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Sterling Gibbs Set To Transfer From Seton Hall Amid Season Of Dissension

Gibbs was one of coach Kevin Willard’s biggest recruits.

Sterling Gibbs (Getty Images)

Sterling Gibbs (Getty Images)

 

Last season the Seton Hall Pirates began the year 12-2 and were ranked in the Top 25 after defeating previously undefeated Villanova. In the middle of their dream season, the roof fell in on the Pirates as they went through a major conference swoon and ended a once promising season 16-15 with a 6-12 record in the Big East. There were reports of dissension in the locker room with starting point guard Jaren Sina leaving the team mid-season.  It seems as if the rumors about locker division may have been true after all.

Sterling Gibbs, the 2nd team Big East player who led the Pirates in scoring this season, announced that he would be transferring next season for his postgraduate studies. Gibbs was one of coach Kevin Willard’s biggest recruits at a time when Seton Hall was not attracting the best talent from the tri-state and beyond. Coming from Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, NJ, Gibbs was highly recruited around the country and began his collegiate career at the University of Texas but he ultimately decided to come home and play for the Big East mainstay. After averaging 16 points and shooting over 40 percent from three-point range, Gibbs will be a hot commodity around the country as he will be able to play right away this upcoming season.

“We appreciate everything Sterling has done for our program over the last three years and wish him all the best as he pursues a Master’s degree at another university,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said in a statement.

During the course of the season, Gibbs and the other upperclassmen on the team began feeling like the new freshmen on the team were the priorities to the coaches. While many teams have set team captains throughout an entire season, Willard decided to have game-by-game captains even though he had Gibbs and senior Brandon Mobley were the obvious choices to be the leaders of the team. The friction came to a head during a game this season where Gibbs and freshman Isaiah Whitehead were seen arguing during a timeout. After that Sina, a close friend of Gibbs, decided to leave the program. After saying that he would return next year, Gibbs seemed to have changed his mind drastically.

“We didn’t want to do this, but it was just a tough situation,” said Temple Gibbs, Sterling’s dad. “It was something he felt he had to do for his state of mind.”

Gibbs on his personal Instagram gave thanks to his now former team. “I’ve been praying, and I know God has a plan. Trusting in his will and I know things will work out. But from the bottom of my heart I just want to say… THANK YOU SETON HALL!”

So after the abrupt departure of Gibbs, where does Seton Hall go from here? They have Whitehead and one of the surprises in the Big East Khadeen Carrington returning but that is all the experience on the team at the guard position. They also lose major scoring punch that they have to replace so they will be hoping that their “Super Freshmen” turn into “Super Sophomores” fast and lead the team back to relevance quickly. With Willard’s 30-60 Big East record with The Hall, the 2015-2016 season could be make or break for the Pirates and their coach.

What are your thoughts about Sterling Gibbs leaving Seton Hall? What does this mean for the future of Seton Hall Pirate basketball? Let us know your thoughts in our comment section.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow DoubleGSports.com writer Jason Cordner.
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