Seton Hall standout forward/center Tyrese Samuel has decided to enter his name into the 2023 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. His name will also be put into the transfer portal.
The Montreal, Quebec native has been vital to the team’s success over the course of his collegiate career. Under Kevin Willard, his role grew yearly and during the 2021-2022 season, Samuel averaged 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds to push the Pirates to their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2019.
After the hiring of Coach Shaheen Holloway and the departure of center Ike Obiagu, the roster was left without a true center since Alexis Yetna was unable to appear this season due to injury. That left Samuel to maintain the paint, though his abilities suit him better to play power forward.
“Coach, I’m not a five,” he said early in the season to Holloway, though Holloway knew risks needed to be taken.
Despite reluctancy to be the defensive anchor, Samuel excelled with averages of 11 points and 5.9 rebounds, which are both career-bests. Holloway has made it clear he would love to have Samuel back with the Pirates for his fifth year of eligibility, though the next steps for the four-year standout remain unclear.
Samuel’s departure puts the team in a rough position, since the next tallest player is 6’9” rising sophomore Tae Davis, assuming Alexis Yetna does not use his final year of eligibility. Holloway has already been active in the transfer portal, and will look to add proven players, though a team without Tyrese Samuel makes a rebuild that much more difficult.
Thomas Donnelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @_tommyd023.