After winning the Big East Tournament last season and sending Isaiah Whitehead to the NBA, you knew the benefits of such a run would lead to optimal results on the recruiting trail for Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard.
Yet, Willard’s 2017 class picked up steam the day before the Pirates won their first Big East Tournament in 23 years.
On March 11, class of 2017 four-star shooting guard Myles Cale announced on Twitter he was going to play college basketball at Seton Hall. The next day the Pirates beat the eventual national champions, Villanova, in a thrilling Big East Tournament final.
Seton Hall fans have been riding a high ever since.
Happy to Finally Announce my Commitment to Seton Hall University!! GO PIRATES!!????⚪️⚓️???? pic.twitter.com/REDX8yi7rA
— MC⚓️ (@Killem_Myles) March 11, 2016
Cale could now act as the new pied piper in getting more talented recruits to make their way to the South Orange, New Jersey school.
The 6-4, 185-pound shooting guard from Middletown, Delaware (St. Patrick High School), is rated by 247Sports as a four-star recruit. The site ranks him as the No 78 prospect in the 2017 class and the 22nd-best shooting guard in the country. 247Sports also regards Cale as the second-best basketball player in the state of Delaware.
Cale is a sleek, wiry-strong wing who can erupt offensively at a moment’s notice. He is equally adept at attacking the basket with reckless abandon and stroking it from deep with regularity. Cale has an uncanny nose for the hoop.
He chose the Pirates early, before any other high majors got their teeth into him. His commitment could pay huge dividends for Willard moving forward.
Cale spoke with Olivia Mulvihill of The Setonian in March. He feels Seton Hall is indeed onto something special.
More from the Setonian:
“After I committed I felt like I was a part of the team,” Cale said, referring to what it was like to see Seton Hall go on its postseason run. “When they won the Big East Championship it was like I won too. I could really feel like I made the right choice.”
When he was just a recruit visiting games, Cale witnessed the Hall stun Wichita State in overtime on Dec. 19. He then watched the Pirates upset the Xavier Musketeers – who were No. 5 in the country at the time.
“I feel like the program is headed in the right direction,” the high schooler said. “They just won the Big East and they’re going to have a player go into the NBA (in Isaiah Whitehead). I love the staff and the atmosphere of the team and school itself.”
There is a chance that Cale could conceivably be Willard’s only 2017 recruit. If all players come back with no incident, there are technically no scholarships to give out beyond Cale (per VerbalCommits.com). That said, Willard will continue to mine the recruiting landscape for 2017 and beyond.
With six spots available for the 2018 class, Willard is actively building on relationships with recruits. If Seton Hall continues its winning ways—as it should—he could be in line for a jackpot class by that time.
Make no mistake, Willard is making a lot of headway in recruiting. It all started with the 2014 class of Whitehead, Angel Delgado, Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez and Ismael Sanogo. That class got the wheels in motion. After Willard’s job was likely on the line heading into last season, the class will ultimately define his tenure at Seton Hall.
You can even say that class saved his job. Willard has looked more confident and in control ever since that class reached its full potential last season.
It should be noted that Willard secured the services of another four-star shooting guard — Myles Powell — for the 2016 class. Powell is set to make his debut this season.
(By the way, what is Willard’s fascination with players named Myles? Once Cale comes aboard next season, he will be the third Myles on the team, joining Powell and sophomore power forward Myles Carter.)
Cale has the game and profile to be an important recruit for Willard. He is the first prospect who witnessed Seton Hall win consistently. Prior recruits had to be sold on the dream. Cale saw that dream become a reality.
Willard is hoping more star recruits follow Cale’s lead and make Seton Hall a consistent Big East power.