Update 9:30PM: If the first day of the early signing period couldn't get any wilder, it has. Hours after I was told Raymon Austin will not sign with Seton Hall in the early signing period, the player tells me he will sign in the Spring. Austin tells me, " I'm still going to Seton Hall, just working on my academics [and] I will sign to Seton Hall next semester." So, there you have it. Of course, Seton Hall can still back out of the verbal commitment for any reason, especially, should they sign two players to NLI's prior to Austin's.
Original Story: Earlier this afternoon, we reported that 2012 PF Raymon Austin will not sign with Seton Hall during this week's early signing period. Austin's head coach at Paris JUCO, Chuck Taylor, told me the player would not be signing his letter of intent this week, but would not comment on whether he might in the Spring. While Taylor declined to comment further, it's believed that Seton Hall and Raymon Austin will likely part ways.
On August 17th, the "mystery man" pledged his services to Seton Hall after assistant, Chris Pompey, led the Pirates recruitment for the son of former boxer, Ray Austin. Not surprisingly, when Austin gave his word to the blue-and-white, he didn't claim any other offers. Following his commitment, I confirmed with sources that it was legit, however he would only have 2-years of eligibility remaining, instead of the 3 that were previously reported. I was also told how excited everyone was as the player was considered, "a real gem," "an NBA-talent," and would have been a, "top-50 kid," if he was recruited out of high school.
What it means now? As noted above, it's unlikely that Raymon Austin ever winds up at Seton Hall at this point. I don't see him signing in the Spring and I believe the Pirates will move in another direction. They've kept up their recruitment of 2012 forwards for a reason; they most likely saw this coming. The positive? We're back to TWO scholarships remaining through the 2013 season, so the staff will likely try to secure both a PF and a PG in the coming days, or months. If you've been paying attention to our weekly recruiting roundups, you're familiar with the names below, at this point.
Today, 2012 PF Christopher Obekpa (Our Savior) told CBSSports he would not be signing until the Spring. Although, Obekpa attended the blue/white scrimmage at Seton Hall on Sunday, banking on him to commit to Seton Hall is not very realistic. Instead, 2012 PF Charles Mitchell (Wheeler) and 2012 C Jaleel Cousins (Spanish Fort) are much more believable targets. As reported on SOJ, Cousins will not be signing with any school, until the Spring.
On the point guard front, the 2012 cupboard is very bare at this point. Yesterday, we mentioned Madison Jones (Ravenscroft, NC) was one of the top available point guards, who Seton Hall had offered. The staff extended an offer in July and today, the player told Jeff Borzello that he will sign tomorrow with either Seton Hall or American. That said, in speaking with my sources, I have reason to believe that Jones will not be coming to Seton Hall.
Update 9:20PM: Seton Hall reached out to 2012 PG Jaylen Beckham (Bryan Station, KY) tonight and reportedly told the player, "we need a point guard." Beckham considered reclassifying to 2013 and transferring to West Virginia Prep school before they were exposed as a fraudulent school. Beckham has stayed at Bryan Station in the 2012 class and the Pirates are planning on visiting him within the next week or two. In speaking with a source tonight, I'm told the Pirates are serious about landing him as a 2012 commitment. Beckham is ranked as a 2-star ESPN/Scout prospect and 3-stars with Rivals. He's considered the 64th ranked point guard in the 2012 class according to ESPN.