It took Seton Hall and its new-look coaching staff a while to get on track when it came to its 2019 recruiting class, but once it all came together it resulted in two standout talents committing to the program.
After striking out on many high-priority targets early in the cycle, Seton Hall landed Our Saviour Lutheran (N.Y.) combo guard Dashawn Davis and Top 100 Canadian wing Tyrese Samuel from Orangeville Prep, one of the premier prep schools in the country.
A three-star recruit according to the industry generated 247 Sports composite ranking, Davis is currently rated the No. 380 player in the country, the No. 72 shooting guard and the No. 9 player in New York. At the time of his commitment, Davis held 13 offers from Arkansas Little-Rock, Fordham, Hofstra, La Salle, Manhattan, Monmouth, Old Dominion, Saint Louis, Saint Peter’s, St. John’s, Toledo and VCU. He ultimately chose Seton Hall over his other two finalists, St. John’s and Old Dominion.
Last season, Davis was teammates with current Seton Hall freshman forward Jared Rhoden at Our Saviour Lutheran and is close friends with Our Savior Lutheran point guard and high-priority 2020 Seton Hall target Posh Alexander. Billed as a standout defender, Davis will almost certainly factor into Seton Hall’s guard rotation upon arrival next year.
As for Samuel, diligence was the key when it came to getting the four-star recruit to commit to Seton Hall over Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and Georgetown. In his first year on the staff, Duane Woodward led the charge to land Samuel and the whole Seton Hall staff played a role in landing him. On three separate occasions, Seton Hall’s whole coaching staff made the trip to Canada to watch Samuel play and meet with him and his family, no other coaching staff made that kind of effort.
Samuel is the kind of player Seton Hall frequently misses out on – an athletic, volume scoring wing who plays hard both ways and has a high basketball IQ. Replacing the likes of Shaheen Holloway and Fred Hill was never going to be an easy task for Woodward and Tony Skinn to accomplish, but the two have hit the ground running despite some concerns surrounding the staff’s lack of success early in the cycle.
Since arriving in South Orange, Skinn and Woodward worked with Kevin Willard and Grant Billmeier to completely overhaul Seton Hall’s recruiting board to focus on a different kind of player than the staff was previously recruiting. Both Skinn and Woodward brought fresh perspectives to the table and as a result, the players Seton Hall viewed as high-priority targets also changed.
It was an uneasy first couple of months for Seton Hall’s new staff to get going, as Top 100 target Tray Jackson took an official visit to South Orange before ultimately committing to Minnesota, while Al-Amir Dawes, who was once viewed as a Seton Hall lock with Holloway in the fold, landed at Clemson despite a late push from the Pirates to get back involved in his recruitment.
Many fans were concerned with the way Seton Hall’s recruiting class was playing out and rightfully so. With Big East programs such as Villanova, Marquette and St. John’s having so much early-cycle success, it was tough to see the Pirates head into November without a single commit. Even DePaul had landed two top-100 prospects at that point.
Those concerns have since been put to bed with the signatures of Davis and Samuel. Both players have signed their National Letters of Intent and will arrive in South Orange in the spring. Woodward and Skinn have forged strong relationships with players from the Northeast and Washington D.C. area, respectfully, and the Pirates are set to bring in a strong haul for the 2020 class after completing the 2019 cycle on a high note.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.