|'Coach's Corner' July Recruiting Blog Week 2|
The Manhattan men's basketball staff hits the road for a nation-wide recruiting journey beginning July 11 in search for the program's next crop of talent. Along the way, the Jaspers coaches will provide a first-hand account of their travels through the 'Coaches' Corner' Blog at GoJaspers.com. Manhattan second year head coach Steve Masiello and assistant coach Rasheen Davis will enlighten fans each step of the way as they visit numerous cities and attend a variety of high profile tournaments and showcases from coast-to-coast.
It is great to be out on the road again! There are not many better places to kick off this week than in Augusta, Georgia. While many of you will instantly think of the Masters Golf Tournament, most college coaches know that in July there will not be a better crop of talented prospects than here in Augusta. This is the Kentucky Derby of all AAU tournaments.
Today, it was a battle between Mother Nature and the several college coaches we are competing with. It went from a scorching 104 degrees to an all out thunder storm. The last game of the night ended at 10:30 p.m. We look forward to getting right back at it on Thursday with the first game starting at 9 a.m.
July 19, 2012
As the second live period gets underway our top priority turns to finding a big time wing who can replace George Beamon. Basically a very easy job for my staff, go get me the MAAC Player of the Year (In my opinion). In reality we hope that Donovan Kates or Shane Richards will be guys that can replace George, but a simple rule for us in recruiting is to get guys better then what you have. If you do that your program can never go backwards.
It is just hard to find guys better than George, Rhamel Brown, Mike Alvarado, Emmy Andujar and Ryan McCoy, especially when those guys are in their second and third years. We want to avoid having a year when we lose guys like Mike and Rhamel without anyone to replace them. Ideally, we would like RaShawn Stores/CJ Jones to replace Mike Alvarado and Ashton Pankey/Adam Lacey to replace Rhamel Brown.
The toughest part of recruiting better players is the stiff competition going for the same prospects. It is the difference of competing against schools that are recruiting 100 kids to a school that has one assistant flying around on a private plane following that one player you covet as well! Overall, recruiting can be a ruthless process. I have seen 20-year friendships end and staffs get in fist fights, all over players.
As we get started in session two of recruiting we also say goodbye to session two of summer school. Almost all of our players have jumped ahead of their studies by taking classes during intersession. As a team, our academic goal is not to miss a single class and to earn B's or higher. We are off to a good start without missing any classes through two summer sessions and grades will be in next week.
On the court, I would grade our effort at an A, our attitude has been an A, conditioning gets a D, but our commitment to excellence is a B+. So overall it has been a very productive summer as we laid the foundation to our system. We constantly talk about the pursuit of the MAAC Championship and how great we have to be in all aspects of our life to achieve this goal. Our motto is "No weak links". If there is one weak link in a chain it can break. Same with us. If there is one weak link from our managers, trainers, players, coaches, then we will not succeed. We all must want greatness and a championship in order for us to get it!
A lot of people will ask the question, "Do you feel you are putting pressure on yourself or your players by talking about the MAAC Championship so much?" And the answer is "No!" Pressure only comes from people who are not ready or prepared for situations in their life and for people who have not put the time into their work. An example, think of a student who has a big test and doesn't study normally. They put added stress on themselves and dread test day. Compare it to the student who has studied for the test religiously and know they are ready. This student can not wait for test day and does not feel pressure because they know they are ready for that moment, the test, and the game! Well Manhattan fans, let's just say the studying has started in Riverdale!