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Friday, June 17, 2011

Taking a look at Seton Hall's 2012 Guard Targets

Today I am going to take a look at Seton Hall's guards (PG and SG) targets and also put them on a tier of importance. It looks like Coach Willard and his staff are putting a ton of effort into getting a high quality PG to come for the Class of 2012 but not quite as much interest in the SG class for 2012. Now, lets take a look first at the Point Guards.
Point Guards:
Target #1: Kyle Anderson, PG, St. Anthony's (6'8" 215 Lbs): Rivals: #4     ESPN: 97, #10
Kyle Anderson is hands down Seton Hall's highest rated and most important target. Kyle posses the height of a SF but the ball handling and passing ability of a PG. He is the highest rated PG on Rivals and ESPN has him rated as a SF. He is capable of playing both on the ball and off the ball on the wing or point forward. In the games I have seen him play, he seems to excel at grabbing a rebound and immediately starting the fast break. He has thrown some beautiful full court passes to his teammates at St. Anthony's. His shooting range is about 17 to 19 feet, so if he is going to be a wing that could be improved. His top five are Seton Hall, St. Johns, UCLA, Florida, and Georgetown. His father has said SHU is recruiting him the hardest.
Target #2: Kareem Canty, PG, Bridgton Academy (6'1" 188 Lbs): Rivals: #93     ESPN: 92, #90
If Anderson is the highest target for 2012, Canty is a close second. The Seton Hall staff has put a ton of effort into Canty and their are tons of reasons to like Canty. He has a great understanding of the game and he knows when to be a playmaker and when to be a scorer. He can finish in the lane through contact as he has a very big frame. He is very explosive but he needs to improve his shot selection and also being more vocal. He has said his two favorites are Xavier and Seton Hall.
Target #3: Jaylen Beckham, PG, Bryan Station (6'0" 165 Lbs): Rivals: #123      ESPN: 29th PG
Beckham is clearly below Canty and Anderson in terms of skill and importance to the SHU staff. Beckham has some baggage attached to him but he is also very talented. He has great speed and quickness kind of like Jordan Theodore. He has great vision and makes a lot of plays for his teammates. His biggest weakness is his shooting range, which is only about 18 feet. He is considering DePaul, Washington, Alabama, Seton Hall, and Texas A&M with no current favorite.

There are some other minor targets but none seem likely to land at Seton Hall.
Shooting Guards:
Target #1 was Omar Calhoun, the highly rated SG from Christ the King. However, about 10 days ago he verbally committed to Connecticut. There is still a chance if we land Kyle Anderson that he backs out of that verbal and comes to SHU, since the two were rumored as a package deal. After Calhoun, there are some other good but not great targets at the SG position. 
Target #2: Carlos Morris, SG, Arlington Country Day School: (6'6" 175 Lbs): ESPN: 91, 22SG (3-star)     Rivals: 145 (3-star)
Morris is a very big, very athletic guard. He excels in the paint but also has some pretty good range. He looks like he could become a very good defensive guard as well. He needs to improve at playing off the ball and also his rebounding is sub par for his size. He is considering Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Georgia, Miami (FL), Providence, South Carolina and South Florida along with some other mid-majors.
Target #3: Darrick Wood, SG, NIA Prep: (6'3" 165 Lbs): ESPN: 91, 23SG (3-star)      Rivals: 101 (4-star)
Wood has one of the best offensive arsenals of any SG in this class. He can get into the lane and finish. He can hit the 3pt shot. He can finish in the mid-range area. He can get to the FT line. However, his defense is sub par and he also needs to bulk up a little bit. Wood has offers from Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Georgetown and a bunch of other schools are considering him. My gut tells me he lands at SHU or Rutgers.

There are some other minor targets like Nkereuwem Okoro and Chris Bolden but they would be last resort options if we could not get anybody else.

Tiers of Importance (Tier 1: Great Get        Tier 2: Good Get            Tier 3: Solid Get        Tier 4: Average Get)
Tier 1: Kyle Anderson, Omar Calhoun, Kareem Canty
Tier 2: Carlos Morris, Darrick Wood
Tier 3: Jaylen Beckham
Tier 4: Nkereuwem Okoro, Chris Bolden

The forwards and centers will be posted next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Welcome Seton Hall's 7 new players

With today's announcement that 6'9" center Gene Teague will transfer from Southern Illinois to SHU and will be eligible to play in 2012-2013 I figured I would go into the 7 commitments Willard has gotten for this year.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anali Okoloji likely to transfer at end of semester

Still not confirmed but it is looking more and more likely that Okoloji will transfer. If he transfers that leaves Willard with three scholarships to give out for 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is the Big East over-rated and why I think they can't produce final four teams

We have been hearing a lot (most notably from Charles Barkley) about how the Big East is over-rated due to their lack of Final Four teams. However, I find this to be utterly false. Here are my reasons on why I feel the Big East can't produce Final Four teams

1. The grind of the regular season and the conference play: I believe this is the biggest reason why the Big East fails to produce final four teams. No other conference in the country plays an 18 game schedule. No other conference in the country has only one or two teams each year that are considered "cupcakes". What I am going to do now is look at how many NCAA tournament teams each of the 11 teams in the conference that made the tournament played:
Pittsburgh: Texas, Tennessee, Connecticut, Marquette, Georgetown, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Villanova, St. Johns, West Virginia, Louisville, Villanova, and Conncecticut (15)
Notre Dame: Georgia, Wisconsin, Indiana State, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Syracuse, Connecticut, St. Johns, Marquette, St. Johns, Cincinnati, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Louisville, West Virginia, Villanova, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville (20)
Syracuse: Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, St. Johns, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Marquette, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, West Virginia, Villanova, Georgetown, St. Johns, Connecticut (16)
Connecticut: Michigan State, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Texas, Villanova, Tennessee, Marquette, Louisville, Syracuse, St. Johns, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Louisville (21)
Louisville: Butler, UNLV, Kentucky, Villanova, Marquette, St. Johns, West Virginia, Connecticut, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Marquette, Notre Dame, Connecticut (18)
West Virginia: Oakland, Vanderbilt, St. Johns, Marquette, Georgetown, Purdue, Louisville, Cincinnati, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette (16)
St. Johns: West Virginia, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Duke, UCLA, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Syracuse (16)
Cincinnati: Xavier, Villanova, Syracuse, Notre Dame, St. Johns, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, St. Johns, Louisville, Georgetown, Connecticut, Marquette, Georgetown, Notre Dame (14)
Georgetown: Old Dominion, Wofford, UNC Asheville, Missouri, Utah State, Temple, Memphis, Notre Dame, St. Johns, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, St. Johns, Villanova, Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Connecticut (21)
Villanova: Bucknell, Boston University, UCLA, Tennessee, Temple, Cincinnati, Louisville, Connecticut, Syracuse, Georgetown, Marquette, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, St. Johns, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh (17)
Marquette: Bucknell, Duke, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, St. Johns, Connecticut, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Louisville (19)
*these don't include NCAA tournament games
Now, can you tell me who else in any other major conference played at least 14 and up to 21 teams that were in the tournament? I can't think of any.
This is my main argument. My other argument would be the following:
2. Lack of elite talent in the Big East: The Big East has a lot of good players but not many great players. The only great player this conference had this year was Kemba Walker. In fact, since Carmelo Anthony there has only been one all star from the Big East which is Rudy Gay. The reason for this is that usually out of the top 10 in ESPN top 150 go to non Big-East teams. The fact is, it takes elite talent to win in March and the Big East does not have elite talent.

These two things lead me to believe the following:
1. The Big East is the best conference in the nation
2. The Big East won't be very successful in March

I still believe that the Big East is the best conference because of their incredible depth and the fact that every team is playing double digit tournament teams every year. They won't be successful in March for that very same reason though. They beat each other up throughout the season which causes them to wear out by the time the Dance begins. So Charles Barkley, go to hell 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a long road back

People that thought Kevin Willard would come in and get instant results were wrong in expecting that. It just doesn't happen. Unless you are a John Calipari and can get a #1 recruiting class, you are not going to be able to come to a program and instantly be successful. Just look at Mick Cronin and the University of Cincinatti as an example. Cronin took over a team that was in tatters and was entering the Big East. His 1st year he went 11-19. His 2nd year he went 13-17. His 3rd year he went 18-12. None of those years did they make the post-season. His 4th season they went 19-16 and won an NIT game. This year, an incredible 26-8 and took his team to the 2nd round of the NCAA tournamnet. His teams improved every season. He was dicisplined and installed a system and stuck with it. He kept preaching defense and being smart. He kept working on recruiting. He established a recruiting bed in a location full of talent and stuck with it. He recruited New Jersey. He got assistants that believed what he believed and he had a school that cared more about its image than instant success. All these things lead to this incredbile season. Coach Kevin Willard is essentially in the same spot as Mick Cronin was 5 years ago. He took over a program, that while it was filled with talent, it was undisicplined talent that were all me 1st players. He has already began the rebuilding image. It started with the benching of Herb Pope for the 1st half of the Arkansas game. It continued with the dismissal of Keon Lawrence and Jamel Jackson. It is happening right now by recruiting high character and hard working kids. Seton Hall won 13 games this year. Expecting 15 for next year is realistic. If Willard keeps sticking to his system and keeps coaching hard, Seton Hall will continue to improve. If Patrick Hobbs sticks with Willard for 5 to 6 years before expecting great things, Seton Hall can be the next Cincinatti. However, it is not going to happen overnight. It will take days, months, and years to get Seton Hall's image to where it needs to be. It will take years to get Seton Hall into a NCAA tournament staple that we can expect tournament results every year. However, for the next 2 to 4 years just enjoy the ride and hope that Seton Hall sticks with Kevin Willard for as long as it takes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How Herb Pope, Fuquan Edwin, and Jordan Theodroe can improve to make next year's team competitive

We all know that losing Jeremy Hazell and wing defender Eniel Polynice is going to be hard to replace. I think we can replace JROB with a combo of Auda and Okoloji. But replacing Hazell and Polynice will take a trio of players to step up. Those 3 players are Herb Pope, Fuquan Edwin, and Jordan Theodore. Here is how those three players need to improve to carry Seton Hall next year:
Herb Pope:
Pope needs to improve a couple things. Offensively, he needs to work on a consistent back to the basket game along with a mid range jumper. If he can get a consistent 18 foot jumper and a consistent go to move when backing down, he can become a star big-man in the Big East. Defensively, he needs to avoid fouls. It seemed that at least 1 time a game he would either commit a reach or an over the back foul. He is too valuable to the team to be picking up stupid fouls. If he can improve these three things I think he can average somewhere in the neighborhood of 16ppg and 10rpg. 
Fuquan Edwin:
Edwin has a bunch of things he can improve to become a star. The 1st is his 3pt shooting. He was decent this year in the low 30's %, but to become a star he needs to be able to shoot 38 to 40 percent from 3. This will come with more practice. If he works on his form then he can continue to improve. The next thing he needs to improve is his ball handling ability. This year he did not do much if any ball handling. But next year, he will probably be asked to play a lot of 2guard so he needs to get better at dribbling the basketball. Like his shooting, it will just take hard work. The 3rd and last thing that he needs to improve offensively is his finishing in the lane. Countless times this year, we saw him grab an offensive board and blow the putback. If he works on finishing, along with the other 2 things, he can become a star offensive weapon. Defensively, he just needs to work on positioning. He had a few freshman lapses that I think will go away with experience. If he improves these things he could average somewhere near 13ppg, 5rpg, and 1.8spg.
Jordan Theodore:
I think the player most vital to our success next year is JT. When Jordan was on this year, he was incredible. When he wasn't, he was terrible. Jordan's biggest problem is consistency. If he becomes consistently good, like if he performs like he did in the Georgetown game, we will be a fairley good team. If he plays like he did in the West Virginia game, we will be terrible. If Theodore gets consistent, he can average 15ppg and 5apg.

If these three players raise their games to levels they are more than capable of, Seton Hall can have a decent season. I don't think they will make the NCAA tourney, but a 16 or 17 win season would definitely be possible.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

1st round upset has already happened

In an incredible game, Morehead State hit a 3 with 4.2 seconds left to give them a 1 point lead. Mara then had a 3pt attempt blocked and the game ended. I will update this thread as more upsets happen.

Upset #2: Richmond beats Vanderbilt (I picked this one)

Zaga is dominating St. Johns with 5:30 to go. Cincy has taken control over Mizzou. KSTATE up 8 with 11 to go. Will have a day 1 recap tomorrow afternoon.

Update on Michigan State as soon as the game ends.