There will be no encore: Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead to stay in NBA Draft

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Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead has opted to stay in the 2016 NBA Draft, eliminating the possibility of his return to South Orange for a junior encore season.

Isaiah has been advised that he is a potential late-first round or early-second round pick, which is apparently enough to give the Coney Island product the green light following a solid but not great Draft Combine showing and a workout with the Philadelphia 76ers last Monday.

Like a Whitehead pull-up jumper during the 2016 Big East Tournament, there’s now no doubt about the outcome.

Looking back two years ago at the build up before Isaiah set foot on Seton Hall’s campus as a student, this pretty much meets expectations. At the higher end of the spectrum, some thought he was a one-and-done talent.

Regardless of his foot injury as a freshman, that scenario was still unlikely. But if he wasn’t one-and-done, no one really thought he’d be in South Orange for three years.

That has played out to a “T”, with Seton Hall triggering a litany of program-firsts in 2015-16 on Whitehead’s shoulders, including their first Big East Tournament crown since 1992-93 and snapping a decade-long NCAA tournament drought.

If drafted, Whitehead will be the first Pirate to have their name called since Samuel Dalembert and Eddie Griffin back in 2001.

For Seton Hall, Whitehead’s departure leaves a massive scoring void to be filled but primarily raises questions about a facilitator.

Point guard Jevon Thomas remains sidelined until at least December in the aftermath of his assault incident on campus in February that saw him fail to complete the spring semester. The Seton Hall staff has added top-150 two-guard Eron Gordon, but an instant impact at point will perhaps come in the form of an immediately eligible graduate transfer that previously played at a high-major; the Hall has one waiting in the wings.

The Pirates are now at the scholarship limit of 13 pending outgoing transfers. They are still in the mix for 2016 big Taurean Thompson, though Whitehead’s departure probably doesn’t help the cause.