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Friday, April 24, 2009


April 24, 2009

Commitment Alert: Ferrakohn Hall, 6'8 F from White Station HS of Memphis (TN)

Seton Hall picks up their second commitment in a week as they add a solid prospect in the spring recruiting period with Memphis White Station F Ferrakohn Hall committing. Hall to The Hall ( comes a week after a visit to the Seton Hall campus. Hall also considered UAB, Oklahoma, Baylor and others.

2009-2010 Projected Roster

Seniors: Eugene Harvey (PG), John Garcia (C),
Juniors: Jeremy Hazell (G/F), Brandon Walters (BF/C), Keon Lawrence**** (G), Robert Mitchell (G/F), Jeff Robinson*** (F), Jamel Jackson (G)
Sophomores: Jordan Theodore (PG), Herb Pope* (PF)
Freshmen: Melvyn Oliver** (C), Ferrakohn Hall (F)

* After sitting out 2008-2009 per NCAA transfer rules, Pope has three years of eligibility left

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

*** Per NCAA transfer rules, Robinson must sit out until end of Fall 2009 semester. Robinson, by definition of eligibility rules, will have two years of eiligibility left unless he is granted a medical redshirt for his sophomore season as he missed a few games because of an injury before leaving Memphis

**** After sitting out the 2008-2009 season per NCAA transfer rules, Lawrence will have two years of eligibility left

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Seton Hall and Bobby Gonzalez scored again on the recruiting trail, adding Ferrakohn Hall to their 2009 recruiting class. Hall stands nearly 6-foot-8 and weighs in about 200 pounds and is an athletic player that has the athletic ability to play away from the basket and the skills to go inside.

Hall is an interesting prize as far as late period signees go. The 6-foot-7+ forward teammed with elite 2010 recruit Joe Jackson on Jesus Patino's state championship club this past season. While he is a 'tweener' at forward, trying to improve his ability away from the basket, he has excellent athletic ability and is a player of potential upside. While his size might be a disadvantage in the Big East as a power forward, as shown in the Bojangles shootout when he had a tough time against Pitt-commit Talib Zanna, his improving skills away from the basket could have him develop into an athletic and strong wing able to take opposing forwards inside and out.

Hall had planned to take official visits to Baylor and Oklahoma before making a decision, but decided Seton Hall offered him the best opportunity and jumped on the offer, canceling his other planned visits according to

Earlier this week, the Pirates add a familiar name as 2008 commit Jamel Jackson came back to the fold. Jackson has a specialty, and that is long-range shooting. As a sophomore at Technical Career Institute in Manhattan (NY), Jackson averaged 21.5 points a game.

The Brooklyn native played at famed Lincoln HS for coach Tony Morton in what seemed like a career ago. After playing on a championship team with the Railsplitters, Jackson began an oddysey that led hom to the now defunct Boys to Men Academy in Chicago for two years of prep school and the last two seasons at TCI in a quest to make it into a Division 1-A program. That quest is now complete as Jackson will provide guard depth for the Pirates next season and an additional source of perimeter shooting to take some pressure off of Jeremy Hazell.

Jackson had hoped to finish his JUCO requirements after just one season at TCI, but one of his courses last summer was not accepted by SHU and Jackson returned to the JUCO ranks for a second season, leaving him two years to compete as a Pirate. Jackson will in effect replace Paul Gause on the roster, who graduated after the 2008-2009 season. Ironically, both were members of the high school senior class of 2005 and one is just starting his 1-A career while the other just finished his...

While Jackson is currently the only newcomer signed for 2009-2010, the Pirates will have plenty of new faces attempting to mesh together on the court to get the Pirates to the post-season for the first time under coach Bobby Gonzalez. Much-anticipated transfers such as Herb Pope, Keon Lawrence and Jeff Robinson will take the floor as will big man Melvyn Oliver, who sat out the 2008-2009 season due to academics.

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. 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 took his 11 points a game average and transferred back home to SHU and will play a significant role in the backcourt next season.

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.

Another forward likely to make an impact next season is former St. Patrick's star Jeff Robinson, who left Memphis in the middle of his sophomore season. By rule, Robinson has to sit out one year as a transfer student and will be eligible in the second half of the season next year. Since he played with the Tigers early on in the 2008-2009 season, Robinson will have just two years of eligibility. He did miss a few games because of injury prior to leaving the Memphis program, so there is some thought that Robinson could apply for a medical redshirt and get that lost year back. Robinson is an athletic specimen that should fit well in the style of play the Pirates prefer, but added skill level will definitely help his game a lot.

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.

The Pirates have also hosted another forward in recent days and remain in the hunt for Hutchinson CC forward Cliff Dixon, who verbally committed to the Pirates last November before withdrawing that commitment.

At the time of his commitment, 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 still considered the Pirates, and with the Pirates still needing a forward, hightened by the decision of sophomore Mike Davis to transfer, the Pirates hosted Dixon on a visit recently.

Dixon is also considering, per, Missouri, Western Kentucky, Memphis and Kentucky and has yet to make a decision.

Hall left SHU after his visit without making a commitment and is likely to take a visit to Baylor and, possibly, Oklahoma, before deciding.

The Pirates have also been quite active in the class of 2010 already, being among the leaders for local standouts Fuquan Edwin of Paterson Catholic and Kyrie Irving of St. Patrick's. More players will emerge as top targets in the 2010 class including New Heights forwards Devon Collier, Ashton Pankey, Derrick Williams and Jayvaughn Pinkston.



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