As the spring signing period (April 13th - May 18th) approaches, it seems appropriate to down-shift from Pirate basketball on the court to Pirate basketball off the court. How will Kevin Willard & Co add to the already 5 man deep 2011 class? Will they add yet another guard or bolster the front court? Lets explore some of the staff's options for next year's class.
Ryan Rhoomes (6'8 205lbs PF, NIA Prep (NJ) - Despite the rumors a week or two ago that Ryan Rhoomes was headed to TCU, he is not. His coach at NIA Prep, Alif Muhammed, said that he would be taking visits to TCU and Seton Hall soon, but I don't believe anything has materialized yet. Rhoomes said West Virginia was his favorite several weeks ago, but has had a change of heart since then. Seton Hall is definitely in his final 2 or 3 schools.
Lekan Ajayi (6'10 235lbs C, Quality Education (NC) - Ajayi is not a stranger to South Orange Juice readers. The big man made it known that he is fond of Seton Hall. Seton Hall is in Lekan's final four along with Miami, Loyal Marymount and Tennessee. Ajayi took a visit to Loyal Marymount this Thursday, but I think its safe to say that if Seton Hall wants Lekan in Pirate blue next season, it will probably happen.
Brandon Mobley (6'9 210lbs PF, St. John's Military Academy (GA) - The power forward from Georgia was in attendance for Senior Night against Marquette. The general consensus is that Mobley's list is down to Seton Hall, Auburn and USC. Mobley was originally supposed to make a decision this past Thursday, but he is not set on a single school yet. Expect a decision really soon.
Kevin Johnson (6'9 225lbs C, William Howard Taft (CA) - Johnson should be at the top of Seton Hall's recruiting wish list and for good reason - he is talented. Unfortunately, he isn't nearly as talented in the classroom. The senior might need to prep for a season before going to school. If he gets his grades in order, Seton Hall has a very good shot at Johnson. According to this article, Johnson has offers from San Diego State, Seton Hall, Illinois and Cincinnati - an impressive list.
Keith Coleman (6'9 240lbs C, Lee Academy (ME) - Seton Hall offered Coleman in December, but not much has been heard since then. Perhaps he had a mediocre performance against CBA when they visited the States in January. I know that in the game footage video on Youtube that Coleman saw little time on the court.
Junior Fortunat (6'8 205lbs PF, Roman Catholic (PA) - "Junior" is currently in the same ballpark as Keith Coleman. Both are definitely on Seton Hall's recruiting radar, but they probably aren't the main targets.
David Bruce (6'9 215lbs PF, Harcum JC (PA) - Once a standout at Linden High School (NJ), David Bruce has since been demoted to JUCO obscurity until now. The PF that was once deemed as a problem for any team off the court has been posting impressive numbers at Harcum JC. Bruce is getting looks from Seton Hall, Iowa, Saint Joesph (verballed to Phil Martelli out of HS) and Temple. If Coach Willard feels that Bruce has cleaned up his act, don't be surprised if Bruce ends up in South Orange. He would have three years of eligibility.
Guy Landry (6'4 185lbs SG, Midland JC (TX) - Landry has been tearing up the JUCO scene of late and attracting major interest, how can he not with this type of skill? Landry has garnered interest from schools like Missouri State, Wichita State, Missouri, Miami and Seton Hall. Most recently, Landry scored 15 points in Midland's loss to Southern Idaho in the NJCAA Championship game. The word is that Seton Hall is very strong with Landry. He and Cosby would do a respectable job of replacing Jeremy Hazell. Brad Winton of JucoRecruiting.com described Landry as a:
Strong athlete/great defender. Offensive skills have been developing consistently. Tough kid, game should translate well
It sounds like Landry would be a more experienced and ready to play version of Haralds Karlis.
Overview: At this moment, Seton Hall has 2 scholarships to give, assuming that the current 6 scholarship players return (Theodore, Pope, Auda, Geramipoor, Okoloji, Edwin) and the remaining two verbals (Hill, Grennan) sign their NLOIs in a few weeks. However, it needs to be said that this isn't set in stone, and I think the staff is prepared for the worst. There have been rumors that Anali Okoloji might transfer and that Isaiah Hill hasn't taken his SATs or ACTs yet. They are just rumors, but they are important with regards to recruiting. If Hill doesn't qualify, expect Lekan Ajayi to immediately come into the picture. If Okoloji transfers, expect another power forward to be signed.
Here is how I would guess that the staff is focusing their recruiting efforts: If Brandon Mobley chooses USC or Auburn, Ryan Rhoomes will then be the main target. Expect one of these two to sign. As previously stated, Lekan Ajayi is on the back burner unless Isaiah Hill doesn't qualify. I don't believe Junior Fortunat or Keith Coleman will come into play unless the staff whiffs on Rhoomes and Mobley. If Kevin Johnson has his academics in order, expect him to be right up there at the top of the list along with Brandon Mobley, perhaps even ahead of him.
I'm honestly not sure how Bruce would fit in here. He is probably in the next tier of focus beyond Rhoomes, Mobley and Johnson.
As for Guy Landry, he would be the sixth guard on the team unless Grennan were to not sign his NLOI for some reason. I'm not saying Grennan won't, but anything is possible until he signs on the dotted line. That being said, Landry appears to be a real talent. Remember Gonzo's hype of Jamel Jackson? Multiply that by five and you have what Landry WILL be. Its tough to see where Landry would fit in unless Hill or Okoloji fall through, though.
Additionally, don't rule out the possibilities of transfers and/or other recruits/JUCOs that haven't been listed here above.
The following is my guess at the best case scenario for the scholarship situation next season:
1 - Herb Pope
2 - Jordan Theodore
3 - Fuquan Edwin
4 - Patrik Auda
5 - Aaron Geramipoor
6 - Aaron Cosby
7 - Freddie Wilson
8 - Haralds Karlis
9 - Sean Grennan
10 (?) - Isaiah Hill - (Lekan Ajayi)
11 (?) - Anali Okoloji - (Brandon Mobley / Ryan Rhoomes)
12 (?) - Kevin Johnson / Rhoomes / Mobley
13 (?) - Guy Landry