Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. Let's get to the link roundup:
Jeff Pearlman writes that Seton Hall has found a winner in Kevin Willard. More interesting, were Pearlman's harsh words for former head coach, Bobby Gonzalez:
For the last four years, the Pirates once-proud program had been damned by the tyrannical reign of Bobby Gonzalez, a walking, talking, cursing stereotype of the modern madman coach. To say Gonzalez was loathed by his players and associates is an understatement of the Manute Bol-is-mildly-tall variety. The man known as Gonzo alienated high school coaches, high school recruits, opposing teams and a cornucopia of the Garden State's small animals, plants and minerals. He was a bad guy atop a bad team, and he got what he deserved.
And I thought I was harsh on Gonzo. Small Animals. Plants. Minerals. Nice. I wonder what the "Bobby Gonzalez truthers," will say in response to Pearlman's article? Probably nothing, seeing as their blog has been shut down in less than a week after their inception. If you didn't have the opportunity of checking out the blog before it was shut down, they claimed to be a group of Bobby's friends and supporters who vowed to bring legal action against those who have participated in a, "smear campaign" to have Gonzalez fired. Comical.
Sean Brennan reports of the new era that Kevin Willard has ushered into the Seton Hall program:
Willard hit a home run with the assembled school officials and alumni in attendance when he announced a pair of former Seton Hall players - Grant Billmeier and Marcus Toney-El - would be joining his staff, one that will include Shaheen Holloway, Dan McHale and Stephen Sauers, holdovers from Willard's Iona days.
Billmeier and MTE are expected to have administrative positions and there's at least one more assistant coaching job left up for grabs. There may be two up for grabs, if Dan McHale is a candidate for the Iona opening.
Speaking of Dan McHale and the Iona job, Jeff Goodman confirms that McHale is indeed in the running:
Other candidates at Iona include Louisville assistant Steve Masiello, ex-St. John's head coach Norm Roberts, Florida assistant Richard Pitino and Iona assistant Dan McHale.
However, Adam Zagoria would later tweet that McHale is not interviewing for the job:
Dan McHale not interviewing at Iona, per sources. Fraschilla, Pitino, Masiello, Roberts & others in the mix
J.P. Pelzman on Kevin Willard and his desire to bring character and integrity back to Seton Hall hoops:
He defined being "creative" as perhaps pursuing foreign players. A source close to the situation indicated the Pirates may have a chance at landing a player from Norway who was being recruited by the previous regime, and was close to committing before Gonzalez was fired March 17.
ON WILLARD'S FIRST VERBAL: Talked to someone whose opinion I trust about the Okoloji verbal and he said three things: 1) The kid is really 6-6, not 6-8; 2) He handles very well and shoots pretty well; 3) He's a good citizen who will work hard and could play a productive role for the Pirates.
Lastly, in the latest NBADraft.net mock draft, Pope is the only of the three to be projected in the first two rounds.
#52 LA Clippers Herb Pope 6-8 233 PF Seton Hall So.
Late, Late, second round at that. Of course, Pope will need to have impressive individual workouts in order to increase his stock tremendously before making his decision prior to the May 8th withdraw date. One more year. One more year.