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Around the Hall Offseason Link Roundup: Hanner Stays Prep, Rankings, Meet & Greet, Double Bye, Team Walker

With issues already surrounding his academic eligibility, Seton Hall commit Jamir Hanner will spend another year with NIA Prep and will hold off enrolling in college until next fall.  Adam Zagoria repots: 

Hanner plans to meet early next week with Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard to discuss his future. Seton Hall remains interested in Hanner, but he must first get a qualifying score on the SAT exam he plans to take June 5.  "Even if he gets the score he's going to do another year with us," Muhammad said.

With Edwin, Okoloji and Auda on their way, Hanner spending another year with NIA won't hurt the Pirates as there was really little room for Jamir to play this season.  By spending another year at Prep, Hanner will be able to improve both academically and on the court before making the transition to the next level.  Whether Seton Hall remains interested next year is anyone's guess.  With the possibility of Robinson and Pope (health permitting) leaving next season, Hanner might be able to find valuable minutes in South Orange.  Of course, if Hanner decides to go in another direction, I don't think Willard and the staff will be crushed either.  

NBE continues breaking down their pre-season BIG EAST rankings.  Moving up 4 spots since the last poll, Seton Hall checks in at #10.  Sound familiar? It's the same pre-season ranking that the media and coaches bestowed on the Pirates, last season: 

The Pirate roster continues to be a very fluid entity at the moment even with three players (Hazell, Pope and Robinson) withdrawing from the NBA draft. SHU is our biggest mover since the last update with the trio returning and officially inking two recruits (Auda, Okoloji). With just 10 players currently on scholarship there is room to add more and the new staff is working diligently at uncoverng new talent. There is still a question on the health status of Herb Pope after he collapsed while working out in late April and was hospitalized for almost a month. A clean bill of health for Pope and another roster addition could push the Pirates up another spot or two in our rankings before the season begins.

Considering the BIG EAST conference will undoubtedly take a step backward (in terms of competition, not realignment) this season, 10th seems a little off for the Pirates.  They finished 10th in the conference last season, and depending on Pope's status, they've only gotten better this summer.  Sure, Harvey, Garcia, Stix and Oliver are gone, but with the three incoming recruits, Hazell returning, Jordan Theodore and Jeff Robinson emerging, along with Ferrakohn Hall showing promise, all under a new head coach that is determined to focus on rebounding and defense, I'd personally rank them a bit better than 10th.  I mean, Keon Lawrence is only going to improve from here, right? I fully expect Lawrence to continue playing tough defense under Willard and I'd hope that he improves his shot selection.  If he can focuses on those two areas this off-season, I've said it time and time again, there's DEFINITELY a place for Keon Lawrence on this squad.  

If you want to get out and meet head coaches Kevin Willard and Ann Donovan, you've got two more opportunities at the Pirate Blue Meet & Greet Receptions

The Terrace Club
New York City, New York
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Click here for directions

Spring Lake Golf Club
Spring Lake, New Jersey
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
6:oo P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Click here for directions

It looks like the double-bye is gone from the BET and I'm a fan of the move.  Although it wouldn't become official until the end of June, Dana O'Neil reports that the schedule will look as follows: 

On Tuesday: No. 1 seed vs. No. 16, 2 vs. 15, 3 vs. 14, 4 vs. 13.
On Wednesday: No. 5 seed vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9

On Thursday the winners from Tuesday and Wednesday convene for the quarterfinals, picking up the long-held schedule that winds up with Saturday night's championship game at Madison Square Garden.

Lastly, both the mens and womens basketball teams were well represented at the support walk for Team Walker, held last Saturday in Jersey City:

Team Walker is an organization co-founded in 1996 by Walker and his brother Jasper. The group has a vision to provide a program for inner-city youth that focuses on teamwork, responsibility, persistence and unity. This program grants the kids constructive academic and recreational activities in which to participate in as a replacement to the negative alternatives on the streets.