Seton Hall Recruiting: Staff balancing post-season departures, massive 2017 crop

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As Seton Hall’s off-season starts to set in, the spotlight shifts from the hardwood to the recruiting trails as Kevin Willard and his staff aim to add to their young core while balancing the professional future of Isaiah Whitehead and other potential departures from the roster.

Following a grueling season during which recruiting updates sometimes get lost or overshadowed, I’ve refreshed my handy Seton Hall Recruiting Map and have compiled a behemoth of a recruiting update below, due to popular demand.

Late 2016 additions that are considering Seton Hall, new 2017 names that surfaced over the past few months and various other updates have all been included — with my thoughts at the end. If you think I’ve missed someone or something, please let me know in the comments section.

Class of 2016:

In addition to 2,000-point scorer and Seton Hall signee Myles Powell (South Kent, Conn.) joining the team this summer as one of the best shooters in his class, the Hall still has irons in several fires with the likelihood of additional scholarships opening between now and November;  from what I’m hearing, at least two openings is highly likely. The final signing period for seniors spans from April 13th to May 18th.

The biggest name — in more than one way — is Brewster Academy (N.H.) and former St. Anthony (N.J.) forward Taurean Thompson. Currently considering Syracuse, Seton Hall, Georgetown and Providence, these four schools that have been listed by the big man for quite some time now; the Orange and the Hall are thought to be the favorites.

Syracuse has its obvious advantages including this year’s improbable Final Four run, but senior center Dajuan Coleman plans to return next year by getting a year of eligibility back for an injury and the impending retirement of Jim Boeheim are two glaring drawbacks. An imposing center at 6-foot-9, playing time in South Orange may be easier to come by if Taurean can leap frog Braeden Anderson and Rashed Anthony in the depth chart — if both are still on the team next semester.

Thompson visited campus unofficially in September with 2017 point guard Isaiah Washington and also attended the Georgia and Wichita State games this season; Shaheen Holloway is putting in work here. After a slew of early predictions that favored Syracuse, the most recent 247Sports Crystal Ball entry comes from well-respected analyst Jerry Meyer, who thinks Taurean will end up in Jersey.

The second prominent 2016 name still on the board is combo guard Eron Gordon of Indianapolis Cathedral (In.), younger brother of NBA star and former Hoosier Eric Gordon.

Eron officially visited Seton Hall back in October and still has the Pirates on his mind as seen in his NCAA bracket.

According to the IndyStar, Butler, Marquette, Ole Miss and Arizona State are also in the mix with the Bulldogs being the most recent to offer and possibly a favorite at this point. Shaheen Holloway is heavily involved here as well.

Moving on, senior forward Bourama Sidibe of St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.) could be a viable plan ‘B’ if Thompson falls through.

Offered by Seton Hall in September and spotted at at least three games this season, the caveat here is that Sidibe might have to reclassify to 2017 based on his SAT scores; Arizona State, Memphis and VCU are also at the forefront of his recruitment.

Class of 2017:

First and foremost is a commitment that may have flown under the radar.

2017 two-guard Myles Cale of Appoquinimink (Del.) pledged to the Pirates in the midst of their magical late-February and early-March run. Cale made the trip up from Delaware twice to see the Wichita State game and then the upset of Xavier before upgrading to an official visit in the days before the Big East Tournament, a great time for any recruit to visit.

Days later, Myles would announce his commitment as Seton Hall was busy putting on a show in the Garden. He was also being recruited by La Salle, Temple, Xavier, Maryland and others.

A 2017 point guard from Evanston, Illinois, Nojel Eastern looks to be at the top of Seton Hall’s wish list. On their radar since before an offer that came last February, Kevin Willard made sure to watch Nojel play while on the season-ending road trip to Butler and DePaul at the beginning of March.

Eastern’s stock didn’t have a chance to rise last summer on the AAU circuit due to a dislocated ankle but he has blossomed since then and will surely get a handful of more high-major offers this summer; USC is the latest to offer him a ‘ship, joining Xavier, Northwestern, Iowa State, DePaul, Marquette and others.

Based on his track record and stint at Northwestern, it’s likely that Fred Hill is playing a role in the recruitment of the Meanstreets (AAU) product.

Looking more locally, 2017 forward Andre Rafus (Roselle Catholic, N.J.) is a top-100 prospect right in Seton Hall’s backyard after relocating from his native Baltimore.

A familiar face at several Seton Hall home games this season, Rafus has all the big dogs after him including none other than Kentucky, who have swooped in over the last few days. Like Isaiah Briscoe, it looks like Sha’ has another battle with Coach Cal on his hands for a Roselle Catholic kid; Grant Billmeier is also involved here.

“Coach Sha is my guy,” said Rafus in an interview with Scout.com. “He calls and texts me almost every morning.”

Rafus is setting up visits to Kansas, Seton Hall, St. John’s, possibly Kentucky and other high-majors that have offered.

Another top-100 junior on Willard’s hit list is 6-foot-5 guard Brandon Randolph of Westtown (Pa.). Teammates with several other targets (though not recently linked) including forward Mohammed Bamba and Najja Hunter, Randolph is the primary target of the three having visited campus after taking in the Xavier game in late February.

Offered in January, Randolph is also getting serious looks from Villanova, Xavier, Louisville, Marquette and other high-majors.

Joining Randolph as a Philly-area prospect is 2017 Imhotep Charter (Pa.) guard Daron Russell. Temple, VCU and Seton Hall seem to be the primary players right now; Russell was offered by Seton Hall in September, was at the Rock for Wichita State and told Scout.com in February that the Hall is one of his primary recruiters.

“I really like Seton Hall because they are always texting me and staying in touch,” Daron told Scout’s Brian Snow. “They tell me what they see in my game, and what I can improve on. Also Coach (Kevin) Willard is a really good guy.”

One of the more unique targets in this class is forward Moustapha Diagne of Northwest Florida State College (Fla.), a junior college player. If his name is familiar it’s because Diagne was a one-time Syracuse commit from Pope John XXII (N.J.) who never had the chance to lace ‘em up due to his eligibility.

Still very much in contact with Syracuse, Diagne attended the Wichita State game in December and is also involved with Oklahoma and Providence.

Not the first nor last point guard being targeted in 2017, Oak Hill floor general Matt Coleman is another emerging name on the recruiting trails. Offered last July, Coleman told SNY.tv that Texas, Arizona, Seton Hall, Indiana, Florida and N.C. State are the schools in constant contact with him.

Yet again, Holloway is doing the heavy lifting here: “[He] shoots me a text at least two times a week just making sure that we still stay in touch. He says, ‘Matt, we need a lead guard like you. We get a guard like you, we could do something.'”

Aforementioned St. Raymond (N.Y.) point guard Isaiah Washington is another prospect being linked to Seton Hall. 6-foot at best, Washington was also offered last July, visited campus unofficially with Taurean Thompson in the fall and was at the Georgia game; Isaiah told Scout.com in January that Seton Hall is one of his more prominent recruiters.

Continuing with even more local kids that the Hall is hounding, guard Matt Turner (Blair Academy, N.J.) received an offer in October — his first from a high-major — after visiting campus for the Blue & White scrimmage. Turner is a N.Y. Lightning kid, just like Veer Singh, Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado before him and attended the Georgia game this year.

Matt told Adam Zagoria in November that he’s very fond of Kevin Willard and how he cultivates his guards. 7-foot center and teammate Deng Gak was also offered in October.

Now a junior at Roselle Catholic (N.J.), Nate Pierre-Louis was originally offered back in September of 2013 and was scouted as early as middle school by… you guessed it: Coach Sha. A combo guard who is developing point guard skills, Pierre-Louis was at a handful of games this year and is hearing from SMU, UConn, Purdue, Miami, Providence and others as of February.

Yet another local guy, St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.) guard David Beatty is a relatively new name on Seton Hall’s radar. With offers from Memphis, VCU, Kansas State, Miami and other respectable programs, Beatty hasn’t had much recruiting activity since his October offer from Seton Hall; he attended the Georgetown and Xavier games in February.

Like Beatty, 6-foot-8 forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree of Philly’s Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) is a new name. Cosby-Roundtree reportedly had an impressive junior season after starting organized basketball as an eighth-grader and looks to be somewhat of a late-bloomer.

Dhamir visited Newark for the Wichita State game and as of January is primarily being recruited by the Hall, Villanova, Syracuse, Miami, VCU, Temple, Old Dominion and Monmouth.

Probably a low priority prospect at this point, 6-foot-8 stretch forward Taylor Funk (Manheim Central, Pa.) was at the Rock for the Xavier game but doesn’t have an offer from the Hall, only locals like Monmouth, Rider, Saint Joseph’s and La Salle. Check out a detailed profile on him here.

Finally a recruit not in the Hall’s backyard, junior wing Christian David of Vermont Academy (Vt.) sounds a lot like Veer Singh and was offered by Kevin Willard in January, his most recent ‘ship.

Class of 2018

Finally moving onto future prospects that will be juniors in the fall, there are five guys that you should remember.

Hudson Catholic (N.J.) guards Luther Muhammad and Jahvon Quinerly along with top-10 Roselle Catholic (N.J.) big man Naz Reid have all attended multiple games this season and join up with Pope John XXII pair Atiba Taylor Jr. and Louis King to form a ‘Big 5’ in 2018 that Sha has offered over the course of last year.

It’s too early to tell where these guys are leaning, but any sort of package deal for the Team SCAN squad would be immense. With Kentucky and every other program in the country after him, Naz Reid is the top prospect of the bunch.

Another Westtown (Pa.) kid in five-star wing Cameron Reddish has been offered in addition to his teammates while local guard Jalen Carey was offered in January prior to attending the Georgetown and Xavier games; Jalen filled up the box scores at Montclair Immaculate (N.J.) as just a sophomore and is coached by Jimmy Salmon of the NJ Playaz (AAU). Offers from Rutgers, VCU and others immediately followed the Hall in early January.

My thoughts

As I’m sure you know, a lot of the 2016 recruitment depends on the what becomes of Isaiah Whitehead (NBA draft), Jevon Thomas (discipline) and any reserve players that leave the team.

There is a roughly-used phrase regarding scholarship situations that “things tend work out” and that looks to be the case regarding incoming kids and Seton Hall’s zero currently open scholarships.

Eron Gordon (combo guard) and Taurean Thompson (power forward) are the two primary reinforcements, but I’m sure Seton Hall will test the immediately eligible transfer market too — Derrick Gordon’s addition was a massive success.

Looking to 2017, Kevin Willard and his staff finally have some success to sell and they’ve made themselves known with a ton of highly rated local kids along I-95 from Philly to New York. This summer into early fall is a crucial period for scouting these rising seniors as a lot prefer to make decisions prior to their senior seasons. I’d guess that a point guard and post forwards are the high priorities here.

As you can tell from reading, Shaheen Holloway has his name all over this article, without any embellishment from me. He’s certainly ready for a low/mid-major job recruiting-wise (I can’t speak from X’s and O’s perspective), so it will be interesting to see how much longer he remains a major asset for Willard.

  • HallBall10

    Good article! Thanks.

    The following is a link to a list of transfers that you can sort by High School rankings/ immediate eligible/etc.…
    http://www.verbalcommits.com/transfers/2016

    Some names of note:
    1)Marvin Clark, one time Shu target just transferred from Mich St. (Good player, similar game to Desi)
    2)Goodluck Okbonoh, I think IW tried to get him to come to SHU at some point. -Transferred mid-year(i think) from UNLV (6-9 center ESPN ranked #26 in HS developing offensive game but great at blocking shots. 6 pts 5 boards and 3 blocks per game freshman year)
    3)Avery Woodson-Memphis (no shu connection that I know of) graduate senior 9pts 43% from 3pt.

    • hallstorm

      That’s a great list HallBall10. I can add to Okonoba that Savon Goodman, Dwayne Morgan and Jermaine Lawrence had also considered the Hall (and they’re close by). I specifically remember hearing a lot of effort to recruit Okonoba and Morgan. Didn’t Morgan attend Midnight Madness?

      • Morgan was Seton Hall’s to lose — from what I heard, they passed

    • Thanks for sharing, didn’t know VC did transfers now. I know Jeff Goodman was supposed to post his list today (may already be up).

      I’m sure SH will be interested, may have something posted like ‘top 10 transfers SH should go after’

    • shuhoops5

      Interesting thought of Okbonoh, Whitehead followed him on twitter after he announced his intent to transfer, one of the 15 or so non-shu people whitehead follows…..

  • hallstorm

    Great work Chris. This summarizes a lot of the priorities regarding the future targets.

    I guess the sooner we know about imminent transfers, we will know who is coming to play.

    • Thanks. The staff is already in tune with who is leaving. Just a matter of time now.

  • Jersey Jerry

    GR8 read Chris and once again, THANKS for all U do 2 keep our Pirate Nation up-dated w/our Kids from ‘da Hall!!!

  • JJer

    2018 Guard Tavon Jones of Linden made NJ.com’s 2nd team All State, pretty impressive for a sophomore. Right in their backyard, SHU is not looking at him?

    • They could be, but I haven’t seen anything yet. I’m sure they’re aware.

      Saint Peter’s and St Joes offers, apparently

  • Mosleyman

    Great article, Chris. Thanks for the extraordinary detail and background. A few questions and thoughts:

    – If the signing period ends May 18, and the decision deadline for those testing the NBA waters is May 25, aren’t many very good players going to wait till 5/25 to see who leaves their respective schools? What happens after the signing period officially ends? Seems to me there will be a flood of commitments on May 26.

    – This is just an impression, but it seems to me that we’re involved with a generally higher grade of recruits this year than last year. Granted, our success this year is a key factor, but I had this impression back in late January, when we still weren’t sure what we were. I was always surprised that we didn’t follow up our recruiting of the Whitehead/Delgado/Carrington class with a stronger set of blue-chippers last year (with props to Derrick Gordon). Do you think that was a Tiny Morton thing? I wouldn’t think so since Sha’ appears to be our key guy, but I don’t know. Could they have made a strategic decision to invest their time on underclassmen?

    – I wish the best for Shaheen and if he wants to be a head coach, I hope he gets the opportunity. But from everything I read, it appears that our recruiting would be devastated if he leaves. I hope the administration recognizes his value and does everything possible, financially and otherwise, to keep him happy here.

    – I’ve long had the impression that we’ve had more success recruiting quality guards than recruiting quality bigs. Maybe it’s because there are more of them, but this is a big man’s game. Any idea if this is a Willard philosophy, or simply that we haven’t been able to compete with the established programs for bigs?

    – I wonder what other recruiting surprises Willard has going. On one of the radio post-game shows (after a win, so he was particularly chatty), he talked about how Seton Hall had become a nationally-recognized program, as exemplified by their recruiting efforts. I ticked off a few different geographies where they were active, and mentioned that there were two quality players in the Dallas area that they were in on. I’ve never seen any other mention of that, and it may amount to nothing, but if what he says is accurate, that’s very encouraging. And this year, in particular, after our successful season, is the time to take advantage of it.

    • – Signing a NLI isn’t the end-all. I actually think it makes more sense for highly rated kids not to sign one. As per usual, the dates don’t exactly align to favor the kids. But I’m not sure there will be a “flood of commitments” — I don’t think (but don’t know) there are a lot of uncommitted kids that are at the level where they are considering schools with NBA draft kids.

      – Re: talent of classes, which two are you comparing? Seton Hall was involved with some talented 2015/2016 kids but just missed out. They had talent on their roster to sell, but no success and a fractured locker room used for negative recruiting last year.

      – Re: guards/bigs, not sure if there is anything of substance there. Willard has missed out on a lot of big men prior to and after Delgado, see the Jesse Govans of the world

      – So Willard was talking about recruits he’s after from the Dallas area on the post-game show? Bizarre.

      • Mosleyman

        I may be wrong, but here’s why I think there’ll be lots of late commitment activity, and please, correct my logic if you see a flaw. Every day, it appears that one or two more players declare their “test the NBA water” intentions. My guess is that every one of their schools will be trying to line up at least one quality player to replace them, and probably more, given the unpredictability of the school the player might choose (does anyone really know which of his top 4 schools Taurean Thompson would select?). These replacements may be HS seniors, transfers or JC’s, but I doubt any serious basketball school would leave the newly-abandoned scholarship unfilled. Some of this may shake out earlier, if NBA declarees don’t get an invite to the Combine and decide to stay in school (thereby further clarifying the roster of the team that the new recruit would play for), but human nature being what it is, I suspect many players will hold on till the last minute to get the most info possible about their potential NBA careers. And ultimately, all those backfill players, first choices and backup choices alike, will need to land somewhere. I think the last two weeks of May could be very active.

        As for last year’s recruiting class, the impression I had from all that I read was that there wasn’t the same kind of buzz that we had this year after we lost Govan and Chris Silva, both early on in the recruiting year. I freely admit I’ve never seen any of these HS players play, so most of what I know is based on the “stars” ratings and the articles. But my memory, perhaps faulty, remembers more 2 and 3 star recruits being discussed last year, and more 3, 4 and 5 star recruits this year.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Great article Chris. I hope we can get Taureen Thompson. We need another guy on the boards.

  • Fishjam

    Chris, what do you know about the Juco PG Jonathan Mulmore they just offered? Was only 2 stars out of HS but had big Juco season and has offer from Georgetown. Haven’t had chance to dig anything up on him yet, wondering if anyone else has. If IW goes we need a PG who can step right in, is this kid capable?

  • Joe A

    Do we have any interest in Matt Bullock of Roselle Catholic? I saw him in the Union County final and was really impressed with his ability to shoot from the outside and take it to the rim. At 6’4″ and 220, he is a unique SG. Reminded me of a bigger version of Myles Davis.

    • HallBall10

      He committed to Rutgers.

    • Fishjam

      Love Bullock’s intangibles and would have liked him at Seton Hall IF we had more open ships. At the moment, we have to shoot high and also go for need. SG/SF isn’t vital right now, PG is.

      I posted this in another forum but Bullock’s situation reminds me of Otis Livingston from Linden last year. Tremendous Jersey HS player who led team to championship but doesn’t have the protypical physical attributes for a high-major so didn’t get many offers. Didn’t stop Livingston from having a big freshman year for George Mason.

      As a player, Bullock reminds me a little of Roosevelt Jones as a guy who is too small to be a 3 and too slow to be a 2 but he finds ways to score and make plays. He’s not the player Rosie is although he’s a better shooter. Would have been nice to get a Roselle Catholic player who is a leader and well respected with their slew of younger impact players.

  • VinBick

    The present state of the program should entice quality kids in New Jersey and New York to want Seton Hall as their college choice. This is a team heading for bigger and better accomplishments. Seton Hall is once again an attractive school to attend. Solid spot with great exposure in the Big East on Fox nationally with home games at the first class Rock. The strong, stable coaching staff can recruit against the best competition as the Big East Champions. Go Pirates!

  • fouline

    I think it will be hard to get a PG to commit, a good one anyway, until Whitehead’s situation is cleared up. If Whitehead doesn’t get drafted and stays in school then how much time can a PG expect to play.

    • IMO, the combine invite date is big. I think he gets invited. At that point, odds increase that he leaves. It’s about 60 players, so roughly the 2 draft rounds.

  • Matty P

    For those interested the Wall Street Journal posted an article on the net worth of each college basketball team. SHU came in at $27.7M which was 79th on the listing, but 2nd to last in the BE. Here’s the article for those interested: http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-much-is-your-college-basketball-team-worth-1459459516
    For the picture the first column is the rank and then the numbers on the right are the 2015 Valuation in millions, the 2014 Valuation in millions and the percentage change.

    • Thanks. I’m planning a piece of some sort that has to do with some financials, tv ratings, etc. Every source helps

  • Matty P

    I hope our kids are watching this final 4 game and realizing that they beat Nova on a neutral floor which shows they can play with any team in the country. If this team stays together next year there’s no reason they shouldn’t make a deep run in the tournament.

    Congrats to Nova and the BE. Nova came into this tournament with people looking back at their early round losses. Nova is rubbing that in everyone’s face tonight by blowing out OU to get into the championship. This is what the BE has been waiting for since shrinking. Showing the strength of the league and that they should be in consideration with the football conferences.

  • Fishjam

    Just 2-3 weeks ago we beat the team that just crushed Oklahoma by 44 points to make the National Championship game. If Nova wins it all I think it makes our BET Championship more special. They will talk about it years from now…..how Seton Hall beat the eventual Nat’l Champs in a classic BET Final. Of course Id rather lose the BET and win it all and it sucks we got knocked out in 1st round but I am proud of our BET win. A lot of fans think it was meaningless since we lost to Gonzaga but it was a special 3 games and the program needed it.

    • Matty P

      I hope people don’t take that BE championship for granted. To win 3 games in 3 days with 2 coming against 2 top 5 nationally ranked opponents is quite a feat. Unfortunately as you mentioned most will only look towards the 1st round loss.

      I completely agree this was the step the program needed to take. If you want to build a program like Nova or Xavier or any of the nation powerhouses it’s going to take time and winning seasons along with a steady coach. If this team meets its expectations the next 2 seasons and makes the tournament they should continue to bring in high level recruits to keep the program rolling in the right direction. Right now they are working towards building a winning culture which should transfer from team to team.

    • fouline

      The BE win is the opening volley in a long road to build a program that has sputtered along since the mid ’90s. Let’s see if this coach, this team can be the first in a long line of program building. Next year will be the team’s and Willard’ & Company’s most import. Then we can talk about the great win and the great run with confidence.

      • Fishjam

        I agree, it is very important to have another good year as programs are built through stability and by becoming a consistent competitive team year after year. If we return to mediocrity next year, this season’s success will look like a fluke.

        But despite the loss in tourney, this year was a resounding success and now paints Seton Hall in a much different way to recruits, HS/AAU coaches, etc. That BET trophy and celebration will be the first thing outsiders think of opposed to last year at this time when turmoil, dissent and collapse were on people’s mind.

        25-8 and a Top 25 ranking heading into NCAAs. 12 conference wins plus the BET title so we went 15-6 against the Big East including 3 wins over Top 5 teams. This was the best season since the early 90s and along with the facility improvements gives our school some positive ammunition to use on the recruiting trail.

    • LBP

      Fishjam–you are always on point

  • Mosleyman

    It wasn’t very well advertised, but CBS had a one-hour special on Bill Raftery yesterday that was terrific. It was done by his son, who is a film maker, and it contained a lot of Seton Hall-related content, including clips from some Walsh Auditorium games and interviews with a few of his old players. For anyone interested, it will be rebroadcast next Saturday at 1pm on the NBA Network (I have no idea why, but that’s what my cable schedule says). Thought some of the long-time diehards on the board (isn’t that all of us?) might be interested.

    • hallstorm

      Thanks Mosleyman. I will most certainly tune in

    • VinBick

      Bill was talking a bit about his time at LaSalle last night. In mid-sixties, he was tough against the Hall in games at the Palestra that I was fortunate enough to be a part of as one of the WSOU guys. He could hit a “set shot” from deep areas of the court. For the younger guys here, that is a shot made with both feet planted on the court. The last great one at Seton Hall was Randy Chave out of St. Michael H. S. in Union City. Richie Reagan was great at them, too. He used to go one on one with Randy after practices when he was our head coach. He never lost his touch. Could drain them from almost half court in Walsh Gym against Randy and Sonny Sunket.

  • hallstorm

    I really like how Jay Wright has conducted himself in interviews this whole tournament. He really is a stand-up guy. I especially like how he has created what he calls “Villanova culture”:

    https://www.sny.tv/college-recruiting/news/how-villanova-succeeded-without-one-and-dones/170306022

  • Matty P

    What an ending to that national championship game. Congrats to Nova and the BE. This was the type of win that could help define the BE going forward and show everyone that they aren’t a league to look past. Oh and btw the last team to beat Nova this year happened to be SHU and stopped them from capping it off the trifecta with the BE season championship, BE tournament championship, and national championship.

    • LBP

      Congrats to the MIldcats and their classy Coach Jay Wright –great great win

    • hallstorm

      Ha–I mentioned the same thing to my bro regarding the Hall being the last team to beat Villanova. And, on that note, it’s nice to get a little recognition heading into the offseason (even if it’s preliminary and even if it’s entirely dependent on IW):

      http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/15123601/duke-blue-devils-kentucky-wildcats-college-basketball-top-25-2016-2017

      • Fishjam

        Last sentence summed up next season for the Pirates, on IW……”This return is make or break.” With him we are Top 20 team, sky is the limit….. without, we are….??

        • fouline

          Not so sure. Gordon’s leadership and play made a big difference to the team. Next year without him it will be very different with or without Whitehead.

          • Fishjam

            I love Gordon and this year’s team would not have been nearly as good without him. His loss will be felt. But it can’t be understated how young the team was this year and how much they matured over the course of the season,. They badly needed leadership. Next year you will have a team full of Juniors who know what it takes to win a BET and play in the NCAAs. Not to say they won;t miss DG’s play & leadership, but they should have enough to overcome it.

            On that note, IMO the Big East will be tougher next year. Nova and Xavier will still be Top 5 caliber teams, Creighton returns everyone except Groselle but they have a good transfer coming in. Butler will still be solid with their starting frontcourt back, Marquette will lose Ellenson but they were youngest team in Nation and have a Top 10 recruiting class. GTown is an enigma but they have a talented frontcourt, Johnnies will be improved. Providence depends on Bentil’s situation.

  • Matty P

    Not sure if you guys saw Barkley’s reaction to the game winning shot but it’s pretty funny. The complete opposite of Jay Wright’s reaction.
    https://twitter.com/NBAonTNT/status/717229145051291648?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    • hallstorm

      And Mr. UNC Kenny Smith’s reaction, of course.

    • Ryan Kelly

      rumors than Barkley bet MJ $1Million hence the reaction

  • hallstorm

    Again–dependent on what Whitehead does, he is listed as the 2nd best college player for ’16-17:

    http://scores.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/insider/story/_/id/15124959/first-look-top-25-players-2016-2017-college-basketball-season