One day after losing associate head coach Shaheen Holloway to the head coaching vacancy at Saint Peter’s, the Seton Hall men’s basketball program got some good news on Wednesday as the Asbury Park Press’ Jerry Carino tweeted that forward Mike Nzei plans to return for a post-graduate season in 2018-19.
According to Carino, coach Kevin Willard said Nzei would be back at Seton Hall next season after completing a “high-powered” summer finance internship.
Leading up to the news, there had been some uncertainty surrounding Nzei’s return to the program. According to sources, Nzei held legitimate job offers and was seriously considering graduating and entering the work force prior to Wednesday evening.
With Nzei’s return, Seton Hall’s front court gets a major boost, as Nzei will serve as a reliable veteran leader on a team that is losing four senior starters in Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Ismael Sanogo and Angel Delgado. He will also bolster a returning group that includes Sandro Mamukelashvili and Taurean Thompson, the latter who sat out last season after transferring from Syracuse, as well as fresh 2018 recruits Valdir Manuel and Darnell Brodie.
In 2017-18, Nzei averaged 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in 34 games played. Often filling in for the injured or suspended Sanogo, Nzei made 17 starts and averaged 16.6 minutes per game. His biggest contributions came against VCU on Dec. 9 with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and against Villanova on Feb. 4, scoring two clutch buckets down the stretch in the second half to help send the game to overtime after Sanogo left the game with a sprained ankle.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.