As the chasm between the dog days of summer and Seton Hall Basketball rapidly shrinks, there are several loose ends that need to be tied before diving into the recruiting madness that are the July evaluation periods.
The most head-scratching-yet-most-overlooked issue that needs to be addressed is junior college signee Hakeem Harris. It has been over 3 weeks since Hakeem signed his NLI with Seton Hall, yet there has been no public acknowledgement from the University. Harris committed to Seton Hall several days prior to signing. The announcement of Hakeem's commitment is expected to be coupled with that of another commitment in the near future.
Tom Maayan's current departure from the program is another issue that must be closed sometime before the start of next season. I personally thought that Seton Hall would release a statement immediately after finals week and graduation, despite Tommy being engaged in military related activities in Israel for several months now.
Maayan's vacated scholarship is the only one of thirteen that still needs filling. The most likely candidate to receive Maayan's 'ship is anything but a replacement for him on the court. 6-foot-11 Southern Methodist transfer Blaise Mbargorba has been pegged as very likely to transfer to Seton Hall for several weeks now. Blaise would be the 7th scholarship player on Seton Hall from New Jersey if he opts to play for Kevin Willard. Mbargorba will have three years of eligibility left unless he receives a waiver from the NCAA to play during the 2013-14 season.
Boston University is also honing in on Blaise, who strongly values academics. He is expected to make a decision after his mentor returns from a trip to Nigeria in a week or two.
Lastly, but perhaps the most critical knot to be tied of all, Seton Hall has yet to hire a replacement for assistant Dan McHale, who accepted a similar position on Richard Pitino's staff at Minnesota. Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard and director of athletics Pat Lyons swiftly found a like-for-like replacement for departing recruiting guru Chris Pompey in Fred Hill, but have yet to conclude their second search.
Former two-time Seton Hall captain Marcus Toney-El is thought to have strong interest in returning to his Alma mater. MTE spent three seasons coaching at Fairleigh Dickinson, most recently holding the position of associate head coach under Greg Vetrone, whose contract was not renewed this March. Among other connections, Marcus has strong ties to the NJ Playaz AAU program, for which he played for and coached.
There has also been much debate about whether or not Seton Hall's current director of basketball operations, Steve Sauers, should be promoted to an assistant coach position. As a DoBO, he cannot actively engage in certain recruiting activities that a head coach and his assistants may. Here is a detailed description of the activities that a DoBO performs. Here is a story about what a DoBO cannot do.
Moving forward, Linden (N.J.) center Quadri Moore has been one of the more frequented names of late when discussing Seton Hall recruiting behind doors. The interest between Seton Hall and Moore has also been documented by Jerry Carino, who was told by Linden head coach Phil Colicchio that "Seton Hall has done as good a job with him as anybody. I would say right now Seton Hall and Cincinnati are 1 and 1A. Sha (Holloway) and Kevin Willard have done a fantastic job not only seeing him, but (saying) how much they want him and how important he is to their program. They're going after him with the (stay in) Jersey stuff. They've done more than they have to do."
Standing at 6-foot-9 and sporting a newly transformed body, Quadri is expected to make his college decision before his senior season at Linden this winter.