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.
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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — The good news for Seton Hall is that they have landed a point guard to replace senior Jordan Theodore.
The bad news is that Tom Maayan is currently on crutches recovering from ACL surgery. He tore his ACL while playing last month in the Canary Islands.
“It’s a clean ACL,” Canarias Basketball Academy coach Rob Orellana, whose team is on a tour of the U.S., told SNY.tv Sunday during an exclusive interview at the Monroe College Athletic Complex.
“Everybody’s happy with the way the operation came about. He was operated on beginning of the month [January] and everybody’s positive with the way it’s healing. He’s started a rigorous rehabilitation process now and we hope to see him get on the floor hopefully by May or June.”
As first reported Sunday by SouthOrangeJuice.com, the 6-foot, 175-pound Maayan is currently enrolled at Seton Hall and attended Saturday night’s loss to Louisville with his former CBA teammates.
Orellana, who has sent three players to Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard in Patrik Auda, Aaron Geramipoor and Haralds Karlis, said the goal was for Maayan to be on the floor for the start of the 2012-13 season.
“That’s the intention, absolutely,” Orellana said.
As reported here last month, Maayan was already qualified but Orellana said he “was leaning toward probably playing out the year with us.”
Once he injured his knee, he opted to enroll at Seton Hall, choosing the Pirates over offers from Virginia, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State. Virginia Tech liked him and was on the brink of offering.
“The kid can play,” an assistant from one of those schools told SNY.tv. “When Seton Hall saw him, they couldn’t stop drooling over him.”
A Canadian of Israeli descent, Maayan will be the fourth CBA product on the Seton Hall team next year, but Orellana believes he can contribute right away.
“I compare him very favorably to the kid at North Carolina, [Dexter] Strickland,” the coach said. “He’s a pass-first, left-handed, athletic point guard. He’s a guy who gets to the basket, makes players better, gets the ball to whoever it needs to go to. He’s pass-and-kick, penetrating point guard.”
Seton Hall loses Theodore and 6-8 senior power forward Herb Pope to graduation, but will return Auda, Geramipoor, sophomore wing Fuquan Edwin freshmen guards Karlis, Aaron Cosby, Freddie Wilson and Sean Grennan and freshman forward Brandon Mobley. They also hope to get freshman center Kevin Johnson eligible after he sat out this year for academic reasons.
Transfers Gene Teague, a center, and Brian Oliver, a wing, will also become eligible after sitting out.
In 2013, Seton Hall plans to bring in 5-6 scoring guard Aquille Carr of Baltimore (Md.) Patterson. He could potentially play off the ball now some with Maayan at the point.
Still, it appears that Maayan will take over as the team’s floor general in 2012 and will be thrust into the mix in the Big East.
“He’s good,” one Division 1 head coach said.
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.