Prepare for a future without Trevon Duval

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All signs point to top-ranked recruit Trevon Duval imminently committing to Duke. Seton Hall fans should prepare for the off-season — and the 2017-18 season — accordingly.

In the end, Duval’s recruitment will be remembered somewhat like Kyle Anderson’s a few years prior but with significantly less 9th inning drama and perhaps less despair.

Despite my ear being to the South Orange train tracks, I recall being glued to my phone for days on end leading up to the finale of Anderson’s tight-lipped recruitment — I was also fixated to Twitter without interruption until his final decision was announced that night.

With ex-Bobby Gonzalez talent leaving the program, Seton Hall and Kevin Willard needed next-level recruits — Anderson was meant to be an anchor of talent and a honey trap for more recruits to follow.

This time around, the Hall has the cupboards significantly more full but in hot pursuit of a point guard piece that could push them past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.

In the end, it looks like Seton Hall will come up empty again despite being able to hang with the nation’s best programs until the final leg.

Why am I writing as if Trevon Duval’s lengthy recruitment is over? Well, it was reported yesterday that Duval was visiting Duke — unofficially, since he had already been on campus officially.

He directly responded on Twitter in what seemed like good news for Kansas and Seton Hall, especially when joined with the facts that it was reported earlier in the day that Duke set up an in-home visit with yet another guard and rising senior guard Grayson Allen will not stay in the NBA Draft.

Following the above confusion, it was confirmed that Duval was indeed visiting Duke yesterday with various message boards claiming he was filming a commitment video for the Duke athletics department.

Have a more probable scenario for why a top-ranked recruit would visit a school of Duke’s stature unannounced?

Since yesterday, I’ve been told that Seton Hall has learned of Duval’s intention to pledge elsewhere. If true — hardly anything is set in stone with recruiting — the staff is continuing to prepare themselves accordingly and you should too.

As has been the trend for a few weeks now, here are Seton Hall’s three primary back-up options at point guard with none currently on their roster:

Geno Thorpe  – The air waves have been quiet about the graduate transfer’s recruitment but he is supposed to visit both Pitt and Seton Hall and would be my top choice at the moment despite not being a natural point guard; Thorpe (15.1 ppg, 4.6 apg) put up numbers for a bad USF team last season after transferring in from Penn State.

Jamari Wheeler – A high school senior from The Rock (Fla.), Wheeler was a one-time Duquesne commit who is now down to Auburn, Penn State, James Madison, Seton Hall, and South Florida — he visits Auburn and Penn State this week and plans to make it to South Orange.

Jordan Walker – Ah, yes — can’t forget about this 5-10 Patrick School playmaker. There is little to report on Walker since some late-March confusion about whether he will play a year of prep ball and reclassify to 2018, besides an incoming offer from UMass. A top-150ish prospect, it’s thought that Seton Hall has reservations about Walker’s size and ability to play right away, but if supplemented with a graduate transfer like Madison Jones for his first year, Walker could turn out to be a local steal. Walker’s inclination to prep will certainly be based off of his D-I options when all the dust settles.

Elsewhere, I’ll speculate about two more immediately eligible point guards on the market.

Trey Dickerson – The name may be familiar since Seton Hall recruited Dickerson out of high school and when he decided to transfer from Iowa two years ago. Dickerson posted an average 10.4 ppg and 2.8 apg in his only year at South Dakota before they were eliminated by none other than Iowa in the NIT last March. Dickerson checks three boxes: he’s a point guard, he’s eligible, and he’s a known name to Seton Hall’s staff.

Kendall Smith – There is no immediate link here and I’ve seen a bunch of tweets speculating about whether Hawaii will reach out to him, but Smith (16.7 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4 rpg) put up big numbers the last two seasons at Cal State-Northridge (yes, same school that Jerron Wilbut, Kevin Johnson, and former assistant Chris Pompey ended up at) since seeing little time at UNLV for his first two years. Like Thorpe, the former top-100 recruit is one of the better eligible transfers out there that I haven’t seen heavily linked to another destination like Oregon’s Casey Benson, UVA’s Darius Thompson, or Howard’s James Daniel.

Have another name you think should be on Seton Hall’s radar? Drop a note below.

  • shufaninva

    Ugh. Just……ugh

  • shufaninva

    So while I know the focus needs to be on getting a ’17 pg, even more important is the ’18 class. No matter what Delgado does, the pirates will at least be decent next year, but 18-19 will be a huge year of transition. We need top recruits or the last two years will not turn us into a legit program.

    • As far as PG goes in 2018, looks like SH is in best shape with Jalen Carey. If Jordan Walker flips to 2018, he would be up there too.

      Quinerly is Villanova’s to lose with St. John’s as his local choice.

      • SHU95

        Honestly, while its nice to get the 5 Stars once in a while, I really think we should be concentrating on guys that can Play that are ‘Getable’. Cale & Powell are perfect examples… If We get a team full of players of that caliber, SHU will be fine. For me, Jalen Carey is a high level but Getable guy we should be putting our resources into. I actually think Losing out on Isaiah Washington is a much bigger blow to a program like SHU… While it would be nice to land Duval, he should be more of a luxury than a necessity for a program like ours.

        • I do agree. But that also begs the question of the section of fans/people who will complain about not getting or going after the next-level guys.

          But including some of the kids you’ve listed, there are plenty of top 100-200 rated guys who are local that are Big East capable.

          • SHU95

            i am happy with the job the coaching staff is doing, even if Duval goes elsewhere, the 2017 class looks solid regardless. Not that we should give up or turn away from local Top talent, but these scenarios where it comes down to SHU vs. UCLA, CUSE, Duke, Kansas late spring to address a Real Need are the situations we need to work toward avoiding. If you are saying we could have had Jordan Walker, we should have taken him. I dont think it would effect TD’s decision one way or another. If Duval goes elsewhere, we grab a Grad Transfer to help the kid along. If Duval comes, Walker gets a year under his belt as a backup and plays against the BEST everyday in practice before we hand the keys over to him as a soph. Win / Win in my book.

  • hallstorm

    It’s sad that Duval was so easily bought. I thought the kid had a little more heart and strength, but apparently he needs the vehicle of the Coach K and assorted boosters “you’ll be set for life” post-college guarantee. I find it hard to even say “I wish him well” only because he turned out to be so weak and spineless. So much.

    • PadrePirate

      Seems a little strong to me. The kid is 18, and there are legit reasons to be dazzled by Duke (see above). I think we all agree that handing the keys of a proven senior squad to a star freshman PG would have been a great opportunity for him and for us, but I also see how Duke center-stage fits into his one-and-done career path. I don’t like it either but don’t see how it’s a spineless move.

      • hallstorm

        I knew in writing the above that a lot of the good guys on this site wouldn’t like my phrasing….the reason I call it spineless is the nature in the way it has been carried out. If he was “dazzled” by his Duke experience, why didn’t he commit on the pinnacle of nights when he was there for the Carolina game? Why bother dragging it out? I would have much preferrred him saying: “Hey, I know Seton Hall has been there since the beginning and I know Duke didn’t come on until a few months ago but the chance to play at Duke and fit in is much safer than to deal with the pressure of lifting a program to a much higher level (Seton Hall).”

        It’s pretty much why I wouldn’t have minded hearing Arizona or Kansas only because those programs are more honest and don’t give the lines and promises that coach K and his boosters do. Calipari called him out on it last year and I think it’s all true.

        And PiratePadre, I don’t think he was dazzled at all. I don’t think the campus or prestige of the school and everything is what swayed him. Many of these kids have been getting royal treatment from 11 years old and on through all the AAU and other organized youth programs. I think there are “guarantees” for going there.

        • shufaninva

          The more guys that stayed at Duke, the less I felt like we had a chance with him. That seems like it should be backwards, especially with him being a possible one and done, but these guys have never played bench roles, and have always been “the man.” Even with stacked teams of upper classmen, they tend to assume they will get the playing time. They have always been in a small pond, and they just don’t expect it to ever change even moving to the big ocean. I see it all the time with the athletes from the school I work at. It’s a shame, but if he indeed does get the playing time, it could work out for him.

        • Piratefocus

          I have to agree with hallstorm’s conclusions. Seton Hall Coaching staff was the first to look at and support Duval and his games. These other programs including Duke only came running when he broke into the higher rankings. The word I will use for him is lack of “Appreciation”

          He plays at Seton Hall and he can make a name for himself, he plays at Duke and no matter what he does on the court he will be compared and aligned among Dukes many great Point Guards going all the way back to Tommy Amaker and Hurley after that.

          I just hope Seton Hall Coaches can get another true point guard for this upcoming season.

          • He already has a name and the NBA already has a good idea of where he will be slotted in next year’s draft. He would be going straight into the draft if he was allowed as was the case in the past.

        • LBP

          hallstorm is the Best

    • Bob Murphy

      Not sure why they would make the “you’ll be set for life” guarantee in that Duval has never said he is anything but a 1 and done. But, it is his choice – best of luck down there. Now, onto building OUR program with guys who want to be here.

      • hallstorm

        This isn’t me speaking–this is Calipari speaking on behalf of the recruits he and coach K were both recruiting. They told Calipari about it and Cal outed K. It was a pretty well known comment last year–and it’s all about the one-and-done’s (obviously if Cal is recruiting the same players).

        But I agree–onward and upward.

      • hallstorm
        • Bob Murphy

          I saw that same article in the NY Post. But, again, I am more concerned about our program being competitive longer term than one kids pro aspirations.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I had a feeling Duke would sway Duval. But I guess there’s still hope. However it doesn’t seem promising.

  • Thehall

    I like the Jordan Walker and a graduate transfer route. We can give a local kid a shot which can only help our recruiting locally . We have had plenty of success with small guards. For example Andre Barret, Shaheen and even Copeland. It would also be nice to have a pure point guard. Bummed we didn’t get trevon, but it’s very hard to out recruit coack K and his track record. Just hope Angel stays.

  • GoPirates34

    Was told over the weekend that Angel will be returning for senior season. Was also told that Duval will choose between Duke and SH. Seems fairly likely that Duval will head to Duke but I think we are still in it. Obviously Duke is a better program and has Coach K but Duval is that last piece of the puzzle needed to make a run in March. Roll Hall

    • I have maintained since before season ended that Angel is 2:1 more likely to return than not. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary since — only things that reinforce the claim. Very good news.

  • PadrePirate

    Thorpe + Walker combo seems like the best option at this point: an experienced grad transfer (Madison J type) who is not a star but can give us a solid year at PG with a freshman who can spell him and slowly build up his game. I think Wheeler will end up at USF unless another school has significantly more to offer.

    Duval? No surprise. He’s choosing to be a part of a big-name program, with a big-name coach, alongside other big-name recruits, and weekly big-time media exposure, rather than gamble with a program that is struggling to remain in the top-50 and has yet to establish itself as a consistent winner. I honestly believe that SHU would be a better fit for him this coming year, but we just can’t compete with the allure of those top-tier programs.

    • Pretty much agree with everything here.

      Think I would be satisfied — but not thrilled — if Walker, Sandro, and a grad transfer like Thorpe are added.

      Anything less may be disappointing.

      • SHU95

        Nice thoughtful post Padre; I think the scenario Chris presents seems realistic and would make for a fun year (assuming AD returns)…

        • 11yearplan

          Speaking of AD’s, I am glad to hear Lyons is staying here. Its unfortunate that he is looking at programs with D-1 football. He was close to the BC job. One of the hardest things to do is to focus on your job and look for another one. I hope he does not develop a taste for departments with football teams, stops looking, stays and continues to develop our programs.

      • HallBall10

        I would be very happy with Thorpe Walker and Sandro.(and a return of Angel).
        From a team that was a 9 seed and only lost MJ, we would add four players(can’t forget about Cale) that can contribute.
        We become an extremely deep team that could see 5 players average over 10 points and another 5 that could get into double digits on a given night.
        Looking past next year, a roster of Walker, Powell, Cale, Sandro, and Nzei is a nice start before we have additions from the class of 2018.

        • SHU95


  • hallstorm

    Are we absolutely out of the Darrington run? Could he have been turned off by the waiting game for Duval? He’s only taken two official visits to Toledo and Memphis. I would like think he might open up his options if he can come in and run the team without sitting behind Duval.

    • Don’t have any inside info specific to him, but every report I’ve seen since initial offer from SH does not include SH

      Seems like Memphis is school to beat — Toledo is his hometown school

  • Joe Schmoe

    At the end of the day, regardless of how the cookie crumbles. SHU is in the conversation as a potential destination for big name recruits. IW made it work for himself. There will be others. Angel should be announcing his return soon, no?

  • Mosleyman

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been more talk about Tremont Waters being a PG option. After he decommitted from Georgetown, he practically begged other schools to come talk to him. At first, I thought that G-town’s release might have restricted him from going to Big East schools, but Creighton appears to be involved, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Now, there are even Crystal Ball predictions that he’ll go to Western Kentucky! Western Kentucky?!?! I don’t know anything about his game, but a 4-star PG ranked #32 in the ESPN top 100 sure seems to be worth a phone call (or ten).

    • PadrePirate

      Agree. Hope Sha gives him a ring, but we’re likely too late to get his ear. Apparently, Ewing already paid the boy a visit, asking that he return.

      • At this point, certainly too late. But it is fairly surprising there wasn’t at least a faint link between SH and Waters since JT3 was fired.

        There was an offer prior to his commitment to Gtown — very early on.

    • hallstorm

      I heard about the Creighton interest, but the old Big East guard wouldn’t let a player who signed an NLI play with another Big East team. I don’t know if the new Big East would allow it or not.

      Western Kentucky has Mitchell Robinson–a 5 star center (not easy to come by) and a top 50 shooting guard in Josh Anderson. Stansbury is a hell of a coach and he got them to sign last year. I’m not surprised Waters is considering there. I’d love to see him think about us, but it’s a little late in the game and I’m not sure about the Big East rules.

  • Matt

    Disappointed, he could have taken the market by storm. Nice to see we had a decent shot but recruiting needs to heat up for the 18-19 ASAP

  • Ben Suscavage

    The best fit for Trevon Duval is Seton Hall. Duke is currently stacked at PG position. Also, G Allen likes to bring the ball up too. –TD may only get the ball 50% of-the-time at Duke vs 80% at SHU and wouldn’t Duke be another traveling All-Star team for him? Seton Hall really is a wonderful fit for Trevon based on what I’ve seen of him in the past 3 months — He can be a true Point Guard and needs to consider how Isaiah Whitehead progressed through our program. We’ll see…

    • PadrePirate

      Your optimistic post suggests that there’s still a chance to land TD at SHU. I hope you’re right. From recent news, it looks like he’s more swayed by the Duke name and perks than by playing time. If he comes here, he’s guaranteed 30+ min/game. I can’t see him getting more than half that at Duke, with their loaded roster.

      • Ben Suscavage

        Interestingly: Mamu’s Montverde basketball was the only team to beat Duval’s IMG Academy in the regular season.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Trevon Duval has played games before with his recruitment. He said himself he’s having fun with it. Until I see something official… to quote yogi…it ain’t over till it’s over…

      • SHU95

        Agree, in this age Rumors seem to get out of control fast… We all remember April fools. lets get an official announcement before we write it off…

    • Bob Murphy

      With this latest commitment, with all deference to Duval – for the long term success of the program, I would prefer someone who is not one-and-done. I think you have the opportunity now to build continuity after this terrific rising senior class leaves. Let’s take an advantage of that and not mortgage it for a one year run. The reason is, unless you actually win the NCAAs next year, it won’t be worth it to see every starter leave after April 2018. It is hard to see that happening (SHU going all the way in 2018) considering the class has not won a NCAA game yet. And, if that were to happen, you run coaching risks etc. I remember PJ after the 1989 title game and the Kentucky offer. So, do you take that offer where recruiting is a lot less work, or stay and completely rebuild the team? PJ did that once with Dehere, Walker, etc., but did not have the desire to do it a third time after 1994. Willard has now put a structure in place locally. The program is on a good footing – I wonder if Mullin and Ewing are long term guys in their jobs – for them, it isn’t about the money or prestige, so are they 10-year guys? Let’s build on our current positioning in the top half of the league. I am sure Duval is an excellent player and may become a good pro. But, right now, if you told me we were getting a top 150 PG who was a multi-year guy, combined maybe with a transfer to take the early playing time, I think I’d be just fine with that.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Great news about Mamukelasvhi coming. Maybe that will help Duval reconsider his decision.

  • SHU95

    Great News about Sandro Coming to SHU!! Sounds like a really great Fit! Come lead this well balanced and suddenly Deeper team next year TD…,

  • PadrePirate

    Nice to have some good news after the TD disappointment. Looking forward to hearing more about Sandro. The promo video showed a pretty athletic big–build of Mobley with shooting range and post moves like Auda. With Brodie and Mamu, we have some front court depth. With two PG’s and Angel returning, we could make a baby step forward next year.

  • Marklemore84

    SandroPez… quite the place for a Pirate Ship to Dock.

  • Matty P

    Happy to hear the news about Sandro committing to SHU. After seeing his tweet earlier today saying it was real I was afraid we let him walk away without a commitment. It’s nice to now have a little more depth at the forward position and he brings something that none of the other bigs could provide with his range all the way out to the 3 point line.

  • hallstorm

    Very excited to hear Sandro is on board. I think this guy is going to be a sensational player and really changes the landscape of the team. He has all the tools–can dribble, pass, shoot, rebound…I have no idea about defense as he doesn’t look like a huge leaper, but he has excellent court vision and looks to play perfectly within a system. Enormous kudos to Billmeier for going after him early. Williard is really starting to make a name for himself. Most importantly, he gives the class of ’18 a nice big screen and roll guy and rebounder who will have a season under his belt when they arrive.

    This is a perfect player to carry the team from when AD, KC, Desi and Ish graduate and welcome in a new group of recruits along with Myles squared. I love this signing.

  • GoPirates34

    Was also told that Duval is leaning toward Duke but has not made a decision yet. This was over the Past weekend so obviously things have changed. Was told that if it was just the kid and not basketball related, Duval would choose SH over Duke. However, with Dukes pedigree and having the greatest College coach ever coaching you is hard to pass up. Duval feels at home at SH with the coaching staff as well as with cheese being is best friend. However, Duval is leaning forward Duke solely for Basketball reasons

    • 1856

      I reviewed some old stories on this kid and here are some interesting notes: his father is VERY involved in this whole process. has been grooming the kid since he was 8 yrs old. in September 2016 the father says his top factor is consistency of recruitment; specifically saying he doesn’t want his son to go to a school that just pops up at the last minute. his son also wanted to finish high school in jersey at a place like benedicts or st pats, etc. but his dad made him go to IMG in florida. October 2016: kid announces he has re-opened his recruitment and says I don’t care if you never recruited me; im open to anyone and everyone. At same time, father says SHU has been very consistent and that trevon will succeed wherever he goes. wants to call coaches and set up a meeting. Duke offers late November 2016. Seton Hall has been with him since he was a freshman at St. Benedict’s.
      hard to argue duke is a better fit for this kid, esp. if he’s one and done. The situation at SHU is tailor made for duval’s situation. tailor made. (and our throwback jerseys are simply superior to all others).
      we all get treated to his april fool’s prank, which is cringeworthy in its childlike obviousness
      now we hear this secret meeting business and either lying or pathetic attempts to misdirect from his twitter.
      now I read what youre saying about his real preference being SHU but that he leans to duke for “basketball reasons.”
      im done w this kid and any other future kyle Anderson, taurean Thompson, Bryce aiken (not really the same though) and the countless others who leave us at the altar after we out recruit all other schools and for much longer. if we live in a world where all the dukes of the world have to do is offer late after putting in zero effort and still get the kid, I don’t want to live in that world.
      I want to live in a world of ish, desi, khadeen, angel, darnell brodie, this mamu guy, myles powell, myles cale, angel and every single other local area guy who wants to come to us BECAUSE THEY APPRECIATE THE FAMILY NATURE OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSITY AND HOOPS PROGRAM.
      I want to schedule duke right now, play them anywhere and have angel, desi and ish swat him into the third row all night long BECAUSE WE HAVE PLAYERS WITH HEART WHO LOVE THE CREST SEWN ONTO THE FRONT OF THEIR JERSEYS.
      come on trevon duval show me some heart. if not, then never will I have been more proud to NOT get a player.

      • If you are Seton Hall , you are better off with 3-4 year players than one and done. Need continuity from year to year if you are building a program. How many kids remaining from last few years recruiting classes. After next season the roster is going to be thin. We need to have more kids returning, not leaving or we will be at the bottom of the league again real soon.

    • Greatest coach ever? Because of his numbers he is in the conversation with Wooden, Knight, Brown & Smith, just to name a few. His choice comes down to exposure to the media. Of course he might be one of three point guards on the roster which will limit his playing time. That might not matter since Kyrie Erving due to injury hardly played during his one year at Duke, although that did not impact when he was drafted.

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  • Ben Suscavage

    —My understanding from listening to Duval’s interviews, he wants to make his decision no later than end of May, but recently said end of April. Maybe he wants to see who is going to be invited to the NBA combine? I believe it comes out at the end this month? Also does signing 6-10 Sandro Mamukelashvili change the calculus? His Monteverde basketball was the only team to defeat Trevon’s IMG Academy in the regular season.

  • SHU95

    Not at all saying TD wont pick Duke, He probably will…or has… behind the scenes. If so though why no announcement? If he has made up his mind & the secret is out, why not take the other 4 schools (he has not formally eliminated anyone that i know of) off the hook so they can fully pursue contingency? What, if anything, is holding him back?

    Regardless, i made the point on here a while back. Guys like this should be a luxury rather than Do or die for a school like SHU. Isaiah Washington was the bigger miss in that he could have done the job well & should be a getable guy for this team/program.

    • TheRealDewski

      Why wouldn’t Duke announce Tre Duval if he is committed? Maybe he is not committed and he is waiting on Angel to decide on the NBA. With all of the cards starting to fall into place, Sandro and most likely Wheeler jumping on board pretty much during their visit, maybe it is possible the selling point by KW is if Angel is back Duval is in. Perhaps Duval is waiting on Angel, Duval is in the drivers seat and can wait all he needs (Duke will be there either way) and Angel is doing what he needs to do for himself which no one can blame him for. So Sandro and Wheeler want to secure their spot on a potential top 10 team next year if Angel and Tre are in and if not, Sandro and Wheeler get minutes as freshman, Angel gets a million dollars and Tre goes to Duke.

      • PadrePirate

        That about sums up why were all going to be on the edge of our seats for an entire month…Ugh. When’s the draft deadline again? May 24 or somewhere thereabouts?

      • SHU95

        Hope u are correct, I think the invites to the combine are announced early next week…

  • PadrePirate

    Wheeler gone. Who will be left in late May, if Duval makes us wait until the combine, just to break our hearts? This seems unusually cruel and risky. I’m ready for Plan B, before there are no B’s left.

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