With Christmas morning upon us, we'll channel our inner Santa (or Homer) and bestow some holiday cheer upon the local college hoops programs and their personnel. (Photo courtesy of the author's personal collection)
To celebrate Christmas Day, we're doing something a little different on this site. Suggested to us by our friend and play-by-play announcer extraordinaire Ralph Bednarczyk last week, "The Dose" will play the role of jolly old Saint Nick and open the big bag of presents to spread tidings of great joy to the local college basketball teams and figures; all of whom could certainly use a pick-me-up to some degree, by chronicling what each would almost certainly love under their tree right about now, even if it ultimately isn't in the cards:
St. John's: For starters, a positive ruling on the classification and eligibility of big man Orlando Sanchez, and a repeat of 2010-11 going into Big East play, when the Red Storm knocked off six ranked opponents in their miracle run to the NCAA Tournament.
Fordham: A new arena to replace the iconic and venerable Rose Hill Gym might be a bit of a stretch, so we'll go with renovations to the oldest venue in the nation, as well as a few home games at the Barclays Center in the next couple of seasons, another year of Chris Gaston, and an elite point guard to team up with Branden Frazier in the backcourt.
Manhattan: George Beamon to return and Ashton Pankey to become eligible, giving the Jaspers their best roster since the glory days of Bobby Gonzalez.
Wagner: A signature win to give Bashir Mason the testimonial he deserves for keeping his program among the NEC's elite despite his tender age, not to mention the return of Latif Rivers and offensive evolution of Naofall Folahan in the paint and post.
LIU Brooklyn: Julian Boyd to get a sixth year of eligibility, and more home games so that more people can experience the dulcet tones of public address announcer David Freeman.
St. Francis College: The return of Stefan Perunicic to help their outside shooting, plus some backcourt stability between Brent Jones, Ben Mockford and Dre Calloway.
Columbia: A second scoring option so that Brian Barbour won't be so underrated.
Iona: Just like St. John's with Orlando Sanchez, a ruling on Norvel Pelle. A one-night return of Scott Machado wouldn't hurt either.
Hofstra: One day with a full roster again, just so everyone could see how talented Mo Cassara's team is.
Seton Hall: A point guard was on the list before Tom Maayan showed his flashes of brilliance, so we'll go for more frontcourt depth now that Kevin Johnson is on the shelf and Patrik Auda is out for the year.
Rutgers: Twelve clones of Jonathan Mitchell. Well, that and a home game against every Top 25 team in the Big East, since the Scarlet Knights have a knack for pulling off upsets in that scenario.
Stony Brook: A run deep into March similar to the one their baseball team went on, because they truly are a diamond in the metropolitan area rough.
Saint Peter's: More high-level talent to make their way into Jersey City to further illustrate how much of a genius John Dunne is.