We now start getting serious with our workouts. Two one hour individual instructions this week. The first couple of weeks are to get the guys into basketball shape. It will be the first for Wayne Blackshear and Mark Jackson. They are still not ready to compete. Our hope is by October 1st we will be healthy and ready to go, with the exception of Rakeem Buckles. He will need a few more weeks.
Active recruiting starts on Friday. We are looking to fill one or two spots. The point guard position is crucial.
Let’s look at two more teams this week:
South Florida will hope to make a push to the middle of our conference. Stan Heath is an excellent coach who has some logistic disadvantages competing in the BIG EAST. His teams will travel further to play and it probably will not be on private charters. It takes two or three great players to make the jump in the BIG EAST. They have many positives to offer an athlete, including a great climate and city. Here is who the Bulls have returning:
South Florida Bulls
2011 Record – 10-23 (3-15) Finished- 15th Big East
Preseason Ranking- #48
Significant Returning Players
Augustus Gilchrist 6-10 250 Sr 13.pts 6.0 reb
Jawanza Poland 6-4 200 Jr 9.1 pts 2.6 reb
Hugh Robertson 6-6 205 Sr 8.3 pts 4.3 reb
Ron Anderson 6-8 260 Sr 7.0 pts 6.4 reb
Shaun Noriega 6-4 195 Jr 6.4 pts 1.0 reb
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick 6-8 230 Jr 4.3 pts 4.1 reb
Significant Players Returning: 48.5 pts per game
Significant Players Lost: 14.3 pts per game (Famous, Crater, Burwell)
2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 35
Georgetown is coached by JT lll. I often hear critics say a certain player may not want to attend Georgetown because of their Princeton style of offense. I always laugh at that comment. Yes, John is from the Princeton program and they do run back door plays.
But here is the real truth.
The Hoyas offensively run as much as anyone in the BIG EAST. If I was still in the pro’s, I would love to coach one of their players. That means he would be fundamentally sound. He would have been taught to pass, cut, and screen the correct way. Terrific offense based on ball movement and cutting. Nothing slow about these Hoyas. Here is who will make a difference next year:
2011 Record – 21-11 (10-8) Finished- 8th Big East
Preseason Ranking- #35
Significant Returning Players
Jason Clark 6-2 170 Sr 12.0 pts 4.1 reb
Hollis Thompson 6-7 205 Jr 8.6 pts 4.4 reb
Nate Lubick 6-9 240 So 4.0 pts 3.5 reb
Henry Sims 6-10 230 Sr 3.6 pts 3.2 reb
Markel Starks 6-2 175 So 1.5 pts 0.6 reb
Significant Players Returning: 29.7 pts per game
Significant Players Lost: 42.0 pts per game (Freeman, Wright, Vaughn, Sanford, Benimon)
2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 18
It’s now ten years later. I remember vividly the last weekend we spent with Billy Minardi. It was a Labor Day getaway to Pebble Beach Resort. Four man golfing teams would get together from coast-to-coast to compete and share stories. Our team was from Old Memorial out of Tampa, Fla. Tom Shannon, Hugh Connerty, Billy Minardi and myself. Three-day tournament, playing Spyglass, Spanish Bay, and Pebble Beach. Ten years ago, but it seemed like yesterday when on a beautiful day we sat outside the eighteenth green sharing a bottle of Far Niente Chardonnay. It was a spectacular four days.
We watched as pictures would be snapped as every foursome left the magnificent 18th. We traveled back home the next day. That was the last moment Billy, Stephanie, Joanne, and I shared together.
On that horrific morning, Billy’s last words were “I’d give anything to be back at Pebble.” So would I. It wouldn’t be enough to celebrate his life a tenth time with our friends in New York. I decided to do something special.
My three oldest children -- Michael, Chris, and Richard -- headed west with me for a reenactment of that unique weekend ten years ago. We booked the rooms overlooking the 18th hole. Played the same courses and ate at the same restaurants. From smoking cigars in front of the fire pit at Spanish Bay, to finishing the same bottle of wine outside the 18th hole. The only thing missing was his incredible laugh and effervescent personality.
We had the time of our life. Special place, special weekend, honoring and celebrating the life of one special man. We cherished that weekend ten years ago as well as this past Labor Day weekend.
I always say that life without him has never been quite the same. This Sunday on the tenth year past, so many families will utter the same thoughts. It is important to celebrate their lives and I’m extremely grateful to be able to share his memory with friends and family who loved him so much.