Seton Hall has reeled in a big fish in the transfer market. Immediately eligible guard Bryce Aiken has committed to the Pirates on Thursday.
After playing three years at Harvard, Aiken is ranked the fifth-best grad transfer by ESPN. Seton Hall beat out Maryland, Michigan, and Iowa State for the Jersey native’s final year of eligibility.
“Home is my happy place. Home is where my heart is. Home is where my story began and Home is where my story will continue. Seton Hall, I am home,” said Aiken on his Instagram — apparently Myles Powell put in a final word, too.
Here is another great feature on Aiken’s decision from Prospective Insight.
Speaking about his four finalists at length with 247Sports a week ago, Aiken went more in-depth:
“I feel like Seton Hall is building a special program. Everyone has to respect coach [Kevin] Willard, seeing the success he’s had not only with his players but also the overall program over the past four or five years beginning with Isaiah Whitehead.
I never want to discount anyone prior to him playing there, but in my own experience of knowing Seton Hall, Whitehead was able to thrive in that system and and bring that national spotlight to the SHU Basketball.
Then Myles Powell took them to a higher status within the college realm and that something you have to take into account. Coach Willard has a tremendous belief in his players. I’ve being able to rely on the relationship that I’ve had with him since my freshman year of high school and have enjoyed reconnecting with him.”
The former Patrick School (N.J.) star stood out at Harvard but failed to play in more than 18 games since his freshman year including sitting out since December this past campaign.
While Aiken did turn it over at least 2.5 times per game in every season at Harvard, he proved he could do it against better competition in limited opportunities, scoring 30 against Maryland this season and 22 against Saint Mary’s as a sophomore.
It seems Aiken will bring immediate experience and volume three-point shooting to a backcourt that loses Myles Powell and Quincy McKnight, but also adds Canisius guard Takal Molson as an eligible transfer, though he will play more at two guard and on the wing.
Aiken dished his fair share of assists as a junior, but again, the sample size is limited and his high turnover count sticks out as a weakness. In all, Aiken compiled 162 assists to 165 turnovers over his last three seasons, most of it against the Ivy League and low-majors.
Still, getting a player of Aiken’s caliber and experience after losing guards like McKnight and Powell isn’t easy to do and can be a lot smoother transition than turning to a freshman or inexperienced sophomore.
In related recruiting news, Seton Hall is a finalist for the following transfers as well as Patrick School center Adama Sanogo, who could join Aiken at Seton Hall next year after virtually touring the school last weekend.
The third ranked eligible transfer according to ESPN, Purdue center Matt Haarms would be a direct replacement for Romaro Gill and joins Sanogo as another center that could play next year. At 7’3, 250-pounds, the Amsterdam native swatted two shots per game along with 8.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg for a Purdue team that lost a lot of games, but was always in the KenPom top-30.
Along with Xavier, Marquette, and Texas Tech, Seton Hall is a finalist for Wichita State’s Jamarius Burton, joining fellow outgoing teammate Morris Udeze. Burton is a guard whereas Udeze would play in the post, both would have to sit out next season.