Your Ad Here

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


November 19, 2008

Verbal Commitment Alert: Cliff Dixon, 6'10 PF/C from Hutchinson (KS) Community College

2009-2010 Projected Roster

Seniors: Eugene Harvey (PG), John Garcia (C), Keon Lawrence (G)*
Juniors: Jeremy Hazell (G/F), Brandon Walters (BF/C), Mike Davis (PF/C), Robert Mitchell (G/F), Cliff Dixon (C/PF)
Sophomores: Jordan Theodore (PG), Melvyn Oliver** (C), Herb Pope (PF)
Freshmen: None

* currently applying for a hardship waiver that would have him on the court in December for the 2008-2009 season. If granted, he will be a senior on the 2009-2010 roster. If denied, he will be listed as a junior

** Has yet to be cleared by the NCAA (as of 11/19/08) to be eligible to compete

*** Will sit out the 2008-2009 season per NCAA Transfer rule, having three years of eligibility beginning with the 2009-2010 season

According to the Game On! blog at, Anthony Fucilli reports that Cliff Dixon Commits to Seton Hall, giving the Pirates and coach Bobby Gonzalez their first commitment for the recruiting class of 2009.

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

Cliff Dixon has taken the long road to a spot in Division 1-A basketball. Originally attending Douglass High School in the DC-area, Dixon moved on to Suitland (MD) High School as a senior for the 2005-2006 season after academic issues sidelined him at Douglass. had Dixon rated as a two-star prospect after his senior season. With qualifying for college a long shot, Dixon decided to take a post-graduate year at the Patterson School in North Carolina, according t reports, but then turned up at the now defunct Philadelphia Lutheran before finishing off at Progressive Christian. After the year as a post-graduate, Dixon then landed at Motlow College playing along side one-time Cincinnati commit Tyree Evans. At Motlow Dixon began to show signs of having a high-major college future, averaging 16.6 points a game and 10 rebounds a contest for coach Bobby Steinburg. After the season at Motlow, Dixon continued his nomadic ways and is now playing at JUCO power Hutchinson Community College in Kansas for coach Ryan Swanson. This far, through eight games in the young season, Dixon is averaging 15.9 points a game and just over 7 rebounds a contest.

Dixon is something that SHU desperately needs to help their college basketball odds of challenging in the loaded Big East: a body with size. Dixon is not the most physical player and he is definitely built more along the lines of his more famous half-brother, Kevin Durant, than some of the brawny Big East post players he will be facing, but Dixon will be an experienced frontcourt player to add to the mix for the Pirates next season. At this point, Dixon is a verbal commitment, expected to sign a letter of intent in the spring signing period.

The commitment is the good news for Seton Hall. However, Jeff Goodman is reporting that although Seton Hall Finally Lands a recruit (, there are some questions as, according to Goodman, Dixon is currently suspended at Hutchinson. We have made inquiries, hopefully we will learn more tomorrow on Dixon's status with the Hutchinson program.

Although Dixon is the only recruiting commitment for the class of 2009 at this point in time, he will be one of at least two, if not three, new faces on the court for SHU next season.

Keon Lawrence probably never should have left New Jersey out of high school. The 6'2, 175 lb guard from Newark (NJ) Weequahic High School chose Missouri, although second thoughts entered his mind often. Now, after a sophomore season where he led the Tigers in minutes played (29.2) a game, starting 20 of 32 games and leading Mizzou in field goal attempts (307), Lawrence is taking his 11 points a game and going back home.

According to Alif Muhammad, who has helped Lawrence through the recruiting process out of high school and out of Missouri, stated that Bobby Gonzalez has promised to turn the ball over to Lawrence once Eugene Harvey graduates after the 2009-2010 season. Others after Lawrence, reportedly, included Marquette, Providence, Cincinnati and others.

Rutgers was considered after high school, but their roster was a little more guard heavy at this point.

Currently, Lawrence is in the process of applying for a hardship waiver that will allow him to play during the 2008-2009 season instead of having to sit out the entire year as a normal NCAA transfer student. The central position of the waiver is that Lawrence decided to leave Missouri because of a need to be closer to home because of family issues. If the NCAA finds that the reasons of his leaving Missouri were not because of basketball, but because of these family issues, that there is a good chance of a waiver. However, the NCAA usually relies quite heavily on the input from the former school on the reason for the transfer, and it is unclear if Mizzou will completely agree with that reasoning for his transfer. We will see...

Also, Lawrence would not have been eligible to compete in the first semester of the 2008-2009 season as he would not be transferring with enough credits to be eligible as a junior student. That is a common issue for transfers as not all credits are transferable and is one of the reasons for the residency rule making so much sense in regards to transfers.

While the Pirates begin the Lawrence waiver watch, they already have gone through the process with New Mexico State transfer Herb Pope, but were denied the original waiver and the appeal. Pope is the mega-talented forward from Aliquippa (PA) but has run into trouble on more than one occasion in recent years. Pope was sent home from his final AAU Tournament as a member of the Pittsburgh Jots for an altercation with a coach, an incident that did not seem to surprise many familiar with his past. Things actually got worse from there as Pope was shot several times outside a party in the Pittsburgh-area in April of his senior year of high school after being in an altercation outside the party. Pope survived the gunfire and headed off to school at New Mexico State. While at New Mexico State, Pope was having trouble clearing the NCAA eligibility department as an online course he took in high school as a core course was challenged by the NCAA. While NM State worked to get him cleared, Pope was arrested for DUI when police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car with the engine running in a traffic lane.

Pope finally did make it onto the court at NM State after a court order was issued. Pope played well after all of the trials and tribulations that followed him in the recent past and he averaged 11 points and nearly 7 rebounds a game in the 16 games he was deemed eligible for at New Mexico State.

Pope then decided to leave New Mexico late this past summer to be closer to home. He ended up enrolling at Seton Hall and hoped to be granted a hardship waiver to play this season. However, that was denied by the NCAA and Pope will sit out the 2008-2009 season and be ready to suit up next year, giving the Pirates a much needed talent boost at power forward next year.

With the commitment of Dixon and the additions of Lawrence and Pope, the Pirates still have three scholarships open. That number could increase depending on the status of Melvyn Oliver who, as of November 19th, still has not been cleared by the NCAA to be eligible. Also, John Garcia will be a 5th year senior in 2009-2010, but chronic knee problems has led to some public speculation that he might not return. However, Garcia's knees seem to be doing well early this season.

For now, it looks like the Pirates will become very active in the spring signing period filling out their roster. They have been the leader for Westchester CC 7-footer Jarrid Famous for an extended period of time, but Famous has decided to wait until the spring before signing a letter of intent and the interested schools in his talents continue to grow at a rapid pace. Former South Florida commitment Eugene Teague, a 6'7 power forward, has also made it onto the SHU radar. Teague, who failed to qualify as a 2008 recruit, is now enrolled at the Apex Academies for another year of prep and recently took an unofficial visit to Seton Hall for an exhibition game. SHU has an attractive offer to spring recruits of playing time and a chance to play in the Big East.

The Pirates have also been quite active in the class of 2010 already, being among the leaders for local standouts Jayon James, Fuquan Edwin and Shaquille Thomas, all of whom were teammates of current Pirate Jordan Theodore last season at Paterson (NJ) Catholic. St. Anthony's big man Derrick Williams as well as Plainfield's Isaiah Epps are on the Pirates' watch list as well.



Post a Comment

<< Home