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Sunday / August 20.
  • Glover No Longer at SHU; No Word on Oliver; WSOU Interview Transcript

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    Michael Glover is no longer enrolled at Seton Hall and it appears his dream of playing for the Pirates is finally over.

    “Glover is no longer a student at Seton Hall,” Seton Hall spokesman Matt Sweeney said.

    Glover, a 6-foot-6 forward from the Bronx, was ruled ineligible last fall after enrolling at Seton Hall.

    He argued in a lawsuit against the NCAA and the Big East in August that the NCAA never gave a reason for invalidating his entire senior year transcript from American Christian Academy in Pennsylvania.

    The NCAA argued that the Rhode Island federal court system had no jurisdiction over the case, and the Big East argued that it didn’t belong in the lawsuit.

    U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres dismissed both defendants from the lawsuit after hearing arguments.

    Perhaps now Glover can move along with his life and his career and find somewhere to play. We wish him the best.

    The Pirates currently have eight eligible players and are awaiting word on 6-11 freshman center Melvyn Oliver, who is still waiting to hear from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

    “We may not know until game day, but it may be afterward” Sweeney said, referring to the season opener on Friday against St. Francis.

    WSOU TRANSCRIPT

    Also, here’s the full transcript of my Sunday night interview on WSOU, which I believe has been mischaracterized by some folks on the messageboards.

    Adam Zagoria transcript (Interview on Pirate Primetime, 11/9/08)

    Regarding the team’s performance against Molloy College:

    Well, they looked good. They were playing a Division II opponent with no one taller than 6’7. So, it’s not like they’re playing Louisville or Pitt in the middle of Big East season. But I think they had to come out of there feeling good about themselves. Obviously, Jordan Theodore and Brandon Walters…I feel they were the bright spots of the night. Brandon, I feel, was probably motivated by some of the comments Coach Gonzalez made at media day. And I think Jordan Theodore, a kid I got to follow at Paterson Catholic, played very well in pushing the tempo.

    Is Mike Davis overrated?

    Well, I think it’s too early to tell just after one preseason game. I think we need to revisit that five, eight, or ten games into the season. I will say he definitely looks physically a lot better than he did last year. His body looks better. But this team needs a power forward. They desperately tried to get Herb Pope eligible and they’re going to need a lot of contributions from John Garcia and Mike Davis down low, rebounding and blocking shots – doing the dirty work that every team needs. And I think Coach is hopeful that Brandon Walters can contribute and play that role a little bit. And they’re going to need (Robert) “Stix” Mitchell to do some of those things too. He can’t just hang by the perimeter and shoot three’s all day.

    On Davis fouling out versus the Lions:

    Again, it’s one game. It’s not a big sample. But, sure, it’s not good. He didn’t play like John Garcia. And Coach did mention Mike fouling out after the game, so I’m sure he is probably a bit concerned.

    On the play of Jordan Theodore:

    There’s no question that having Jordan Theodore on the team will help them. He’s a tremendously competitive kid. He wants to win. He won a county championship with Patterson Catholic last year. He spent last summer (summer of ’07) at the Steve Nash Academy and the LeBron James academy. And I watched him go up to those guys (Nash and James) and ask them questions, (such as) how to become a better leader. This is a kid who wants to develop himself and become the best player he can be. And he’s very excited to be at Seton Hall. Combine that with the performance on Friday night, it’s nothing but a plus for Seton Hall. And he had a few turnovers, but was the first to go to the media and say “I can’t have two turnovers.” Obviously, with him there, Eugene doesn’t have to play the whole game at the point. He can breathe for a few minutes or play the two.

    Recruiting news about Dominic Cheek, and where the local schools stand:

    With Cheek, it was a rough week for Seton Hall, with St. Anthony’s announcing he is no longer considering Seton Hall plus he’s taking a visit to Rutgers. I know there’s a lot of rivalry and intensity between the two schools, especially on the message boards. I know also that Coach Gonzalez felt he had a pretty good chance at Cheek. You got to give him credit for going after players like that. But for all three of these teams (Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St. John’s), you have to be able to recruit well in this area. There are a ton of talented high school teams in New York and New Jersey, and you have to get players out of these schools. Seton Hall has been able to do that to some extent, with Theodore from Patterson Catholic and “Nu-Nu” (Eugene Harvey) from St. Benedict’s. So I think they need to continue to do that. Rutgers has shown an ability to do that with Mike Rosario and Greg Echenique. If you’re these three schools, you just can’t sit here and let Louisville, UConn, and West Virginia continue to come in here and raid these players.

    Out of the three local schools, who is currently ahead?

    I think, to be frank, you have to give Rutgers the edge. Seton Hall doesn’t have any players committed for ’09. That’s a concern. I believe they’re the only team in the Big East with no commits for ’09. Rutgers has two more coming in for ’09. St. John’s has two coming in for ’09. And I think St. John’s has a shot for Lance Stephenson. Coach Gonzalez has said he has a different strategy for recruiting. He wants to go after transfers, JUCO’s, foreign players – because that’s who he believes can immediately turn around the team. And he’s gotten some good transfers, (in) Herb Pope and Keon Lawrence. But you have to have a relationship with the local high school coaches and players.

    On Melvyn Oliver and the attempt to get him cleared:

    I honestly couldn’t tell you about Melvyn Oliver. I know they’re hopeful, and that by all indications he’s done well (academically) in school (at Seton Hall). I honestly don’t have a feeling one way or the other. It would be a big help if they could get him, because to go through a full season with eight guys is going to be tough. In a best case scenario, everyone stays healthy and one of the walk-ons is able to contribute a little bit, and the team bonds together with eight guys – maybe that’s a positive. But, worse case scenario, one or two guys gets hurt, like what happened with Paul Gause last year… guys are going to get hurt. And you can’t play a Big East season with six or seven guys. I think they really need Melvyn Oliver and no one to get hurt.

    Regarding the walk-ons:

    The only thing I know is what Coach Gonzalez told us after the game Friday is that they’re going to take four guys, one of whom is Matt Cajuste. He’s 6’7, went to Jericho High School in Long Island, has experience playing. I’m not sure if he chose not to play in college or just didn’t get the offer he wanted, but it should be an interesting story going forward. But, I know Coach Gonzalez is high on him. Again, in a best case scenario, he comes out and is able to practice, work out Garcia and the big guys in practice, and may become a “Rudy” type situation, as someone mentioned on the message boards. Maybe he goes in and hits a big shot. I don’t know who the other three guys are, and Coach said he’s going to rotate how many of them travel for various games.

    On why Seton Hall was placed 15th in the Zagsblog Big East Preseason Poll:

    The main element of putting them (15th in the Big East) is that they have eight guys. Again, I think for all three local schools – they’re in an absolutely loaded conference with perhaps nine or ten teams going to the (NCAA) Tournament. I don’t see any of the local teams cracking the upper eight-nine-ten, which leaves them to fill out the 11-16 spots. And if you talk to the coaches, they will tell you that the first goal over the next two years is to get to the 8-10 spot, where Providence is and West Virginia is. And once you get there, you can think about potentially getting in the top eight. Look, I hope Seton Hall does well. I wish them the best. But I think it’s going to be tough with eight guys. They need a lot of things to go right. They need no one to get hurt, to rebound the basketball, and it would help to get Melvyn Oliver eligible and possibly even Keon in the second half.

    Is the Big East the best conference in the nation?

    I don’t think there’s any doubt. I wrote several preview stories and talked to many coaches and analysts, and it’s the best league in the country. I think you have eight automatic NCAA teams and possibly 10. There’s no real night off. Maybe South Florida is a night off, but who knows. Even the 12-15 teams are going to be tough. It’s just a brutal league. The key that everyone talks about is that there are a lot of returning players with experience. UConn is loaded. Pitt is loaded. Louisville is loaded. It’s going to be very tough for the local teams.

    Who is the best in the Big East?

    I think that Connecticut on paper has the potential to be the best team. As Coach Gonzalez mentioned at media day, they essentially have an NBA front line with Hasheem Thabeet, who is 7’3…he alters the game and prevents you from driving into the lane because he’s going to block shots…and they have Jeff Adrien, who’s 6’7. And they’re going to get back Stanley Robinson. They have four big guys. Plus they have experienced guards in A.J. Price and Jerome Dyson. And by all accounts, Kemba Walker is a star on the rise from Rice High School in Manhattan. So, I think if they stay healthy, they have a shot to go as far as possible. Then I think Pitt and Louisville have brought back a lot, and added some good pieces…they are going to be tough to beat. I’d guess I would say UConn is my favorite to win the league and the tournament, but it wouldn’t shock me if Pitt, Louisville, or even Notre Dame went on a run at Madison Square Garden.

    On whether or not Robert Mitchell can be “the scorer” for Seton Hall:

    I think that’s a terrific question. And, to some extent, Seton Hall’s season will be determined five months from now by how much he can score. He and Hazell will be asked to do a bulk of the scoring, supported by Nu-Nu and a few other guys. And Coach is on record as saying Stix Mitchell is going to come in and get Brian Laing’s points back plus a few more. So, that’s asking a lot for a kid who has never played a Big East game…coming in from Duquesne and play the four, which isn’t his natural position, and score 16-18-20 points a night. Does he have the potential to do it? It looks like he does. But he’s playing in the toughest league in the country. He can’t just sit on the perimeter and look for jump shots. He’s going to have to bang and rebound… unless they’re going to get outrebounded by the front lines of Connecticut, Pitt, and Louisville. It will be interesting to see.

    Will Mitchell take away shot attempts and maybe points from Jeremy Hazell?

    I don’t know about that. I think you can never have enough guys who can score the basketball. And I haven’t seen them play enough games together. That’s a tough question to ask since they haven’t played a single regular season game together. We’ll have to see them play a few regular season games together first. But I definitely think they have guys who can score. Stix, Hazell, Nu-Nu, and I think Jordan can score a little bit. John Garcia can give you 8 or 10 points a game. Their problem is going to be more so defensively like it was last year. Can they contain other teams from scoring in transition? Can they rebound and play hard under the basket? And that was a major problem most of last year, that they weren’t playing effective defense. Now, I know Coach has a number of strategies for that, such as pushing the tempo. But the best teams in the league in any sport are the ones that play tremendous defense. That’s what this team has to do to move up, I think.

    On this team having chemistry:

    From the little I’ve seen, they do have a lot of chemistry. They spend a lot of time together. I know Jordan and Eugene are roommates. Theoretically, Jordan can challenge Eugene for the (point guard) spot simply because they play the same position, but they seem to get along. I think that because they only have eight guys, they realize they all need to bond and contribute to have any success. I think John Garcia is always the quiet, stoic leader. But I also think Jordan and Nu-Nu have to be the leaders, because they are the point guards. Jordan can really inject some energy into this team. He’s the only true freshman and the only eligible recruit thus far. From everything I know about that kid, he wants to win. So, I think that can be a positive impact.

    Regarding what it is like to be a reporter around Bobby Gonzalez:

    He’s a great guy to interview if you’re a reporter, because he tells you what is on his mind. He gives you a lot of great quotes. Sometimes, they are a bit controversial. But he doesn’t back off of them. He definitely made some comments last year about landing a player they weren’t supposed to get, then being accused of cheating, and the comments about Brandon this year. As a reporter, he fills up your notebook. He’s very engaging with reporters, and has always been good to me. But he’s clearly a controversial personality. And he’s going to have to produce some results here at Seton Hall in the next couple of years. As are Norm Roberts at St. John’s and Freddy (Fred Hill at Rutgers)…well, Freddy has the extension, but all these guys need to prove that they can win.

    On Seton Hall in the recruiting scene:

    This is the one area where, quite frankly, I would be a bit concerned. I am not aware of them going to sign anyone. Signing day starts Wednesday, November 12th to the 19th. I not aware that they are going to get any players during that period. And again, they would be the only Big East team without an ’09 commit at that point. They had some high hopes for a couple of kids, including Arsalan Kazemi. He came for an official visit recently and I know Coach Gonzalez and (Assistant) Coach (Dermon) Player had high hopes that he would commit. He committed to Rice, and I think that was a bit of a blow for them. They’re involved with this kid Jarrid Famous, who’s a seven footer from Westchester Community College, who told me he wasn’t going to commit until the spring signing period. He’s also going to visit UConn, West Virginia, and Missouri. So Seton Hall feels they have a shot at him, but the season has to play out and the kid is visiting some high powered schools in UConn and West Virginia. Again, they’re looking at transfers. I know they’re looking at some of the Arizona kids who de-committed after Lute Olson stepped down. That’s fine, but I think you also need to recruit some of the local kids. Unfortunately, with Dominic Check saying he is not going to Seton Hall and with Kazemi declaring for Rice, I think they lost out on two guys they were hopeful for. I honestly don’t know who the next kid is that they will bring in, but they need to bring in some players.

    Can Seton Hall upset anyone this season, similar to last season’s home win vs. Louisville?

    Well, look, any given night – anyone can beat anyone. Seton Hall beat Louisville. Rutgers only won three or four Big East games last year, but beat Pitt and Villanova in back to back games. In the Louisville game, Jeremy Hazell was just on fire. He was shooting from the parking lot, he was just unstoppable. There will probably be some games like that this year, but I can’t say who it will be against. There are a bunch of teams in the league that Seton Hall or Coach Gonzalez hasn’t beaten – UConn, possibly Pitt – that Seton Hall gets at home this year. So I’m sure there will be a focus on those games. And in any given game, Stix Mitchell and Hazell can go off for 50 points between them and can win any game. Over the long haul, it will be a tough road to hoe in the Big East.

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • One question that wasnt asked was: What do you think SHU must accomplish this for Bobby to keep his job. Or will he be back at SHU no matter what happens this year? I just want to say im a Bobby supporter, but not blind to the growing number of problems that follow him. Thanks Adam.

    • I’m not a Seton Hall fan (attend and root for a different BE school) but with an uncle that played there and a very close friend that attends SHU I cannot help but follow the program somewhat. As interesting a guy as Gonzo is, at the moment it really seems like unless he pulls a complete 180 he’s on his way to driving the program into the ground.

      As has been said, he’s not focusing on the right kinds of recruits (to have nobody from ’09 with the caliber of HS hoops in New Jersey alone, forget the general northeast, is absolutely pitiful) and he’s having some serious trouble with transfers and getting guys academically eligible. I know SHU is a solid private school but it’s not at the level of some other BE schools and they don’t seem to have problems like this.

      The way he handles some matters is also questionable in the sense that he makes things about himself moreso than the players/program (last yea’rs student setion shirts?) a little too often for my taste, though that’s a different story than a different day. Anyways, I know he’s trying to make a quick leap and he’ll be questioned for his personality until he starts to win but it’s tough to see where the program is headed right now.

      On a seperate note, your site is absolutely fantastic Adam, you do an awesome job and I really appreciate the work you put in.

    • My 4-year-old daughter says “that’s not nice and you should say your sorry.”

      I work at all hours and sometimes my personal and professional lives intersect.

      I will continue to try to provide the most up-to-date hoops info, no matter the hour.

      • Just shows your lack of respect for the students at WSOU and the listeners. You’re the one who should be apologizing……no excuse for not conducting an interview in a quiet room. Buy a cordless phone and grow up! You really have an ego a mile long.

    • I was in the quietest room in my house. You are the only one who has complained, so I’m not too worried about it.

      Feel free to start your own blog and conduct interviews with yourself, I’m sure you have a lot of fascinating insight to offer.

    • You have such an overwhelming following…..two others also responded. Guess your explaination justifies your lack of privacy. A three room house can be quite noisy. I must learn to be more tolerant of the disadvantaged.

    • Adam,

      I don’t have a comment about the interview other than the transcript was informative. I do have a question.

      With Gonzo seeming to have a rift between him and Joe Quinlan, and not getting any early recruits to commit, and growing rumors that he is on the hot seat … What is Gonzo’s relationships with the student body like? Are the students still supportive of him or is that sentiment turning? As alumni, I’m starting to question not how he’s recruiting but who he is recruiting.

      Thanks.

      Mike

    • Pirate/Derza/Buddhano —

      Thanks for the comments. First, as I’ve said many times I think Seton Hall must continue to develop relationships with the local coaches in order to bring in talent from the New York and New Jersey powers. Getting Eugene Harvey from St. Ben’s and Jordan Theodore from Paterson Catholic are certainly good starts, but SHU must continue to develop those relationships. As of right now, the Pirates have no recruits coming in from the Class of 2009, while every other Big East school has at least one and some as many as 4 or 5 (see Marquette). I have little doubt that Seton Hall will bring in a couple of players in the spring signing period, but the question will be where they come from — JUCOS, transfers, etc. — and will they qualify academically.

      The top unsigned players from NY/NJ are Lance Stephenson and Dominic Cheek and Seton Hall is not in the running for either.

      As for Coach Gonzalez, I wouldn’t want to speculate on his job status. I know the staff has great confidence that when Keon Lawrence and Herb Pope become eligible they will be instant impact players. If they can get Keon later this year, Pope next year and sprinkle in some quality additions, they could be on their way. They clearly need a power forward, and Pope is expected to be the answer.

      As I’ve also said many times, there are best- and worst-case scenarios. The worst-case is: Oliver isn’t eligible, Keon doesn’t get a waiver, one or more players get hurt and they have to play the entire Big East calendar with fewer than 8 bodies.

      The best-case is, Oliver becomes eligible and/or Keon gets a waiver, the team bonds around its core players, the walk-ons contribute a bit AND they a land some recruits in the spring.

      Only time will tell.

      Adam

    • your a great writer and just look at how many people visit your site and that tells everyone that people care what you write about. Keep up the good work Adam.