The men’s basketball team will be eagerly awaiting recruit Isaiah Whitehead to make his commitment at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Whitehead is a four-star recruit from Brooklyn, N.Y. and is No. 35 in the ESPN Top 100. He has narrowed his search to St. John’s, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Indiana, according to a tweet from his account.
Should Whitehead decide the blue and white is for him, head coach Kevin Willard would have himself a potential Top 10 recruiting class for 2014.
The Pirates already have two commitments lined up for 2014 in forward Angel Delgado and guard Khadeen Carrington.
Delgado is a highly touted recruit from Troy, N.Y. He is currently ranked as the No. 63 player in the ESPN Top 100 and the No. 4 player from New York. Carrington is a three-star guard from Brooklyn, N.Y. who was also pursued by Cincinnati, Connecticut and conference rival St. John’s.
Whitehead would be a welcome addition to the Seton Hall backcourt, but even if he decides to go elsewhere, the recruiting class should still be considered a success.
Willard has suffered criticism from fans and media for the lack of recruits from New Jersey and the met- ropolitan area.
In his first two season, Willard used the Canarias Basketball Academy as a major pipeline for recruits, finding four current members of the roster in senior Aaron Geramipoor, redshirt junior Patrik Auda, junior Haralds Karlis and sophomore Tom Maayan.
The criticism is unjust in that Willard has had success brining players from New Jersey. Redshirt seniors Gene Teague and Brian Oliver, redshirt sophomore Sterling Gibbs, and junior Hakeem Harris are all transfer students who are all natives of the Garden State.
Willard also notched a Top 100 recruit in freshman Jaren Sina, who is from Lake Hopatcong, N.J. Whitehead’s decision will be an important one for Pirates fans to watch for. Should he choose to become a Pirate, two of the three members will be from the metropolitan area, and the other from neighboring upstate New York.
I’m not sure if this was an intentional recruiting move from Willard, but it will be beneficial to the team in the future.
Make no mistake about it: these next two years are critical for Willard’s legacy as head coach of the Pirates. However, with the recent success in recruiting, the outlook for the future of Pirates basketball looks bright.
T.J. Brennan is a senior journalism major from Long Island, N.Y. He can be reached at thomas.brennan@ student.shu.edu