Brian Deakyne and NJ.COM released there first Top 20 of the New Year. The task of putting together a state wide Top 20 is almost impossible. I cover the Shore Conference so my job is a cake walk compared to NJ.COM. Either way the Top 20 always causes fun and open debate. So today I will give you my thoughts regarding the Top 20 as it pertains to the Shore Conference.
This week there are 6 teams in the Top 20. That is not even close to a all time high. The Shore has had as many as 9 teams in the State rankings in past years. But there is a catch to this…that only happens at the end of the year. So while the Shore teams are judged harsher, they do get there do in the end. Last year Neptune sat on the outside the entire year after losing a game with Dezzy Allen playing limited mins and there other star playing with a broke shooting hand. The problem was simple in my opinion, sharing the wealth is important in the polls.
in order for the polls to have any weight with the public, you have to represent the entire state in my opinion . This is where the Shore unfortunately is penalized when the ranking come out. But NJ.COM has made some mistakes in the favor of the Shore in the past and yes even right now as well. Last year TOM RIVER NORTH at one poin was ranked as high as 10th last year before falling out. This my friends had many Shore faithful scratching their heads. But remember when you cover the state you don’t follow a small group of teams as I do, so mistakes happen. This week RFH is ranked #8 in the State and #7 in the Shore. You many be asking how can that be possible. It’s simple I see the Top Shore teams on a regular basis during and out of season. I also know who the best players are long before the state catches on. This week the Top 20 was exactly what I expected.
The Top 3 teams in the state were from the Shore, Manasquan remained at #1…SJV jumped to #2 ….and St. Rose fell from #1 to #3. Rutgers Prep who lost to a Shore team SJV was #4. …RBC was 5th and could have a real case for #4. But NJ.com put them behind Rutgers Prep. Now the question is why? Didn’t RBC lose to the #1 team in the state Manasquan? While Rutgers Prep lost to SJV the #3 team. It must be the eye test that put RUTGERS PREP ahead of RBC. Prep lost in close game to SJV and RBC got blown out by Manasquan. But on further review RBC has much better wins to date. This is where two teams have a legit case, but the non Shore team rightfully so gets the edge. It prevents a All Shore Top 4 teams. I like it it, it creates interest and balance.
Now RFH is #8 and there is no question they are a Top 20 team. But on further review here is what I know. They not surprisingly got blow out by Rutgers Prep. Then beat Franklin who was #4 at the time now 12th. But I had seen Franklin vs RBC in a scrimmage and what did I know? Franklin was not a Top 10 team. What there are is exactly what RFH is, when there star player gets rolling they can beat anyone on any night. But night in night out they cannot beat the Top Teams. Franklin is 1-7(I believe) in the past two years vs Shore teams. But RFH has benifited from the win and Tori Hyduke playing at a legendary level. So Shore fans here is where playing in the Shore has benefited a team. So it goes both ways.
Manchester checked in at #14 after not being ranked. How can that happen? It’s simple, how would Brian Deaklye know who Destiny Adams is? My quess is he had heard of her but wanted to wait and see if the hype was real. So I believe he got it right, is #14 the right ranking? No because I believe they are better than 3 current teams teams in the Top 10, that I have personally seen…but this is what makes the rankings soooo much fun.
Now that gets us to TRN, why are they not ranked. There were teams who entered the Top 10 whose early season resume does not measure up. TRN beat NOTRE DAME in a scrimmage this year without BISOGNO, but how would NJ.COM know this? They beat the #13 team in the state and there only lost is to Manchester. But none of that matters, first of all Brain Deakyne was not part of NJ.COM girls coverage when high major guard BRILLE BISOGNO was tearing up the Shore as a freshman. His first knowledge of Bisogno was most likely after she dropped 29 points on then #13 EWING. But here is why they are not ranked… you can’t have 7 Shore teams in the ranking so early in the season. It’s simply not the thing to do in my opinion. How do you justify them not being in the Top 20? It’s simple Ewing goes from #13 to out of the poll in a week. No Ewing and no TRN. The good news for TRN fans is that at some point you will be in the Top 20….but just like in the picture below must continue to fight for respect.
Picking a Top 20 is thankless job but thanks to Brain Deakyne we get to discuss, debate and complain. As long as it’s in good taste and fun..LET THE FUSSING AND COMPLAINING BEGIN…ENJOY
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