Seton Hall

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Seton Hall fan celebrates Isaiah Whitehead’s commitment with Gatorade bath (VIDEO)

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While much of the attention regarding recruiting is focused on the players and the programs they commit to (as it should be), fan reactions can also be eye-catching. Of course there are the angry types who react to their favorite team missing out on a prospect as a spoiled child would, albeit with a lot more profanity.

But on the other end of the spectrum there are the fans who react with joy when their long-suffering program hits the recruiting jackpot. That was the case for Seton Hall fans Thursday afternoon, as 2014 shooting guard Isaiah Whitehead verbally committed to attend the Big East school following his senior year at Lincoln High School (located in Coney Island, the school has produced players such as Stephon Marbury, Jamel Thomas, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson).

One fan, Robert Manganaro, took things to another level however with this reaction. Apparently Manganaro stated that he would douse himself with blue Gatorade if the Pirates landed Whitehead, and it’s good to see that he followed through with the guarantee.

And if you think that was just a two-bottle affair, it wasn’t.

2014 shooting guard Khadeen Carrington commits to Seton Hall

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After missing on some high-level recruits in recent years, it seems as if the luck is changing for the Seton Hall basketball program.

Having already received verbal commitments from forwards Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo, 2014 shooting guard Khadeen Carrington became Seton Hall’s third commit in the 2014 class on Wednesday. The Brooklyn native announced the news via his Twitter account, and the decision comes less than a week after he took an unofficial visit to the Big East program.

Carrington attends Bishop Loughlin High School, where he averaged 24.7 points per game as a junior and is just 140 points away from becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer. The young man can fill it up, and his addition is a big one for the Pirates.

“He’s a very humble young man who has grown and matured tremendously,” Bishop Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez told Dylan Butler of MSG Varsity in August. “Not much rattles him. He does what he has to do in practice, he works hard and he just wants to play the game the right way.”

Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard adds a high-level scorer to the backcourt rotation, as Carrington joins Haralds Karlis (2.8 ppg in 2012-13) and Hakeem Harris (12.4 ppg at Connors State College last season) at the shooting guard position. With two of Seton Hall’s top three scorers from a season ago (wing Fuquan Edwin and center Eugene Teague) being seniors, the Pirates will need to find suitable scoring options for the future. Adding Carrington to the mix is certainly a step in the right direction.

The last two seasons at Seton Hall have been difficult, both on the court and on the recruiting trail. But the success that coach Willard and his staff have enjoyed this summer could be a sign that the Pirates are on the verge of turning things around. The fans certainly hope this is the case.

Here are a few highlights from Carrington from earlier this summer.

Andre Barrett to be inducted into Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame

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Andre Barrett, one of Seton Hall’s most highly decorated and best point guards in program history, will be inducted into the Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame on Monday evening (June 10).

Barrett ranks in the top ten in school history in points scored (1,861) and second in assists (662), and was a member of perhaps Seton Hall’s best recruiting class in history as Tommy Amaker, in his last year as head coach, brought in Eddie Griffin — one of the nation’s most highly coveted recruits — Marcus Toney-El, Damion Fray, and Barrett.

Said Amaker of Barrett prior to the 2000-01 season:

The first thing you see is that he is very small, but he is good. He plays beyond his years with his ability to see the floor and think the game, while his speed and quickness are second to none. He pushes the ball up the floor and he just makes everyone better.

A local product from Rice High School in New York City, Barrett was given the keys to the car the moment he stepped foot on the floor averaging 32.4 minutes per game as a freshman and started all 31 games.

Heading into his sophomore season, Barrett traveled to China as the starting point guard for Team USA, guiding the U.S. to a 7-1 record at the 2001 World University Games. His journey abroad foreshadowed what his post-college playing career would have in store for him as Barrett’s been all over the globe. As an undrafted player, he bounced around the NBA for a few seasons before playing in the D-League and then in Spain and France in more recent years.

During his senior season in 2004, Barrett led Seton Hall to their most recent NCAA Tournament win with an 80-76 victory over Arizona. Although the Pirates would get trounced by top-seeded Duke 90-62 in the second round, Barrett had a tremendous senior season averaging better than 17 points and nearly six assists per game. He was named to the first team All-Big East and garnered the 2004 Haggerty Award as the top male college player in the metropolitan area.

In a time when the Big East as we know it is being pulled apart with many of its former members heading elsewhere, it’s nice to remember and commemorate a player that dazzled the league for four seasons.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

Seton Hall lands 2013 guard Jerron Wilbut

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Seton Hall landed its second guard for the Class of 2013, as Jerron Wilbut, a 6-foot-3 guard in his post graduate year at St. John’s Northwest Military (Wis.) pledged to the Pirates Thursday night.

Wilbut announced his decision on his Twitter account around 10:30 p.m.

“They’ve been recruiting me for a long time and from what I’ve seen they’re in need of a scorer,” Wilbut told SNY.tv.“I can be coming in and that’s a good spot for me.”

According to ZagsBlog.com, Wilbut picked Seton Hall over other offers from Alabama, Marquette, Xavier, UTEP and Green Bay. Wilbut went on to say that Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard is looking for him to bring a strong offensive game with the ability to penetrate to score or open up teammates.

The Pirates only have two players locked up for next season, Wilbut and the always exciting Aquille Carr, the Baltimore native, who is at Princeton Day Academy (Md.) for his final season. Carr had committed to Seton Hall last January over other Big East offers.

The landscape of the Big East is a mess, but Seton Hall might be bringing in one of the more exciting backcourts next season. With both Wilbut and Carr’s ability to create off the dribble and in transition, the Pirates will be a fun team watch get up and down the floor.

Seton Hall will look to round out its incoming freshman class with a handful of recruits still considering the Pirates.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Catholic 7 retain legal counsel following New York meeting Friday

Mike Aresco Big East commissioner
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The seven Catholic schools met in New York on Friday, as the non-FBS, Big East schools continue to plan their future.

According to the Associated Press, the Catholic 7 announced they have retained Proskauer Rose LLP and Pilson Communications, Inc., following Friday’s meeting.

Presidents from St. John’s, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall, Providence and Villanova met Friday to discuss further plans of the new league, vowing to “Honor the history and tradition on which the Big East was established.”

On Thursday, Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant reported that the agenda for this meeting was to continue discussion on an exit strategy, as well as a time frame. According to Big East conference bylaws, the seven schools are being held to a 27-month exit window. The Courant reported the seven schools could negotiate an early exit with the remaining Big East schools – UConn, Cincinnati, South Florida, and Temple.

Doyle went on to report that the use of the “Big East” name and postseason contract with Madison Square Garden, as well as the television package and expansion were also expected to be brought up.  In the Associated Press report, it say there was no timetable for when other schools will join the new league.

Schools such as Xavier and Butler – who is in its first season in the Atlantic 10 – are just two of the teams rumored to join the Catholic 7.

Since Sept. 2011, the Big East has lost Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Louisville to the ACC. Rutgers will join the Big Ten.

In December, the seven Catholic schools officially announced their departure from the Big East.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Former Seton Hall forward Herb Pope arrested for allegedly pulling gun in bar

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Former Seton Hall forward Herb Pope was arrested for allegedly pulling a gun on a Pittsburgh-area bar owner, CBS affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh is reporting.

According to the report, Pope allegedly pulled the gun at the Colonial Grill in Ambridge, Penn., and spent the night in jail. Few other details were available.

Pope finished up his final year of eligibility at Seton Hall in the spring after averaging 15.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game during his senior season. He entered the 2012 NBA Draft, but was not selected. He then signed with a professional team in Israel.

“Herb has had to overcome a number of obstacles in his quest to become a professional basketball player,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said in a release at the time of his signing.  “I am extremely happy that he has been able to realize this dream.  We wish nothing but the best of luck to Herb and his family moving forward.”

This is not the first run-in with the law for Pope, who was arrested for DUI as a freshman at New Mexico State.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_