Live Period Seton Hall Recruiting Prospectus: 2018 post forwards

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With the all-important July ‘live’ recruiting period set to tip-off on Wednesday at exactly 5 p.m., it’s time to take a look at which 2018 recruits Seton Hall’s staff will be monitoring over the course of the next few weeks.

Currently holding four scholarships for their next recruiting class, Seton Hall is in search of replacements for their core four starters that came in as part of the heralded 2014 class.

AAU teams will lace ’em up across the country and face off at the Under Armour Association Finals, the adidas Gauntlet Finale, Nike Peach Jam, and other events during the first of three evaluation periods.

In this installment of the 2018 live period recruiting prospectus, we will specifically shine a light on post forwards who are being recruited to replace Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo up front.

Before Wednesday, I will also release a list of wings and backcourt players the staff is looking at to mitigate the departures of Desi Rodriguez and Khadeen Carrington, respectively.

Post forwards

Naz Reid (247Sports Nat’l Composite #11; Roselle Catholic, N.J.)

He’s far from a point guard, but Sports U’s Naz Reid is the Trevon Duval of this recruiting class: He’s a top-15 five-star recruit who could stay home, but seems certain to bolt for Kentucky if the offer comes. 

As noted a few weeks ago, Reid has included Seton Hall and not Rutgers or St. John’s in his final seven; he took his first of five official visits to LSU a little over a week ago. The Hall will be sure to watch him in Atlanta this week — expect Kevin Willard and Shaheen Holloway to be on hand.

Reid is a program-changing recruit for someone like Seton Hall whereas he’s just another highly-touted name for the Kentuckys of the world. The Hall probably had a better chance at Duval.

Valdir Manuel (#107; Patrick School, N.J.)

Odds are you haven’t even heard of this top-150 recruit sitting in Seton Hall’s backyard. A 6-foot-8 native of Angola, Manuel is following in the footsteps of Angel Delgado and other foreign players who have relocated to Jersey and excelled on the hardwood. 

A U19 international for Angola, Manuel is missing out on FIBA’s U19 World Cup due to a shoulder injury.

Highlighting the importance of July, the NJ Playaz product was offered during last summer’s live period and is thought to be one of the more likely 2018 recruits for Seton Hall to secure; Grant Billmeier is making sure to recruit from his alma mater. 

Jake Forrester (#116; Westtown, Pa.)

Another relatively local top-150 forward, Forrester has been recruited since at least January when he was offered and recently made it to South Orange just before a visit to Pittsburgh.

A bunch of high-majors like Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Arizona State, and Vanderbilt have come calling for the PSA Cardinals forward over the past few months, making Forrester perhaps the most attractive prospect on Seton Hall’s list outside of Naz Reid.

Marcus Littles (#146; Academy New Church, Pa.)

An under-the-radar prospect, Littles was on campus in August and then took in the New Year’s Day game against Marquette in Newark.

There isn’t much info on the 6-foot-9 WE R1 center that used to play at Philadelphia’s Neumann-Goretti, though a drove of locals like Saint Joseph’s, Penn State, La Salle, and Temple have all offered. I’d expect Littles to be a second-tier recruit who appears more likely to reside at an Atlantic 10 level.

Majur Majak (#388; Roselle Catholic, N.J.)

There are a lot of similarities between Majur Majak and Valdir Manuel, but a recruiting ranking is not one of them.

A 7-footer from Sudan, his profile may remind you of Chier Ajou, but Majak looks poised for greener pastures. Originally residing in California before coming across the country to Roselle Catholic, San Diego State, UConn, and Washington have all extended offers since Seton Hall did so back in January.

Like Manuel, I believe Seton Hall is in solid shape here, but the NY Jayhawks big man might be thought of as more of a high-potential investment than a recruit that will provide immediate returns. 

Another name to watch:

Casmir Ochiaka (St. Elizabeth, N.J.) – Unranked and with offers from just Seton Hall, NJIT, and Fairleigh Dickinson, it seems much more likely that Ochiaka will head the low-major route, though the NJ Roadrunners product could be the next Ish Sanogo-type recruit. His stats this past season — which include double-doubles against Roselle Catholic and Gill St. Bernard’s — are fairly impressive too.

Stay tuned for installment two: small forwards/wings.

Did I miss someone? Make a mistake? Let me know below.

  • VinBick

    It is great to be shooting for the best rather than having to settle for kids with “potential down the road” who have been ignored by top-50 Division One schools for the most part as was the case not so long ago. The Hall is on the map with real players taking a good look at the Pirates who are a team on the rise nationally.

    • PadrePirate

      On the map, yes, which is already something. But, outside IW (2014), we really haven’t landed one of those top-tier recruits. It’s flattering to be on the “final list” of guys like Duval and Reid, but that doesn’t get us very far come November. I’m not saying we shouldn’t pursue those kids, but I’d much rather work with a top 150 kid who stays and matures his game over the course of 4 yrs. After Duval, I’m “done” with the one-and-done crowd 🙂

      • earmbrister

        Padre, I get your preference for targeting above average recruits rather than the top tier recruits. However, wouldn’t we be better served by a mix of the two? I’d argue that Delgado was another top tier recruit (besides IW), a top 50 guy who was ranked the 11th best PF in his class (and who had offers from Kentucky, Florida State, and Virginia). Now I don’t have any idea what the exact impact of a prior commitment from a quality recruit has on any specific succeeding commitment, but a quality “signing” surely doesn’t hurt SHU’s success. Delgado preceded Carrington and Whitehead, while Whitehead preceded Desi. Duke has learned that they can’t operate with all top 50 recruits; they need guys to stay in the program for four years for stability. Likewise, SHU (imo) shouldn’t limit themselves to actively recruiting second tier recruits: by signing the occasional top 50 guy they attract better overall talent to South Orange.

        That said, I’m really hoping Louis King becomes the anchor of the 2018 recruiting class.

  • TheRealDewski

    For a long time we have been hearing and understood how important the 2018 class was going to be. With that it always felt like Quinerly, Muhammad, King, Atiba Taylor and Reid, basically some piece of that team, would be coming in. Now, Taylor is prepping, Quinerly is looking Arizona, Reid is looking LSU, Muhammad may be squeezed out of ND with SJU left and even if he came to SHU its an overloaded spot with King being left but I’m not sure how serious he is to staying home. King may be the most realistic to come to SHU and possibly the best fit. With none of the “Fab 5” a Forrester and Carey are musts. SHU needs at least three 4* or better 2018’s since Gill, Brodie, McKnight, Gorden
    and size wise Walker are question marks going forward in my opinion. With that how hard will it be for the 2018 class to be a success if none of the “sports U Fab 5” come in?

    • VinBick

      Be patient, Real, we will get some very good players to replace our present stars.

    • RonD

      Reid took a visit to LSU. He’s not looking to go there. Quinerly took a visit to Zona when he was playing on the west coast with his AAU team. Not saying we are getting those guys but there is a long way to go with the 2018 class.

      • Not as long as you may think. 2018s start cutting their lists en masse after July. August/September is notorious for that, as recruits whittle their lists down in prep to commit before their senior years.

        Of course not everyone takes that route, as King and others may look to decide in the spring AFTER their season. Main reasons 1) target isnt good enough and wants boosted interest 2) target is good enough but wants that next-level Kentucky/Duke offer

    • Not getting anyone from the fab 5 would be disappointing, especially if there is no serious showdown where SH is in final 2/3 for someone like King/Quinerly/Reid.

  • PadrePirate

    Thanks for the update Chris. Of those mentioned here, Naz seems the really the only immediate impact PF who could come in and replace Angel or Ish. Problem is, after the Duval drama, I’m just not in for another roller coaster ride and it just seems like the top-tier kids can’t turn down flattering offers from top-tier programs. Those 1-and-done kids are looking for a big name and big time coach to vault them into position for the Draft.

    Both Manuel and Forrester may be undersized to play at the 5 like Angel has been for the past 3 yrs, forcing the staff to develop a true center alongside one of these 4/PFs. That said, this year Nova stayed competitive without anyone over 6’8″.

    Once we have a legit front-line PF or two and an open scholly to spare, we could afford investing in a long-shot project like Majak or Ochiaka. Gill may be a baby-step further along in his development, but we can’t afford two “Chier Ajou” types on the roster IMO…

    • I think your first sentiment is correct — but immediate impact PFs are rare and not necessarily a deal-breaker. For example, Nzei/Gill/a transfer could be just ahead in the pecking order and someone of Manuel’s caliber would slot in for 10-15 MPG behind them, just like Nzei did. All about planning it out properly by the staff.

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