The Opponent in UCONN’s 100th Straight Win

I was raised in Connecticut so I know UCONN as a school real well.
So “back in the day”, UCONN was not a D-1 school, it was off the
grid athletically and all my high school classmates used it as a “Safety”
school for academics.

I left CT in the early 80’s and coincidentally UCONN totally reinvented
itself both academically and athletically starting at that time. Though now living out of CT for many decades, I still clearly have been a “homer” routing UCONN sports teams.

Fast forward to today and this iconic women’s basketball program under the
“Geno Genius”. I love everything Gino Auriemma and his teams have done over the last 25+ years. Folks know I’m a huge girls/women’s basketball fan and if the success of UCONN brings eyes, ears, fannies, $, media and to the game… Even Better!

I think being an exceptional coach and being an exceptional team – IT IS SO RARE AND SO HARD even for 1 season..Gino finds exceptional talents but his brilliance is in his managing of the “ubers” and their personalities to built dynasty after dynasty that thrives on teamwork. He is a genius on many levels.

There have been many amazing stats regarding “this 100 Game Win streak” printed all over. What I never heard addressed was the brilliance of this match up.

I’m not sure how far in advance Gino & Co. put their schedule together. And yes I know Sir Geno has said many times that he fully expected for this “younger” ’16-’17 team to lose some games during this year. However, Gino is no dummy and knows his players. In the back of his mind, no matter how far remote he thought the possibility of winning 100 straight was (but it was a possibility), he wasn’t going to leave the situation to chance. Knowing UCONN might be playing for its 100th straight win, Gino wanted to managed the night and the marvelous marketing night for UCONN & the women’s college game.

There was NO WAY the 100th game was going to be played against the Little Sisters of the Poor and be some 70 point blow out. In true Gino fashion, always playing the best, I am sure he wanted to play an uber so that
the credibility of the “100th win game” would never be questioned.

South Carolina, under storied college player Dawn Staley, has had a top 10 team for a # of years and often top 5. A team loaded with veterans and amazing size would be as good a national match-up as UCONN could find (and the ratings seem to confirm).

So I just wanted to give Gino a shout out for “dotting the I’s and cross the T” to make sure the streak’s 100th game was going to be again a prime time opponent and further validate his “cred” as one of the greatest coaches in all sports…ever!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prown’s Poll NJ Girls HS Hoops (Going into 2/17/17 Games)

I’m seriously thinking of reducing the Prown’s Poll top 20 to only
1 teams (wouldn’t start till next year). The amount of flip/flopping
of teams in and out of those bottom 5 teams is seamingly endless every week. Probably pretty common in most polls but nearing on ridiculous.

Only MAJ0R change in the top 10 is that previously surging #8 Queen of Peace lost to both Immaculate Conception Lodi and Staten Island Academy and fall to 16.

1 RUTGERS PREP
2 MANASQUAN
3 RB CATHOLIC
4 ST. ROSE
5 ST. JOHN VIANNEY
6 PATRICK SCHOOL
7 GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC
8 NEWARK TECH
9 RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN
10 FRANKLIN
11 SADDLE RIVER DAY
12 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION LODI
13 PAUL VI
14 NEPTUNE
15 ALLENTOWN
16 QUEEN OF PEACE.
17 OCEAN CITY
18 MIDDLE TWP
19 CAMDEN CATHOLIC
20 BOUND BROOK

***BUBBLE***
Lenape
Cheroke
Ewing
Toms River North
Sayerville
Pascack Valley
University

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Attn All High School Sports Fans –

I fully understand that most girls high school hoops fans are pretty provincial in their thinking following their favorite high school team and probably the teams within their conference/division.

Not too many knuckleheads out there like myself that are very interested in scores throughout the entire state of New Jersey every night. However every once in awhile teams face teams outside of their conference during the regular season or during the states tournament.

There is only one media source that provides and maintains information on every New Jersey girls high school team day in/day out. That is nj.com the online version of the Star-Ledger (the former Newark Star-Ledger) and the Star-Ledger newspaper.

I cannot express how lucky we are as fans to have nj.com at our finger-tips.and they’re very excellent coverage as well as interesting and somewhat controversial stories, polls, rosters, results rankings, opinion pieces and more.

The reason I am writing this is as a long time small business owner (3rd generation owner of a 91 year old family business). Yes the Star-Ledge dwarfs my small home improvement company. But at the end of the day, to keep the doors open you need “Revenue”. And that is why I subscribe to the Star-Ledger seven days a week. I know I can access all this fabulous information “for free” at nj.com just like any other person.

But I’m helping to keep around around if I utilize their resources and don’t put scheckels/dollars in their pockets for their service. It’s just like buying a bootleg of a just-released movie or downloading the latest musical album from some free web source.

Be your favorite store; your favorite restaurant; your favorite or magazine/newspaper, they need revenue to maintain the level of service you like and don’t want to disappear. Yes we can support nj.com/Star-Ledger advertisers but hard to make a direct link unless there is a coupon or something.
I am very serious when asking all New Jersey high school sports fans to subscribe to the newspaper (hopefully 7 days a week).

Compliment your subscription to visiting the web site daily (as there isn’t enough room in the sports section to capture all the daily NJ high school sport activity).

Regardless of what HS sport you follow, there is No Plan B. If this company chooses for business reasons to reduce cover (like virtually every paper has done), we have no other singular source to stay current. We need them….they need us…They are not a not for profit…Hope you open up your wallet..again, we have No Plan B.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prown’s Poll NJ Girls HS Hoops (Going into 2/10/17 Games)

As we close in on the country/conference tournaments and states top 10
continues to jell. Again, I continue weigh rankings in favor of
teams that played other state teams i.e. I more competitive
schedule.

Some county/conference tournaments have begun while others have not
even done the seedings yet. The state tournament brackets are out and will
comment on them in short (FYI – All State Team selections will be made
BEFORE the state tournament begins so all players have basically played
the same # of games (and doesn’t penalize excellent players on weak,
early exiting teams)

Below shows this weeks rank; last weeks rank; team name; team record
and a short statement

# 1 (1) RUTGERS PREP 20 – 1 Excellent Win of #5 Patrick School

# 2 (2) MANASQUAN 20 – 1 All eyes on 2/11 Showdown with #3 St. Rose

# 3 (3) ST. ROSE 20 – 2 Close win over top ten Franklin. Focusing
on 2/11 Home game vs. #2 Manasquan

#4 (4) RED BANK Cath. 18 – 2 Having very special season, play #7 RFH 2/11.

#5 (5) PATRICK SCHOOL 19 – 2 Let 4th quarter lead slip away vs. #1 Rutgers
Prep. Have not hit on all cylinders yet.

#6 (6) ST. JOHN VIANNEY 17–3 Under the radar and can really surprise folk. Play RFH this week

#7 (7) Rumson Fair Haven 18- 2 Having an excellent year. Play #3 RBC &
#6 SJV this week. Statement games

#8 (11) QUEEN OF PEACE 13 – 4 Play a great schedule – total flip from last
year. Play #13 ICL this week

#9 (13) Gloucester Catholic 14 – 4 Wins over #17 Paul VI and #15 Saddle River Day impressive. Quiet week till #8 QOP 2/21

#10 (10) NEWARK TECH 16 – 4 Play a great schedule.

#11 (9) FRANKLIN 14 – 5 Play many powerful teams. Just lost to #3 St. Rose by 3.

#12 (12) OCEAN CITY 19 -0 Beat #14 Camden Catholic by 20.

#13 (8) Immac. Concept. Lodi 15 – 4 Play a great schedule. Tough loss to Gill.

#14 (NR) CAMDEN CATHOLIC 14-3 Loses to #4, 12 & 17

#15 (19) Saddle River Day 15-5 Have stepped big time the level of their level of their competition

#16 (17) BOUND BROOK 18 – 1

#17 (13) PAUL VI 15 – 4 Split with # 14 Camden Catholic

#18 (NR) NEPTUNE 18 – 2 Knocked off last week’s #15 undefeated. Toms River North . Quiet Schedule till SCT

#19(15) TOMS RIVER N. 19 – 1 LOST TO #18 Neptune

# 20 (16) SAYREVILLE 20 – 1 Tough to keep in top 20. Lone loss to TRN

BUBBLE TEAMS
Cherokee
University
Middle Twp.
Ewing
Pascack Valley
Notre Dame
Allentown

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Many “Big Dogs” Still Standing in NJ Girls Hoops?

In the monologue to my weekly rankings blog, I have
for weeks been talking about the significant separation
in skill level between teams in the top 10 and the rest of the state.

This past weekend 6 of the top 10 teams went head-to-head
and was intriguing to see who separated from the pack
to identify what I call “Big Dogs”. Traditionally come this time
of year the number of  big dogs in the state has dwindled to
the neighborhood about 3/4 teams.

However, after a number of Intra-state Top 10 battles over the last 10 days, I think that Big Dog # could be as low as zero teams
and maybe as high as 1.,

Reminder, a Big Dor is a state power that regularly spanks
the crap out of all teams on their schedule plus virtually all
other 10 rivals by double digits. No team has done that this year
in every game.

Still plenty of Hoops still to be played. And those teams who really believe they have the goods to capture the Tournament of Championship (TOC), need to ingrain in their DNA winning at all costs.

Citing injuries is not an excuse and if the opponent has a key injury or 2, then the throat crushing should be a “Can of Corn”. If there is a critical talent mis-match, exploit and crush. Essentially “Close out definitively and win definitively” (Hello Atlanta Falcons).

With that said, clearly it is the Rutgers Prep Argonauts who seems
to be sole Big Door of late with definitive victories over both then # 1 Manasquan and yesterday over #5 the Patrick school today. (And they are winning these games without their uber point guard Miss Knight (torn ACL) and 1st big off the bench (starts for 99% of the other teams in the state), Miss Tibbitt with a lower leg injury.

This very deep, talented, experienced and very well-coached team is clearly positioned to run the table to get to TOC championship. No Doubt the team has been boosted by the remarkable sophomore talent Leilani Correa whose national ranking and prominence is blowing up (she was was one of 3 athletes I featured in my pre-season NJ Breakout players of the year).

Her length, guile, elevation, smoothness and rocketing self-confidence is helping lead the Argonauts to a most remarkable year.  Ths team has been very good for the two previous years but could not close and were knocked off by St. Rose in 2015 states and by Manasquan in the 2016 states.

They are clearly number one in NJ as well as being Nationally ranked but they have a lot of big basketball in front them in both the county and state tournaments to reach the gonna the pinnacle. I am not
sold yet “but darn close”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prown’s Pics – NJ Girls Hoops Top 20 Going into 2/3/17 Games

In the 1970’s noted Rock and Roll band “Aerosmith” had a big hit titled “Same Old Song and Dance”. That really sounds like the title cut to my NJ HS Girls Top 20 rankings week after week

The top 10 are generally pretty steady and with some spot switching here and there while 11 – 30 are all over the place with endless changes every week

The difference between the top 10 schools (maybe top 11) and the rest of the state is significant..  Yes,I know due to the Tournament of Champions group bracketing a heck of a lot of Premier teams in the Non-Public B Sound will get cannibalized early to yield only one TOC participant. That is a story for another day.

Continuing my journey around the state to see as many of the top 30 teams as possible and I’m at the 85% point.

Biggest news this week is no doubt the shift at the top where #3 Rutgers prep down their point guard and one of their key bigs nationally ranked and seemingly Invincible Manasquan at the terrific coaches Choice USA showcase last weekend.

Again my rankings particularly of the second 10 are heavily weighted in favor of teams that schedule other top 20 teams. Win or lose, I still give those teams plenty of influence in my ranking versus those teams that have grandiose records and play The Little Sisters of the Poor.

Don’t say a team can’t change their schedule once set at the beginning of the season. Plenty of the big dogs are adding challenging games all season long. Just last weekend #10 Newark Tech added #6 Red Bank Catholic and #10 Franklin over the next 2 weeks to get tournament ready. Again, a number of prime time, big gun schools keep upgrading their schedules and then there’s some that just love the cream puff schedules and you know who you are.

3 premiere top 10 games this weekend – Mark your Calendar
5:30 Today Red Bank Catholic at Newark tech

3pm Saturday at he Thomas F. Richel Memorial Hoop Fest at Roselle Catholic High School St. Rose vs. Franklin

Same Event – Sunday – 12 Noon The Patrick School vs. Rutgers Prep

That 3 awesome games over 3 days to see 6 of the top 10 teams in the state go “Head to Head”

**********
RANK NAME
1 RUTGERS PREP
2 MANASQUAN
3 ST. ROSE
4 RED BANK CATHOLIC
5 PATRICK SCHOOL
6 ST. JOHN VIANNEY
7 RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN
8 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – LODI
9 FRANKLIN
10 NEWARK TECH
11 QUEEN OF PEACE
12 OCEAN CITY
13 PAUL VI
14 GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC
15 TOMS RIVER NORTH
16 SAYREVILLE
17 BOUND BROOK
18 UNIVERSITY
19 SADDLE RIVER DAY
20 CHEROKEE

***BUBBLE TEAMS***
NAME
CAMDEN CATHOLIC
PASCACK VALLEY
MIDDLE TWP
NEPTUNE
NOTRE DAME

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prown Pic Top 20 – Going into 1/27/17 Games

PROWN’S PICS NJ GIRLS HOOPS TOP 20 – Going into 1/27/17 Games

What a crazy season…thank goodness the top 10 is relatively staple. Special shout out to the Red Bank Catholic Caseys who had a magical week knocking off power St. John Vianney and losing again to #1 Manasquan at the buzzer. They jump from #4 to #7 deservedly so.

Strength of schedule is a monster factor to me. I remember being very “undazzled by upstarts Saddle River Day & Queen of Peace last year
as they both had glowing records with huge blow against much lesser teams.

This year they both really stepped up to play very good in and
out of state teams. Yes, they have lost some but again they are playing
big gun teams (like Franklin still in top 10 with 3 losses to top 10 teams).

1 loss or undefeated records are impressive in their own right but not
inspiring for my state wide ranking. To those teams…you need to schedule/play some premier teams (there is time). PS – look at any of the top 9 teams schedule, outside of TPS, and see how many ranked (in-state or out of state) teams they played.

I have personally seen 15 of the top 20 teams during this regular season and will no doubt see all. The difference in the level of play from the top 9 to the rest of the state, at this point in the season, is pretty darn distinct.

Still the TOC structure allows for plenty of cannibalization (story for another day) and there always some surprises that make it through.

No BUBBLE list this week “11 is too many”

1 1 MANASQUAN
2 2 ST. ROSE
3 3 RUTGERS PREP
4 4 RED BANK CATHOLIC
5 5 THE PATRICK SCHOOL
6 6 ST. JOHN VIANNEY
7 7 RUMSON FAIR HAVEN
8 8 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION LODI
9 9 FRANKLIN
10 10 NEWARK TECH
11 11 UNIVERSITY
12 12 CHEROKEE
13 13 SADDLE RIVER DAY
14 14 CAMDEN CATHOLIC
15 15 PAUL IV
16 16 QUEEN OF PEACE
17 17 PASCACK VALLEY
18 18 BOUND BROOK
19 19 TOMS RIVER NORTH
20 20 SAYERVILL

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment