A key piece to Seton Hall’s future has been locked up when Florida State transfer Ike Obiagu pledged to the Pirates earlier today.
First of all I want to thank the schools and coaches that recruited me. But I’ve decided to further my education and basketball opportunities at Seton Hall University 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/DJ8kGiiimb
— ikechukwu obiagu🇳🇬 (@ike_obiagu) May 17, 2018
Elite Eight experience. Seasoned shot-blocking (2.1 bpg, 4+ in 7 games). Three years of eligibility remaining. Five points, ten boards, and five blocks against Rutgers. Several other high-majors in hot pursuit.
These are the type of high-level transfers that Seton Hall usually misses on this time of year.
But Seton Hall’s new lead assistant — Tony Skinn — has certainly played a role here.
Skinn, who played point guard for Nigeria in the 2012 Summer Olympics, is the second connection Seton Hall has to Obiagu’s native country as forward Mike Nzei also hails from the West African nation.
When Nzei departs next spring, it will be Obiagu who helps replace him on the block starting in 2019-20.
The big man will join the likes of Taurean Thompson, Darnell Brodie, Sandro Mamukelashvili, and Romaro Gill in what may be Seton Hall’s biggest — literally — front line in quite a long time.
That five-man core weighs in at an average of about 6-foot-11, 235 pounds. Sounds more like an NFL offensive line.
That said, the group is largely unproven as of now, but the potential and depth is there for development; when’s the last time forward depth has vastly outweighed backcourt options?
It’s been awhile.
Still with one open scholarship for next season, it seems likely Seton Hall will try to address a thin point guard situation that currently features freshman Anthony Nelson and combo guard Quincy McKnight.
Drexel graduate transfer Tramaine Isabell would be an equally impressive catch and fill a more immediate need.
It should also be mentioned that incoming freshman forward Valdir Manuel‘s academic status is up in the air at the moment; it’s possible we see another Nzei situation where he redshirts during his first academic year.