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.
The 6-foot-10 Delgado, who recently won the Haggerty Award as the top player in the New York metropolitan area, tested the NBA waters and never hired an agent. He was not projected to be drafted per DraftExpress.com and was not invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. He did work out for the Atlanta Hawks.
“First round [in 2018] if he keeps improving,” one NBA scout told ZAGSBLOG.
Still, one agent pointed out that Delgado will be 24 when the 2018-19 season begins and there have been only three 24-year-olds drafted in the last 10 years, none in the first round.
In a phone interview Monday, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said: “All the feedback we got [from NBA personnel] was great feedback. We got great feedback. I think we’re really excited the position Angel’s hard work has put him in and I think he’s going to continue to grow and he’s really going to turn into a really dominant player on both ends.”
He added: “I think going into next year he’s going to be one of the best college basketball players in the country and really have a chance to continue to really improve his game in all areas.”
Delgado averaged 15.2 points and a nation-leading 13.1 rebounds and 5.03 offensive rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the field. He finished second in the country with 27 double-doubles and had the longest consecutive double-double streak of any Division I student-athlete this season with 13 straight from Jan. 22 to March 9. He also led the Big East in rebounding with a conference single-season record 253 and 14.1 per game.
“Obviously, his impact is tremendous,” Willard said. “I think every program when you get a caliber of a player like Angel back, it’s obviously a huge bonus but we have really good players in the program now. But you’re excited for the player, too, that they’ve worked this hard and even been in this opportunity.”
With Delgado’s return, Seton Hall can be a Top 25 team with a nucleus of seniors Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez and Ish Sanogo along with rising sophomore Myles Powell plus an incoming recruiting class that now includes big men Romaro Gill and Darnell Brodie, guards Jordan Walker and Myles Cale and stretch four Sandro Mamukelashvili.
After losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons, Seton Hall would now appear to have team capable of making a run.
“If you throw Mike Nzei in there, those five guys are all going to most importantly get their degree,” Willard said. “And they’re all going to have a chance to go out on their terms. I think they’re a very focused group on most importantly graduating, but also taking the next step as a program. And that’s what their mindset is, that’s what they’re working for. They have great individual goals and they have great team goals, and I think that’s what’s exciting.”
Willard said he’s also excited about what the new recruits bring to the program.
“I’m excited about all the new guys,” he said. “Sandro, Myles Cale is a top-50 player. Jordan Walker is oging to give us some toughness and quickness at the point guard spot. The two big kids that we brought in, Darnell and Romaro, they have such tremendous upside. I just got done working them out. It’s exciting so I think we have a really good balanced roster right now.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.