Seton Hall men's basketball junior Jeremy Hazell (Harlem, N.Y.) was named to the Division I All-Met First Team for the second consecutive season by the National Invitation Tournament and the Met Basketball Writers Association, it was announced on Wednesday. Sophomore Herb Pope (Aliquippa, Pa.) was named to the All-Met Second Team.
You've got to believe Pope's on-court incidents against St. John's and Texas Tech had to weigh into this decision. It's a shame, considering he wasn't only the best rebounder in the All-Met area, he was the best rebounder in the BIG EAST conference.
Rutgers commit Gil Biruta is waiting for his release and has listed Seton Hall as one of the leaders in schools that he's considering:
"I'm just waiting for my release from Rutgers," Biruta said Saturday at the Jordan Brand Regional Game Saturday at MSG. "Seton Hall, Maryland, Creighton, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, these are the schools," he said, referring to schools he's considering.
It's going to be very difficult for Biruta to come to Seton Hall, so much so, that I'm surprised that he's openly putting them first on his list. His NLI to Rutgers will have to be deemed null-and-void if he's going to be playing in South Orange next season. Better hope there was a problem in that paper work or that it was completed incorrectly if he's going to be wearing the blue and white. I sure do, I'd love to have Biruta on the Pirates.
The year in New Jersey hoops? Anything but boring, Mike Vorkunov provides a timeline of the rather hectic events as they unfolded:
It's been quite the year in New Jersey college basketball, as its two most prominent members seemed to play a game of one-upsmanship all season long, although hardly ever in a positive way. There was hiring, firing, upsets, upsetting losses, controversies, turmoil, steaks of turmoil, lowpoints, hope, failure, and ultimately just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, it always did.
Seton Hall was methodical in choosing Kevin Willard as their new head coach and Rutgers better be careful in choosing theirs writes the Star Ledger Editorial Staff:
The new coach, whoever he is, will be hailed as the one (probably unemployed) coach in America who can steer a basketball program that has been traveling down Mediocre Highway for years and can't seem to find an exit ramp. Rutgers will rave about his X's and O's ability, and call him the greatest recruiter since Uncle Sam. There will be predictions of NCAA tournament appearances. But despite all the happy talk, the bottom line is this: Hiring a coach is a multimillion-dollar crapshoot - as proven by the humiliating ending (lawsuit avoided) of Fred Hill Jr. after four years at Rutgers, and Seton Hall's dumping of Bobby Gonzalez (lawsuit included).
Mike Rosario is no longer a Scarlet Knight. The former great next hope for Rutgers is officially a Florida Gator. He committed to the school Sunday afternoon after visiting Gainesville over the weekend.
"It's a great coach, a great group of guys and it's just a great place to hang your rafters up after it's over because the experience is just unbelievable," Rosario said when reached by phone.
As we reported on Friday, Seton Hall will take on Alabama in the first round of next year's Paradise Jam from the Virgin Islands. Brendan Prunty sets up the potentially very interesting second round matchup:
If Seton Hall can get past the Crimson Tide, it could set up an interesting second-round matchup with Iowa. The Hawkeyes will play Xavier in the first round and should Iowa win, it would set up a face off between to of the Pirates top choices in the recently completed coaching search: Kevin Willard, who got the job in South Orange and Fran McCaffery, who was considered, but took the job at Iowa.
Paterson Catholic Regional High School will close its doors, citing enormous debt, plummeting donations and a bad economy, the diocese said Wednesday.