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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:59 pm

I was going to start off this post with a bombshell news item from a certain southern NH town about a certain NH basketball program, but it seems "my people" from that certain town are back tracking on some big news they conveyed to me at the end of last week. Good thing I let the dust settle in that certain southern NH town. I'm a stickler for information being 110% correct. Hearsay and Rumor dance in the same night club, as Curt Schilling used to say, with Aura and Mystique. I tend to stay away from those night club dancers. They can get you into trouble in many ways.

BTW - That weather at the end of last week changed my physical, mental and spiritual outlook. It was unbelievable. It was the winter equivalent of a paralyzing 18 inch snow storm where it's difficult to do anything for 3 days. The gyms at the start of the week were stifling hot with no air circulation and "feels like" of 90 plus.

- A couple of weeks ago I had a solid mental feeling Trinity and BG would repeat their 2011 state championship matchup in the 2012 state championship game.

- A couple of weeks later I feel stronger about Trinity being there, but not so much about the Cardinals. More on the Cardinals later.....

- Joe Morin and Jordon Richard are not only one of the best backcourts in D3, but they have the potential to be one of the best backcourts in the state. Morin has a sweet stroke and can get his shot off from any where and doesn't need too much space to pull the trigger. Richard is a crafty point guard who makes good decisions and plays excellent defense. He has a good chip on shoulder which serves him well for the point guard position. Morin and Richard compliment each other well. They will make Raymond a team on the rise in D3.

- I have a feeling while Coach Murray of Milford won't enjoy the success this upcoming season he has the last 2 seasons, he will enjoy the overall parental calm that will permeate his basketball program this year. Milford won't be talked about or scrutinized any way near as much as they were the last 2 seasons. Coaching this year for Murray will almost be quiet and with no controversy. If certain former Milford parents stop posting on the Forum and other sites will we still hear them?

- Central is one of the most intriguing teams in summer league. They have no height to speak of, but they do have a lot of smaller and extremely quick players. It's interesting when they have a lineup on the floor of Lafond, LaCount, Gomez, Dickson and Brown. They look like a bunch of angry bees flying around honey (the basketball). When they press they are all over the place. When they fast break they get down the court quicker than any other team. Getting the ball off the glass can be a problem, but when they do get it it's off to the races on offense. Throw in Pelletier and a couple of others into the mix and you have a team I get the feeling Doc will have a lot of fun coaching this season. There are no high expectations with the graduation of Wickey. You have to figure Doc will like coaching a team with upside, but not very high expectations. He'll enjoy Trinity, BG and others receiving the publicity, but will just let the Little Green plug along and surprise some teams. Troy Pelletier will be a very important player for this team.

- Speaking of Central.... I really like the court presence and makeup (you will hear this again) of Dylan Lafond. He is a nice kid who plays the game hard with good sportsmanship. He does a lot of things well out there and makes his mates better. If I had one little constructive criticism for the lad it would be to be a little less selfish sometimes and shoot more or take it to the rack. I've seen him over pass on some possessions where his mates were expecting him to shoot and weren't ready for the pass. Good player and nice kid who will be ready to have a nice senior season.

- A left over AAU tidbit: Junior Dina Pitsas of Milford is not only an impressive player on the court, but she is an impressive player in the court presence and makeup department. See, I told you I'd be using these terms again. She is wise in maturity beyond her years and makes her mates better on the court. She knows when to score and when to give it up to mates. She is a true sportswoman and her smile can light up a court by itself. She is poised to have a very good junior year.

- Highly touted Trinity freshman, Ian Sistare, has been strong so far in summer league. He has a smooth shot and takes the ball to the hoop with strong authority. He will be a key component for the Pioneers this season. His game and physical looks remind me of a young Caleb Donnelly.

- Morgan Faustino was the coach, in absence of Mike Romps, in a Dover win over Newmarket a couple of weeks ago. When asked if he was going to take credit for the win or give it to Coach Romps, Faustino replied, "This win is going to me." I don't know if coach Faustino is still undefeated as a HS summer league coach.

- Memorial is another very interesting team in summer league. They have a lot of players that can do some very nice things on the court. The problem is they try to do too many things sometimes. When they click they are a tough team to handle. For every 3 minutes of "Wow" they show, they give you 2 minutes of "Why?" Coach Fitz will have to work on decreasing the "Why?" part and increasing the "Wow" part.

- Memorial freshman Jourdain Bell has been very impressive in his early summer league playing. He is magical handling the ball. He will put up an soft smooth outside shot when needed. He is at his best in the open floor and sets up mates in an impressive fashion. Memo to Bell's Crusader mates: Be ready to receive a pass any where and anytime from the exciting freshman. Do not sleep offensively. Bell will get you the ball. Bell is 5'11, but plays 6'5 when he's jumping around the glass. Bell reminds me of a young Ryan Gauthier. Here's that thing again.... Bell has an impressive court presence and makeup. It should be fun to see how this freshman impacts the Crusader program this season and how he works under the tutelage of Coach Fitzy.

- One glue guy that will be big for his team this season will be 5'9 senior Jake Hamel of Trinity. His physical look won't scare you on the court. He looks like he should be in charge of the equipment room instead of playing on the court. He has a good chippiness in his game which serves him well. He will be the beneficiary of many good looks from 3 point land with the formidable front line of Trinity controlling a lot of glass. He plays the game hard and gets along fine with all his mates. I put the over/under at three for the term, "Dagger 3 by Hamel" to be used in the 2011 - 2012 season.

- BG..... Ah yes, the defending champs. They bring a battalion of players to the summer league. BG started off strong, but stumbled a few times, most namely against their arch rival Trinity in summer tournament games. Trinity beat them last weekend by around 20 and it wasn't even that close. Trinity played well and BG's problem was..... that one player was on the epilogue. One player was in the table of contents. One player was in the 3rd chapter. In other words the BG players WERE NOT ON THE SAME PAGE with each other. Trinity seems to like playing with each other right now. I don't get the same feeling with the BG players. There lies the difference between the 2 Catholic schools right now. Some players on BG are trying to play like Green and McClung when they should be trying to play like Pyzocha and Remillard from last year. You have to take care of the little things first before you take care of the big things. Too many players on BG just want to deal with the big things and are sweeping the little things under the 194 Lund Rd rug. This is dangerous for a team that wants to be a TEAM. Migs is always up for a coaching challenge. Well, Migs, here is your coaching challenge for your troops: Get on the same page and start liking and respecting each other. When this happens better basketball will come the Green and Gold way.

- I am not as ga ga over North as my colleague Jeremy L is. Yes, they have an impressive physically gifted group of players and a new coach with a good resume. The problem is they have had this group for the last couple of years. The culture has to change at North. When Stanley Cup champion Shawn Thornton of the Bruins was asked what was the biggest thing for the Bruins in the past few years for them to turn their team around and win the Cup he said, when he and a few others came on the team a few years ago they, "Changed the culture" of the Bruins. The culture is what needs to be changed at North. Culture is behavior on and off the court. Culture is academics and showing commitment to that. Culture is showing commitment to play the sport. Culture is respecting coaches, fellow players and officials. Changing culture can't be for a month or half the season. It has to be for December 1st to late March. I'm not saying Coach Lane and his players can't change the previous culture at North. They are still in a "show me" stage. Believe me, if North goes 14 - 4 or something around there and they go deep in the playoffs with everybody buying into Coach Lane's system, I will be the first to get in line to congratulate them. It's up to Coach Lane and the North players to change the Titan culture.

- I am continually impressed by the gentleman/sportsman Coach Jay McKenna from Winnacunnet is evolving into. Hoop followers in NH know Winny will have to fight for every thing they get in D1 this season. It is a breath of fresh air to see McKenna "coach" his players on a weekly basis. This can't be under stated. Let's turn back the clock and remember how McKenna handled the Warrior basketball program during the "Will Knowles and Ratcliffe Play?" season. He took a Knowles-less and Ratcliffe-less team and went to the quarterfinals before losing to Memorial. Some coaches, it seems, like to yell incessantly at players, be derogatory towards them and basically pulverize them into player powder on the court. I keep saying it over and over. Today's player is different. The Bobby Knight approach doesn't work with today's generation. This is why it is nice to see Jay McKenna COACH his players in summer league. How many wins will Winny have this season? Tough to say, but I will tell you this. Whether they have 6, 10 or what ever wins, I guarantee his players at the end of next season will say thanks coach and it was nice being with you all season. Some HS coaches would be better served to watch McKenna conduct himself on the sidelines rather than worrying about Xs and Os. Some HS coaches would learn something watching McKenna and his sideline decorum. With the previous statement I'm sure McKenna's coaching predecessor, the great Jack Ford, would certainly be proud.

- I said last year it was BG's title to lose. We haven't hit Fall League yet, but I'm starting to get the feeling it might be Trinity's title to lose this upcoming season. They are playing the same way this summer that BG played last summer. They seem to be on a mission as if every possession now is to get the bad memory of the BG championship loss out of their minds. They are playing with conviction. They have the best front line in the state with the 6'10 Aluko, 6'8 Lauderdale and 6'7 Gabriel. Lauderdale will have a great year. He is playing with more confidence every time I see him. Gabriel is a POY candidate. What team is going to handle this front line on a weekly basis? They have shooters/scorers in Hamel, Keefe and Sistare. Giampetruzzi can hit big shots and he doesn't mind being a glue guy along with Hamel. I see 2 things questionable right now for Trinity. Who will consistently play point guard for them? Remember, their point guard depth chart was blown up with the losses of the 3 kids who played the position last season: Majong, Descoteaux and Dickson. This point guard quandary needs to be addressed. Remember, last year I said the same thing about BG and their point guard situation and then Nick Pyzocha happened and the rest is history. The second question I have for Trinity is Aluko. Is it me or do some of you think some times this enigmatic 6'10 player needs to have Coach Keefe rub the Pioneer paddles and yell out "CLEAR" before Keefa shocks some intestinal good chippiness fortitude into Aluko? I'm not saying Aluko should be scoring 20 points/game while hauling down 20 rebounds with 10 blocks a game, but he could certainly do more on a consistent basis for the Pioneer basketball team. Quite frankly, if the Pioneer point guard situation gets ironed out and Aluko takes on a little more Chuck Norris/Jason Statham persona, then there is a very good possibility nobody will be raising the plaque at UNH in March of 2012, except for the Pioneers.


Last edited by Tuesday and Friday on Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:39 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:44 pm

Summer League playoffs start this week. The schedule is courtesy of the BST222 web site:

Central Division:
Monday, July 25

FIELD HOUSE at SNHU
5:00 PM | (5) Memorial vs. (4) Prospect Mtn.

6:00 PM | (6) Dover vs. (3) Central

7:00 PM | (7) Merrimack vs. (2) West

8:00 PM | (Cool Concord vs. (1) Trinity


FINAL FOUR / CHAMPIONSHIP
Wednesday, July 27
FIELD HOUSE at SNHU

6:00 PM | Winner 4/5 vs. Winner 1/8

7:00 PM | Winner 3/6 vs. Winner 2/7

7:30 PM | Championship, Central Division



Southern Division:


FIRST ROUND PLAYOFFS
Eight (Cool teams enter.

Rivier College
Sunday, July 315:00 PM | (5) Raymond vs. (4) Alvirne

6:00 PM | (6) WIndham vs. (3) Milford

7:00 PM | (7) Groton/Dunstable vs. (2) Bishop Guertin

8:00 PM | (Cool Keene vs. (1) North

FINAL FOUR / CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday, July 31st

5:00 PM | Winner 3/6 vs. Winner 7/2

6:00 PM | Winner 4/5 vs. Winner 1/8

7:30 PM | Championship, Southern Division



"TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS"
Southern New Hampshire University, Athletic Complex, Field House

2500 North River Rd, Manchester NH 03106



Friday, August 5th, 2011
5:00 PM | NNE-Summer Madness Central Runner-Up vs. Southern Champion

6:00 PM | NNE-Summer Madness Southern Runner-Up vs. Central Champion

7:00 PM | Contests

8:00 PM | NNE-Summer Madness (Boys) "Tournament of Champions" Championship Game





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Post  GNG on Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:28 pm

Very insightful and well written. I was shocked to see who the writer was. Very Happy I was at a soire the other night and I ran into Coach Mignault and asked him about the not being on the same page rumor that I also heard about. He assured me they would be fine. One has to remember with Coach Migs there are no shades of grey. Black or white. My way or the highway.He is not afraid of sitting anyone to get his point across.They will get better as the season goes on.

My preseason top 4 looks like this. Trinity- their frontline is taller then most college teams. BG- no team has more versatile guards, plus Joe Mac. North- I almost put them in front of BG. As much talent as any other team in the division. Can they stay on the court for a full season? The new coach will earn his stipend with this crew. Spaulding- Yep, I know they lost alot of seniors, but they have some talent waiting in the wings. Of course there is alot of time before the first games of the season so all of this is subject to change.

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:09 pm

I love the term GNG used:

"Subject to change."

I see this in my mutual funds, gas station prices, credit card statements with interest rates and the deficit rectification talks between Obama and other fearless leaders of our country and economy......

......And now GNG's Top 4 picks for the 2011 - 2012 basketball season.


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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:08 pm

Now, that I'm thinking about it, information I received from certain people in a certain southern NH town at the end of last week should have come with the label:

SUBJECT TO CHANGE


I have a feeling the term, "subject to change", could become the iconic phrase for the 2011 - 2012 season. It could replace last season's catch word......

........EPIC.

It is still very early, but "subject to change", is the key term frontrunner.

Of course this is subject to change also Laughing

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Post  goldenbear on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:06 am

T f

I will say two things about North

One if all the seniors come back that is 7 or 8 seniors in high school, they will be better because they are a year old, seniors just get better over the year so North without a coaching change and with everyone back is already a better team.

As a big time Nashua basketball person I found it almost impossible to sit through a North game because of how bad the coaching was. Coach Lane knows his stuff if he can get those kids to play team basketball they will be a top 5 team,

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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:09 am

Gbear, believe me, I'm not arguing they are not a top 4 or 5 team in D1. I'm sure the coaching conversion will help with all the returning seniors to make them a formidable foe at the start of the season. My biggest question is will they be a formidable foe at the end of the season? A basketball season can be a grind physically, emotionally and academically. Teams and players not only have to perfom on, but off the court as well. It's the total package.

I have watched North as well over the last couple of years. You pointed out coaching deficincies. There is a big similarity to Lane taking over North this year and when Fitzy took over Memorial a couple of years ago. Fitzy took over a program that was floundering and not living up to expectations. Fitzy took Memorial to the championship game before bowing out to Trinity. One big thing Fitzy had going for him was Chevy. He was a high character guy who's motor was always running. He willed the Crusaders to some victories that season. He motivated the players and called them on the carpet when they went out of line with bad attitude.

Does North have a senior who will be Chevy-like in leading by example with words and actions? Big question.

I have witnessed and have heard from other players and referees attitude deficiencies of players which totally turned me off to certain players on North. One could argue bad coaching, they are young and will grow up etc. What can't be argued is for a lot of them it is their senior year and the last bits of basketball rubber will meet the D1 road..... No more excuses.



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Post  Tuesday and Friday on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:17 am

Gbear or any one else in the Nashua area:

Any results from the playoff quarterfinals of the Southern Summer League playoffs played last night?

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