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Monday, April 21, 2008


April 21, 2008

Commitent Alert: Melvyn Oliver, C from Mississippi Elite Christian Academy

2008-2009 Projected Roster

Seniors: Paul Gause (G), Austin Okosun (C)
Juniors: Eugene Harvey (PG), John Garcia (C)
Sophomores: Jeremy Hazell (G/F), Brandon Walters (BF/C), Mike Davis (PF/C), Robert Mitchell (G/F)
Freshmen: Jordan Theodore (PG), Melvyn Oliver (C)

Finally some good news for Seton Hall as Bobby Gonzalez and the Pirates as a Top High School Prospect Gives Verbal Commitment to Seton Hall ( in the form of Mississippi Elite Christian Academy BIG man Melvyn Oliver.

Read More...Click 'Read More' Below!!!

With big men in the spring recruiting period in high demand, Bobby Gonzalez and the Seton Hall staff have been beating the bushes looking for frontcourt help for a team that was exposed often in the paint last season. It looks as though the Pirates found their man in 6'11, 340 lb Melvyn Oliver out of Mississippi Elite Christian Academy. Oliver averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds last season for the new program in Jackson (MI).

Oliver looks to choose the Pirates over Nebraska, Southers Miss and Baylor and will take his oficial visit to the Seton Hall campus in early May. Oliver is originally from Los Angeles where he completed his eligibility at Leuzinger (CA) in Lawndale (CA), near LA and moved to the Jackson prep school as a 5th year player and consequently the Really Big O Has Had College coaches Buzzing (Clarion Ledger) this past season.

Mississippi Elite Christian Academy’s basketball program has spawned from Genesis One Christian School, which closed last year, as head coach Victor Evans moved from Genesis One to help begin the MECA hoops program. Mississippi Elite headmaster Darel Thigpen also came over from Genesis One and saw Oliver last year and told him about the new school when he heard that Oliver was looking for a post-grad home.

Mississippi Elite is adjacent to the New Dimensions Church in south Jackson. The K-12 school has about 60 students, including about 20 in high school grades (any non-basketball players?) including the 5th year prep players.

Oliver will be joined in the freshman class by Jordan Theodore, a 5'11 point guard from Paterson Catholic, who signed last November. Theodore is a lightning quick point guard who thrives in pushing the ball and attacking defenses with the dribble. Theodore should fit in very well with Bobby Gonzalez's high octane attack on both sides of the ball and give junior Eugene Harvey more of a break with the ball-handling and playmaking duties. They could also be used together to help ice the game to beat pressure applied by the opposition.

Harvey and Oliver will not be the only newcomers joining the Pirates next season as Robert "Stix" Mitchell, a 6'6, 185-pound sophomore G/F who was the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year at Duquesne during the 2006-2007 season. Mitchell averaged 16 PPG and 5 rebounds playing in Ron Everhart's 40-minutes of chaos system. Mitchell, originally from Brooklyn, has been a basketball vagabond of late, spending one season at Genesis One Christian in Mississippi where he played for Victor Evans and the 2005-2006 season at Notre Dame Prep, where he played for Bill Barton, now an assistant at Duquesne, before spending a season in the Steel City.

Mitchell sat out the 2007-2008 season at Seton Hall and the plan is for him to step into the role that was filled by gaduating senior Brian Laing, the Pirates very productive small forward.

Mitchell had some difficulty at Duquesne, being suspended one game for violation of team rules and was criticized by Duquesne coach Ron Everhart for a lack of effort in practice and was dismissed from practice a number of times. After being informed his Leading Scorer Planned to Transfer (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Everhart was not surprised
"[Leaving] wasn't really unexpected. It didn't take me by surprise. But in the big picture I'm more excited about our basketball team and the depth and talent we have than I am disappointed about anyone going."

The Pirates still have three scholarships remaining. They are expecting a visit from Largo (MD) 6'11 C Maurice Sutton. While Oliver tips the scales in the 350-lb range, Sutton is barely pushing 200, but has scholarship offers from Boston College, Kentucky and Seton Hall and is also getting increased interest from schools such as Indiana, Syracuse, Villanova and others.

Seton Hall has also spent a lot fo time after Chipola CC power forward Gary Flowers, who spent some time at Oklahoma State before being dismissed from the program. Power forward is a spot that really needs an upgrade for Seton Hall in their quest to rise in the Big East standings as Brian Laing, at 6'5, spent much of his time last year as their 'power forward' on the floor. Of course, if Michael Glover, who attended Seton Hall all last year, is ever cleared by the NCAA to be eligible to play, the power forward position gets a great boost as well. Globe Institute's Rob Robinson, a 6'8 JUCO sophomore, is a possibility as well to add depth to the position.

Much-traveled Chris Turner is a 6'5 wing who is an excellent three-point shooter could also be in the mix again with the Pirates. However, Turner is awaiting his standardized test scores before the 5th year prep player can really narrow down his spring recruitment options. Turner has been on the SHU radar since early last fall and nearly committed to the Pirates at that time. Turner did commit to Oregon State over the winter, but had not signed a letter of intent and re-opened his recruitment when Oregon State underwent a coaching change.

Seton Hall looks to aggressively attempt to fill the remaining openings on their roster in the late signing period. We will keep you updated as much as possible as the Pirates look to improve their standing in the Big East with more depth for next season.



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