In the world of high school basketball recruiting, nobody can set off a chain of wild rumors and innuendo like a high-profile prospect from New York City. Earlier this week, when five-star prospect Isaiah Whitehead made public his plans announce his choice on Thursday, the rumor mill went into overdrive. With his announcement at his school, he shut it all down.
During a press conference at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln, the 6-foot-4 combo guard who ranks No. 14 nationally sent a jolt through the recruiting world by selecting Seton Hall.
While Kevin Willard and the Pirates had been mentioned off and on by Whitehead throughout his recruitment, nobody looked at the Pirates as a serious contender until he visited Seton Hall last weekend.
Whatever Willard said, it worked. And by adding Whitehead, he's added the most significant recruit for the Pirates since Eddie Griffin picked them as a member of their 2000 recruiting class.
"Seton Hall saw me as the face of the program; St. John's didn't really see me as that," Whitehead said. "I want to be the face of the team and lead Seton Hall to a championship.
"I want to set my own path in college. Just like I separate myself from other guys in high school, I want to try and separate myself from guys in college."
Make no mistake about it, Whitehead is a big-time player and Seton Hall is making big-time moves on the recruiting trail.
With Whitehead in the fold, the Pirates have now put together what has to be one of the most exciting recruiting classes that South Orange, N.J., has seen in some time. At No. 44, power forward Angel Delgado had been the highest-ranked player to commit to the Pirates since Griffin. Along with Delgado and Whitehead, the Pirates have also landed No. 125 Khadeen Carrington, a dangerous shooting guard, and solid three-star wing Ismael Sanogo.