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.
Hurley: Gonzo Era at Seton Hall Now Officially Over
Now that Seton Hall is ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in more than a decade, Bob Hurley says it’s truly signaled a changing of the guard at Seton Hall.
“This is the Kevin Willard Era; it’s no longer Bob Gonzalez hangover,” the Naismith Hall of Fame coach told SNY.tv Monday.
“Things are going very well. It’s going to absolutely have an effect [on recruiting] just because the average person is aware of this right now.”
Willard now has an excellent chance to do something Gonzalez never did in his turbulent four-year tenure that ended with his firing in 2010: take the Pirates to the NCAAs.
The last time the Pirates went dancing, in 2006, Louis Orr was the head coach. His reward? He got fired.
That won’t happen this time around.
Using three Gonzo-Era players in Herb Pope, Jordan Theodore and Fuquan Edwin, Seton Hall is now 14-2 and ranked No. 24 after they were picked 13th in the Big East.
“I’ve enjoyed the fact that my two seniors have gotten a lot of publicity,” Willard said Monday. “I think it’s very well-deserved publicity. Jordan and Herb have done a great job and worked very hard this year in turning this program around.
“But our mentality hasn’t changed. I still believe we are playing under the radar and we still have a lot to prove.”
Yet Willard has also melded in his own recruits who are now making quality contributions — sophomore bigs Patrik Auda and Aaron Geramipoor, freshman guard Aaron Cosby and freshman forward Brandon Mobley.
“I didn’t expect the young guys to contribute as much as they have,” Willard said.
He added: “I’m really surprised at how quickly we were able to jell as a team. I thought we had a chance to be a good team, I didn’t know that we could get it together this quick.”
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.