Midnight madness (or practice before midnight) is over for the schools that hosted such an event and the college basketball season is, once again, underway. Despite not holding their own MM, the Pirates ran their first practice of the year on Friday afternoon and Jerry Carino was in attendance, live-tweeting the event. Many have asked me over the last few weeks why Seton Hall wasn't hosting a Midnight Madness. The reason that the school hasn't had one in recent years is far from cut and dry, but I'm told that the team will have one next year. According to a source, it's become a priority by all involved under the new administration as they do understand the importance of the event.
Whether midnight madness is more of a glorified pep-rally than it is a basketball practice, it's a modern recruiting tool that is used by mostly all major programs. Let's face it, prospective recruits love this stuff, bright lights and rap appearances go a long ways to reaching high school kids nowadays. Though it's definitely a positive to have high ranking recruits attend your school's event, the effort doesn't always produce the desired results. My colleague, Mike Rutherford, recently wrote a piece covering the effectiveness of Midnight Madness as a recruiting tool which makes claim that it may not be all that effective, after all. Effective or not, it's undeniable that it still needs to be done and done right. I can't wait to attend Seton Hall's, next year.
Jerry Carino sat down with Kevin Willard prior to practice Friday and covered a wide range of topics. It's a must read and the full transcript can be read here. On the topic of those with low expectations this year:
Q. What would you say to a Seton Hall fan or a prognosticator who has low expectations for the Pirates this year?
A. What I'd say to our fans is the group that's going to be out there will be exciting because it's the future. It's going to be fun watching the progress. The group's going to be together for three years and not many teams can say that. I think it's exciting as a fan to get on board and see what we've added. Although expectations are low, I think people are going to see what the future is about. We have no seniors for the next couple of years.
Although Willard is correct in that it's beneficial for this team to be together for three years (sans Pope and Theodore), let's not turn a blind eye to the other end of the equation. A bleak scholarship situation now exists following the six schollies that were given to this year's incoming class. Though roster continuity is a plus, the players in question better be of Big East quality or else it's going to be a long three years.
Follow the jump for this week's recruiting roundup, jam packed with news surrounding both current and new targets.
- If your thing is following which recruits attended what midnight madness events around the country; Recruit Recon's extensive list is your bible. Some of the realistic Seton Hall targets attending events include: Mike Young and Reggie Cameron (Rutgers), Shane Rector (Manhattan), Dwaun Anderson (Wagner - more on this below), Daniel Dingle (Auburn), Jaylen Brantley (UConn), Kevin Johnson (Manhattan).
- Following the 2011 Eddie Griffin Challenge, Alex Kline lists his recruiting round down of prospective recruits who attended the event. Kline lists the following as Seton Hall targets: '13 PG Jaren Sina, '14 PF Quadri Moore, '14 G Jordan Forehand, '14 PG Conrad Chambers, '14 G Kaison Randolph, '13 SG Johnnie Davis, '13 SG Miles Overton, '13 PG Josh Brown, '13 SG Hallice Cooke, '13 PG Kavon Stewart, '13 SF Reggie Cameron, '13 PF Mike Young, '13 G Davon Reed, '12PG Daiquan Walker.
- Seton Hall target and St. Pat's product, 2012 SG Jared Nickens took an unofficial to Penn State, last weekend. The Pirates have offered.
- A pair of St. Anthony guards and SHU targets, Josh Brown and Hallice Cooke took an unofficial visit to St. Joseph's on Monday and plan to visit VCU, Richmond and Virginia Tech in the near future.
- On Tuesday, we learned that one-time MSU commit and Mr. Michigan, Dwaun Anderson was granted his release and was in the process of setting up visits for potential schools. After visiting Rutgers and Drexel during the week, he was scheduled to attend Manhattan's midnight madness last night, but before doing so he cancelled his weekend visits to Seton Hall and Georgetown. As noted in our piece on Anderson, he is likely trying to play for a program in the Spring of 2011, though Seton Hall was only interested if he would reclassify to the class of 2012. Following Anderson canceling his Seton Hall visit, I've been told it's unclear whether Seton Hall has interest in rescheduling the visit. If you read between the lines here, it looking more and more unlikely that Anderson will call South Orange home in the fall of 2012.
- On the point guard front: Seton Hall has interest in 2013 PG Shane Rector (St. Raymond), who picked up an offer from Marist, yesterday. After reopening his recruitment last week, as expected, Jaren Sina is hearing from a long list of schools. Villanova is said to be interested in the GSB product, but they have not yet offered. Sina will be on Seton Hall's campus later tonight on an unofficial visit. Kansas is the latest powerhouse to get involved with Seton Hall targets Jaren Sina and '13 PG, Geno Thorpe. Penn State watched 2012 PG Daiquan Walker workout on Wednesday and Nebraska is slated to check in on the Philadelphia point, this weekend.
2013 PF Isaiah Watkins of St. Benedict's, once considered a Seton Hall target will visit Harvard this weekend, followed by Temple and Penn, shortly after.
- On Tuesday, we reported that Chris Pompey was in the DC-area watching a number of recruits, including 2012 PG, Joe McDonald (Landon, MD). I'm told a follow up visit will likely take place in the near future, but Harvard and Princeton are considered the favorite to the land the academically gifted, McDonald.
- As we reported in mid-July, Seton Hall had offered 2013 PG, Rashawn Powell of Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando. This week, Reggie Rankin brings the old target's name back to the forefront, claiming the interest is still serious.
- According to Zach Braziller, 6'6SF Daniel Dingle was at Auburn on an official visit, which included taking in their midnight madness. Dingle also has an official visit scheduled with Temple next weekend. It's looking like the Seton Hall staff has begun to cool on Dingle as they methodically look for the suitor of their lone scholarship.
- 2013 SG Davon Reed is visiting Rutgers tonight and may attend Xavier's midnight madness, next week.
- Alex Kline is reporting that '14 SG Anthony Pate visited Rutgers and Seton Hall on Friday in what I assume were unofficial visits. Pate recently transferred from Holy Trinity (Ontario) to St. Patrick's. Pate is a 6'3 true SG, who can knock down open 3PT's off the catch and looks to spot up in corners. He must add strength and become a better defender at the next level. More on Pate, below in the comments.
- Lastly, this week we learned some new information on Kevin Johnson (Summit Country Day, OH). No, not the Kevin Johnson currently attending Seton Hall already on scholarship, but the 2013 SG out of Cincinnati Ohio, that the Pirates offered back in July. Johnson tweeted that he would be visiting Manhattan for it's midnight madness, before Seton Hall on Saturday and St. Joe's on Sunday. If Seton Hall wants to bring Johnson on board, things are looking good already. Last night he stated that Manhattan "was decent," whereas today he mentioned that, "Seton Hall is nice." As always, take all high school basketball players and their correlating tweets with a grain of salt. It wasn't too long ago (COUGH: September 20th), where we were burned for taking too much stock in them.