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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's A Mystery

Was driving earlier and saw a bumper sticker that said "Honk if you know SHU's mystery recruit". Car was getting beeped at a lot.

Just kidding. But seriously, are there really that many hard-core SHU/Big East hoops fans that don't know who this player is by now? Enough I suppose that I still won't divulge the player's name here. A careful perusal of certain websites could put one on the right track, though.

There isn't that much more to say about him here, other than that the feeling is that it might be rough for SHU to have him available for this year. It looks like it's contingent upon getting a waiver to play this year (which means one could logically infer that he's actually a transfer and not a recruit).

Speaking of waivers, it looks like Keon Lawrence might actually not be getting one this year. Have heard differing opinions about that. One argument is that it would be better to have him just dive into things at his new school full-bore, fully occupied with schoolwork and basketball, leaving him with virtually no time for much of anything else.

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The other is actually less an argument than a declaration of facts: he needs to take care of business academically in order to be fully eligible and to play. We won't get much more into this other than to say that if he does indeed sit out the upcoming year, then the latter carried much more weight.

That of course leaves the Seton Hall backcourt much less crowded this year. That certainly makes it easier figuring out who'll play the most minutes at three positions for the Pirates, but it's still intriguing trying to figure out just what kind of lineup Bobby Gonzalez will go with when it matters most.

As we all know by now, Gonzo loves smaller lineups and causing chaos. Brian Laing was an ideal player for him in that system, but he's gone now. Stix Mitchell seems destined to get most of Laings minutes, but the question remains: will he get them at the three or the four?

Jamar Nutter is also gone from last year's squad, so with Lawrence most likely unavailable, Jeremy Hazell will almost certainly be a full-time starter. That leaves returning starters Eugene Harvey and John Garcia as the other two definites.

So we have Harvey, Garcia, Mitchell, and Hazell seemingly set for four out of five positions. The only remaining question, and it's a big one, is who is the fifth starter? The two most obvious contenders appear to be a pretty short guy and a pretty tall guy - either Paul Gause or Mike Davis.

Right now, Gause seems to have far more things in his favor than Davis. For one thing, Gause is a senior who has played far more collegiate minutes than the sophomore Davis. Gause is also a guard, a position Gonzalez favors.

Perhaps most importantly, Gause isn't just any guard, but one Gonzo seems particularly enamored with. Gause is a tough-as-nails, pugnacious, supremely athletic defensive terror whose on-court demeanor appears to mirror his coach's real-life demeanor.

Davis, on the other hand, (at least last year) was a somewhat out-of-shape college basketball newbie who was just getting acclimated not only to the college game but to playing organized basketball again. His biggest accomplishments last year were off-the-court (as the young man who was not supposed to be college material made the Dean's List and had the highest GPA on the team).

Most SHU fans feel the Pirates will not go far playing small ball again. Stix Mitchell is indeed talented, but far less suited to playing the four than Laing was (not that Laing was an All-American there either).

Most SHU fans have also felt the Pirates needed to get a servicable power forward this off-season. Thus, the fascination with the "mystery recruit" (OK, he's a power forward and a transfer). However, Herb, I mean he, in all liklihood won't be there this year (or ever - and most likely neither will Michael Glover).

Mike Davis is there though - for three years.

Gonzalez will probably want to go with Paul Gause for most of those minutes, though. (Of course, with Augustin Okosun gone, if Melvyn Oliver doesn't get the green light from the Clearinghouse, Davis will have to play - often alongside Gause. But that's a story for another post).


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