Five-star guard Isaiah Whitehead picks Seton Hall

  • 09/19/2013 3:13 pm in

After announcing a list of five schools earlier in the week, class of 2014 Lincoln (N.Y.) guard Isaiah Whitehead ended the recruiting process in a press conference on Thursday afternoon at his high school.

The five-star guard announced that he’ll play for Seton Hall next season. Additionally, The New York Post is reporting that Seton Hall will hire Whitehead’s high school coach, Tiny Morton, next season.

“I would like to announce that I’ll be taking my talents to Seton Hall University,” Whitehead said at his press conference.

Whitehead, the No. 17 player in the 247Composite, also considered Indiana, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and St. John’s.

The 6-foot-4 guard took an unofficial visit to Bloomington in late August.

Indiana remains involved with several other backcourt options in the class of 2014, most notably James Blackmon Jr., Lourawls Nairn and Robert Johnson, who will announce his decision on Friday.

Nairn is scheduled to take an official visit to Bloomington this weekend and Blackmon Jr. has discussed using making of his five official visits to Indiana.

Australian star Dante Exum also has Indiana in his list of five finalists.

(Photo credit: Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

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  • Rie

    We need an elite guard more so than another big man. For 2014 we have Yogi and Stanford as guards, that’s it! There is a reason we have been pursuing tons of guards and only a few big men.

    Also, don’t get me started on the height thing. Jordy Hulls playing awful defense against Syracuse has started this myth that guards around 6ft are a detriment to a team, but it is so far from the truth it’s laughable. If Crean believes in recruiting a guy, then I am behind him in his decision, regardless of the guy’s height. The player of the year last year was about 6ft, as well as the starting two guards on the NCAA Championship team. There is no merit to not wanting someone who is around 6ft when they can still grow and develop, and have talent to improve upon. I mean Oladipo is technically undersized for his position, but his wingspan and lateral quickness don’t show up on his basic player profile, just like the recruits we are pursuing. Here I go ranting but this always really bothers me.

    I will take Blackmon’s shooting and skill over Goodluck for 2014 any day. In Crean’s system, a slashing floor spacer is key to the system. Same with Robert Johnson, an elite combo guard would really clear up concerns with the position.

  • Jamie Rund

    The fact his coach is going with him is stupid. What happens when he goes pro? Does his coach keep riding the gravy train and goes with him?

  • Rie

    He was a great fit for IU. Good in transition, effortless slasher, tall and strong, consistently improving, and the best in the 2014 at creating his own shot. I have no reason to believe he doesn’t want to work hard and get better just because he went to play for a school close to home and a coach who has developed him into the elite talent he has become today.

    I look forward to who we will get in this class, but not getting someone as great as Isaiah shouldn’t be so easily dismissed as a poor system fit, especially since he is everything but that.

  • Jamie Rund

    And does anyone wonder why a team that has gone 18-36 in conference the last 3 years all the sudden started getting top talent? Odd to me.

  • Earl Scheib

    EXACTLY! “Taking my talents?” Please. Just complete the picture and refer to yourself in the third person, too while you’re at it. Oh well, at Seton Hall it will be the IW show and that’s what IW wanted — so be it. Good luck to him. Although I hope he runs into a cream and crimson shredder in the Dance someday. But that’s probably not going to happen, because Seton Hall won’t be making the dance. Give me a scrapper any day over these primadonnas. Onward!

  • Jamie Rund

    Seton Hall hasn’t been successful in years. Poor career move if you are looking to get ready for the NBA.

  • Hardwood83

    I would be thrilled with that combo- although it really does appear IU needs guards for 2014.

  • Hardwood83

    From the little I’ve read he AND Cliff Alexander may end up at Kansas.

  • Rainiu23

    Another reason we loss so many players is because we give to many Scholarships but I’m fine with that u don’t try to get them u don’t have a chance

  • Ole Man

    Let’s agree to disagree on this one.

    Nairn isn’t elite, for one thing. He would have sat behind the two Louis guards and Burke at MI.

    Two, we desperately need Goodluck.
    Luke is 6’11 and Vonleh, who is probably gone, generously listed at 6’10.
    Then we have Holloway at 6’8″ and a skinny 219′.
    You can’t count on H-P or Jurkin for anything until they show something.
    Everyone else is 6’7″ or shorter without a lot of weight.

    So other than Fishcher, what big men will we have; even if Vonleh stays?

    And how is Oladipo “technically undersized” for a shooting guard?

    RJ is listed as a combo guard, but as has been pointed out on most of the scouting sites, lacks the true athleticism needed for an elite point guard. Apparently, he can shoot the daylights out, however.

    And, BTW, I’m one of Hull’s biggest supporters–thought his D was no better or worse than 3/4ths of the guards in the league last year.

  • Ole Man

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    If he had chosen IU, you and everyone else saying this would have been raving about how he was going to lead the team to the “promised land”.

  • Ole Man

    Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

  • Ole Man

    We could use that package at IU. Wonder if CTC would consider it?
    And they’d both be close to home!

  • Southport65

    I tried to tell u yesterday that these guards were jacking us around and you did not believe me. they see our roster and get upset that it won’t be easy to start. They think they are entitled. We do not need players like this and they go some place other than IU and even get there HS Coach a job just to get instant PT. we may have a shot with RJ but after that we go big or very small like Yogi. Coach has done a great job the last 2 years recruiting kids that fit and these 2014 players do not want to earn PT. We only need 2 players to fill our Roster and it would not be the end of the world to hold on to those for 2015 and 2016 players because there are some Great Indiana players in those classes. I am sure and trust Coach to make the right thing happen. When it is all over Coach will have a great plan.

  • Ole Man

    Enough with the “we don’t need players like this”.
    That’s about the 3rd or 4th time someone on this board has acted like the are a UK fan.

    Yes, we do need players like Whitehead; by all indications a solid citizen and a heck of a player. He may talk “street” because of where he’s from; but he has never come across as entitled.

  • Snookafly

    6’0″ is not 5’10”. What was the last team to win an NCAA title with one or more starting guards listed at 5’10” or below? Khalid El-Amin at UConn, maybe? And he was a beast in high school winning something like 3 state titles. That said it still wouldn’t bother me if we didn’t already have Yogi. I love Yogi, but you also forgot to mention that he got swallowed up by Syracuse, too.

  • Rie

    That’s fine I realize I have the minority opinion here, but based on these past few seasons with Crean, I have to prioritize the a more pure two guard over another big.
    Nairn is not elite, but from everything I have read about him, he sounds like the exact type of player Crean and IU have been keen to pursue. Relentless motor and pure point skills, but he does lack in shooting. Either way, I wasn’t really referring to him, because he is a project, not an immediate impact guy.

    I think Luke, Noah and Hanner can all legitimately play the five. Not sure how great they would all be there, but with the latter two, their wingspan and strength completely allows for them to play the position if their basketball iqs allow it. Not to mention, Hanner and Noah are not quite there yet in the midrange/high-post game, so they would just clutter the lane if playing the four. Hollowell played the four last season and held it down better, defensively, than Watford did. Albeit late in the season, but looked very promising. Between the three of them, thus discluding Jeremy, I have to believe they will make up our 3 player big man rotation this year. If Vonleh does not stay, then this changes a little. Goodluck would also be a bit of a project, although he could contribute more right away than Hanner would. Either way, the lack of guards still troubles me more than the aforementioned situation.

    Oladipo is technically undersized for an NBA two guard. Not sure how else I can state apart from fact, but I didn’t mention NBA so I could have been misconstrued. Either way, his defensive tenacity and wingspan make up for this on defense, his specialty, so it is moot, which pretty much makes the point I was trying to convey.
    RJ may lack athleticism, but he gets to the basket very well and reads defenses as well as any player in the class.

    Me prioritizing a two guard is just a difference of opinion though.

  • SeattleHoosier

    Sorry Ole man…obviously meant for Kerry (or Jerry, or whatever). although the day matters cuz we lost two yesterday and if we lost two today, that would be four (including GO). That’s how it worked when I was in school anyway. 🙂

  • Rie

    Yogi had a bad game, his defense was great most of the season, so I will not let one game totally change my thoughts on that. Furthermore, arguing two inches about a kid who is still growing still is laughable to me. Regardless, I wasn’t referring to Nairn, because although I like him, he is a project and I was prioritizing an elite two guard over Goodluck, not a middle of the pack point.

  • N71

    I would have had a problem with his coach being placed on our staff for no other reason than being leveraged.

  • Ole Man

    What’s this about losing GO? Haven’t heard anything on that. Don’t give me a heart attack.

  • Ole Man

    I might have as well; but for sure he would have been staff and not a coach at IU.
    But we did it; was it two or three years ago?
    And other schools do it all the time.

    The reason I don’t like it is I think his coach is using him to advance his own career.

  • Mooks

    The reason why were having a hard time getting recruits is because, incoming freshman these days do not want to work hard for playing time, especially if they are Top 50 recruits. Thats the reality of today, everyone wants the easy way.

    I know what Tom Crean is doing, he has the patience of Bo Ryan’s slow basketball pace when it comes to getting the right people. Hard work beats pure talent any day. If you’re not a hard worker, don’t come to IU. Period.

  • Mooks

    Plus we got 5 juniors and 6 sophomores on scholarships next year. Who wants to compete with that kind of experience?

  • BMusic

    Not sure how you can say that; it suggests that he made a bad decision. A great player doesn’t always mean a great fit. A “great fit” for IW was someplace close to home, and that’s not Bloomington. I wasn’t saying he’s not a hard worker; my point is that you don’t need a bunch of blue chips to build a winning program.

  • BMusic

    I know I don’t post here a lot, but it so happens that I’m neither a “promised land” guy nor a ledge walker. I’m not going to hang on every recruiting battle like the future of IU basketball depends on each one, because it doesn’t.


    Correct, when it’s all said and done it’s what the totals are in the win & loss column at the end of the year that determine success or failure, not gets and misses in the recruiting world.

  • marcusgresham

    Other than the thought of Johnson going to Carolina I think I agree with you totally here (he may well go there, but I don’t think IU’s out of the question at all.)
    Yogi is an excellent PG and his height still can cause problems. Given that Nairn is even shorter (and I doubt quite as good,) I would rather pass.
    ….and before anyone accuses me of any kind of bias, I’m not even 5’8″.

  • marcusgresham

    …not only what you said there, but the height issue is a detriment on offense. If IU would have had some bigger guys to get off 3s over that Syracuse zone it may have been helpful.

  • IUeconAlum

    IU’s 2014 class. The class that ceased to exist.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Um, Pitt is not close to home… He might lead the country in scoring as a soph at Seton Hall. That’s not a bad reason if you are looking for the spotlight.

    When are people going to start understanding…

    1) a lot of top 50 kids have enormous egos and think they can win games no matter where they go.

    2) a lot of kids care much more about going pro than winning in college, so choosing is about style, fit, PT, and lifestyle… Not chances of sustained team success.

    Bottom line for me, I’m sorry I won’t get to see this kid play every game. I think he’ll be very fun to watch. Best of luck Isaiah.

  • ScoopGeoff

    This is so minor in the overall scheme of things… But it sure brings out the retard in a lot of IU fans. So embarrassing to read some of these comments and think that I have something in common with some petty, myopic, unrealistic, conspiracy theorists.

  • alex

    would NCAA do something in this case?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Huh . . . really?

  • Southport65

    There is no conspiracy theory from me! It’s simple, Whitehead wanted to start and he chose to stay close at home and take his coach and give him a new job. That is not Illogical it is simply he wanted what IU could not give him without earning it. He will be a star there but you have to wonder how that choice helps him get better for the NBA or a great Education that IU offers in 3 years? He was a long shot and it would be the 1st kid we got out of New York in a very long time. We still have a great team and coach will make it better. PS. I am probably the old man on this site who has watched IU for over 60 years and coached 50+ so even if you think I am an Unrealistic Idiot I did not stoop to name calling. I believe you are entitled to you own opinion and because it does not agree with mine does not give you the right to slander. You sound like one of my former players mom or dad calling for my firing. If I can’t post here without your rude comments I will never post again. At my age I don’t need the Crap. It’s ok to agree to disagree but lets be civil about it. I hope The Hall does not remove this because I disagreed with one of your popular posters but he crossed the line when he called names. He knows nothing about my knowledge about Basketball, my basketball coaching friends, My Coaching, life or IU. Sorry if I offended you with my petty, myopic opinions, but I do have a right to post what I believe to be true. In the words of Ole Man, Blah,
    Blah,Blah,Blah,and on and on.

  • WisconHoosier

    A month after 6-9 Angel Delgato (2014) committed, Seton Hall hired one of Delgado’s mentors, former Manhattan coach Oliver Antiqua.

    Is Seton Hall going to hire a new coach with every new player?

    Is this the new era of one-and-done assistant coaches, all to be replaced with every new recruiting class?

  • ScoopGeoff

    Pretty funny response… your single post on this topic was none of those things I listed. Wow you are seriously defensive. Congrats on your coaching resume. I too have a decent one… HS head coach, college assistant, and college captain. 0-1 in state championship games as a coach… So I’m still chasing that elusive title… Maybe I’ll get lucky one day. Parents will be parents, its weird you’re still so bitter… And even weirder that you took my post so personally since it wasn’t in response to one of your comments and didn’t mention you by name.

    You’re a funny dude Southport!

  • southport65

    sorry if I misread your comments. people very seldom use names on this site when they are slamming someone. I am passionate about basketball and I am defensive about my hoosiers. I am very sick these days and on edge so I am sorry for being rude to a fellow Coach. hang in there you will get that championship!

  • nwin iu fan

    We offer everybody and there mother that’s why so many have us in there top 5 we need a 6″4 6″5 shooting guard an elite one

  • Tony

    Go with size first.. GO should be number one priority. We will get a guard no worries.. We can wait until 2015 if not.

  • coachn_Hawkins

    “stupid”?!? IU did the same thing a few years back.

    Along the same lines, UCLA/Alford pick up Schilling then “surprise” Bluiett commits. Real shocker, eh?

  • r

    I know he isn’t a priority for a lot of fans, but Nairn was quoted, “I am content going some place where minutes aren’t guaranteed. I want to earn playing time and see it as a challenge.”

  • Corey Dunigan

    I want anybody that has been extended an offer by our coaching staff to sign. I don’t want anybody that is not all about IU. I may want some players more than others but I would not go as far to say I don’t want a certain player that has been offered. They get offered by professional coaching staffs, not bloggers.

    I do agree that GO would be a great sign.

  • Ole Man

    Hope you get to feeling much better soon.
    Have been down that “sickness” trail and know how rough that can be.

  • Ole Man

    Not if IU would get a break from it.

  • pcantidote

    As soon as I read “take my talents” I was glad we didn’t get him. You are going to attend a University, whether or not you even have any basketball talent at the D1 level remains to be seen.

  • yatesrocketman

    Yes that was very lame.IU didn’t need his attitude about how great he thinks he is.Crean would have made him great.He,s playing for a loser,so good luck with that program.

  • Blair McKee

    Note to future recruits: if you use the phrase “taking my talents” you are a douche and I’d rather not have you on my favorite team.