The other day, Head Coach Bobby Gonzalez made an historic announcement. No, he is not running for president (although he would get my vote any day…imagine that, President-Elect Gonzo?...yet I digress). Rather, Gonzo announced that four walk-ons – assuming they accept the offer and are cleared by the big, bad NCAA Clearinghouse – will be joining this year’s team. Considered an unprecedented move as Gonzo has more than once denounced the concept of walk-ons on his team, these student-athletes will be a great addition to the team and a welcomed sight for sore eyes.
The fine young gentlemen that will hopefully be joining our team are: Matt Cajuste F, Pete Peregin G, Jason Simmons F, and Darnell Gatlin G. While Matt Cajuste has been the most talked about walk-on so far, the other three (who I have already labeled as Earth, Wind and Fire) will prove to spell some of the starters in some of the early non-conference games, join Pope and Neon Keon as tireless cheerleaders on the bench and help increase the intensity and meaning of practice. Also, Cajuste will undoubtedly be relied on heavily during the upcoming Puerto Rico Invitational because “Stix” will be serving his two game suspension. Cajuste and Simmons (who, unfortunately, will have to sit out the first semester) will add some much needed height and Peregin and Gatlin should help Nunu, Gause and Teddy out at the guard slot. All of a sudden we have gone from having a 3 person bench to having a 7 person bench and there can’t be anything wrong with that.
In other Pirate News, Jordan Theodore has announced to the world his one, true love. New Jersey. Yes, you heard it right, “The Professor” loves New Jersey, and so do we. From all I know about Teddy, he seems to be the most honest, genuine person in the world. His desire to be a better basketball player, leader and person is addicting. He asks Lebron James questions about his floor leadership, he studies hard in class and treats all his teammates and coaches with respect. I am honored to call him my (Facebook) friend.
In an interview with Steve Popper of the Bergen Record, Theodore supported his decision to join Seton Hall over other elite Division I programs by saying, “… I’m from Jersey. Jersey is my heart. Seton Hall is the heart of Jersey. Seton Hall has always felt like home. I wanted to get back to my city.” If that doesn’t fire you up, I’m not sure what will. So often, as Seton Hall fans, we question and doubt ourselves. That’s the nature of the beast. When recruiting doesn’t go so well, we get down on ourselves and our program. When top ranked high school prospects who grew up playing on our streets leave for Duke, UNC or Memphis, we get down on our state. Theodore goes one step further and remarks, “I love Jersey to death. I don’t think any place in the world is better than New Jersey, than Seton Hall.”
Thank goodness he didn’t go to Rutgers.