It looks as if the Seton Hall coaching search is officially over. Today, Kevin Willard rounded out his coaching staff with the final hire, New Mexico State's assistant coach, Chris Pompey. Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports was first to announce the hire:
Sources have told FOXSports.com that Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard has hired New Mexico State assistant Chris Pompey to fill out staff.
Pompey's bio, courtesy of NMSU Athletics:
In his first year at NM State, Pompey helped recruit a top 20 2007 class, which included Parade fourth team All-American Herb Pope and Jahmar Young, and Rivals.com rated it the third best among mid-major schools in the nation. The Aggies went 25-9 in 2006-07 and won their first WAC Tournament. NM State made its 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, which was the first since 1999.
As Pompey was partly responsible for Pope's recruitment to NMSU, you've got to wonder if his arrival will influence Pope's decision to come back to Seton Hall. I sure hope it does. Great hire by the Hall.
Will there be a European presence to the Pirates next season? Adam Zagoria suggests the possibility:
The Pirates are involved with Torgrim Sommerfeldt, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Norway, and Ozan Dilik, a 6-4 point guard from Turkey. Sommerfeldt visited the South Orange, N.J. campus last weekend and will likely choose from among Seton Hall, Rutgers, FDU and Florida International in the coming weeks. Dilik is a 6-4 point guard from Turkey who plays at Huntington (West Va.) Prep. He visited Cincinnati last weekend and is trying to set up visits to Seton Hall and Oregon soon.
NBE's 2010-2011 Preseason Power Poll lists the Pirates at #14th in the conference. Of course, the list assumes that the trio will be leaving for the NBA/Europe and will not be returning:
The Pirate roster is a very fluid entity at the moment with three players (Hazell, Pope and Robinson) declaring for the NBA draft but leaving the option to return to school open. The also have three verbal commitments from recruits (forwards Eugene McCrory, Jami Hanner and Anali Okoloji) that have not signed letters of intent as roster issues and acacemic requirements are still being worked out. As it currently stands five of last year's top six scorers have moved on and that slides SHU down in the lower quarter of the Big East. If players return to school and withdraw from the draft they will move up accordingly in our next update.
Lastly, Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated looks at ten teams awaiting NBA Draft decisions:
8. Seton Hall: Likely Outcome: Willard has already said he expects Hazell and Robinson to be back, with Pope on the fence. Although there's nothing predictable about Pope, I think he may be back for another year, given that he has no shot at being a first-round pick and little shot at even being a second-rounder with a guarantee. Putting up double-doubles on an upper-level Big East team should get him noticed enough to make money after next season.
Throughout the offseason I've been saying that I expected JRob and Hazell to come back with Pope as 50/50, leaning towards leaving. With that said, with the hire of Pompey today, I'd have to believe Pope's odds of coming back have improved to at least 60/40.