Guest Post: So Far, Kevin Willard is Riding In Eddie Jordan's Wake

Chris Chambers

Even though 2014 recruiting is just beginning, Jordan has been impressive.

If you follow the Seton Hall blog South Orange Juice at all, you'll have read the Seton Hall Mailbag the blog has been answer. Chris McManus, the Lead Writer and Recruiting Analyst, has been answering questions revolving around Kevin Willard, Seton Hall, and the new Big East. But he was soon confronted with a question about Eddie Jordan's recruiting. Chris thought it'd read even better here at On the Banks. So without further ado, here is the uncut answer Chris had:

Q: Re: Eddie Jordan's recruiting -
However, in response to your post: How much does Fast Eddie benefit from all of the open scholarships? How many of his recruits are available for 2013? How many were Pirate targets? How many would have fit into Coach Willard's system?

Thus far, Eddie Jordan has racked in the following recruits since arriving: Junior Etou, Craig Brown, D'von Campbell, Kerwin Okoro, D.J. Foreman, and Bishop Daniels. Etou, Brown (JuCo), and D'von Campbell (JuCo) have signed their NLIs with Rutgers and are available for next season. Campbell played briefly at UTEP during his freshman season before going the JuCo route.

Kerwin Okoro, who has also signed a NLI with Rutgers, was a Seton Hall target out of high school (St. Raymond's, N.Y.) who I watched play in Walsh Gym during a Hoop Group event. He committed to Iowa State out of St. Ray's, but lost both his father and brother this past winter, provoking a transfer closer to home. Assuming he is eligible (proximity to home, etc.) for a waiver to play next season, I see no reason why he wouldn't be granted one. Denying him a waiver for any reason other than not being eligible would be an absolutely disgusting crime by the NCAA, who has a history of doing stupid, stupid things.

Finally, former Miami (Fla.) guard Bishop Daniels will be eligible for 2 seasons starting in 2014-15. He left Miami in December to play at ASA College (N.Y.) for academic reasons. Daniels was offered by high-majors like Colorado, DePaul, Purdue and N.C. State out of high school.

I don't believe Seton Hall was recruiting any of these players outside of Okoro. He visited Seton Hall in March of 2011. When I watched him play as a junior, here is what I saw:
"Okoro was more of a wing than a shooting guard. He missed most of, if not all, of his perimeter shots. However, he goes extremely hard to the hoop and plays aggressive defense. In his 6'4 frame, the junior has plenty of potential to develop an effective shot." I wasn't specifically watching Okoro, or I'd have a more detailed analysis. He is also 2 years older.

I haven't followed Jordan's recruiting down to a T, but Okoro, Etou and Daniels are certainly very good gets this late in the game. There are a few doubts about Etou's academic eligibility that stem from a Deadspin report about his actual age. However, he has since signed his NLI and we haven't heard anything regarding his eligibility yet. Etou is certainly talented.

2014 forward D.J. Foreman is the latest addition to the Jordan stockpile of recruits. His commitment came after the bizarre return of Jerome Seagears -- 'Rome will be eligible immediately. Back to Foreman: with offers from high-majors like Alabama, Iowa, Iowa State, and Oklahoma, he is certainly a nice start to the 2014 class. His Massanutten Military Academy (Va.) connection continues Rutgers' link to the DMV.

Now, the comparison to Kevin Willard. Ratings wise, Junior Etou is roughly equivalent to Jaren Sina, assuming he qualifies. Campbell & Brown match up conveniently with Seton Hall's JuCo commits Stephane Manga and Hakeem Harris. However, this is where Eddie Jordan pulls ahead. He has also snared the rough equivalent of a 2014 recruit in Bishop Daniels, who appears to be of Big Ten quality, a Top-150 player in D.J. Foreman (2014), and Kerwin Okoro, who is mostly unproven.

Here's the kick: Jordan did all of this in a fraction of a fraction of the time Willard had to form a 2013 class. Not to mention all the grimy publicity that has flowed down the Raritan and into Jordan's backyard this spring and summer. Quite frankly, I feel like the "he has more open scholarships to work with" argument is a copout designed to mask poor recruiting. But that's just me.

Let me know when Willard makes a splash in 2014. As of now, all the local recruits seem to be doing is drift away from South Orange. Hell, where would Seton Hall be if Bill Carmody was never fired?

That was a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it anyway, because I'm in the answering mood: Jon Severe probably would have committed, filling the scholarship Jaren Sina is about to take -- Severe was a Plan B option at combo/SG. Furthermore, who knows what the assistant coaching situation would be without Fred Hill. Hint: not pretty. Seton Hall still hasn't hired a third "recruiting" assistant.

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