2017 guard Nojel Eastern to decide Wednesday

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Seton Hall is still in the mix for top-100 prospect Nojel Eastern (Evanston, Ill.), who will sign on Wednesday afternoon.

A 6-foot-5 natural point guard that can play the two and three, Nojel Eastern has been recruited by Shaheen Holloway and Seton Hall for a long time now.

An offer was extended to the Meanstreets (AAU) product back in February of 2015 while Eastern has been watched numerous times, including twice while the Hall has been on mid-west road trips to DePaul and Marquette.

Nojel eventually made it to Seton Hall’s campus early last month for an official visit, he has also been on the campuses of Purdue, DePaul, Ohio State and Michigan State.

Those five schools are considered Eastern’s final five, though Ohio State picked up a commitment from a 2017 point guard last month and it appears MSU’s interest has waned, despite 247Sports’ Crystal Ball unanimously favoring the Spartans.

A strong source confirmed this morning that Seton Hall is still involved here, though I’d say Purdue is the favorite with DePaul also being strongly considered. 

Already a similar build, Eastern has the ability to literally replace Billy Garrett Jr. at DePaul, though the Blue Demons already have a 2017 point guard commit in Justin Roberts. 

At Purdue, current freshman Carsen Edwards looks like he would be the main competition for Eastern should he wind up in West Lafayette.

Seton Hall is currently without any open scholarships, though at least one will be freed up by season’s end; Nojel would likely split time with a senior Jevon Thomas at point guard in 2017-18. The Hall’s lone 2017 commitment is from two-guard Myles Cale, who signed last week.

  • JJer

    OK, I’ll ask.
    2016-2017: all 13 scholarships accounted for.
    2017: Jones graduates, Cale comes in, all 13 scholarships again accounted for.

    “Seton Hall is currently without any open scholarships, though at least one will be freed up by season’s end.”

    Is the above saying that even If Eastern doesn’t come, and neither does anyone else, there will still be someone leaving the team?

    • If the staff is recruiting without a scholarship, that says it all about expectations

      Does a junior Dalton Soffer or senior Rashed Anthony really want to stay if they dont get minutes this year?

      • JJer

        Thanks. Rooting for these kids, then seeing them get supplanted–I personally have problems adjusting to that reality.

        • True. Theres nothing wrong with someone being given a shot and them not developing, though. Can totally see a hypothetical where Rashed wants to play at a local S.C. school his senior year for personal reasons. Or Dalton to move on with great memories but more playing time. Doesnt have to involve a force out.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Scholarships are one year renewable contracts. All ‘ships are accounted for this year. The administration has until July 1st 2017 to notify a player that he wont be returning to the team for the next season. So 2017-18 is ?? at this point.

  • Sid Williams

    What about the scholarship numbee for the fab five. I know we won’t get them all but I was hoping JQ or the small forward would sign with us.

    • The 2018 recruiting class would replace the current juniors — so there are plenty to give (Ish, Angel, Desi, Khadeen, Jevon Thomas, Rashed Anthony)

  • hallstorm

    Would absolutely love to have Eastern, but I think Purdue has a strong pull unfortunately. I don’t think he’s coming.

  • shufaninva

    That emoji might be a blue Demon ??

    • hallstorm

      It’s good seeing that. Being Duval’s top 5 is great company, but we could really use either Eastern or Duval.

      • Notable: Baylor and SH the only two Under Armour schools on that list. Duval’s AAU team (WE R1) is UA

        • hallstorm

          Well, at least Jeff Ermann of Maryland Insider gives us a crystal ball of him. Not that it holds any amount of water, but it’s a (very tiny) sign

  • PirateLacrosse14

    I keep seeing Seton Hall hosting top prospects, and making it on the “Final Cut” list for a lot of them, but are any of these actually going to come to fruition? Landing Eastern or Duval would be a huge accomplishment, but do we have a realistic shot at either?

    Also, I see us on a lot of lists for top guards, but never any top bigmen. Any reason for this?

    I’m really just knitpicking a very solid recruiting job done by the team. It just seems we’re right on the cusp of taking the next step in what type of players really want to come here, and if we don’t capitalize now, I feel it could definitely hurt the program.

    • Strong source yesterday re: Eastern – “very much in the mix” ; SH and Baylor are only 2 UA schools listed for Duval.

      As for forwards, its true that the staff just hasnt targeted or gained much traction with 2017 forwards (actually looked at 247sports top-200 and not many forwards even were familiar to me let alone strong targets), though the past has been littered with misses like Taurean Thompson, Jesse Govan, etc.

      Have to take it on a class by class basis.

      • Chris Cardone

        Baylor actually wears Nike. Unfortunately I can’t see us landing Duval’s commitment against 4 of college basketballs blue bloods. I’m never sure how much to read in the apparel affiliations between AAU/College… Myles Cale does wear UA for South Jersey Jazz, though.

        • Was just about to correct this. Thank you.

        • hallstorm

          Yeah it’s a very daunting hill to climb, but Baylor is a recent success story–certainly not steeped in tradition. I’m not so worried about Kansas. Arizona is the team I am most concerned with. I would give them the early lead with Duval (although he is a Delaware native, like Cale).

    • 1856

      exactly. ive been waiting for someone to say this. there are no moral feel good recruiting failures. our specialty now is getting top recruits to put us in their final list, only to choose a traditional powerhouse. it is a waste of time to spend our precious resources, time and focus on traveling around the country only to get a kid who will never choose us to include us in his final cut. that is not progress. it is persistence. how about drive 10 minutes to st Anthony, st Patrick or st benedicts and harvest our own backyard?
      to succeed going forward, Isaiah coming to us cannot be an isolated event
      id love to be proven wrong today or when mr duval commits, but my strong guess is I wont be

      • hallstorm

        But you’re sentiment is exactly what is expected for both Seton Hall fans and prospective high school recruits: “…but my strong guess is I won’t be.” This is where you’re wrong: harvesting interest from players from around the country takes time. Bucking the trend of 5 star recruits signing with the traditional powerhouses has to grow and it involves much more time from coaches who haven’t been around for 25 years (Coach K, Boeheim, Pitino, Calipari, et al). Having a recruit’s trust has to stem from stability in a program, success (even if it’s just making an NCAA appearance) and playing time (an ability to fit into a “system”).

        If you’ve been paying attention, Williard and Holloway have put in countless hours toward 2018 and the kids at Hudson Catholic, in addition to Hamir Wright, Isaiah Mucius, Bryce Golden, Jalen Carey, Sidney Wilson and countless others. All local (Mucius and Golden are the furthest away in MD). They even discouraged a recruit from coming to The Hall (Andre Rafus) because he was a redundancy and they wanted to spend their precious few open slots left on players who can really put The Hall’s stamp on the recruiting circuit nationwide.

        As long as Williard remains at the helm and Shaheen is assisting, it won’t be long before we start getting some very highly rated local recruits.

        You seemed to have waited 160+ years–give it one more year, 1856.

        • Just to comment on Andre Rafus: He was ready to commit, but the interest was less than mutual. I heard the same about one of the other schools on his list (Kansas). Highly rated at one time, but he has slipped, is considered 1-dimensional by some scouts, etc.

          • The Other Matt

            Very good point. I’d been following Rafus’ recruitment throughout and up until his set decision date when he decided to postpone it. As a fan who follows the high school basketball landscape closely here in NJ, not only as it pertains to Hall recruits, but in general, I came away underwhelmed on the handful of occasions I got to see Rafus play last season at RC. As someone who came in as a transfer from Baltimore, billed as a four star, top 50/75 recruit in the country, of his measurables, Rafus did little, in my humble opinion, to raise or even justify the status in which he was acclaimed with coming in. Not even speaking so much in regards of his skill set, but his overall play and demeanor on the court to seemed to be very uninspiring. With regards to his skill set and ability, he does seem to be “too much” of a one dimensional player. With no disrespect to Veer Singh, himself, Rafus has a skill-set of a glorified Singh. A lanky, 6’7, spot up shooter. Though I will give credit to Veer, as he really looks to have toned up some since coming to the Hall and naturally plays with a lot more energy and activity than I’ve seen from Rafus.

            I hate to pile on Rafus, because I do believe he still is and has the potential to become a good player at the next level. However, the reality is, in the past he would’ve been a get for the Hall. But where the program currently stands and is progressing towards, he is more of a “luxury” recruit than a priority one at this point.

            I do wish him all the best in his future and hope he lands in the situation that is best for him. Last season when he was at RC, he never really seemed to gel well and find chemistry with the team, which could’ve and likely played a part in him not playing as well as many as expected. And to be fair, with the upper-echelon, super teams, high school programs, such as RC, that added him, Leondre Washington, and former Hall target Nate Pierre-Louis, as tranfers to a team that already had current RU freshman Matt Bullock and national recruit Naz Reid, it can be somewhat difficult to find your footing and perform
            to the level of your abilities consistently. Washington seemed to struggle to acclimate a bit as well, himself, and Pierre-Louis to a lesser degree. Which may speak to why both he, being Rafus, and Washington decided to transfer after spending only one year/season at RC. I’ll be interested to see how Rafus performs this upcoming season and how his recruitment unfolds moving forward. Once again, nothing but the best of luck to the kid. I believe he has a decent amount of untapped potential.

        • iratepirate

          >If you’ve been paying attention, Williard and Holloway have put in countless hours toward 2018 and the kids at Hudson Catholic, in addition to Hamir Wright, Isaiah Mucius, Bryce Golden, Jalen Carey, Sidney Wilson and countless others.

          This type of line is thrown out every year. You realize 1 year ago people were touting on this board how Willard & Co. were “all over top 2017 PGs like IW, JA, Eastern, Duval, and others”. Every year the staff is “all over” the future class. It isn’t about who you are in with right now. It’s about who you can actually sign.

          The inability to attract good big men into the pipeline is a problem, we just don’t feel it right now and it’s easy to just say “we’ve got AD, what are you complaining about”. Good teams keep good kids in the pipeline so we don’t have long rebuilding projects. The same goes for our current PG roster. You don’t want a 2018 PG, because at that point the cupboard is completely bare and you are in for at least one year of rebuilding if not more.

          • hallstorm

            Actually, this type of line is not thrown out every year. When Williard first got here, he was going after Canary Island kids for the first couple years in the wake of the Gonzalez debacle. It took him a while to establish his own credibility along with re-establishing Seton Hall’s.

            You’re free to grouse and look at this any way you want, but I think you’re asking quite a lot this early on. We were down to the last two with Thompson (who I think chose Syracuse for something beyond the actual school) and we came down to the wire with Eastern (who is a midwestern kid and every other school on his list was in the Midwest).

            The reason I mentioned 2018 is because those kids have seen Seton Hall win a Big East championship, make the tournament and send a player into the second round of the draft. And Williard has gotten in early.
            Nearly all of the players they are interested in for 2018 involve Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, at al. It’s a difficult task to go up against those guys even when kids are in your backyard.

            I also think you’re selling freshmen short in this day and age: the two front running teams to win the championship this year are favored mostly due to their freshmen class.

            All of that being said, you’re welcome to complain and speak about the poor job the coaching team has done with recruiting.

  • Nojel committed to Purdue, in case you missed it