Last season, men’s basketball head coach Kevin Willard faced a whirlwind of questions surrounding his ability to recruit. Many, including myself, even wondered if he was the right man for the job.
Quite frankly, a 15-18 record including an ugly 3-15 in-conference record doesn’t necessarily help the head coach’s case either.
The team faced insurmountable challenges last season, mostly revolving around injuries.
Fielding an active roster of only seven or eight seemed like a reoccurring storyline for the Pirates throughout last season. However, with a win in the first round of the Big East Championship and a near upset over one of the eventual Final Four teams, Syracuse, it seemed that maybe the page was ready to be turned on the year, and next season, this season, would have a brighter outlook.
Just last week, Seton Hall was put back on the map and fans were given a reason to believe in their basketball team once again.
Isaiah Whitehead, a shooting guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., shocked the nation and chose to take his coveted talents to Seton Hall in 2014.
Touted as the 35th ranked prospect in his class according to ESPN.com Top 100, Whitehead serves as a stepping stone for a program desperately looking to bounce back.
Whitehead will help solidify a backcourt that is set to be taken back a step once Fuquan Edwin leaves at the season’s end. His 6-foot-4-inch body frame will also enable him to help at the frontcourt, an area which the Pirates were decimated at last season.
More importantly, the signing solidifies Willard’s place at Seton Hall. He answered the repetitive calls not through words, but through action. The most impressive thing about the Whitehead signing is that it wasn’t far from the beginning. Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado, and Ismael Sanogo are also verbal commitments that Willard and his staff have been able to lure to South Orange. The hardest part for Pirates fans will be eagerly waiting for those players to arrive.
But, this year also has the potential to be very special for the Pirates largely because of the returning leadership and new talent to the team. With that being said, to those fans who are saying they wish to just “skip this season and jump to next season,” the future has already begun for Seton Hall basketball.
Willard is leading the charge in a new era, and that in itself sends a message to the new Big East.
David Heim is a sophomore journalism major from Roselle Park, N.J. He can be reached at david. email@example.com