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Monday, May 07, 2007


May 7, 2007

COMMITMENT ALERT: Chris Smith, (G) St. Benedict's Prep

2007-2008 Projected Roster

Seniors: Brian Laing (G/F), Jamar Nutter (G)
Juniors: Paul Gause (G), Austin Okosun (C)
Sophomores: Kashif Pratt (G), Eugene Harvey (PG), Larry Davis (SG), John Garcia (C/F)
Freshmen: Michael Glover (F), Jeremy Hazell (G/F), Brandon Walters (BF/C), Chris Smith (G)

There is One Coming, One Going on the recruiting front at Seton Hall as Jerry Carino reports in his Hoops Haven Blog that Chris Smith of St. Benedict's has committed to the Seton Hall Pirates and will sign a letter of intent this week. With the news of Smith coming to Seton Hall, it is also reported that JUCO Jamar Greene, who verbally committed to the Pirates last winter, will not be part of the 2007 recruiting class.

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Bobby Gonzlazez, the tireless recruiter that he is, added a 5th member to his 2007 recruiting class by getting a verbal commitment from Chris Smith, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from St. Benedict’s Prep. Smith is the younger brother of former Lakewood High School and St. Benedict’s Prep standout J.R. Smith, who plays for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. Smith averaged a team-high 18.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.8 steals for the St. Ben's prep team last year (the Gray Beed field two teams). He can fill in at both guard spots and shoudl be able to spell Eugene Harvey, whom Smith played with at St. Benedict's for a season, at the point next season.

Smith joins Brandon Walters, Austin Okosum, Michael Glover and Jeremy Hazell in the Pirate recruiting class. Walters was the 4th member of Bobby Gonzalez's 2007 recruiting class and signed his letter of intent this spring. The NYC product from PSAL power Lincoln made his choice to be a Pirate last winter. Walters is a 6'9 BF/C with a solid skill set and enough athleticism to be a good shot-blocker and rebounder in the Big East. He is one of those players you feel has his best basketball ahead of him if he can consistently put forth the effort on the floor and the determination to improve in practice. At 6'9 and 220 lbs, he brings much needed size to the Pirate roster and he is athletic enough to fit in the style that coach Gonzalez wants to bring to the floor with SHU.

Seton Hall previously signed Okosum, Glover and Hazell last fall. Last summer Bobby Gonzalez gained a commitment for the class of 2007 when Nigerian JUCO prospect Austin Okosum committed to Bobby Gonzalez and the Pirates. As a freshmen, Okosum played at NAIA school Georgetown College in Kentucky. Georgetown College is usually a popular place for Division 1-A transfers. Okosum joined Michael Glover in the 2007 recruiting class. Glover is a native of NYC whose older brother played for St. John's in the Big East. Glover is a solid athlete that competes with a high intensity level. A little under-sized for a PF, Glover relishes that disadvantage to bang away inside and is playing for a talented American Christian Academy. The other member of the class is sharp-shooting Jeremy Hazell, regarded as one of the best shooters in the prep ranks this year. Playing for a loaded Patterson School, Hazell has prozen to be a very solid recruit with his play this fall. Also, sharp-shooting prep school wing Jeremy Hazell committed earlier in the process to Seton Hall. Hazell is regarded as one of the best deep threats in the perp ranks in the class of 2007 and will be a nice lift on the perimeter for Bobby Ganzalez's style of play.

With the late additions of Walters and Smith, the Pirates are left with one scholarships for 2007 and they remain in the mix for Mike Davis, who at one time looked like he could join the program sometime this January when he finally fulfilled his high school graduation requirements. Davis is another 6'9 225 lb big man that has the ability to run the floor. The big lefty has solid post moves and offers a little more of a low-block game to Walters, so they could compliment each other well. However, once considered a lock for Seton Hall, it looks like Rutgers has made a strong move and might be expecting him to join the Scarlet Knights class in the near future.

Check back and we will keep you posted on the recruiting efforts of Bobby Gonzalez and his hard-working Pirate staff.


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