Men’s basketball team takes shape

The Pirates’ summer began with the announcement that Jeremy Hazell and Jeff Robinson will return for their senior seasons after much discussion around potentially entering the NBA draft. Additionally, Herb Pope, who led the Big East in rebounds last season, is projected to make a full recovery from unexpectedly collapsing after a workout in late April.

During the offseason, Seton Hall acquired five new players to join these three veteran starters and the other returning players. The only two starters from last year’s roster who will not be returning are John Garcia and Eugene Harvey, both of whom graduated.

The first official member of the 2010 recruiting class chose to play for The Hall after turning down the opportunity to play at Providence. Fuquan Edwin, the 6-foot-6-inch forward, averaged 15.5 points and 6 rebounds per game during his senior season of high school and earned all-state second team honors. He joins teammate Jordan Theodore as the second alumni of Paterson Catholic under Coach Damon Wright.

With new head coach Kevin Willard in the picture, Patrik Auda signed with the team in mid-May, only one day before the spring signing period ended. The left handed 6-foot-9-inch power forward from the Czech Republic spent the last year playing at the Canarias Basketball Academy (CBA) in the Canary Islands, Spain. The CBA has generated nearly 20 Division I players to date.

Auda is known for his three-point shooting as well as his physical inside game. He was named to the National Prep School Invitational All-Tournament Team in February after averaging 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in the 31-team event in Rhode Island.

On the same day that Auda was signed, 6-foot-8-inch Anali Okoloji committed to play after spending one year at the Impact Basketball Academy in Florida. He averaged 25 points, six assists and 11 rebounds, and is regarded for his size and strong work ethic.

In July, Seton Hall picked up Aaron Germanipoor, also from the CBA. At barely under 7-foot, Germanipoor averaged a double-double last year, notching over 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks per game.

Willard’s hope for Germanipoor is that he can offer some stability to the frontcourt comprised of returning sophomore Ferrakohn Hall, Robinson and Pope.

About a month ago, the fifth addition to the roster came in the form of Ole Miss graduate Eniel Polynice. Polynice signed a letter of intent as he is eligible to play due to a waiver from the NCAA. The waiver was granted because he graduated with a year left to play basketball after only playing in three seasons with the Rebels in his four years at school.

During the 2008-2009 season, he was redshirted to recover from knee surgery. Last season, he led his team in assists in 18 games and averaged eight points.

Being the only recruit that is not a true freshman, Polynice should bring experience to the recently stacked lineup of recruits who have yet to play at the collegiate level.

Gabrielle Kiger can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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