Halby's Morsels

Halby’s Morsels: College Basketball; Lou Carnesecca, 98; Now 8 coaches since; TV critics ballooning

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Brian Custer and Jay Bilas

We all needed a mentor. Brian Custer of ESPN has had his, Gus Johnson. If not, he certainly sounds like him

Why not, Gus is distinct? Brian though hasn’t done much in basketball or football and he’s a little hard on the ears. Moreover, he doesn’t seem to go deep into the game, while talking in loud brief spurts.

Custer is pushing hard to improve and has a bit. Just because Gus rides at a piercing level doesn’t mean that you have to do so. Brian is also restricted by his own lack of preparation of his lack of instinct for the game. I do feel bad for a fellow who I’m told is a decent human being. But he is  still working on developing his hoops fundamentals. Hope he gets there soon. Nice voice, general assertiveness but needs to focus on learning the elements. It gets cured in time and wish him luck.

I’m told he’s an experienced good boxing guy. But last night Brian was paired with one of the best on the ESPN staff, Jay Bilas. I’m sure though that there was a reason they were matched.

Twisted plans?

The New York Post has the hungriest sports media reporter, Andrew Marchand, who himself breaks strings of stories  the newspaper. The publication has obviously determined to accentuate the subject matter. Over the last year, localities on-air like John Sterling and  network footballers and basketballers haven’t stopped getting attention for their continued employment or bucks. Think Romo, Michaels, Tirico, Buck and Aikman.

Other sports-media reporters in the Metro New York area blend their own pieces with their own spicy opinions. Most senior of them is Phil Mushnick, who by now, has also wandered around their own original columns. He shares his own thought-provoking opinions covering several deeply debated topics. Rupert Murdock’s publishing style is the core that draws different attentions. It seems to be working. More discussion, more success. A European format. Longtimer, Bob Raissman of the the Daily News can be juicy and occasionally unpredictable. Mushnick and Raissman – never a dull moment.

From my observation, John Sterling had no choice but to cut his schedule. But he began to work toward the season and wanted to regain his fulltime gig.

He thought about it and once he had a chance to get a fuller schedule back, he jumped on it.

Last year, at age 84, he told reporters that he just feels at the point, where he wanted to work less. Apparently, he changed his mind or started working his bosses again. Like it or not, he’ll be 85 on Independence Day. He wasn’t about to leave the throne.

How do people feel about John Sterling now? From the NY Post, the best that I can find and they weren’t very good. But they were funny if you missed them

  • “I love John but he’s gotta retire. He’s missing basic calls now, more than ever bc he can’t see. GREAT voice?
  • I hope that Sterling stays around for a long time. He is 5 years older but is still a lot sharper than our 80-year-old President.
  • “I like Sterling too. But saying he’s sharper than Biden is not high praise.”
  • “It is high, it is far, it is . . . caught by Torres on the infield grass.”
  • “Sterling has no depth perception.”
  • Haven’t heard him that much, but Ryan Rucco is immature and never shuts up. Once he ages a bit, I’m sure I’ll find him ok, but for now I end up muting him a lot during Nets game. He tries too hard to be the next Ian Eagle.
  • “Sterling has been an embarrassment for decades”
  • “I keep saying the same thing, it’s a travesty that the most storied franchise in all of sports has this clown show in the radio booth.”
  • “Yankees announcers are the worst in baseball. Guess they align with Yankee fans.”
  • “Where is Dizzy Dean when you need him?”

The Johnnies women hoopsters have reached a new high in athletics with a stunning win over UConn in hoops. Congrats.

But this is not pretty, Number of men’s coaches since 1992:

Mike Anderson, currently mediocre at best; Chris Mullin, the school’s best and most popular player ever; Steve Lavin, had at least a winning record; Norm Roberts, Seven painful seasons, 81-110; Kevin Clark, (Interim). It got that bad; Mike Jarvis Immediately had eager eyes, applying for an NBA job; Fran Fraschilla The school myopically lost patience; Brian Mahoney (Looie’s successor)

Lou Carnesecca. He turned 98 on January 5th. An exquisite and giving man. Lou, at SJU, 1965-70 and 1976-1992, 526 wins -200 losses. Final Four, 1985 Also coached the Nets in the ABA, 1970-73.

Traveled with Coach Lou and team for years. A great old time guy!

Marquette  coach- Shaka Smart is showing he can win with restrained energy.

Rich Chvotkin is in his 52nd straight year with Georgetown, calling the Hoyas. For a real living he’s a psychologist. If so, he himself ought to be observed. Listening to him night after night, he shouts himself weak, invariably. Yet he’s entertaining. He turns 77 next year.

To maintain that enthusiasm is fantastic. He fights every effort to accept a color commentator.

David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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