, you once had a nice little program with Chris Mullin and Sweet Lou coaching. They're gone and you haven't been much since. You live in a basketball mecca (NY city), but you are no longer a basketball power. Your leaders have made a personal shambles of the entire program and you're lucky you will still have a hoops program at all. Thank your powerful wall street alums for that. But take the advice of the writer - aim lower. Your perceptions of yourself are very different from the rest of the world's perceptions. Much like the Nebraska football program. Get a clue. Wake up. The sad part is that you will continue to delude yourselves through March until the season is over. Then will come what is coming, Hewitt saying "no thanks" in his polite classy way.

To add insult to injury, the other "Top Candidate" St.John's has named along with Hewitt is Providence coach Tim Welsh. Well, here is his latest response - no thanks. Like I said - set your sights lower. Bring back Chris Mullin - then you can pretend it is the good 'ole days all over again.

Evidently Brown figured out he might have special stuff during his tenure at GT. No doubt everytime Brown or Garciappara or Veritek or any of the GT guys do well, it helps the current program. Our recruiting classes the last 2 years should be a good testament to that fact.

Mark my words - this will be a monster year for Garicappara. He feels jilted by the Sox when they tried to trade him and he had to find out on TV. He becomes a free agent after this season (along with teammate Jason Veritek). Watch out, I expect numbers in the range of .330 35 HR 120 RBIS, 100 runs, etc. Maybe even a gold-glove now that A-Rod is moving to 3rd. In other BoSox news, Matt Murton, who was drafted by the Sox has been put on the top 10 Sox prospects by Baseball America.

Here's a guy (Jason Stephens) who was going to attend GT, but didn't. You can read about how his story is playing out in the Yankees farm system. Basically he was told he would get drafted in the 1st 3 rounds, but teams were scared he was going to attend GT instead. So he didn't go until the 6th round, but he decided to join the Yankees anyhow.

Congrats to A.Morrow. His Charlotte Latin team beat Christ School in the NC Independent School's AA 3-A championship game. Morrow scored 28 points to lead the team (another site said he scored 29). This is their 2nd straight boys title.

Well, let's see. Should GT travel to the west coast on a regular basis? Probably not. GT dropped their 2nd in a row, this time to Cal St. Fullerton (#13) 7-1. In some ways, this is probably a good thing, a learning experience, whatever. But baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like hoops, we can't worry too much about the polls early in the season. It is about building something over the course of the season, then firing on all cylinders come post-season.

Hey, let's not forget about our ladies softball team. They happen to be 15-2 and building quite a nice season.