Get used to pronouncing that beautiful last name. Sandro......Mamukelashvili. If you had to think about how it sounds then you are not alone. One thing Pirate fans might have to worry about is what to cheer when he makes his mark for Seton Hall.
Mamukelashvili committed to Seton Hall this past April and chose The Hall over the likes of USC, South Carolina, Maryland, Vanderbilt and others.
Seton Hall assistant coach Grant Billmeier was very important in recruiting Mamukelashvili to the program and that big man connection really helped in bringing him to South Orange.
An interesting note is that Mamukelashvili’s coach in high school was Kevin Boyle who used to coach at St. Pat’s in Elizabeth, N.J. At that school, Boyle also mentored current Pirate assistant coaches Billmeier and Shaheen Holloway. It really is all about who you know and the Pirates used that to their advantage in this case.
The freshman is 6-foot-10, 220 pounds and is originally a native of the country of Georgia. He made his mark at Montverde Academy and has many impressive parts to his game apart from his size and length.
As I wrote in April, Mamukelashvili might remind some loyal fans of Patrik Auda who know plays professional basketball in Europe. In many ways, they are similar players.
The new Pirate can shoot the ball from deep with his left-handed stroke and stretch the floor for Seton Hall. Since Auda left, the Pirates have not had that at their disposal.
Another part of his game that many have liked is his passing ability. This skill is very important from the big men on this team. We see players like Angel Delgado, Ismael Sanogo and Mike Nzei make important passes that make the offense go. For Kevin Willard to add another player who has this skill is very smart. It fits the team extremely well.
The Pirates were able to add some depth and versatility to the frontcourt that could be very beneficial to get through the tough Big East schedule. Mamukelashvili allows Willard to use different lineups which could help for players like Delgado and Sanogo that play big minutes every game. If those two need a breather, Nzei and others can now carry some of the load while the seniors get rest.
Mamukelashvili provides them with a stretch four option that Seton Hall thought they had in Veer Singh before he left, but now they have a young talent who could be very important for years to come.
This is the last season for Delgado and Sanogo so the frontcourt needs to be built for the future in addition to this season. The addition of Mamukelashvili is great to fit both of those situations.