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SOJ Mailbag - First Edition (Part III)

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Mail time!
Mail time!
Ronald Martinez

Q) What will it take for SHU mens hoops to become a major player in the recruitment wars in the Big East?

To win something, anything. While Kevin Willard's recruiting hasn't been the best, he isn't exactly working with A+ resources (facilities, prestige, campus, etc.) at his disposal. That being said, winning solves everything. Seton Hall just missed the tournament in 2011-12, while injuries arguably hampered Willard's first season (Hazell, wrist) as well as last season.

tl;dr - Willard must win next season or he may not have enough ammo to compete in the Big East recruitment wars.

Q) Better recruiter, Willard or Orr?

If "better recruiter" is defined by the overall product, no matter the resources used to make that product, it has to be Louis Orr. Both coaches were handed hazardous situations, Orr: the Amaker Aftermath. Willard: Hurricane Gonzo.

Kyle Anderson could have paid tremendous dividends for Kevin Willard both on and off the court. Instead, impact players like Donald Copeland, Kelly Whitney, Jamar Nutter, Brian Laing & Justin Cerasoli (ranking wise), highlighted Orr's recruiting abilities.

However, the Cerasoli failure and a lack of recruiting results towards the end of Orr's career here tend to be the main reasons behind his dismissal in 2006. Coach Willard also has the power of transfer recruiting on his side: Brian Oliver, Sterling Gibbs, Eugene Teague, and Eniel Polynice, just to name a few.

tl;dr - Louis gets the nod right now, but Willard's Class of 2014 needs to be seen and evaluated before making a final decision.

Q) If Maayan comes back, do we lose out on Magarity or if Magarity signs is Maayan off the team absent paying his own way? Do we have a timetable on Maayan's availability? Is this the issue which made Mbagorba pick BU, assuming he planed on applying for a hardship waiver?

Well, looks like this question is a lot easier now with Kevin Johnson gone. Seton Hall now has room for both Magarity and Maayan on their roster -- they have two open scholarships.

Maayan is playing in the FIBA European Championships next month in Estonia. He is listed on the Israeli roster while the aforementioned Magarity is on the Swedish roster. I assume a decision will be made on Maayan's availability after the FIBA tournament in July. It may not be announced until much later.

As for Mbargorba, I think the staff knew they had room, they simply just couldn't convince Blaise to choose Seton Hall. The program had planned on announcing Hakeem Harris' commitment with Blaise's -- Hakeem is on campus and still hasn't been acknowledged on the Seton Hall athletics page.

Q) How much did the failure to publicly cut ties with the Crime Stopper and lack of available scholarships hurt recruiting for 2013?

It could have been a lot worse. Bill Carmody's firing at Northwestern saved Seton Hall from losing Jaren Sina for good. The general consensus is that the staff overlooked Jaren Sina and accepted a commitment from Aquille Carr almost two years ago now. Carr's commitment did indeed spurn a lot of 2013 guards (there were a ton of talented ones interested in Seton Hall) to cut Seton Hall from their lists. Tyler Ennis, Davon Reed, Jaren Sina, and a few others were impacted by Carr's verbal. Beyond that, it can get down to he-says she-says in regards to Carr vs. Sina. I say: why couldn't the staff have taken both?

I don't see how "publicly cutting ties" would have done any good. In fact, it wasn't an option: the staff cannot comment on recruits publicly until they have signed NLIs with the University. If they do, that is an NCAA violation. Now that we know that, it shows why taking a risk on a recruit like Aquille Carr can backfire if it doesn't pan out. Tons of recruits and fans (based on Twitter) had no clue what the real status between Seton Hall and Carr was. There was a lag of several weeks before everyone had semi-correct information on his academic eligibility, his declaration to go pro, etc.

Q) I'm pretty convinced that Willard didn't hire Hill and that decision was made from higher powers. What do you think?

The only avenue I could see this making sense was if a large donor / boosters pushed hard for Hill to be hired. Still, one would think that Willard has a strong say with who is on his staff, especially with Pat Lyons in his back pocket. Speaking of Willard's staff, there is still an empty recruiting assistant spot to be filled before a crucial July recruiting period.

My question for you: how far up the power structure do you think this decision went? Are we talking Vatican/Pope approval here?

Q) When does Seton Halls mens basketball schedule come out, what do we know about OOC opponents and dates?

Hopefully soon. Last year's schedule was officially released on June 21st. Here is some unofficial & official guess work:

- CVC campus game
- November 13th - Kent State (CVC campus game)
- November 22nd - CVC (Brooklyn) Mich. St/Oklahoma/Va. Tech
- November 23rd - CVC (Brooklyn) Mich. St/Oklahoma/Va. Tech
- @ Rutgers
- St. Peters
- N.J.I.T.
- @ Stony Brook ?? - hopefully this series wasn't a 1-gamer
- NC A&T (2 for 1??) - yuck
- Maine (2 for 1??) - decent/O.K.
- @ High Major - yes please!
- Eastern Washington (Dec. 21st?)

Stay tuned for a Kevin Willard v. Eddie Jordan recruiting piece sometime next week. It's based off of a SOJ Mailbag question that took me over 600 words to answer.