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.
Lol I'm not visiting Duke
— Trevon Duval (@DatGuy_Trey) April 18, 2017
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.