The 2012 class will be one of several classes that could very well define the Kevin Willard era in South Orange. The importance of landing a few highly rated local recruits looms large with the recruiting successes of Rutgers and St. John's. While it shouldn't really matter how our neighbors do on the recruiting trails, it puts indirect pressure on the staff as a majority of Seton Hall fans wonder, "Why can't we recruit like that?"
Here is a brief overview of the staff's recruiting abilities:
Kevin Willard - Hes everywhere. Coach Willard has been spotted at countless local high school games (a dozen of St. Anthony's games), just about as many as he can physically attend. Additionally, Willard has traveled to Canarias Basketball Academy (outside the country) to find talent. Work ethic and sincerity are his strong points.
Shaheen Holloway - While a relatively inexperienced recruiter, Sha's playing experience gives him something to hang his recruiting hat on. Holloway has been the lead recruiter for guards such as Omar Calhoun, Kyle Anderson, Freddie Wilson (2011) and others.
Chris Pompey - "Pomp" is regarded as the 'recruiter' on the staff. He stole Herb Pope from several high majors while at New Mexico State - one of a long list of recruiting coups. Pompey brought in a Top 50 recruiting class in under a month as an assistant at Hampton and a Top 20 class during his first season at New Mexico State.
Pompey excels outside of the Tri-State area. He has major connections in Washington DC as he founded, directed and coached the DC Stars AAU program from 1992-2000. Hampton is also located in Virginia.
If you see a recruit that is located across the country, its very likely that Chris Pompey is recruiting him (ex: Kevin Johnson)
Dan McHale - Like Holloway, McHale is also relatively inexperienced. Like Willard, McHale is regarded as a tireless recruiter with a phenomenal work ethic. This work ethic has already paid off in the form of Brandon Mobley, Sean Grennan and Aaron Cosby.
Steve Sauers, Grant Billmeier and Casey Stanley are not allowed to recruit per NCAA regulations.
Now that you know the staff's strengths and weaknesses, lets dive into the 2012 point guard targets after the jump.
What better way to start than the #1 target - F/PG Kyle Anderson (St. Anthony's HS, NJ - Fairview, NJ). Anderson recently reduced his list to UCLA, Seton Hall, St. John's, Georgetown and Florida.
Kyle still maintains that Seton Hall is recruiting him the hardest and says that he has no favorites and is not sure when he will decide. He has said in the past that he will decide by the start of his senior season at St. Anthony's, but that was said last winter.
Seton Hall might be the only school on Anderson's list that has promised him the he can play point guard in college. Recently, Anderson has switched from PG to forward for his AAU team NJ Playaz. While the switch has been regarded as strictly something to benefit the team, it will be interesting to see if Anderson and his father maintain that he wants to play the point in college.
Anderson was named MVP of last weekend's Rumble in the Bronx for NJ Playaz, who won the championship. Kyle also excelled at Nike's IS8 event - he scored 27 points and added 5 assists against Brooklyn Ballers in a 59-48 win. He was responsible for nearly every point his team scored in that game.
Anderson is clearly Seton Hall's #1 target for 2012. His commitment can mean so much to this program outside of production on the court. He would be the highest rated recruit to come to The Hall since Andre Barrett (early 2000s) and could potentially open up a St. Anthony's pipeline - a relationship which has been fractured since Louis Orr.
Its notable that Anderson knows current Pirates Fuquan Edwin and Jordan Theodore from Paterson Catholic - Anderson played at PC before the school closed last year.
Canty took an unofficial visit to Seton Hall on May 18th and absolutely loved it. He has a great relationship with Shaheen Holloway and the rest of the staff. Canty also likes the locality of Seton Hall and its smaller campus size.
Xavier, Canty's other favorite, hosted the point guard the first weekend of June. Before visiting the campus, Canty tweeted that he might make a college decision sooner than he expected.
I don't think that Canty's decision will be affected by Kyle Anderson's as the staff would very likely take both (that's what they are aiming for) but he is definitely behind Anderson in terms of importance.
Canty was invited to the Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp which starts today. However, Canty sprained his MCL at the Rumble in the Bronx AAU event this past weekend - he is on crutches. Canty was also invited to the Reebok Breakout Challenge Camp.
Canty plans on prepping at South Kent (CT) or Brewster Academy (NH) next year.
Outside of Canty and Anderson, the rest of the point guards that the staff are targeting are understandably on the back burner. That doesn't mean they aren't talented, but the limited scholarships and two freshmen point guards means that only so many point guards can and will be targeted.
Jaylen Beckham (Lexington, KY) is a talented point guard but has some baggage. He transferred to St. Benedict's Prep last summer but never played a game and transferred to Huntington Prep (WV). Beckham will enroll at Bryan Station (KY) for his senior season after being dismissed from Huntington this spring.
Besides Seton Hall, Beckham has offers from DePaul, Washington, Texas A&M and Alabama. Its clear that Beckham will wind up at a high major but he isn't a primary target for Seton Hall right now. I wouldn't be disappointed if he was landed besides that would likely mean that Anderson and Canty went elsewhere.
Javon Felix (New Orleans, LA) is another solidly rated point guard that has been offered by Seton Hall. Felix has received offers from a bunch of southern schools such as Baylor, Oklahoma State, LSU, Alabama & Ole Miss. I would be surprised if Felix didn't end up in the Big 12 or SEC.
Trey Dickerson (Montclair Prep, CA) is an interesting target. He doesn't even have an ESPN or Scout recruiting page yet he has garnered interest from some high majors such as Kentucky, Memphis, West Virginia, Washington, USC, Oregon and of course Seton Hall.
Its tough to tell exactly how talented Dickerson is without an offer list or more recruiting coverage. He did average 17.6PPG, 6.2APG, 3RPG and 1.9SPG for Montclair Prep last season.
Seton Hall is lightly involved with Ian Baker (Arlington Country Day School, FL) of Washington, DC. Baker is rated similarly to Felix, Beckham and Dickerson.
It doesn't look like The Hall has recruited Baker too hard. He told NorthStarBBall.com that he has offers from Miami (FL), Providence, South Carolina, Wyoming, East Carolina and UCF. Baker said that Providence and Miami (FL) are his two favorites right now.
The newest PG target on Seton Hall's list is Madison Jones (Ravencroft School, NC) of Raleigh, NC. Jones has also been listed a SG meaning he might be a combo guard.
Richmond, Tulsa, Charlotte, Marshall, Drake and Georgia Southern have offered Jones. He is also receiving interest from Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami (FL).
Jones is ranked as a Top 150 recruit by Rivals.
Tiers of Importance:
1A: Kyle Anderson
1B: Kareem Canty
2: Javon Felix, Jaylen Beckham & Trey Dickerson
3: Ian Baker & Madison Jones
In order to more effectively lay out the 2012 recruiting targets, we decided to break the targets up into their positions. The above was over 1000 words - if we were to include all five positions, the odds are you wouldn't read 4500+ words.
The other positions will be posted on the following dates:
Wednesday, June 15: Shooting guards
Friday, June 17th: Wings
Monday, June 20th: Power forwards & Centers