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Seton Hall Basketball: Gene Teague to Seton Hall

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Teague brings a much needed 6'9 frame to the Seton Hall front court

(Paul Newton)
Teague brings a much needed 6'9 frame to the Seton Hall front court (Paul Newton)

Originally posted 06/05 06:45PM:

With the baseball team eliminated today at the hands of Arizona, it became official that forward Gene Teague (Vineland, NJ) of Southern Illinois will transfer to Seton Hall.

The news shouldn't be a surprise to anyone close to the program as Teague had been rumored as a very likely transfer target since he made the decision to leave Southern Illinois on March 16th. 

The 6'9 290lb center brings a Big East body and a 60% shooting percentage - Teague will be eligible to play starting with the 2012-13 season. As a Saluki, Teague make the Missouri Valley Conference All-Rookie team his freshman year. He averaged 6.1PPG and 4.6RPG in 17MPG as a freshman in Carbondale. In his sophomore campaign, Teague averaged 8.6PPG and 5.3RPG in 21.3MPG. Prior to Southern Illinois, Teague starred at Living Faith Christian Academy, St. Augustine High School and Apex Academy, where he prepped for one year.

One of the major concerns with Teague is the airsoft gun incident that resulted in a three game suspension. Without knowing what really happened, lets all just hope that it was a bunch of college kids messing around. I see no reason to not trust the judgement of head coach Kevin Willard over former coach Bobby Gonzalez when it comes to transfers.

Another concern with Teague was his tumultuous relationship with Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery. It has been well documented that Teague wanted to leave the MVC school as early as his freshman year but was talked into staying a second year. As a result, off the court problems developed and his play plateaued. While this is troubling, what do you expect when you force a kid to play somewhere where his heart isn't?

Teague's ability to compete at a high level shouldn't really be questioned. He put up very solid numbers in a good mid-major conference as a freshman and sophomore. Remember, forwards are typically the slowest player to develop when transitioning from high school to college -impact freshmen and sophomores are rare. Additionally, Jerry Carino tweeted that Teague was contacted by Clemson, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Xavier after his release from SIU - all high level schools. Teague suffered multiple injuries last season that caused him to miss ten games but he has plenty of time to get back to speed and improve, as he will be practicing against Patrik Auda, Herb Pope, Aaron Geramipoor, Kevin Johnson and Brandon Mobley for over a calendar year. Conversely, Teague's large frame will be beneficial in practice for the Pirates who can suit up.

The transfer leaves Seton Hall with one open scholarship and three for the 2012 class, assuming there are no other transfers in or out. Teague has two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2012-13. Think of him as a JUCO transfer that will join the team next season.

Quotes from Gene's father Nate, compliments of Jerry Carino:

Nate Teague, Gene Teague's dad: "Definitely he wanted to be closer to home. That was his main priority. He was homesick."

Nate Teague: The first year I told him, ‘You've got to stick it out and try another year.' He never got comfortable with the situation."

Nate Teague: "Coach Willard was great to us. I like his style, the way he deals with his players. I followed him throughout the whole year"

Nate Teague: "He (Willard) gets his big guys involved. He allows them to show their talent.”