Chris and I decided there was no better time to introduce an SOJ mailbag feature than the doldrums of the offseason. Coming off another disappointing season on the court, and facing the continual struggle off of it - on the recruiting trail, the comment section has seen tensions rise and tempers flare as of late. While we always encourage readers to weigh in with their opinions and concerns surrounding the program, we thought the mailbag feature might give us all a chance to relax, have some fun and shoot the (summer) breeze. As such, we will be trying to inject a bit of humor into our answers, so keep that in mind when reading the Q&A.
With that out of the way, all of the questions presented in this mailbag (there will be four parts), are actual questions we received via Twitter, in the comments section of various posts, or emails we've received from readers, that we've decided to put together and answer here. Mailbag questions can be submitted via twitter @SOrangeJuice and @CerasolisGhost, or by emailing SouthOrangeJuice@gmail.com. We will be publishing future editions throughout the offseason, so keep sending them in!
Without further ado!
Q) Looking back on Blaise Mbargorba's decision to sign with Boston University over Seton Hall, would you rather make the city of Boston or the city of South Orange your home for the next 4-5 years?
SOJ: I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer this question, as I chose to make South Orange my home over MIAMI (Coral Gables) for my collegiate years. In fact, I'm probably disqualified for making such a poor decision, one that was made because I was petrified of falling victim to a Miami lifestyle immediately and ultimately, failing out my freshman year, but, I'll give it a stab.
While I undoubtedly enjoyed the "best" four years of my life in South Orange, the village obviously isn't for everyone, and that's especially apparent when considering high school basketball players who are looking for a certain college experience. There isn't much of a bar scene, SOPD was notorious for slamming the breaks on the local/frat/house/party scene, and there's the ever escalating high-crime factor for starters. On the other hand, the close proximity to New York City should help sell Seton Hall quite a bit, though I'm not sure it does.
Personally, I enjoyed living in South Orange, in and around campus, close enough to NYC, while still being removed from the hustle and bussle, but, I'm not sure that carries much weight to recruits these days. The same goes for Boston University, while it's located in the center of a tremendous college city, recruits haven't been knocking down doors to sign with BU, or even BC for that matter. Since I still have to answer the question, of course I'm choosing South Orange, but realize I'm probably in the minority. That said, I don't believe Mbargorba's decision came down to selecting his future school based on location anyways.
Q) So is Jerron Wilbut still in the mix? Said he hopes things work out with Willard and can get in campus ASAP. Insight?
SOJ: This question came as a surprise to me last week, as a reader pointed out a Twitter exchange that took place between one-time Seton Hall commit, Jerron Wilbut and Fuquan Edwin. As I'm sure you remember, Wilbut was Willard's second recruit in the class of 2013 to be arrested for a violent crime, following in the footsteps of the recently turned pro, Aquille Carr. While there hasn't been anything made public about Wilbut's case, or why he was released after seemingly serving two months in prison, it has been reported on message boards that he is indeed free, and a gun (why the armed robbery charge?) was never found in the car.
If Seton Hall is still interested in bringing Wilbut on board, his academics still need to pass through the NCAA clearinghouse, which is no small feat. When all is said and done, I do not see Wilbut making it to South Orange, it's far more realistic that he'll land at a JUCO for a couple seasons, before transferring to a mid-major. Considering the staff has taken Jaren Sina and Hakeem Harris in the aftermath of his arrest and have glaring depth concerns among their front line, it would make much more sense to use the open scholarships elsewhere.
Q) What happens 1st and when? Mets make the playoffs or the Hall makes the Big Dance. I have no faith in either.
Very interesting question, being a Mets, Cowboys, Pirates fan, I've had it pretty rough as of late. It ALL went downhill beginning in 2006-2007 and has continued to spiral out of control, every day, ever since. In March, the Pirates made the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years while I was a student at Seton Hall, pretty good right? Life is Good! Sorry, to all the current students reading this. Screw Miami! I made the right decision enrolling at a real basketball school. Well, the Pirates never got off the bus that dreadful morning as they were absolutely pounded by Wichita State (before they were good), my roommates and I were left dazed, drunk and disheartened, nursing a 40-26 beating before lunchtime. What the hell did we just witness? Skipped class for this?!?
Later that fall, I sat in Shea stadium for Game 7 of the NLCS and witnessed one of the greatest catches in MLB history to hold a 1-1 tie after 7 innings. The concrete at Shea shook after Endy's arm snapped back over the wall, only to return with the ball firmly secured in his mitt. Of course we're headed back to the World Series, what other scenario could possibly play out? Thirty minutes later, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina were making out on our mound. I was literally sick, I didn't move from my seat, right there in the upper deck, 15-beers and a couple Italian sausages deep and I threw up on my feet.
Fast forward a couple months to January, the Dallas Cowboys changed quarterbacks mid-season and Tony Romo led them to a road playoff game in Seattle. Parcells! Romo! TO! Road win! Bobbled snap. What the F was that? That night, as I left my buddy's house (a Giants fan at that) on the verge of grown-man tears, I promised that I would swear off sport fandom forever, if only I would have been so lucky.
Now, stepping off of the soapbox, I'm going with Seton Hall as the answer to this question. I have to go with the Pirates ONLY because I think they have better odds to make the NCAA tournament this year. I'd peg them at about 20% to make the Big Dance, while I think the Mets are hovering just below 5% at making the MLB playoffs in 2013. NOW, if the Pirates do not make the tournament this year, these odds will sway drastically in the Mets favor going forward next year. While the Mets probably will not compete for another 2-3 years, they're presently set up for the future more soundly than Seton Hall.
Q) If you can look into your crystal ball, will Kevin Willard be the one that gets them to the Big Dance or will it be someone else?
Now this is a tough question. Again, if Willard doesn't do it this year, it doesn't look bright for the future of the program, or frankly, his future (to be further discussed in Part III of this mailbag). I have sat here pondering the answer of this question far too long, aw hell, I'm going with Kevin Willard and going with this year, I believe in the 20 percent!
Q) MFK Emma Watson, Kesha, Rihanna.
This would be a perfect time to remind the readers that the questions submitted to the mailbag do NOT have to be related to Seton Hall basketball, or basketball, whatsoever. One reader, chose to throw me a 'MFK!' and I love him for that. If you're not familiar with the concept, head on over to check out a sample 'MFK' from the bros over at Barstool Sports (NSFW).
To keep things PG, please allow me to abbreviate:
M - Watson. Admittedly, I had no idea who Emma Watson was, I had to google/IMDB her, and now I understand why. Everything she's ever done is Harry Potter related. I refuse to believe there are people out there that are over the age of 15 and watch Harry Potter for fun. Is there anything worse than Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? Maybe? I can't get into Wizardry, walking through forests and the like, but, she's girl-next-door cute, and looks innocent, so I'm choosing to marry her. Wait a minute, does she play the little wizard boy in Harry Potter? Is this a setup? Regardless, my other two choices don't exactly line up as desirable wives, so I'm taking Emma to the alter.
F - Rihanna. As the kids say, she's bad. I don't know a man alive who doesn't love her. And, if this doesn't seal the deal (possibly NSFW), I don't know what will. Lucky guy, but knowing the words to the song? That's a little over the top.
K - Kesha. Unbelievably annoying. Is she missing a tooth, what is this? No thanks!
Check back for Part II of the mailbag, this time, tomorrow!