Seton Hall will be hosting a ton of top local recruits when they take on Wichita State tomorrow in a nationally televised clash that has post-season implications for both schools. One question remains: Will Seton Hall’s fans show up?
The rows behind Seton Hall’s bench at home games are usually reserved for team managers along with recruits and their families that have been invited to take in a game. While Kevin Willard’s staff was able to fill these seats fairly well against Georgia last month, they have been mostly left barren for their other three home games in Newark.
Not due to poor recruiting, but because it’s not wise to invite recruits to less-than-exciting games against cupcakes like Troy, Saint Peter’s and Dartmouth, especially when only a couple thousand Pirate faithful show up to Prudential Center for weeknight game. You want to bring recruits in for games like St. John’s and Villanova last season — for experiences they won’t forget anytime soon.
With that said, let’s get to Seton Hall’s monster list of expected visitors for tomorrow’s noon clash:
2016 PF Taurean Thompson (Brewster Academy, N.H.); Top-100
2016 SF Alpha Diallo (Brewster Academy, N.H.); Top-150
JuCo F Moustapha Diagne (NW Florida State, Fl.); former Syracuse commit
2017 G Quade Green (Neumann Goretti, Pa.); Top-50
2017 G Nate Pierre-Louis (Roselle Catholic, N.J.); Top-150
2017 SF Andre Rafus (Roselle Catholic, N.J.); Top-150
2017 G Myles Cale (Appoquinimink, Del.); Top-150
2017 G Daron Russell (IMHOTEP Charter, Pa.)
2017 C Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (Neumann-Goretti, Pa.); Top-150
2017 G Isaiah Washington (St. Raymond, N.Y.); Top-100
2018 C Naz Reid (Roselle Catholic, N.J.); Top-10
2018 G Jahvon Quinerly (Hudson Catholic, N.J.)
2018 PG Luther Muhammad (Hudson Catholic, N.J.)
Pretty damn impressive.
But the question remains: Will Seton Hall’s fans show up?
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand residual frustration leftover from last season’s complete and total meltdown.
I get that.
But this team is also 8-2 and in dire need of a head-turning win over a team like… I don’t know… Wichita State or something to give them a respectable non-conference resume come Selection Sunday.
This is also a team that hasn’t played at home in front of a crowd of more than maybe 4,500? We can debate the exact figure as well as excuses for poor turnouts, but the bottom line is that the non-student crowds at the Rock have been extremely light this year.
Sure, odds are that maybe two of the above recruits even tuned into games against Saint Peter’s or Dartmouth on FOX Sports 1, so no harm no foul at this point.
However, perhaps all but two of the list above will be crammed into the rows behind Seton Hall’s bench tomorrow when the Hall plays a pivotal game on FOX against a national powerhouse over the last five-plus years in Wichita State. Will they look around and see half of Prudential Center’s lower bowl empty, or will the Rock become a cauldron of noise like I’ve seen it against West Virginia, Syracuse and several other games since its inception.
Does Seton Hall have a good chance of winning tomorrow? Eh, I wouldn’t bet on it, but I’d certainly still buy a ticket.
If you call yourself a fan, which is short for fanatic (one “filled with or expressing excessive zeal”), and are missing tomorrow’s game for a trivial reason, you may want to bite your tongue the next time you consider knocking this staff’s recruiting results and you may want to reconsider calling yourself a fan(atic).