Seton Hall’s success over the last half-decade began with a monster recruiting class. It continued by unearthing hidden gems and developing overlooked prospects into difference makers.
It’s mostly that reason the Pirates on Sunday landed their biggest recruit in six years, since Isaiah Whitehead opted for Kevin Willard’s program.
“He really builds players. You watch Whitehead and Myles Powell,” Brandon Weston, a four-star, top-60 prospect from Brooklyn told The Post prior to his public announcement. “Myles Powell took a really big jump in his game. They’re really big on player development and that’s something I’m really interested in.”
Weston, 18, had very strong options. Michigan, his runner-up, and Illinois of the Big Ten. Wake Forest and Pittsburgh of the ACC. But he opted for Seton Hall, another recruiting coup for Willard and his staff in what has been a very strong offseason of commitments. He joins a stellar 2021 recruiting class that already includes four-star point guard Ryan Conway and three-star guard/wing Tyler Powell, and is on pace to be Willard’s best since the 2014 group that was headed by Whitehead and Angel Delgado.
In April, Seton Hall beat out Michigan, Maryland and Iowa State for Havard graduate transfer Bryce Aiken, who like Weston, raved about Willard’s staff’s ability to develop players.
“For me, it wasn’t about picking the big school that has a big name,” Weston said. “I go by what’s the best for my game and where I can take my game, and Seton Hall was just the best fit.”
His mother, Ebony, added: “I felt like Seton Hall checked off all the boxes for us.”
There were of course several factors in play. After spending the last two years in Chicago, playing for Lake Forest Academy and Morgan Park, Weston is set to attend Hillcrest Prep in Arizona this coming year. He liked the idea of being close to home, playing in front of friends and family. He saw how well city guards like Whitehead and Khadeen Carrington have fared at the New Jersey school. Seton Hall made it clear he was its priority, doggedly recruiting him. He had three Zoom calls with the Pirates’ entire coaching staff in recent months and did get a chance to visit the campus last summer. Assistant coach Duane Woodward, a Queens native adept at recruiting the area, developed a strong bond with the family. On the last Zoom call, Weston was told Willard wouldn’t be on it because he was on vacation in Montana. But Willard drove an hour away to get a WiFi connection and jumped on the call.
“That really showed a lot,” Weston said.
The 6-foot-5 Weston is coming off a strong season, one in which he averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago powerhouse Morgan Park. Seton Hall plans to use him like Whitehead, running its offense through him, seeing Weston as a big guard capable of creating offense for himself and others.
“They’re looking for me to a big-time player as soon I step on campus,” he said. “That’s what I’m built for. That’s what I’m ready for.”
A power-conference assistant coach familiar with him raved about the addition for Seton Hall, calling him a “terrific, tough, New York City guard” who can score at all three levels.
“He’ll be an impact guy,” the coach said. “He’ll be a good player in the Big East.”
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