Braeden Anderson commits to Seton Hall

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6-foot-9 Fresno State transfer Braeden Anderson has committed to Seton Hall.

A day after visiting Seton Hall’s campus, Braeden Anderson has filled what seems to be a vital need for Seton Hall.

With centers Chier Ajou and Rashed Anthony likely not yet capable of playing starter-type minutes at center, Seton Hall can plug that hole with the immediately eligible Anderson, shifting Big East Preseason Player of the Year Angel Delgado to power forward.

This hypothetical hinges upon the one-time Kansas commit Anderson, who played sparingly last season at Fresno State after missing the 2013-14 season recovering from a broken neck, taking his game to the next level.

After initially committing to DePaul, the Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Mass.) product had eligibility issues at Kansas, forcing him to transfer to Fresno State where he missed the first half of the 2012-13 season. Prior to the 2013-14 season, Anderson suffered a broken neck in a preseason car accident that sidelined him for the season; he would receive a redshirt.

Braeden played sparingly this season before being released from the team in February so that he could concentrate on graduating and preparing for law school. Anderson has two years of eligibility left and fills Seton Hall’s last available scholarship for next season.

  • Dan

    This is a bit of a wild card that could really pan out. If you go back and read articles from a few years ago, he was on a pretty good trajectory. Maybe he is just now getting back to that level with more maturity and a life changing experience behind him.

    • Peter Huhn

      While he seems like an exemplary student, I am

      • Peter

        just not getting a strong vibe about his ability to contribute on the court over the next two years. He averaged just 4 points a game at Fresno State the year prior to his car accident, so I am not sure if he will ever be a starter or effective contributor in a high major conference. Time will tell, but he feels more like an academically gifted Mike Davis or Kevin Johnson to me. Hopefully he will develop into a solid role player, but I view this as SHU making a sideways move to prevent the team from falling in the conference standings, rather than a move to improve our place in conference.

        • Certainly has a lot to prove, but likely more of an impact in the next 2 seasons than any other high school senior the Hall could have landed. Ray Kasongo would have been nice, but his desires are elsewhere.

  • fouline

    I hope Willard & Company can make something out of Bra-A and what recruiters saw in him afew years back. Because on paper it’s a challenge. Welcome to the club.

  • How would you guys organize Seton Hall’s forward depth chart?

    • Fishjam

      Delgado and Anderson should start. Last year’s offense consisted of 4 guys standing around the perimeter way too often but now you have 2 legitimate inside players that can set picks, post-up and force the defense to sag in a bit more. Anthony/Ajou will split about 10 mins per game at the 5 and Desi will get some time at the 4. Myles will have a chance to dig into the Anthony/Ajou minutes

      I think they will go with the 3-guard lineup most of the time with Soffer seeing some time behind the 3 starters. But mostly when Gibbs/Whitehead and/or Carrington need a breather, you’ll see them go with a more traditional lineup with Desi and either Singh or Sanogo playing the 3 depending on what they need at the time. Desi provides energy, slashing ability and rebounding. Singh will provide long-range shooting and size. Sanogo will provide defense and energy.

      • So you think Carter is more ready than Ish/Nzei to play minutes at the 4? I don’t think we’ll see Ish at the 3 unless he develops A LOT over the summer.

        C – Anderson (20-30mpg) / Anthony (10 mpg) / Ajou
        PF – Delgado (30+) / Ish (10-15) / Nzei + Carter
        SF – Desi (20-30) / Soffer + Singh

        • HallHoops

          You’re kidding yourselves if you think Anderson is starting BE material. Seton Hall’s frontcourt is easily one of the worst in the BE.

          Should be like this:

          C – Delgado (20) / Anderson (10) / Anthony (8) / Ajou (2)
          PF – Desi (16) / Delgado (10) / Nzei (8) / Carter (4) Ish (2)
          SF – Whitehead (12), Singh (16) / Desi (10) / Ish (2)

          • Your first two sentences kind of contradict themselves. A team that you say has one of the worst frontcourts in the Big East therefore wont necessarily have “starting BE material”, right?

            The minutes have to come from somewhere and I’m pegging Anderson to take at least 20. As you point out, Delgado will surely play some 5 again next season, its unforeseen how much.

            I can’t see Whitehead playing any minutes at the 3 next season and Singh seeing 16 mpg is fairly ambitious, but who knows his true skillset. Someone may have to if Desi is going to be used at PF.

          • HallHoops

            Yeah but the idea is to IMPROVE the frontcourt, not just add another non-BE player to a group of non-BE players.

            Gotta win now and does this really help??

          • Who, besides a different transfer, can the staff possibly add at this point in the current recruiting class that is going to help more than Anderson?

        • Fishjam

          Chris, I forgot about Nzei! Don’t know enough about him or Myles but would think Nzei is more prepared. Would be great if he can be better than Anthony who was nothing but a Foul and Turnover machine.

          I see Ish as a guy who will come in and harass the other teams best wing player. He’s athletic enough and has size to guard good 3’s and out-rebound them. Guarding 4’s he will be giving up size which will negate his strengths. Offensively he’s not much of a factor at either position limited to putbacks and transition layups.

          I see 6 no-doubt 4/5s in Delgado, Anderson, Anthony, Ajou, , Nzei & Carter.

          Desi, Ish & Singh as 3’s that can fake the 4 in certain configurations, playing zone and against smaller opponents.

          Gibbs, Whitehead, Carrington & Soffer as the 4 guardst.

          But whatever we call them the players who perform will get minutes.

          Gibbs, IW, Carrington, Delgado & Anderson start with Desi as your 6th man. It’s then up to the other 8 players to battle for time in the rotation. Have to think Soffer & Singh have golden opportunities for minutes because the team will need another 3-point shooter and there will be plenty of minutes for the most capable big men off the bench.

          • Nzei was eligible to practice last season, but sat out for most until late due to the cast that he was wearing on his wrist. Really have no clue who will be more capable between him and Carter, but they will be battling it out for bench minutes at the 4.

            Lot of accurate projections in the rest of your post.

  • Fishjam

    Solid pickup. He takes Mobley’s spot but is a much better fit with the rest of the talent on this team. Braden seems like a much more physical presence who will play inside and on the low post……will be a big help to Angel on the glass who was too often left alone to battle for rebounds.

    Mobley was a 3 playing the 4 and too often stood around on the perimeter. Braden is a no-doubt #4/5 and appears to be much more skilled than Anthony. He’s not the shooter that Mobley is but he looks like he has some range to hit mid-range jumpers.

  • Matty P

    SHU is definitely taking a big risk with Anderson. I think they are moving into uncharted waters with a player that is going to play D-1 basketball and go to law school. Everyone knows that law school is difficult and what happens if his grades start to slip? I’m not sure, but isn’t there a rule about needing a minimum GPA in order to play? I’m not saying it wouldn’t be possible to accomplish, but it would be a shame if Anderson isn’t able to juggle the time commitments of both law school and the basketball team.

    • Braeden sat down with Pat Hobbs to discuss the move and obviously the mutual decision was that he could handle the rigors.

      The minimum GPA for Division 1 athletes in their four year and beyond is 2.0. That isn’t something that should be worried about.

  • iratepirate

    I understand good press. It helps the school and to a lesser degree the kid. Braeden has obviously had one huge ride in life so far. He’s smart. He’s managed to climb out of the D-1 college athlete cesspit with a degree and a half. Obviously we all want the best for any Seton Hall student, especially one who’s faced adversity to get where they are.

    “But”…

    Hype off the court is just that. Hype that has nothing to do with basketball. I want a roster full of kids with good character. I also want a roster full of kids that can put it together and win basketball games.

    He played 181 minutes last season and scored 17 points.
    His fg% is .17
    His ft% is under 50%
    1.8 rebounds per game, and 1.6 personal fouls per game

    I don’t even know what basis there is for saying he is going to come in better than a new freshman or rising sophomore. From what I can see he was a 3 star PF.

    Saying “This is the best our recruiting efforts could do” is a fine rationalization. We’ll see if yet again our diamond in the rough strategy works. The bottom line is our recruiting has been weak to very weak and I’ve yet to see evidence to the contrary. I remember plenty of hype for Ish, and Anthony as developing big men who were going to make a splash. Anthony gave us fouls, and Ish rode the bench for almost the entire year.

    • To touch on your last paragraph…
      A) what/who exactly are you quoting?
      B) Who was hyping Ish and Rashed up to make a splash? That is purely revisionist history or you are taking extreme outlying opinions and making them seem like a consensus. The situation of the commitments of these players and the “hype” that surrounded them is far from how I think you’re painting them.

      That said, I don’t necessarily disagree with the point you are trying to make, but the Ish/Anthony evidence does not support your point.

      • iratepirate

        I wasn’t quoting somebody specific. I was laying out what has been a consistent argument/rationalization for our picking up players that haven’t proven much on the court, or are not highly rated. Usually it goes something like:

        “Because _____________, we can’t recruit high major players.” One example was when we were whiffing on candidate after candidate in the 2015 class, the excuse from some posters was that our good 2014 class was scaring away other good talented players because they wouldn’t get a lot of playing time.

        I’m not saying there was a consensus opinion. I just remember reading some hype about each player (sometimes in a news story and sometimes in forums). I don’t know if I would say they were the outliers, but I’m not sure how to describe a consensus of opinion in this setting. Yes, I’m drawing a lot of hype from places like Piratecrew and comments on places like SOJ. I find that the professional media:

        -Refuses to call out failing coaches

        -Will happily participate in puff pieces for coaches or players

        Doing a quick check, I did go back to the pieces on Ismael after we signed him. Even back then the reporting on him had quotes from people saying things like:

        “By the time he’s 20 years old and going into his junior year in college, I think he can be one of the better players in the country if he works hard and stays humble.”

        and

        “He is a stat line stuffer. Rebound, steals,deflections, assists and eventually double figure points(11). He also really plays defense. This kid is going to be a good Big East player.”

        He’s only played one year for us, but his stat line:

        96 minutes and 9 points.
        .5 pts., 1 rebound per game and .9 PF per game over 5.3 minutes average played.
        FG% .25
        FT% .33 (admittedly low shot counts)

        What I read on the forums now seems to point to Ismael being behind people like Veer Singh, Desi, and now Braeden. Not even sure if he is a 3 or 4 in Willard’s system. He seems to be a bench rider under Willard so far. I’m not saying the kid doesn’t have a heart of gold, but I feel like we get trickle news about a player being a great catch, and then disappearing once they get here.

        • I’m not really sure what to tell you if you’re taking Ish’ high school coaches at their exact word. Every single press conference has that type of coach-speak.

          Even if we are to take it 100% seriously, Ish turns 19 this summer and “stat line stuffer” comment was completely factual when he was at Newark East Side.

          If you want to judge a young freshman by their stats who played well in practice and received little time, I won’t be joining you. Should he have been redshirted if he wasn’t going to be played? Yes, I’ll beat that drum.

          Anyone who thought that Ish was going to be an impact player when he signed two summers ago was setting the bar way too high. I didn’t see any of that in the 30-comment commitment post on SOJuice. Even his offer list, when combined with his skillset, shouted 4-year under the radar local glue guy.

          As for Rashed Anthony, he was a very late pickup and wasn’t a lock to qualify. One former assistant told me that he was a big project and very raw. Some of the scouting reports I received when writing for SOJuice were admittedly inaccurate — Rashed really needs to develop this off-season.

          • iratepirate

            You’re right about not getting on a freshman as well as coach speak. I want Ismael to succeed, as well as Anthony. My frustration is basically not knowing whether a pick up like Anderson is a good one. If you can’t trust coach evaluations, and the stats are sparse (but not great in that sparse time), how do you know if it’s a good get or not?

          • Fishjam

            You are right that its difficult to tell if its a good pickup or not and stats don’t tell you much either. Coming off the injury he had, I can’t even consider what he did last year as a basis for projection. Yes, he only averaged 4 ppg and 4 rebounds in 10 games his Freshman year….but using that rationale what were Gibbs’ #s at Texas before he transferred.

            I don’t think anyone thinks of Anderson as a big-time player but from the videos I’ve seen he has a better combo of size/agility/skills than any of our non-Delgado bigmen. They don’t need him to be a big-time scorer…..just play quality minutes at the 4/5. supplying defense, rebounding and the ability to finish under the basket.

            We know where the team will look for offense outside and Delgado will be the primary low post scorer…Braden just has to fill a role….we shall see if he’s capable or not.

    • VinBick

      Willard is NOT a good recruiter of top talent, period. We secure the “projects” or second or third tier D-1 prospects at best. The Hall will not attain BE level status until a new coach is hired.

  • fouline

    It may sound heretical but I’m not that concerned with the level of player we recruit as much as what happens to them when they get here. And what happens is… very little. I have nothing against Brae-A but how will the Willard &Company help him realize his potential? Based on prior experience from other recruits, I’ll lay odds that he’s going to struggle. And if he does show big time improvement it’s because he’s done it on his own. The basis of a good program is the coach and staff and how they develop their players not necessarily getting the 4 star recruit.