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.
Lawrence Will Suit Up If He Gets Waiver; Vincent Council to Providence
Keon Lawrence will suit up for the rest of Seton Hall’s season if he receives a hardship waiver from the NCAA, according to a source close to Lawrence.
“He changed his mind because he wants to help his team,” Alif Muhammad, an advisor to the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Lawrence, said by phone at halftime of the Villanova-Seton Hall game in which Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds poured in career-high tying 40 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, in an 89-85 OT victory at the Prudential Center.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Seton Hall had not yet heard official word from the NCAA on Lawrence’s status, but Muhammad said the school was due to hear on Wednesday.
“The NCAA came back and asked him some questions. He’s supposed to find out tomorrow (Wednesday). That’s what his mother said,” Muhammad said.
Lawrence sought a hardship waiver because of family issues I detailed in this story.
Muhammad previously told me that Lawrence would sit out the remainder of the year even if he received the waiver because he had already missed the pre-conference schedule and Seton Hall is now into its third Big East game.
The Pirates (9-6, 0-3 Big East) are currently playing with eight scholarship players, one of whom, senior forward John Garcia, missed four games with a knee problem. (Garcia grabbed 12 boards in the Nova loss.)
Lawrence has been practicing with the team. If he were to suit up, he would be rusty but could be another potentially dangerous scorer in the backcourt to pair with sophomores Jeremy Hazell and Robert Mitchell. After all, Lawrence once dropped 25 points on Kansas while playing for Missouri.
“Keon is an incredible recruit for us,” Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said previously. “He has a huge name in the state of New Jersey and he’s coming back home to Newark. He can play the 1 and the 2. He’s a natural scorer and really an electrifying, exciting player that the fans are just going to love. When he decided to transfer, everyone in the country wanted him, but he chose us. I think that really says something about where we’re headed as a program.”
COUNCIL TO PROVIDENCEVincent Council, a 6-foot-2 point guard, gave a verbal commitment to Providence Tuesday night.
“I feel comfortable there,” Council said via email.
Council, a New York native playing at The Patterson (NC) School, chose Providence over Rutgers, UCF and Arkansas.
Council joins five Providence recruits who signed in November: guards Johnnie Lacy and Duke Mondy, junior college shooter Kyle Wright and prep forwards Kadeem Batts and James Still.
“[Council] just think he’ll bring experience,” said Patterson coach Chris Chaney, whose team is ranked No. 1 in the National Prep Poll. “I think he’s one of Keno Davis’ kind of guys. I think he’s a really great fit. He has a great basketball IQ, and he’s a winner type of player. Davis and (Pat) Scurry did a great job recruiting him.”
Council is averaging 12 points and 10 assists for Patterson, 20-0 on the season. Providence brings in a handful of freshmen next season and Council should compete for the starting point guard spot, although the Friars believe he can play multiple positions.
“He’s one of those guys that surprised everybody early and has just gotten better and better,” Chaney said. “I have seen a lot of basketball this year and I haven’t seen a lot of better point guards than him.”
Rutgers, meanwhile, still needs a point guard to replace the departing Anthony Farmer. Otherwise, the Scarlet Knights will have to use Mike Coburn or Corey Chandler, neither of whom is a starting point guard in the Big East.
In the good news department for Rutgers, future Scarlet Knight Dane Miller recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and five blocks to lead the Rush-Henrietta basketball team to a 76-61 victory over Edison in the Rush-Henrietta Tournament Monday, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. Miller also added five steals.
***As for the DeAndre Kane affair, Chaney said he heard about the comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which Kane said he will wait until April before picking a college from among Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Marquette.
“We’ll deal with it when he comes back (on Thursday),” Chaney said.
The students return to the Patterson School then.
Kane previously verbally committed to Seton Hall but was quoted in his hometown paper said he will wait until the spring.
***Dylan Butler has the news that longtime Christ the King boys basketball coach Bob Olivahas officially retired.
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.