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.
I interviewed Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez Monday for a story running Tuesday on SNY.tv. Here are some quick hits from the interview, with more to come Tuesday.
**Coach watched the USA Basketball Team practice Monday in Vegas, and then will stay for a couple of days to watch the AAU tournaments.
“I wanted to see the U.S. Olympic team practice so I figured it was smart to come a day early,” Gonzalez said. “I’m here for the first couple days (of the Vegas tournaments) and I have to take a Redeye back to Newark because I have to go check in on my camp. I have a day camp this week. And then I’m the guest speaker up at SUNY Binghamton in my hometown (for the Empire State Games). I’m doing the opening ceremony, a motivational talk. It’s pretty exciting, it’s like 10,000 athletes. And then I turn around and I come back out to the West Coast and I go to Phoenix and then Orlando and then I come back and probably wrap things up at Eastern (in New Jersey).”
**Coach also said that fourth-year junior forward/center John Garcia may finish up his Seton Hall career this season, giving the Pirates an extra scholarship in 2009. Garcia, who recently underwent minor knee surgery, could also return for the 2009-2010 season the way Jamar Nutter returned for a fifth year.
“John Garcia’s a senior, but he could be a junior,” Gonzalez said. “So we may move him along after next year depending on what’s going on with his knee. If we did that, we would have John’s scholarship and Paul Gause’s scholarship. So that’s two definite seniors. We would get Austin Okosun’s (ship) back. So we know we will have at least three scholarships.”
In looking at the Seton Hall roster in the Big East media guide for 2007-08, we noticed that half of the 12 players listed are no longer on the team: Larry Davis, Chris Smith and Okosun transferred; Nutter and Brian Laing graduated; and Michael Glover did not play due to academic/clearinghouse issues.
This year the Pirates return six players from that roster — big men Garcia and Mike Davis; forward Brandon Walters; and guards Gause, Eugene Harvey and Jeremy Hazell.
Additionally, the Pirates are bringing in Duquesne transfer Robert “Stix” Mitchell and three recruits, guards Jamel Jackson and Jordan Theodore and center Melvyn “Big Mel” Oliver. The Hall also got Missouri transfer Keon Lawrence, who must sit out a year.
If Garcia leaves after next season, the Pirates would have nine players on scholarship in 2009, leaving them at least three to play with. Seton Hall lost a scholarship and played with just 12 last season, but will now return to 13.
Stay tuned for a list of targets in the upcoming story.
**The Seton Hall messageboards report that the Pirates will open up the season Nov. 14 against St. Francis (NY) and Nov. 16 against Columbia before heading to Puerto Rico for the Tipoff.
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.