Recently there is talk that the state may eliminate the State basketball tournament (TOC). The reason being some coaches say it only benefits a few teams. Mostly non public school teams. Now this doesn’t surprise me. That’s because I can’t help but think it’s the same people who complain about schools recruiting that do not want a TOC. That’s because in most cases, those are the programs that are poorly run, don’t dream of Chips and not very competitive.

Let me address the topic of recruiting. Here is want I told one of the best high school coaches in the state of New Jersey. The best (4) eight graders in the shore go to the same 4 high schools every single year. It’s been that way way for 25 years. If a kid is projected as a future star in the Shore there going to SJV… RBC .. Manasquan or St. Rose. Now you get outliers like Kelly Hughes who went to her home school Pt. Boro or a a Destiny Adams(Manchester) every once in a while. But the fact of the matter is the best kids want to play on teams with players who are talented and like minded like themselves. They want to play on teams, they know play on the big stages, get the lions share of the media’s attention where the kids play basketball year round and get the bulk of the scholarships. The Elite D1 players, want to go to elite programs. That’s just a fact, now it doesn’t mean that the other schools can’t compete. It just means stop crying about recruiting… because recruiting has nothing to do with why a kid leaves there local school to attend RBC or SJV.

I know all the Top 8th graders each year. That’s because most of them train with me. The ones that don’t train with me, I have seen play a number of times over and over before they attend high school. It’s a joke when you hear that a kid was recruited and that’s why they went to a certain school. So everyone listen to what am about to say. Public school, private schools and any other school you can think of .. RECRUIT. Yes every single one and I know it for a fact. The public schools run the local camps and build relationships with the kids and try to convince them to stay home. The private schools offer the scholarships money and try to convince the kid to take advantage of the opportunity.

Do you who doesn’t have to recruit for example? SJV and RBC. That’s because the elite player calls them. You think Joe Montano called Justine Pissott? Anyone who says he did, is a bold face liar. You think Dawn Karpell called Madison St. Rose and Zoe Brooks? You lie if you say she did. Kids call these programs and I know for a fact the kids call them. But it’s the opposing coaches whinning, crying and lying, sending misleading pictures to the state, who put this recruiting narrative out there. Trust me it’s everyone else doing the recruiting not these schools. It’s a case of some coaches inability to focus on their programs. To motivate and energize kids in there community that leads to this type jealousy and spiteful behavior.

Now when you get right down to it. If a coach is running there program the right way. There kids will want to stay home and play for the local high school. Now am not talking about the Pissott’s, Carman’s, and Madison St. Rose types. Those kids are going to the elite programs, end of story and it’s never changing. I’m talking about that talented kid who may be a D1 player without the hype. The player who may be better than even those brand name kids one day. Like a Georgia Heine for example. She wasn’t a star entering high school, she is now. She stayed local and played for her local high school, Manasquan. A public school, why? Because Lisa Kukoda runs a top notch program and kids want to stay home. It’s that simple and Manasquan competes for a SCT and a TOC chip every single year. Rather than complain Lisa Kukoda protects her backyard by running a top program. It’s funny but she’s not losing kids. I wonder why? Could it be because she is 100% invested into her program year round and demands her kids do the same? Leading to a successful culture and a program, kids want to be part of!

JOHN TRUHAN just hung up another championship banner at a pubic school last week. He has won just about every thing a coach can win. He has won a SCT.. DIVISION TITLES..and has been to a TOC chip game. Beat the best programs in the state. He beat Shabazz when they were Shabazz, while at Colts Neck. His RBR team beat RBC 2 years ago in the SCT. But what you must understand is that he has won a chip at every school he has been at. That’s 4 different public schools. Hell he even won a chip at Central Reg and has turned RBR into a Top 20 program and has developed kids into D1 players. Now how has he been able to manage this? The same way he has turned RBR into a winner, by not crying about what others are doing.

Coach Truhan doesn’t give a rats ass about who is recruiting who. He develops a culture in a community. He runs clinics for the town, he invites kids, parents, friends, fans and anyone who likes basketball into his inner circle. He is visable, likeable and knowledgeable. This is the key to his SUCESS. He does his own thing. He is not trying to be SJV or RBC … he is trying to beat them. He knows Justine Pissott and Madison St.Rose are not walking though the door. But he can develop a Chloe Teter, a Camryn Gardner and Caroline Polloway. But he understands he has to get them in the program first. The only way to do that is run a quality program. He knows the community has to believe in the program. Folks, kids in Little Sliver and surrounding area now want to attend RBR. That’s because they know they can win chips and go to college… THAT’s the best form of recruiting a high school coach can do.

All this talk about recruiting is a excuse for folks who can’t build a successful program. Sometimes it’s just the town, the kids, the parents or the administration. They just won’t or care to buy in or support the coach. But trust me it’s not because of recruiting why programs are unsuccessful. Not one single program is unsuccessful because other schools are recruiting their kids. That because unless a kid is at your school… they were never your kid in the first place. Which is why they say “if you build it they will come”.

Matt McCarthy is building it at Trinity Hall these days. Soon he will start getting the biggest compliment he can receive. He will be accused of recruiting illegally. Folks will start calling his AD and the state. It will be a signal people are afraid of him and his program. It will mean he is doing something good, something right. He will most likely not be paying attention to what others are doing and focusing only on his kids and his program. Every coach should do the same and stop with the phony … THERE RECRUITING, CRY BABY TALK!


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