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Basketball Recruiting

2021 Breakdown: Seton Hall leads an impressive 2021 class

September 22, 2020

Kevin Willard has been able to add ‘Conference Champs’ to his current recruiting pitch. In the past four seasons, the Pirates have been able to make it to the NCAA tournament. Despite early-round exits, the Big East powerhouse has been able to bring in solid recruits over the past few seasons.

It is without a doubt that Myles Powell is irreplaceable and is a one-of-a-kind player and will be hard to forget for Pirates fans. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Willard was able to lure in one of the nation’s highest-rated transfers in Harvard transfer and Powell’s replacement, Bryce Aiken.

One of the most unappreciated players in the country, Aiken leads an impressive resume that includes Ivy League Rookie Of The Year and two appearances on the conferences first-team. He will also bring an instant scoring presence which includes nearly 17 points over his four-year career at Harvard.

Aiken will be very effective this season but who will provide that spark when Aiken and Pirates’ star Sandro Mamukelashvili complete their collegiate careers after the 2020-21 season.

Let’s dive right into my preview into Seton Hall’s 2021 recruiting class.

We can start with the program’s first commit of the class, Ryan Conway.

The 6-foot-1 point guard out of Dulaney High School in Maryland, Conway is your modern-day basketball guard. His prowess and his best trait on the floor, in my opinion, is his ability to score at all three levels. With the departure of Myles Powell, I think Conway could eventually have a similar role that the former Pirates guard had.

I believe he could be a four-year guy which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He will provide instant scoring and playmaking to the Pirates future and in his high school career had several 30+ point games and had a 50-ball this past season. 

I think one area that needs improvement is his defense. Yes, many will ask how could he defend at just 6-foot-1, could be a mismatch nightmare in the tough Big East but I think under this Pirates coaching staff, a team with an improving defense that was 9th in the conference in defensive-rating last season, will be able to help Conway get stronger and improve his defense.

Mizzou transfer and former Top-100 recruit, Tray Jackson.

Not only was this an excellent pickup on paper for Kevin Willard but this was just an overall excellent snag for the Seton Hall program. Jackson, a former consensus Top-85 recruit, opted to transfer out of Mizzou after seeing a shortage in playing time and just wasn’t the best fit for him in the SEC. 

The Pirates already have ties to Jackson. They were a major contender to land him in 2018 during his high school recruitment, but obviously he ended up with the Tigers. Now, Willard got a second-chance and followed through and landed the 6-foot-8 forward who I believe will fit in perfectly for the Pirates.

He brings SEC experience to the Big East and brings size and length to a Pirates roster that has been targeting a big man on the recruiting trail but has fallen just short on several targets including most recently to future conference opponent UConn who landed Samson Johnson.

Next up, one of the program’s highest-rated commits, Brandon Weston.

Off-the-bat I love Weston’s game. The New York City native plays with that New York City dog and attitude. The 6-foot-5 wing chose the Pirates for the program’s development and he always mentions what Kevin Willard and his staff were able to do with guys like Isaiah Whitehead and Myles Powell, he wants to have that much of an impact in South Orange.

The Pirates competed with several big-name schools but were able to land Weston who is arguably one of the top-rated prospects in the school's history. This summer, Weston announced his transfer to Hillcrest Prep. This should not only be exciting for Weston but this move should be a thrill for Seton Hall fans.

From a development standpoint, Hillcrest Prep is one of the nation’s top-ranked prep schools and has one of the top developmental staffs in the country. Weston will compete against some of the nation’s best while teaming-up with some of the nation’s best. 

Skillset wise, it’s safe to say that Weston will mesh perfectly in Kevin Willard’s system but will bring a new dynamic to the Pirates roster. I think one area of improvement for Weston, more of something he could add to his already effective arsenal, becoming a positionless player. He has the ability to guard multiple positions but offensively I think he could become a more efficient playmaker.

Finally, all the way from the West Coast, Tyler Powell.

This recruitment was really interesting. Obviously, we look at it now and a lot of guys have had to be recruited the way Tyler Powell was due to the pandemic. The strong 6-foot-5 wing who also weighs over 200-pounds never met any member of the Seton Hall coaching staff and took his only visits to campus virtually due to the NCAA dead period and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The one question asked by Pirates fans is ‘how can Powell and Weston both play together’ and I’ve got the answer. You take a look at the offensive game of Powell and it’s obvious, he can score the ball at all three levels and is mainly a scorer. Then you look at Weston he’s more of a two-way guy that can do pretty much everything on the floor.

Powell scored the ball extremely well at Ribet over his high school career and that is something that stood out to Kevin Willard. Another factor into recruiting Powell was his strength at the wing spot, being able to have the muscle he already has and the athletic frame he has, the Pirates will have an effective defender in Powell on the court and could even have him for four years.



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