Seton Hall awaits Andre Rafus decision, offers Zach Kent

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While the 2016-17 college and high school hoops seasons creep nearer, Seton Hall’s recruitment of rising seniors evolves by the day as Andre Rafus sets a decision date, a new senior center is offered, the staff watches star point guard Trevon Duval, and more.

First up is 2017 sharp-shooting wing Andre Rafus (Lake Clifton, Md.), who recently transferred back to his home state from Roselle Catholic (N.J.) and will decide this Friday.

Rafus is down to Kansas, TCU, Georgetown and Seton Hall with all four schools holding places on his list for some time now. The Hoyas have ‘ships to give with no current 2017 commits while TCU and Kansas also have some room at the three. Despite this and guys like Desi Rodriguez and Veer Singh on the roster as small forwards, Seton Hall is the runaway favorite according to 247Sports’ Crystal Ball; I’ve heard the Pirates have a really good shot.

Shaheen Holloway is taking the lead here with a kid from a Team Melo (AAU) program that is not unfamiliar to the staff. Rafus’ pursuit took priority over another DMV small forward in De’Vondre Perry, who trimmed SH from his list on Sunday.

An interesting offer rolled in over the last few days with Seton Hall extending a scholarship to 6-foot-10 WE R1 senior center Zach Kent of Blair Academy (N.J.). A top-200 guy with offers from the likes of Georgia Tech and Indiana since the spring, Kent joins St. Benedict’s (N.J.) big man Bourama Sidibe as two local bigs that the staff seems keen on adding to the roster.

Shifting to the guard position, Kevin Willard and Shaheen Holloway displayed their commitment to continue recruiting 2017 point guard Trevon Duval (IMG Academy, Fla.) by watching him last week.

With academic question marks and a top-nine that spans the entire high-major hoops spectrum, it’s unclear where Duval is leaning but Seton Hall has remained committed to recruiting the top-rated point guard for a while now.

The second 2017 guard on the staff’s radar, Nojel Eastern (Evanston, Ill.) officially visited Michigan State this weekend, his perceived favorite. If there’s a small sliver of optimism here, it’s that Sparty lost 30-6 at home to Wisconsin in a game that Nojel was likely at.

Measuring in at something like 6-foot-5, a key in his recruitment will be whether schools want Eastern as a wing or a point guard; he’s capable of playing the one through three spots.

In other 2017 recruiting news, Philly’s Daron Russell (Imhotep, Pa.) has pledged to Rhode Island. Many have listed Seton Hall as a school he chose URI over, but he has been a tertiary target at point guard for a bit now.

Pivoting the spotlight to juniors and sophomores, Seton Hall has two new offers out to NJ Roadrunner forward duo Casmir Ochiaka (PF) and Calistus Anyichie (SF), both of St. Mary’s (Elizabeth, N.J.).

The Pirates are the first high-major to offer with the likes of NJIT, Stony Brook and Fairleigh Dickinson doing the same earlier this month. Remember: Ish Sanogo is a Roadrunners alum and fits the mold of a local diamond in the rough forward.

Here is a feel-good piece from Adam Zagoria on Seton Hall’s recruitment of Hudson Catholic (N.J.)/Sports U trio Luther Muhammad (SG), Louis King (SF) and Jahvon Quinerly (PG); their head coach had plenty of good things to say about Willard, Sha’ & Co., who were watching these top-100 2018s last week.

Putnam Science Academy (Conn.) received a visit from the staff last week; 2018s Darnell Brodie (F) and Eric Ayala (G) are the primary targets.

The staff has watched the Ranney (N.J.) sophomore squad (Bryan Antoine, Scottie Lewis, Alex Klatsky, Ahmadu Sarnor) yet again, the staff is clearly pointing in some early work with these guys.