June Recruiting Roundup: Seton Hall offers Ian Steere, hosts Jake Forrester

Connect with SHUHoops.com:

Although it may seem like the middle of the college hoops off-season, Seton Hall’s coaching staff has been busy on the recruiting trails over the past few weeks.

With AAU’s July ‘live’ recruiting period just around the corner, coaching staffs around the country are using the month of June to home in on rising seniors and juniors while bringing some on campus for unofficial visits — which is prohibited by the NCAA during the entire month of July for unsigned recruits.

Currently in a ‘quiet’ recruiting period — which just means off-campus scouting is not allowed — Seton Hall’s staff has handed out a few new offers and has brought a handful of recruits onto their largely vacant campus.

In what can be considered the most nationally-relevant piece of news, Seton Hall has outlasted St. John’s and Rutgers to make the final seven for Roselle Catholic’s top-15 center Naz Reid. Now set to compete with the who’s who of college basketball, Seton Hall is faced with a Trevon Duval-like scenario as it is thought Reid strongly prefers Kentucky — despite their lack of a scholarship offer.

A week before they made the cut for Reid, Seton Hall extended an offer to a new face in 2018 forward Ian Steere of Wesleyan Christian Academy, N.C.

A 3.5-star prospect, Steere has received offers from the likes of Georgia, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, UConn, Pitt, and Maryland since May 1st plus a visit and offer from Louisville just days ago. As shown by his recent interest, Steere is poised for a breakout summer.

Elsewhere, 3-star 2018 point guard Marcus Zegarowski (Tilton School, Mass.) picked up a scholarship from the Hall on Tuesday. While his official rankings are less than impressive, Penn State, Minnesota, Pitt, Rutgers, Washington, Arizona State, Creighton, and VCU have also offered over the last two months — expect Zegarowski’s stock to rise in July.

As far as rising juniors go, Seton Hall has offered 4-star 2019 big man Isaiah Stewart (McQuaid Jesuit, N.Y.). Rated top-50 in his class, the Rochester, N.Y. native has picked up offers from Xavier, Marquette, Pitt, Northwestern, and Washington of late to go along with previous offers from Syracuse, Providence, Florida, and others.

6-foot-11 big man Qudus Wahab (Virginia Academy, Va.) also received an offer during a visit to campus on Thursday. A native of Nigeria, Wahab looks to be following in the footsteps of Vanderbilt-bound forward Ejike Obinna as both have been helped out by NFL receiver Antwaan Randle El’s EL Foundation.

A 4-star prospect, Wahab received offers from Pitt and VCU a week before visiting Seton Hall; he also visited and was offered by St. John’s on Friday.

With those four new names in mind, let’s turn to some other recruits who have also made it to South Orange in recent days.

First up is another new 2018 target in Anthony Nelson of Connecticut’s South Kent — the same school that Myles Powell attended for one season. Described as a 6-foot-4 lefty wing, Nelson’s best offers are from the likes of UMass, Dayton, VCU, and Rutgers — all since October. Nelson received his offer from the staff during Wednesday’s unofficial visit

Perhaps the biggest visitor Seton Hall has received in a while came just days before Nelson’s when 2018 power forward Jake Forrester (Westtown, Pa.) made it to South Orange on Monday. A 4-star top-150 forward, Forrester has seen offers from high-majors like Purdue, Kansas State, Pitt, Auburn, Miami, Minnesota, Vanderbilt, Arizona State, and Virginia Tech since December; Seton Hall offered back in January. 

Forrester spoke to ZagsBlog after his visit and described himself as a versatile ‘four’ while adding that he visited South Carolina in May and will also see Pitt’s campus soon.

Seton Hall’s third visitor this week came in the form of 2019 Gill St. Bernard’s, N.J. guard Paul Mulcahy who was on campus Tuesday. Coached by Mergin Sina — Jaren’s father — in high school, Mulcahy is listed as a 6-foot-4 combo guard after seeing more of the ball in his hands as a sophomore this past season.

Rutgers, SMU, Boston College, and Virginia Tech had all offered prior to when Seton Hall did so back in February. 

Last up is 2018 small forward Samba Diallo of New Jersey’s Pope John XXIII, who visited last Wednesday. Diallo has not yet received an offer from Seton Hall and could be more of a stretch target with Rutgers, UMass, and Cal State Northridge as his only offers since Saint Joseph’s did so in December.

Diallo averaged 13.4 ppg and 7.5 rpg for Pope John this past season including 19 points against Roselle Catholic, 13 and 13 against St. Anthony, and 23 and 7 against Blair Academy — those are some impressive numbers against tough opponents for someone currently pegged as a mid-major prospect.

Recruit rundown:

2018s —
5* center Naz Reid (Nat’l composite: #11), Roselle Catholic, N.J.
4* power forward Jake Forrester (#109), Westtown, Pa.
4* forward Ian Steere (#196), Wesleyan Christian, N.C.
3* small forward Samba Diallo (#291), Pope John XXIII, N.J.
3* point guard Marcus Zegarowski (#297), Tilton School, Mass.

2019s —
4* power forward Isaiah Stewart (#65), McQuaid Jesuit, N.Y.
4* power forward Qudus Wahab (#77), Virginia Academy, Va.
4* guard Paul Mulcahy (#114), Gill St. Bernard’s, N.J.

Stay tuned for a full 2018 recruiting class rundown by position ahead of next month’s July ‘live’ period.

  • PadrePirate

    Thanks, Chris. I’d love to see the tri-state kids jump on board. What the heck is a “point forward”?

    • Andrew Herbst

      A forward who can handle the ball like a point guard.

    • Rich Ricci

      A “point forward” is a front court player with excellent passing skills, but he doesn’t necessarily have to handle the ball all the time. This allows you to occasionally run the offense through him instead of having the point guard initiate the plays all the time.

      The advantage to this is, since the forward is generally a taller player, he can see over most defenders, which gives him better passing angles and makes it harder to double team him when he’s down in the post. I think this position was “invented” in the 1980’s by Don Nelson when he used Paul Pressey in that role for the Milwaukee Bucks.

      • PadrePirate

        Helpful. Can you think of any recent BE examples? The Friars used to run their offense through Chrabasz some of the time, but I never heard him called a “point forward” just a big kid with good hands and court vision.

        Willard era offenses almost always use the 4/5 on high screens or occasionally camping out on the wing, like Mobley and Auda used to do. I just can’t picture a SF or PF bringing up the ball and running the offense. Never seen it in action, but why not

        • Rich Ricci

          Again, a “point forward” doesn’t necessarily bring the ball up court like a point guard traditionally does, but he can be used to initiate the offense once they’re ready to go into their offensive set. I can’t think of any true “point forwards” in the Big East, but some NBA examples would be Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen and LeBron James.

          True forwards with those kind of skills are pretty rare so, when someone does possess them at the collegiate level, they’re usually one and done type of guys because the NBA cherishes guys like that. If kids stayed in college for the full four years, or three at the very least, you’d probably see more “point forwards” in action because it takes time to develop the chemistry and timing to run plays effectively from that position.

          • Bob Murphy

            NBA example currently might be James Harden – or at times, Lebron James.

          • Rich Ricci

            James Harden is a natural shooting guard who was converted to a point guard this season. He might be considered a “wing player” but, at 6′ 5″, there’s no way he’s an NBA forward. The Cavaliers almost always run their offense through Lebron James due to his passing skills and partly because they have no true (pass first)point guard, making him an ideal “point forward” for that team.

            True “point forwards” are extremely rare in the NBA because of the skillset and physical requirements, in addition to the personnel make-up needed to match the offensive philosophy.

          • hallstorm

            I missed all this extensive point-foward talk (I don’t even think there is any position other than a point guard on the floor in this day and age as no one wants to play with their back to the basket anymore). I actually didn’t know about the Paul Pressey trivia. I always thought the best example of today’s kids all being 6’9″ who want to bring the ball up was Tracy McGrady. I always thought of him as being the prototype.

          • Rich Ricci

            Keep in mind, a “point forward’s” main responsibility is initialing the offense or creating scoring opportunities for his teammates, not bringing the ball up court. Although they do bring the ball up at times, as do centers in occasional press situations, it’s usually not by design or part of the offensive scheme.

            If Seton Hall ever needed a “point forward”, last season was it. While we had guards who could move the ball up court, even against a press, none of them were capable of really running set plays, which led to an offense that was often stagnant, resulting in rushed jump shots or wild drives to the basket with the shot clock running down.

          • hallstorm

            I realize bringing up the ball and running the point are two distinct, separate things. I’m pretty firmly aware of that. I didn’t elaborate on the McGrady issue because I’m pretty certain his play spoke for itself as he epitomized the entire “big man” point guard move that we see now.

            That being said, what would a point-forward in be NBA really be? Does a point guard truly run the offense? I can name several teams in which the point guard doesn’t run the offense (Cleveland, Houston–Harden is a 2-, Indiana, Milwaukee, San Antonio. Those are only some of the teams off the top of my head). I only brought up McGrady because he had the offense go through him and directed how offensive schemes were to be dictated. I also think the NBA game is drastically different than college.

            I was a Madison Jones denigrator because he could not facilitate the offense whatsoever. I, frankly, don’t care if it’s KC, MP, Walker or Cale who can create offensive schemes. I just want to feel trust with whoever has the ball in late game situations and he can make others around him better.

          • PadrePirate

            This extensive and fascinating “point forward” discussion historically began when a mosquito buzzed Chris’s ear while he was intending to type “point guard” for an innocent 2019 prospect. A bloody struggle ensued, as Chris valiantly pursued his would-be assailant with a rolled up issue of the Setonian. Once his bedroom wall was safely splotched with blood and he could at last return to his post en route, the aforementioned prospect became a “point forward” in what seemed to be at the surface an honest mistake.
            Little did Chris know that his muses were at work to spark an involved off-season debate that even managed to overshadow the NBA draft. The spreading buzz even reached Dana whats-her-face at ESPN, who is planning a full-length feature on the evolution of the “point forward”. Unfortunately, it’s one of those “insider” articles for paying customers only…

          • hallstorm

            Haha! That’s really funny PP. Dana O’Neil is a little out of her mind, but she has a couple of salient points every 3 months.

      • Bob Murphy

        This is correct. Nelson’s concept at that time was that if the “point forward” was a decent ballhandler, he’d have three advantages.
        – He could see over defenders to make upcourt passes to break a press.
        – He would be defended by another forward, probably a weaker on-ball defender than a guard.
        – He would give the point guard an opportunity for a breather with someone else bringing the ball up.

        As long as you have a player like this, it can work. But at that time, guys who were 6’8″ typically were not great with the ball.

    • In this case, a point forward is just an awkwardly embarrassing typo.

      But as @rarrich14:disqus has pointed out, it’s a player in the mold of Kyle Anderson.

      • PadrePirate

        Funny. I learned much from RR anyway. I think he’s right, it’s more of a NBA skill/profile, rare for college teams to develop that kind of chemistry and younger big men to have that kind of ball handling. Chrabascz was the only sort of BE analog I could think of… RR’s examples seem pretty rare Birds πŸ™‚

  • Andrew Herbst

    Love seeing local kids stay home. We’re building a pipeline

  • D. Section Recycles

    At the risk of sounding like a jerk, though I only mention it with the intention of helping your journalism career: “hone” means to sharpen or refine; you don’t “hone in on” anything, you “home in on” it, meaning focus or target. Thanks.

    • Interesting — thanks for the correction. I’ve been saying it wrong my whole life then! Similar to when people say “I could care less” — when it should be “couldn’t”

      No journalism career to speak of. My career is computer programming — ironically where the smallest typo can cause some serious problems. I just do this for fun, though it is quite serious at times.

      • LBP

        Idioms aside, by in large( by and large), for all intensive purposes (all intent and purposes) ,I think your writing is great Chris– and I write this irregardless (regardless) of the comments of D.Section Recycles and with all do respect (due respect), πŸ™‚

        • Haha, thank you. I don’t claim to be a writer of any kind (I performed quite poorly in English classes…), but appreciate those that hold me to a higher standard

  • Just updated the story with Qudus Wahab’s offer. 6-11 Nigerian big man from same school as Ejike Obinna — a previous 2017 target.

    Visited St. John’s and received an offer on Friday after visiting SHU.

  • VinBick

    The top prospects from all over God’s Good Earth are visiting our Seton Hall campus. Three cheers for the coaching staff for upgrading the level of talent interested in our program. Stability and success are the key ingredients for long term respect. The Hall offers great exposure for talented players.

    • LBP

      The Staff definitely is not afraid of work–

      • VinBick

        I secure seats near the Seton Hall bench for some of the games at the Rock and watching the interaction between the coaches and the players is often as much fun as watching the games themselves. KW has fine assistants who are helping players adjust in critical situations. Good vibes along that bench.

    • fouline

      Vin,

      I think the program is showing more confidence in itself. It’s about time they lost that provincial mind set and step out into the wide world of sports. The schedule is leaps and bounds better than it has been in recent memory and the recruits aren’t just the kings of New Jersey. All good so far. All good.

      • VinBick

        Foul: I was a student at the Hall beginning in the fall of 1962 when the self-imposed restrictions on the program absolutely devastated recruiting for years. The presence and exploits of Nick Werkman offensively kept interest high in South Orange.

        The team only played in the Northeast, the school banned post-season tournament play, and Richie Regan lost any ability to coach a winning team that was so handicapped when trying to attract talented kids.

        • Jersey Jerry

          Vin, I graduated in ’62 and was there during β€˜The Dark Days’ after the Hicks-Gunther point-shaving scandal after the ’60-’61 season when Bishop Dougherty wanted to eliminate the basketball program. Thank God for Nick β€˜da Quick Werkman who DID keep the program alive w/his +2,200 points in 3 seasons.

          • VinBick

            The national media had a field day doing all it could to destroy the little Catholic college in New Jersey that received the most expose of corruption with Gunther and Hicks pictures being perp-walked off in front of the campus chapel on the cover of Life and/or Look magazines.

  • hallstorm

    Well, there has been a decent amount of signing going on in this off season. Providence just keeps getting great players.

  • Looks like Naz Reid will visit LSU as his first official.

  • Looks like the staff is looking to shuffle the deck a little bit. They have posted the CoBO spot (Kevin Lynch’s position) on Seton Hall’s website — see my last tweet.

    • Bobby Guarente

      Just did a Summer League broadcast for the Bergen Basketball League in which Kevin played in. He knows me from covering the team & I asked him about the above. He advised he’s not going anywhere & still apart of the staff

  • Jersey Jerry

    Hey Chris, wishing U and ALL those on this site All the best on this Independence Day!
    We can’t thank U enough for what U do to keep us up-dated on Pirate Nation and somehow THANKS just doesn’t seem like it’s enough but will have to do for now!!!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d6f22e4a863afa8261a6da7bd3b1a24ae007ee9b400a3b40d81995e1e3310e53.jpg

  • hallstorm

    That was quick. Glad he got a tour of the campus. Ian Steere just committed to Creighton.

    • LBP

      Think Steere made a great choice–