Seton Hall Adds Sixth Commit in Michael Nzei; Auda Looking at Pro Options Overseas (UPDATED)

By ADAM ZAGORIA & JOSH VERLIN

Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard continued to build on his stellar 2014 recruiting class with the commitment of Michael Nzei, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound power forward/center from Our Savior New American.

Nzei committed to the Pirates after visiting two weeks ago, becoming their sixth pledge in 2014.

“He’s a young Kenneth Faried,” one source said. “He plays hard with a lot of energy and athleticism.”

“Mike is a versatile forward who brings a high level of energy to the court and can be an asset on both ends of the floor,” Willard said. “We are thrilled to have him join our family here at Seton Hall. Mike certainly complements this recruiting class well and adds another option to our front court.” To read more of this story, click here

After Portsmouth, Seton Hall’s Edwin Looking Forward to NBA Workouts

Fuquan EdwinAfter notching a vertical leap of 24 inches at the Portsmouth Invitational April 16-19, Fuquan Edwin decided he needed to do some more calf raises.

Now he’s doing 200 per night with the aim of adding a couple of inches to his vertical leap.

“I’m excited. I’ve been doing some calf raises,” the 6-foot-6 Paterson, N.J., native told SNY.tv by phone on Thursday. “Coming from Portsmouth, I didn’t like my vertical jump.”

Edwin, the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year, is seeking to become the first Seton Hall player chosen in the NBA Draft since 2001, when the late Eddie Griffin and Samuel Dalembert both went in the first round.

DraftExpress.com currently projects him as the No. 59 pick out of 60 — going to the Toronto Raptors. To read more of this story, click here

Rodriguez Block, Carrington MVP Highlight Seton Hall Showing at Jordan Regional Game

NEW YORK -- In the closing seconds of regulation of the Jordan Regional Game, Miami commit Ja’Quan Newton let loose a jumper from the right wing that might have won the game for the Away team.

But Desi Rodriguez, a 6-foot-6 forward out of Abraham Lincoln High School, jumped up with his hand extended and blocked the shot, sending the game to overtime.

In the extra period, the Seton Hall-bound Rodriguez had 5 of his team’s 7 points, including a vicious dunk, as the Home team won, 102-99, at Barclays Center.

“I just wanted to contest the shot,” Rodriguez said after finishing with 17 points and 4 rebounds. “I know Ja’Quan is a great player. I knew he was going to take the last shot and I just had to get up and get the block.” To read more of this story, click here

Isaiah Whitehead Talks About Missing Jordan Game, Future at Seton Hall

NEW YORK — Isaiah Whitehead will miss Friday’s Jordan Brand Classic with a hamstring injury suffered during the recent McDonald’s All-American practices.

His coach at Lincoln High School, Tiny Morton, told SNY.tv Whitehead “just needs to stay off the court for 4 weeks.”

“It’s very disappointing but at the same time I just want to go into Seton Hall 100 percent, no nagging injuries,” Whitehead told SNY.tv in the above video interview from practice Wednesday at Basketball City.

The 6-foot-5 Whitehead also talked about his excitement about what’s to come at Seton Hall next season, where he may be reunited with his coach if Morton is added to the staff.

Four other Seton Hall commits — Desi Rodriguz, Angel Delgado, Khadeen Carrington and Ismael Sanogo — will participate in the Jordan Regional Game on Friday at the Barclays Center.

“I think they’re going to go at it and just put the friends stuff aside and just ball out,” Whitehead said.

As for the future, Whitehead said, “We’re going to go into Seton Hall next year and just try to win as much games as possible.”

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USF Hires Antigua, Strickland, Opening Up Spot at Seton Hall

OliverNew South Florida coach Orlando Antigua officially added his brother Oliver Antigua and Rod Strickland to his staff on Monday, thereby opening up a spot on Kevin Willard’s staff at Seton Hall.

SNY.tv reported April 4 that this was in the works.

Seton Hall can now move Lincoln High School coach Dwyane “Tiny” Morton into the open spot on the coaching staff, assuming Willard opts to do so. Morton coached both Isaiah Whitehead and Desi Rodriguez at Lincoln.

“Oliver is a terrific recruiter and coaches with great energy and passion which will benefit us here at USF,” Orlando Antigua said. “He helped assemble a recruiting class at Seton Hall that was ranked No. 10 in the nation and No. 1 in the Big East Conference.” To read more of this story, click here

Orlando Antigua May Hire Brother at USF, Opening Up Spot on Seton Hall Staff

OliverARLINGTON, Texas — New South Florida coach Orlando Antigua may hire his brother, Oliver, as an assistant on his staff, which would then open up a spot on Kevin Willard’s staff at Seton Hall for Lincoln coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton.

“We’d love to have that opportunity if it works,” Orlando said of hiring his brother, according to the AP.

Orlando Antigua landed the USF job on Tuesday and will take over that program as soon as Kentucky’s run ends here in the Final Four. The Wildcats face Wisconsin Saturday night in the national semifinals. To read more of this story, click here

NBA Scout Impressed by Whitehead at McDonald’s

2013 Elite 24

Isaiah Whitehead is the first Seton Hall commit to make the McDonald’s All-American game since Andre Barrett and the late Eddie Griffin in 2000 and the first New York City player since Loughlin’s JayVaughn Pinkston in 2010.

Heading into Wednesday night’s game, the 6-foot-4 Whitehead has already impressed at least one NBA scout in attendance in Chicago.

“Whitehead can shoot it,” the scout told SNY.tv. “Whitehead looks like a good player to me, that’s a good player for Seton Hall to get. To read more of this story, click here