Coming into the 2014-15 regular season, all of the hype, hoopla and hysteria has surrounded the likes of Isaiah Whitehead on the campus of Seton Hall University. And rightfully so: Whitehead is a five-star recruit from Brooklyn, New York, and is perhaps the best recruit to come to South Orange, New Jersey in a long time. However, a fellow Top 20 player in the Class of 2014 is poised to make an immediate impact this coming season.
And his name is Angel Delgado.
Delgado, a native of the Dominican Republic, is ranked by 247Sports as a four-star prospect and the 7th best power forward in the country. The 6-foot-9 forward played for The Patrick School (NJ) in his senior season, and had offers from Louisville and Virginia, among others. But Delgado decided to stay local and play for head coach Kevin Willard, joining a prized recruiting class that is giving Hall fans a rare feeling of excitement.
On a team that is young but not deep, Delgado’s role on the squad will be essential. The Hall will have no problem putting points on the board with the likes of Isaiah Whitehead, Jaren Sina and Sterling Gibbs. Kevin Willard said in the school’s summer recap video that Gibbs and Sina have improved tremendously in the summer. But Willard has also praised Delgado numerous times throughout the offseason at open practices, Big East Media Day and Seton Hall Media Day.
At Seton Hall Media Day, Willard compared him to Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman and called him multiple times a "natural rebounder".
Willard also said during the presser at Seton Hall Media Day that Delgado has garnered 17 recounds and 15 rebounds in the team’s two scrimmages. This is no fluke too: Delgado had ten rebounds or more in seven games in his last high school basketball season. He also had many dominant scoring performances throughout his high school career.
While Seton Hall has big expectations this year because of the highly touted prospects the team has recruited, many of the team’s key contributors and leaders on last season’s team left like Patrik Auda and Eugene Teague. Auda and Teague were the two leading rebounders for Seton Hall on last season's squad, but Teague graduated and Auda decided to play basketball professionally in Europe.
Seton Hall’s success is dependent on the play of Angel Delgado, especially his rebounding and defensive play. There is no doubt that it’s a lot to ask of the freshman, but with a team that has lost so much, his contributions will be needed.