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Sunday, December 21, 2008


December 21, 2008

Verbal Commitment Commitment Alert: DeAndre Kane, 6'4 G from Patterson (NC) School

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)
Sophomores: Jordan Theodore (PG), Herb Pope (PF)
Freshmen: Melvyn Oliver** (C), DeAndre Kane

* 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

** Oliver is ineligible to compete in the 2008-2009 season, but will have four years of eligibility beginning in 2009-2010 per the NCAA

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

It was looking like a lump of coal was being left in the Seton Hall stocking this holiday season as Cliff Dixon de-committed from the Pirates, Melvyn Oliver was declared ineligible for the 2008-2009 season, John Garcia will miss up to three weeks with a knee injury and the Pirates lost Saturday night at home to IUPUI. Now, there is news that a Top Recruit is Headed to Seton Hall ( with Patterson (NC) School guard DeAndre reportedly verballing to the Pirates after a visit to the school this weekend.

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

With at least three scholarships open for the 2009 recruiting class, Seton Hall has might have finally found a taker for one of the scholarships with DeAndre Kane committing to SHU this weekend. Previously, Cliff Dixon was their lone commitment, but he had backed off that pledge, which never seemed to be a commitment set in stone, when the 6-foot-10 Hutchinson CC big man, originally from Maryland, re-opened his recruitment last week.

Kane is a physical and tough guard who is currently at the Patterson School in North Carolina. The school is also where Bobby Gonzalez landed current SHU guard Jeremy Hazell.

Kane was a high school teammate at Schenley High School in Pittsburgh with current Pitt big man DeJuan Blair and St. John's forward DJ Kennedy. Kane had long seemed destined to follow Blair to Pitt, and it was the Panthers coaching staff that helped him find his way to Patterson after he was not able to qualify out of Schenley. However, Pitt is currently out of scholarships and that could have played a role in his looking at other options, which also included schools such as Marquette, Baylor and others with his strong play this fall at Patterson.

Kane made an official visit to Seton Hall this past weekend, taking in their game with IUPUI and also seeing friend Herb Pope, a former AAU teammate. Kane is a streak shooter who can score some points in a hurry and is getting more experience at playing high level competition night in and night out at Patterson. He is definitely a Big East caliber guard with a Big East-type of game.

At the time of his commitment, Cliff Dixon had been recently suspended by HCC head coach Ryan Swanson for a violation of team rules. With his future uncertain, Dixon tells Jeff Goodman of he made a hasty decision.

``I got worried and Seton Hall tried to rush me into saying I was committed,” Dixon told Goodman. “They pressured me into it and I panicked.”

Even though Dixon Decommits from Seton Hall (, he will still consider the Pirates, however, it is our understanding that Seton Hall will not be continuing their effort to land Dixon.

With Kane in the fold, the Pirates are also likely to have three other new faces in their line-up 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 wait on the Lawrence waiver decision, due any day now (12/21/08), 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.

Melvyn Oliver's long wait on his qualifying status from the NCAA is finally over. Oliver was declared ineligible for the 2008-2009 season, however, the NCAA did rule he was eligible for a scholarship and after sitting out this season, he will have four years of eligibility left. The situation is similar to Louisville redshirt freshman George Goode, who had a similar ruling from the NCAA last season. it is unclear how these two situations get around the Big East rule on partial qualifiers, but apparently it does.

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.

With transfer students Robert Mitchell, Lawrence and Pope, SHU coach Bobby Gonzalez is not afraid to bring in transfers to increase the NCAA Basketball Odds of his program winning more in the Big East. Another potential transfer this season is Jamie Skeen, a 6-foot-8, 250 lb forward. Skeen Leaves Wake (Huntersville Herald) Forest. Skeen was declared ineligible by Wake for the fall semester after violating university academic policy last spring. Earlier this month, he elected not to file the appeal necessary to return for the upcoming semester and look for a new home for the spring semester. Skeen has visited Seton Hall, VCU and South Florida. A decision shoudl be forthcoming at any moment. He would likely have to sit out the next two semesters and be eligible next spring with a season and a half of eligibility remaining.

**********Late edit: word is that Skeen has chosen VCU...per ZagsBlog.

Skeen attended high school at North Mecklenburg (NC) High, which is also the home of athletic 6-foot-7 forward Andre Marhold who has Seton Hall on his radar for a spring period decision. The 2009 recruit did not sign with a school in the fall signing period and should find plenty of schools interested in his services as a late recruiting addition.

Continuing the transfer theme, former UAB forward Terrence Roderick could be looking at Seton Hall. Apparently Roderick to Seton Hall (Allentown Morning Call) is something he is telling people, but no official word has been announced. Roderick is a big time talent, but academics and other issues has sidetracked his career a few times and looks to have done so once again...

Also, Memphis forward Jeff Robinson is to transfer (, possibly. The former star at Elizabeth (NJ) St Patrick High School would look strongly at Seton Hall if he does leave Memphis.

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.



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