In a shocking move similar to Angel Delgado's commitment last month, New York City standout Isaiah Whitehead (Lincoln, N.Y.) has committed to Seton Hall during a 3:00 press conference at Lincoln High School in New York City. The No. 20 recruit according to 247Sports.com chose Seton Hall over St. John's, but also considered Indiana, Pittsburgh, and Minnesota.
If Whitehead's monster commitment hasn't shocked the world, it has certainly stunned a ton of college basketball fans. His addition to Seton Hall's 2014 class raises it to a level nearly as good as Tommy Amaker's legendary No. 2 recruiting class in 2000 that included McDonald's All Americans Eddie Griffin (No. 2, Roman Catholic, Pa.) and Andre Barrett (No. 15, Rice, N.Y.), as well as Marcus Toney-El (No. 26, Seton Hall Prep, N.J.). Whitehead would have been St. John's first McDonald's All-American in eleven tries since they landed Omar Cook, also in the year 2000.
Angel Delgado (No. 46, Huntington Prep, W. Va.), Khadeen Carrington (No. 143, Bishop Laughlin, N.Y.), and Ismael Sanogo (Newark East Side, NR) round out Seton Hall's 2014 class. There is still a possibility of adding one more forward to the class.
What's most surprising about this coup is Seton Hall's ability to come in late for a likely McDonald's All-American and steal him from several major programs. Up until late this morning, just about everyone had been penciling in St. John's as the destination for Isaiah Whitehead, with stories such as this one being published last night. Public opinion began to sway slightly around 10am when it was discovered that there was no trace of recent hire Oliver Antigua on Seton Hall's website. This immediately led to the possibility that Dwayne "Tiny" Morton, Whitehead's coach at Lincoln High School, would join the staff in addition to (Antigua would go to DoBO, which is still open) Oliver Antigua. Zach Braziller of the New York Post was quick to dispel this rumor, although the explanation from Seton Hall was very convenient and in despite of the fact that Morton's profile on the PSAL website was also missing as of early this morning.
At 1 pm, The New York Post published a story by Braziller that said Whitehead would commit to Seton Hall and that Morton is expected to join Seton Hall's staff as an assistant coach next season. It would make sense if Antigua was made DoBO and Morton the third recruiting assistant if both were to be coaching during the 2013-14 season. There is still a lot to be ironed out regarding this.
While Twitter was understandably caught up in the last-minute drama of what school Isaiah would choose, Jerry Carino successfully injected important perspective by comparing Whitehead to Mark Bryant, a Seton Hall recruit who started the upward trajectory of P.J. Carlesimo and Seton Hall in the late 80s. Ever since Carlesimo left South Orange, Seton Hall fans have ultimately used the P.J. era as a benchmark for everything Seton Hall basketball.
As of this moment, I think Seton Hall fans are finally really able to have that discussion.