A lot of change has come upon the Seton Hall Athletic community over the past semester.
Women’s basketball coach, Anne Donovan, recently left the Seton Hall family after three seasons to become the head coach for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. Donovan came to Seton Hall in hopes of changing the women’s basketball program and build a recruiting base and she did just that even with a few setbacks. With the loss of the team’s seniors this year, Seton Hall can still expect the team to thrive in the 2013-2014 season with Ka-Deidre Simmons, who has been commended by Donovan, the return of Sidney Cook, who sat out this past season with a foot injury and University of Kentucky transfer Bra’Shey Ali.
By the end of Donovan’s third season as head coach, there is no doubt that program is in better shape and heading in the right direction.
A couple of months later, Anthony Bozzella, a Seton Hall graduate, took the position Anne Donovan left behind, becoming the fourth head coach in the history of the women’s basketball program. Bozzella has 21 years of experience in college athletics, spending the last 11 seasons at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he revived the Gaels’ program into a championship contender in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. During eight seasons at Iona, he has helped their program reach three MAAC championship games and four WNIT appearances and posted a 138-116 overall record. With the experience Bozzella brings to the table, everyone might be hearing about Seton Hall Women’s basketball more often.
And now to the most talked about sport on campus: Seton Hall Men’s basketball.
This past season has been a very disappointing one, and that is saying it nicely. The team started out great, posting an 11-2 record before BIG EAST conference play, making them contenders for postseason play if they kept playing the way they did. But of course, Seton Hall fell short, very short of that dream. The team ended the season 15-18, 3-15 Big East. The Willard Era is at its lowest point and it has many wondering what is next for the team. Sophomore guard Aaron Crosby is now gone from the team, confirming rumors that were floating around the season. He joins the 2013 recruiting class at Illinois that is ranked No. 18 by ESPN. Seton Hall also lost backup point guard Freddie Wilson, as well as recruits Aquille Carr (went overseas) and Jerron Wilbut (robbery charges).
The off-season seemed to be going downhill for the Pirates until April. Fred Hill returns to Seton Hall as assistant coach for men’s basketball after spending the past two seasons at Northwestern. Hill is known for his stellar recruiting and this is what Seton Hall was missing.
And then came Jaren Sina, NJ native and ranked 91st on ESPN’s Top 100 recruits in the country. Sina became the most talked about recruit in the Seton Hall community for days. Not only did Seton Hall land Sina, but they also landed Stephane Manga who was ranked No. 19 for 2013 junior college players.
Next season looks to be a great one for the men’s team. The past season was filled with injuries and that is what most likely contributed to their less than spectacular performance. Patrik Auda will be back to play after a season-ending injury (broken foot). Brandon Mobley played most of the season with a shoulder injury, but it soon became too much for him to handle and the injury cost him the end of the season. He returns this upcoming season hopefully better than ever after surgery.
With stars like Fuquan Edwin, who is a senior this upcoming season, and Brian Oliver, coach Kevin Willard has a team waiting to get on the court and become the stars they are destined to be. Willard does not have a lot of fans after this past season and he needs to step it up. Pirate fans are patiently waiting to see a team that will make it all the way.
The 2013-2014 season looks bright for both basketball programs. But with the move to the new Big East, all Pirate fans can do is sit and wait. I have been disappointed year after year and I hope things change for my last year at the Hall.