Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Angel Delgado to return to Seton Hall for senior season

Angel Delgado, rumored to skip senior season for professional career, had change of heart Tuesday, deciding to return to Seton Hall for final campaign in South Orange. (Photo by the New York Daily News)

Two days after Seton Hall's already strong non-conference schedule was augmented by their impending matchup with Indiana in this year's Gavitt Tipoff Games, the Pirates got an even greater boost from arguably their best player.

Angel Delgado, who two weeks ago was rumored to be contemplating a professional career that would sacrifice his senior season, ended the speculation about his future Monday afternoon in a tweet that restored faith in the South Orange basketball community.

"I am coming back to school for my senior year," the 6-foot-10 All-American's tweet began. "It's very important to my family and me that I finish what I started. This was a difficult decision that took time and patience."

On May 10, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog was first to report that Delgado had decided to eschew his senior season in favor of playing at a higher level, this coming two weeks after Delgado had announced he would enter the NBA Draft, but not sign with an agent. In the days that followed, the status of Delgado was the biggest question surrounding Seton Hall; but even as opinions in each camp wavered, NJ Advance Media's Jeremy Schneider was first to suggest that the decision to turn pro was not etched in stone, reporting that the monumental next step was "not certain."

Delgado, the reigning Haggerty Award winner after being voted the best player in the New York metropolitan area, continued his Twitter address with a salutation that reinvigorates the Seton Hall program, one that has legitimate potential to be ranked within the preseason Top 25 in both the Associated Press and ESPN coaches' polls.

The affable Dominican forward proclaimed, "coming back feels just right! I am excited to help make 2018 a special year for Seton Hall!"

Having averaged 15.2 points and a nation-best 13.1 rebounds per game as a junior, Delgado will almost certainly be considered as one of the top two choices for Big East Player of the Year honors in the preseason. He spearheads a quartet of seniors that also includes Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez and Ismael Sanogo to form one of the Big East's most experienced core groups of players, one that will be a threat to perennial conference powerhouse Villanova throughout the season.

Behind Delgado, Seton Hall will continue to rely on Myles Powell and Michael Nzei as rotation pieces, welcoming a five-man recruiting class to shore up the bench. Forwards Sandro Mamukelashvili and Darnell Brodie only solidify a deep front line, with Myles Cale expected to bolster an even more potent backcourt. Seven-foot junior college transfer Romaro Gill, initially thought to be a Delgado replacement, will likely redshirt now that the unanimous first team all-league selection has returned.

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