Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Sometime this week, Jeremy Hazell’s college career will likely come to an end at Madison Square Garden.
Hazell and Seton Hall (13-17, 7-11 Big East) open the Big East tournament against Garden State rival Rutgers (14-16, 5-13) at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Barring a miraculous run of five wins in five days, Hazell’s career will end on the Garden court.
But what comes next for the 6-foot-5 Harlem native? Will he have a career in the NBA or will he end up overseas?
“What I like is he’s long, athletic and quick,” said an NBA scout with 10 years experience. “He’s a streaky shooter. The shooting comes and goes. His shot selection is questionable.
“He’s probably a late-second round or free agent guy.”
Earlier this season, Hazell said it was his dream to make it to the pros.
“Oh definitely, I want to make it to the NBA and play for an NBA team next year,” he said. “That would be any basketball player’s goal, so that’s my goal.”
A third-team All-Big East selection, Hazell is averaging 19.4 points per game. He missed 13 games this season with a broken left wrist and was also the victim of a shooting during a robbery attempt gone bad in front of his Harlem home on Christmas Day.
Still, he has tallied 2,098 career points, good for third all-time on the Seton Hall scoring list.
He scored a season-high 31 points and was an efficient 9-for-14 from the floor and 4-for-6 from 3-point range when Seton Hall defeated then-No. 15 St. John’s last Thursday. On Saturday, Senior Night, Hazell led all scorers with 21 points on 6-for-11 shooting and 4-for-5 from deep in an 85-72 victory over Marquette.
“Obviously, Hazell is playing at a very high level at a very good time for them, entering the tournament,” Rutgers associate head coach David Cox said.
One knock NBA personnel have on Hazell is that he’s a volume shooter and not necessarily an efficient one.
“Without a doubt,” the NBA scout said.
In an NBA game, Hazell would likely come off the bench and would have to make 6-of-8 or 4-of-6 from deep in limited minutes.
“In college, you have more shot-takers than shot-makers,” former NBA and Seton Hall guard Terry Dehere said in January. “But when you get to the next level, you have to become more of a shot-maker, not just a shot-taker.”
(Photo courtesy Daily News)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.