Thursday, July 8, 2010

Davis pulls trigger for Seton Hall (updated)

Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard looks to have nailed down his second 2011 verbal commitment in as many weeks on Wednesday, as Lakewood (N.J.) rising senior Jarrod Davis told me he committed to the Pirates on Wednesday night.

“At 10:30 exactly, I made the call and spoke to [assistant] coach [Dan] McHale,” Davis said this morning. “Him and Coach Willard were both recruiting [me].”

A source close to the situation and the Seton Hall program indicated that the Pirate staff wanted to further evaluate Davis during this first 10-day live evaluation period in July with plans to watch him next at the Peach Jam in North Augusta (SC). The NJ Playaz will compete for the championship of the inaugural Nike Elite Youth Basketball League at this year’s Peach Jam.

“I’m going to make [my commitment to Seton Hall] official after, or at the Peach Jam,” Davis said on Thursday afternoon. “But I’m still fully committed.”

Davis recently visited the Seton Hall campus and got a better feel for the program, coaches and situation there. Even with the NCAA ‘live’ recruiting period getting underway, Davis knew he had found his home.

“It just felt the most comfortable and I have a great relationship with the coaching staff,” Davis said Wednesday night. “I loved it on my visit. It felt like home and it’s close to home so my family and friends can come watch me.”

Davis had originally trimmed his list to Seton Hall, Tennessee and Georgia Tech last month, but then completely reopened his recruitment heading into the live period.

“There were no finalists,” he said. “After thinking it over, and after my visit, I was just sold and knew that’s where I wanted to be.”

With Davis currently in Reading, Pa., participating in the Hoop Group Elite Camp and the SHU staff on the road at various events across the country, the commitment has caught a few people by surprise and caused plenty of confusion as several local newspapers also ran the story after contacting Davis.

The question was raised early this morning from one source close to the Seton Hall program, who said the commitment was not finalized by both parties. Another source with knowledge of the situation said Davis “did not commit.”

Yet another source said Davis had been informed that it was not an official commitment and Seton Hall wanted further evaluation of him on the AAU circuit in July.

Davis’ AAU coach, Jimmy Salmons of the NJ Playaz, also was unable to confirm or deny a commitment has been finalized.

“I’m hearing the same things you are: that he committed,” Salmons told NBE on Thursday morning. “They’re really interested in him, but his name never came up when I’ve talked to them. Now, I’m not here to dispel anything, but I’d like to confirm it too.”

In Davis’ mind, official commitment or not, the process is over and it is a relief to him.

“I’m just happy the process is over and I found where I’m going,” he said Wednesday night. “I wanna thank all the great programs that recruited me and my family, and friends for being behind me. Most important, I want to thank my high school coach, Randy Holmes; he has been there for me through this whole process and, through the tough times, he has stayed by my side. And the whole PBC family, my teammates, athletic director and the people of Lakewood, my family for being there for me, and my dad — he travels with me and raised me well — and I’m thankful for all.”

The 6-foot-6 forward is excited to play right away and be an immediate contributor for Seton Hall if the commitment holds up.

“I think I can be good and make a big impact quick,” Davis said. “I know I still have a lot to work on and will get better over time.”

When Davis makes his commitment official, he will join Northfield Mount Hermon guard Aaron Cosby in the SHU class of 2011. Cosby, a native of Kentucky who is prepping in Massachusetts, committed near the end of June after a visit to Seton Hall.

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