Seton Hall’s long NCAA Tournament drought ended this past March when the Pirates, carried by sophomore sensation Isaiah Whitehead, made the field of 68 after not appearing in the event since 2006. Intriguingly, it is Whitehead who now ends an 11-year drought of draftees by The Hall as well.
The Brooklyn Nets took Whitehead with the No. 42 overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. The Brooklyn native will be coming home after a two-year stint across the Hudson in South Orange and suit up for the Nets, who picked Michigan Wolverines guard Caris LeVert earlier with the No. 20 pick after acquiring the pick from the Indiana Pacers.
Interestingly enough, Brooklyn traded up with Utah to acquire the No. 42 pick, a number ever so fitting in the borough.
Our own Sean Saint Jacques had this to say about one of Whitehead’s strengths, his passing skills:
Whitehead's offensive game is so versatile, but his passing ability is likely the most impressive part, and has NBA scouts drooling. His vision on the floor and the ability that he has to find teammates on the court is incredible. At Seton Hall, Whitehead seemed to dazzle fans and opponents every night with at least one pass that brought everyone out of their seats. Many times his passes were so good that even his teammates did not see them coming. They did not think Whitehead could get them the pass from where he was, but he did it anyway.
In addition, he’s a terrific ball handler, as Sean will tell you:
In the NBA, players need to be able to create their own shot and Whitehead can do that through sharp ball handling. He can drive on anyone and get to the rim or can create a step-back jump shot for himself. Whitehead loves to create open three point looks for himself just like one of his mentors Stephen Curry. The scary part is that he can hit those long three point shots like Curry can as well and it is impressive to watch.
Congrats and best of luck to Whitehead!