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Thursday, March 08, 2012


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Regarding MacKinnon release......
There are definitely two sides to every story and hoops may have something here, exposure???
J. MacKinnon is a straight forward guy, no sugar coating to him. Like him for it or not, that's him! Personally I would rather be dealt with like that rather than the blind sided and not so courageously way he was sidelined today. Looks like the AD may have taken the high road??? Only he and Jim know that.
He spent countless hours in the gym as an assistant coach for Greg Plumb. Plumb would probably agree that he assisted well. He sacrificed his personal and business time, most every weekend, for boys to come in to the gym and improve their skills; Saturdays, put shots up with the gun and Sundays, skill work. Need more guys like that.
During those years and many hours, one could reasonably assume that the AD (Rob Stewart) and the administration knew "who and what" Jim "was and is". One might also expect, that an institution such as Nichols would discuss and review the program objectives and protocols to achievement. Now they all of a sudden want to go in another direction? What direction is that??????
It is no surprise to anyone (though they deny it) that many of the MMA schools recruit or should we say, strategically position themselves to accept individuals they desire: anyway you shake it, it is recruiting and why not. If an individual who qualifies academically (can dribble or skate), is approached or introduced to one of those fine institutions and qualifies for admission;
Who get's hurt? What is the harm? Who loses, other than the coaches that don't work as hard in the off season with: AAU, church leagues, extra practice time and finding those that over achieve.
Those lucky individuals may have doors opened for them in life, that may never have. I personally don't see the harm, especially if it is restricted to pre high school applicants; which I heard was the case.
Basketball suffers in the WNY area. The sport and the kids, need more guys like Jim MacKinnon, sacrificing his time, coaching and building individuals and teams that win. Last time I looked that was a good thing. In real life, everybody doesn't make the team or get the promotion. You have to go out there and get it. If that is the reason for Jim's separation then he should be proud of why it became.

Don't be surprised if Jack Herlan ends up with that job!

LOL, Jack Herlan? Nichols may not have to look very far for the next coach, but not as far as Kenmore Ave

LOL if you like but Nichols could use a coach with a mustache!


Who ever said life is fair? Tell McKinnin how fair it was to dump the upper classmen in favor of the freshmen without them earning it. McKinnin got what he deserved. Good riddance!

Mr unfair...as you stated there are two sides to every story and you painted one side. Unfortunately it is not based on really what happened. I am sure the AD did not want to have to conduct two searches in two years...there is more to the story and the school made a good decision.

I would suggest that we move on and look forward to the future, and hope that whomever the next coach may be, he or she can help Nichols basketball return to the respected tradition that it has been in the past.

so you think less talented seniors should play bevause they are seniors? was plumb wrong for playing reagan and canestro as freshmen instead of 2 seniors? mackinnon was trying to return them to the respected tradition of the past. thats why he brought in a bunch of young talent. my question is how did plumb survive so long? nichols should have won 4 straight cups.

Your actions and conduct have consequences. Unfortunately for Coach Mac he made his bed and is now lying in it. Too bad he didn't have some common good sense. He might not have been canned if he did.

It would take a truckload of cash to get me to give up my other coaching job at SJCI or a round at Augusta. :)

It shouldn't matter if a player is a freshman or not if he or she should play or not. Honestly, McKinnon was not the reason was losing. It was because those stupid upperclassman that were too stubborn to understand that a group of freshman was better than them. Instead of working with the freshmen, they decided to do there own thing. If the upperclassman played with the freshmen, Nichols would have had a better season.

Cam...er....Nichols student....maybe you should spend more time in English class before you decide to talk trash...

If parent/player complaints is what did Jim Mac in then thats a shame. Every coach and AD hears that stuff every single year. Anybody with even a sliver of basketball knowledge knows those freshmen were better than the upperclassman, they earned their minutes as well. The juniors and senior on that team got as much playing time as they would have no matter who was coaching, and firing Jim doesn't solve that playing time issue for next season

I could care less about McKiinnon or Nichols, but reading these comments and hearing some of the shady stuff he did it's surprising he lasted till the end of the season. It sounds like he created an atmosphere that caused dissension within the team. And didn't he get fired at Canisius a long time ago?

I like how you assume this is one of the players from the team but its not. I came to the games and i saw what happened and you upperclassmen got him fired. Anyone who knows basketball knows those freshman were good and you all ruined their season.

Everyone chill - I have news that will make all the Nichols fans happy - in 2013 I am bringing my talents to the Nichols school.

And a certain coach who made a Class A state final in 2006 will be coming with me.

Nichols school - 2013 Class B Fed Champs.

The freshman class did a good job on the court. Jamar Waters is a young talent player and might bring his talent back to buffalo next season.I strongly believe Waters left because of bad coaching decision by Makinnon. Can't wait to see if the other 3 freshman are going to stay or leave.

The Nichols job would be perfect for a former Sweet Home coach. He could recruit players like he did at Sweet Home but now without district residency requirements.

Right on Dark TML regarding Sweet Home. Also, isn't the purpose of going to a great academic school like Nichols the education combined with the sports program? I hope KCJ is wrong. Waters was given the rare opportunity to attend a great school. So Waters if you bring your talent back to Buffalo, you may hit the same dead end as others. Same with the other freshmen. Feel free to hit the road and see what you do post high school. The problem with a lot of these kids are they, and most of their parents, have illusions of basketball grandure and a great education at a school like Nichols is just an afterthought.

Jamar left Nichols because of academic problems, not Coach Mac. Best candidate may be in house for Nichols

I'm sure Coach Mac was let go for legitimate an appropriate reasons.He just never seemed to be a good choice for the coaching position. Neither was Coach Plumb. Nichols AD Stewart said they would prefer to hire a teacher or someone on staff.

The key word is prefer. I'm sure they would prefer if the kids already attending Nichols were good basketball players also so they wouldn't have to recruit. It's all lip service. If Schintz wants that job, it is his! Don't think Schintz wants to teach at Nichols. He already has a day job!

Don't forget only Mac was fired, rest of staff had their contracts renewed, possible candidates among them

Maybe if the upperclassmen would spend more time being teammates as opposed to complaining about playing time that was RIGHTFULLY taken by 4 freshman who won't be returning next year to a team of complainers (upperclassmen).this is FACT.

Don't forget the parents in the corner of the Gymnasium repeatedly yelling at 3 fourteen year olds.I watch all the games and an involved heavily with the Nichols School/athletics. This was not Coach Mackinnon's fault. This is a lack of leadership outside of the coaching staff. No talented upperclassmen= whining about playing time.

Do you blame the freshman for wanting to leave? Coaching was not the problem.Go to the games, you'll quickly find that parents (of the upperclassmen) harrass the freshman specifically. Hey, they won 5 games last year . They won ten this year with four fourteen year olds. Maybe the Parents are the ones who should be coached. Im surprised that the AD didn't kick off the upperclassmen for creating a horrible enviorment for younger and more talented freshman. I won't be attending any games next year . It is honestly pathetic how the parents acted towards KIDS. The Nichols Athletics department and Parents should be ashamed of themselves.


I heard Chris miner and Cam Lewis will return to City Honors and MAYBE stay at Nichols; Tanner Schmidt is going to Canisius , Nichols or Clarence. It's Sad how the season went, these freshman could've made another historic run in states. doesn't sound like coaching to me.

Upperclassmen....I've said enough.

kids bouncing from school to school is never a good thing, coaches have to RECRUIT kids that can succeed at these places,academically and athletically. mackinnon should of known what he was getting into, and tried way to hard to bring in to many kids at once. This caused a hostile enviornment. He was his own worst enemy running around gyms all yr. making promises to kids and not thinking about the kids that pay $20,000 that already go there. Believe this Nichols will be back, ut will take some time

I think Nichols should hire Dan Bazzani and return to the NFL. Jack, you play Augusta National? I am becoming a St. Joes fan! And can I just say the greatest name I've ever seen on this blog is Dark TML.

I think the freshman are in wait and see mode, want to see who the next coach is before making a decision. I think the smart hire is their Jv coach, did a great job with that team and is young and hungry for a chance to succeed

This blog and comments are a direct reflection of what happened this year at Nichols....the new piece to the puzzle was Mackinnon. I think its obvious where the problem started. Poor leadership, making promises, and lies lead to a result like this. The focus needs to be on a return to the positive Nichols basketball tradition, not the past.

Pat- I wish. I also coach the golf team at SJCI and it would take something as big as a round @
Augusta to get me to leave. It really was just a joke. Now, if they offered a teaching job and I could double dip and collect my retirement ala Coach Schunk we could talk.

Taking my talents to South beach. I will be post graduating at Nichols school next year with another current senior.

Riverside assistant Bill Russell is emerging as a strong candidate after Eric Fields Jr. declined an interview.

Heard AD was already in contact with O'Hara Junior Varsity Coach regarding the vacancy. I am an Nichols Alum and frequently going to high school basketball games and the Nichols team was a mess this year. They need a committed leader as a Coach FIRST then he can show the team how to lead. I've met the O'Hara JV Coach and he's a gym rat, basketball nut, and really would improve what has already been started at Nichols. And Waters did leave for academic reasons, not to do with Mackinnon.

Why would they hire a JV coach from another school?

I agree with bball, I've actually heard that the current Nichols JV coach is a strong candidate for the job. Would also make for a smoother transition

Here is a list of who has been contacted for an interview so far:

Greg Plumb, Paul Shitzius, Jack Herlan, Pat Monti, Roger Weiss, Eric Fields Jr., Bill Russell, Jim Walker, Sil Dan, Guilio Colangelo, Mary Jo Monnin, Ben Hayes, Chad Kelly, Patrick Moran, Mansa Habeeb, Hoopster, Major, Tom Parotta, Juice Carter, and Cookie.

Varsity Coaches are made at the JV level. Why bring in another "experienced" Varsity Coach like MacKinnon who thinks he's bigger than the school or basketball program?

The answer=John (jack) Bowen Vance.

He can shoot the three ball!

What is this? Jeopardy? You give us the answer and we try and firgure out the question?

Schmidts best move would be clarence, immediate impact there, canisius he would not get playing time and waist another year, nichols he would have to go through another transition year - then he would have waisted two years of his career. Not sure where the other two freshman are thinking.

Why would Scmidt want to go back to a team like Clarence that will be average at best in ecic 1 for at least the next 3 years? There are lots of places he could make an impact, but I assume he will also want to win.

Clarence actually had 2 sophmores starting.. funk and jost. 6'4 sophmore funk (who's brother tyler a freshman playing at canisius) is already a good player. If schmidt goes there clarence is back baby. 6'6, 6'4 frontline.

Clarence has zero chance of beating Jamestown in the next 3 years even if Scmidt brings the other freshman with him. Stop getting so excited about the possibility of 2nd. Ands Funk doesn't play at Canisius. He walked on to Parottas team but never plays and if they get a real coach that brings in real talent, Funk won't have such a good seat for their games.

A couple of rumors I heard from my sources. Nichols talked to Canisius JV coach Joe Zera about the varsity position but he turned it down because they do not have any openings in the math department at Nichols.
And the big news, which I cannot disclose just yet, but there was some activity going on at Canisius College which head coach Tom Parrotta had a big hand in. Not sure if the news will ever come out.

Joe Zera would have been a teriffic fit. It would seem that there won't be a shortage of quality coaches looking into that job. It looks like Nichols will be upgrading their coaching position big time.

Not surprised Zera would rather stay at Canisius. Their JV team would beat Nichols varsity.

Zera did not turn the job down. It was never offered. He was one of many interested in the job, but since there wasn't an opening @ Nichols in the math dept it ended there as neither side thought it appropriate to coach @ Nichols while teaching at Canisius.

Right. I'm sure Zera put in a call and was like "I heard you fired MacKinnon. Any chance you need a math teacher and a coach?" I'm sure Nichols is sitting back waiting for the right person to call.

Macker you have been whistled for a flagrant foul for posting on a message board while being clueless. I have heard the same rumblings that WT716 has. Joe was interested in the position, called and talked to the Nichols AD only to find out that there wasn't an opening in the math dept @ Nichols. Therefore it didn't make sense to explore it further since Joe thought it would be very awkward to teach and coach at different schools in the same league. I am happy it didn't work out because I would have hated to see Joe leave Canisius.

Buster, you say you heard rumblings yet you also know how Zera thinks? which is it...you spoke to Zera or you heard rumblings? if you are handing out fouls then you should at least come correct with your vast knowledge. if you spoke with zera then you must be connected to Canisius so just say that.

Clarence will make a big run with Schmit. He would go back there because it is his home district. It would have to be a private school otherwise. The education at clarence is excellent as well - and FREE !!

Why not Center Court 4 head coach? He is at more games than any 1 so that would give him a big edge in recruiting. He knows the game, would fix the issues w Buff State concessions.

CC 4 head coach, Hoopster 4 assistant.

Fab out 4 Cuse that SUCKS!!! Who cares if he goes 2 class? I don't care if his GPA is a zero as long as he is blocking shots! Schools have 2 realize 1st and foremost people care about BASKETBALL not if a kid is going 2 class.

Paul Harris had a person seriously WALK HIM 2 CLASS in 2005 everyday 2 keep him eligible. This is a fact. Why can't Syracuse do the same thing with Fab? Then when the season is over he declares 4 the NBA, has learned nothing, but led Cuse 2 the Final 4. That is what America is all about baby!

Off 2 Glens Friday...hoping 4 OTC and Olean Sat night playing 4 State titles!

Heard a rumor Chris Miner might be headed to St.Marys or Timon

I heard a rumor that Nichols is turning into a PG school. Both Stan Wier and Cam Wier are going to head to Nichols for one last year together. I also heard that Taplin is going to join them, along with White and Weir from Canisius, along with Waters. Should be one heck of a squad. Zera is going to be there shooting coach.

Are the games on Saturday only for seniors?

Yes...seniors only.

Cameron Lewis is definitely going back to cityhonors

Nichols is NOT good. The miner kid has really good potential, but after that there is not much. They have nothing coming up from the JV and just because the program had one good year does not make it a power house. All the more reason they need to find a coach who can develop these kids.

They have Miner, Lewis, and Schmitt all potentially returning. Their JV went 16-6 and has 3 scorers moving up to varsity and Washington is still trying to get in the door

And except for the JV record, they have MacKinnon to thank for that. If not for Coach MacKinnon being an assistant on the 2010 Fed team and his son being a three-year starter, they don't win that Fed title.

Thanks for helping us win a Fed in class A and thanks for making the future so bright here once again Jim...you're fired! Just think, it was OK for Nichols to rent Stan for a season a couple years ago, but how dare Jim try to build a power with players who would spend four years with the school. And by firing Jim, you also lose out on his son who is in 8th grade and will now play for St. Mary's instead.

Nichols should just come up with a new slogan:
'Nichols...home of the regulation size court in a Yale Cup gym and more expensive than college.'

Ouch. Although I have to agree about the Yale Cup/Court comment.

It great there JV team went 16-6. But that is JV, there 3 scorers were scorers on JV, a huge difference from varsity. Its unfortunte that they dont hang up banners for JV. In addition they played in possibly the weakest divisoin in WNY. Also Schmitt is rumored to be heading to canisuis Miner and Lewis are probably coming back, and Wahington isn't even defentily coming yet.

Other entries in the Yale Cup/MMA gyms, Joe's, Timon, O'Hara, Niagara Catholic.

Honestly why would Chris Miner and Cameron Lewis want to go back to City Honors.... there not good. They lost to Wilson on a 9-0 run in the Fourth quarter . And what big names can you name coming out of City Honors. .... I personally know no one on the level of Laettner or Regan or the Torgalski brothers . And when colleges look at them and see they scored 30 points on Da Vinci instead of 20 points on Canisius and St. Joes, real competition, they will get better looks for colleges.

I could see Chris Miner at Canisius or Saint Marys A real good Post prescence for them to use Timon to maybe.

Just read all these comments and all I can say is WOW. It is remarkable how much discussion Nichols and this sad situation generated.

I have absolutely no inside knowledge. I haven't talked to Jim or anyone at Nichols who knows the reason for the coaching change. In some respects I find this move surprising and in others not really.

I did speak with a mutual friend who said Jim was caught totally off guard. If true, I find the change disappointing because if there were issues I would have expected and certainly hope have been addressed during the season. On the other hand, if whatever issues there were, had been discussed and there wasn't any attempt or an inability to address the issues then the dismissal was likely warranted. The fact of the matter is that the only people that know are jim MacKinnon and Rob Stewart. I know Jim had a good relationship with Rob and for a long time was a very big fan of his and the support he showed Nichols basketball and baseball. Jim has a damn the torpedoes approach to mostly everything he does so perhaps that might have had something to do with the change. Regardless like any relationship that falls apart it's a shame that it came to this.

In any event, the most disappointing thing I've read among these comments is the apparent dissension that existed among teammates on the Nichols team. It must have been a truly long season. The best thing about basketball, and the most ingredient to success of the team. is the camaraderie among teammates along with hard work they put in. It is the memories that develop as a result of shared sacrifice, hard work, adversity, success, etc. that makes the high school experience so valuable and memorable. It's sad that the guys on the team missed out on that opportunity this year.

Someone above truly hit the head on the nail when they observed the value of a Nichols education when discussing the future of the freshmen. As the parent of four Nichols' grads I strongly endorse and echo those comments. My kids were tremendously well prepared for college when they arrived. While valedictorians and other top ranked students from mostly public schools were struggling to figure out how to study in college and achieve academic success they found that they knew exactly how to study and get good grades while their counterparts really struggled and had to learn those skills on the fly after reaching college. The price of a Nichols education is certainly not cheap, but in the opinion of our family it is indeed priceless.

A Basketball Fan -
I can't speak for the City Honors boys basketball now but as far as "big names coming out of City Honors" all you have to do is take a look at the Buffalo State Championship week program and flip to the page that has the list of WNY all time leading scorers and you'll see Micole Parker - City Honors around 14 or 15 all time, just under 2,000 points and was also the Buffalo News POY his senior year. While he didn't go on to bigger and better things in college, he was indeed an outstanding high school basketball player.

I have info that James Kramer will be named the new coach of Nichols next week. He coached them to fourt Federation titles back in the 80's and 90's.

Maybe Hoopster can confirm this. Congrats to coach Kramer for getting back at Nichols. Good for him and the school.

Eric-You have some very wrong info. They haven't even conducted 1 interview yet. Won't name anyone for weeks

No one shoots the three ball like Zach Tone


Nichols started interviewing their final four candidates today

For those of you wondering who those four were:

1. Eric Fields Jr.
2. Mary Jo Monnin
3. Juice Carter
4. Guilio Colangelo

John Calipari, Coach and Jim Boeheim are at the top of their list.

Coach K

According to my inside source, 3 of the 4 candidates who are being interviewed are the Nichols JV coach, Paul Schintzius, and Gabe Michaels. Personally I think Schintz would be the smart hire. He did a solid job recruiting at Sweet Home. Can you imagine what he could do at Nichols? Nichols vs CHS for the next decade.

john fitzpatrick is the fourth,

Nichols JV Coach's Name is Ryan Ennis

I miss basketball already. I love the term 'taking my talents 2'...I can't wait 4 Taplin 2 announce 4 the record he is 'taking his talents' 2 Coach Dan Gill and St Mary's of Lancaster.

Buffalo Dragons got beat by 44 in aau tourney in Pitt. WNY hoops has a long way to go

Who plays for the dragons?

How is 716 aau team doing

Buffalo bounce just beat Buffalo Dragons by 4

Buffalo bounce just beat Buffalo Dragons by 4

Schintz cancelled interview, down to 3

reggie,eckstrom,wilkins,white,williams(timon)morris(MCK),Burton(NF). Bounce? who are they

Nothing to do with the Nichols job vacancy, but Canisius has filed a complaint against Timon. Timon coaches have been approaching Canisius student athletes, asking them to transfer to Timon. Offering free tuition, easy schooling, and free AAU play. Comeford also called the admissions counselor from Canisius, Tom Weislo, and asked for Washington's transcripts.

no shock. timon is desperate. they have trailed canisius and st joes on the basketball circuit for years and are now behind st. marys. they have been doing this stuff since comerford and mihalics got back involved. their academics are pathetic, their facilities stink and everyone knows kids barely pay tuition there. only a matter of time before comerford shinks that ship.

Every private school recruits...anyone believing they do not is merely turning a blind eye. The schools would be dumb to not do it.

Sal. Please pass along the tip times for the PAL-ACE games on Thursday. Thank you!

I believe the first game tips at 6 pm at NFHS, with the second game to follow immediately after. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend.

Many public schools recruit as well turning the same blind eye on the way to winning state championships in sports other than basketball.

Most student athletes at the privates are there for the educational benefits. With so few kids moving on to play collegiately in any sport the risk/reward to send a kid to a private solely for athletic benefits just dont make the sacrifices worth it.

For those who choose to believe that most of the better athletes are paying little or no tuition to attend the privates you go ahead and believe that if it helps you sleep at night, but even if it were true, huge sacrifices are still being made to recieve the better education.

PAL/ACE games are at 6pm and 7:15- $5 admmision will get you in for both games with proceeds going to PAL youth activities.

Who did Canisius file a complaint with WT716? I don't see a problem with Timon recruiting Washington. He's an 8th grader who has been rumored to be going to Nichols then Canisius. Why not throw Timon in there too?

what time are PAL/ACE tryouts?

Canisius filed the complaint against Timon because they were reaching out to freshman and sophomores at Canisius trying to get them to transfer. Josh Huffman, the star on Canisius JV basketball was one of them. In terms of Washington, if he wants to go to Timon he needs to send his transcript to Timon. He sent it in to CHS, and has shadowed CHS. Tom Weislo, the head of admissions at CHS was not happy when he received the phone call from Comerford asking for his transcripts.

Nichols passed over Ennis and hired girls varsity assistant, heard he's not too happy and may look elsewhere

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