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 (Justin Ford / USA Today)
(Justin Ford / USA Today)

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello has agreed to a four-year contract extension through the 2019-20 season, the school announced Thursday.

The extension was previously reported by ESPN's Jeff Goodman and SNY's Josh Newman before the school later officially announced it.

"I am very happy about the opportunity to continue to lead the Men's Basketball Team at Manhattan College," said Masiello. "I am grateful for the commitment shown by the administration to me and to the program, and I am excited to build on our success in the coming years."  

Tags: Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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Manhattan coach Steve Masiello sat courtside for the SNY Invitational championship game last month and had a front-row seat for Aaron Walker's tournament MVP performance.

While other Division 1 coaches were either slow to perceive Walker's winning ways -- or completely out of touch -- Masiello appreciated the talented Cardozo guard and ultimately landed a verbal pledge from him on Tuesday.

"I believe in the coach and he believes in me," the 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior guard told me by phone after committing. "I asked myself, 'What am I waiting for?' I visited [last Thursday] and I loved it, and I was ready to commit that day."

Tags: Cardozo, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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Mar 20, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Manhattan Jaspers forward Ashton Pankey (30) screams and reacts against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half of a men's college basketball game during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 20, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Manhattan Jaspers forward Ashton Pankey (30) screams and reacts against the Louisville Cardinals during the second half of a men's college basketball game during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Manhattan College has ousted athletic director Noah LeFevre and replaced him on an interim basis with Tom O'Connor.

O'Connor is former athletic director at George Mason University, Loyola (Md.) University, Santa Clara University and St. Bonaventure University, a former chair of the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship committee, and president of Athletic Solutions Consulting.

"We are committed to providing the best experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans," said Richard Satterlee, Vice President for Student Life. "The College is confident that we will find a person who will best match the needs of a long-standing and robust Division I athletic program."

Tags: Manhattan, Steve Masiello, Adam Zagoria
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 (Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports)
(Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports)

Jermaine Lawrence has withdrawn from Manhattan, the school announced.

"Jermaine Lawrence has voluntarily withdrawn from classes at Manhattan College for the remainder of the Fall 2015 semester," the school said in a statement after it was previously reported by ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

Lawrence was reportedly facing a one-game suspension, which was later increased to half the season, prompting Lawrence to leave the program, according to Goodman.

Tags: Jermaine Lawrence , Manhattan College, Adam Zagoria
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Ashton Pankey, a 6-foot-10 redshirt junior from Manhattan, will declare for the NBA Draft instead of applying for a sixth year of eligibility at the MAAC school, he told SNY.tv and said on Twitter.

Pankey, who turns 23 next month, averaged 13.4 points and 6.7 rebounds this past season as the Jaspers made a run to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Steve Masiello.

An NBA scout told SNY.tv he doesn't see Pankey getting drafted.

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Manhattan coach Steve Masiello says he "would love the opportunity" to play undefeated and top-ranked Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.

And of course the Jaspers (19-13) may just get their chance if they can get past MEAC champion Hampton (16-17) in a play-in game Tuesday in Dayton. The winner of that game gets No. 1 Kentucky on Thursday in Louisville in the Midwest Region.

"I would love the opportunity but we gotta worry about Hampton right now and go?one step at a time," Masiello, a former Kentucky walk-on and former Knicks ball boy, told Bruce Beck of WNBC-TV in New York.

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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=36920761&topic_id=6479520

Manhattan opens the 2014-15 season Saturday afternoon at?Florida State.

It will be the first game for Manhattan coach Steve Masiello after an eventful offseason in which he:

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Manhattan coach Steve Masiello landed two big 2015 frontcourt players on Monday when he got commitments from 6-foot-8 Vincent Eze of Putnam Science (CT) and 6-10 Akintoye Ojo of Cardinal Hayes in The Bronx.

Both players are originally from Nigeria.

"They could be a very tough duo at that level defensively and on the glass," Putnam associate head?coach Josh Scraba told SNY.tv. "The way Manhattan plays and disperses minutes, you must play hard in shorter spurts which will give Vincent [and Akintoye] plenty of opportunity to play all the minutes [they] can handle."

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By JACK LeGWIN

Jermaine Lawrence, a Cincinnati transfer, has received a waiver to play immediately?and will be eligible for the Manhattan Jaspers this year, Head Coach Steve Masiello?said.

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- At the beginning of his junior season at Spring Valley (N.Y.) High School, Rickey McGill made a verbal pledge to Manhattan and head coach Steve Masiello.

The 6-foot-2 combo guard thought his college plans were over and done with.

But after Masiello appeared to be headed to South Florida this spring, only to return to Manhattan and be put on unpaid leave because it was revealed during a background check he?hadn't graduated from Kentucky, McGill had second thoughts about his future and opted to decommit.

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Steve Masiello has completed his degree work at Kentucky, a school spokesman told SNY.tv.

"Yes, he has completed his coursework and is on track for August graduation," Kentucky's Jay Blanton said by text.

The news was previously reported by ESPN.com.

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Jermaine Lawrence committed to Manhattan Thursday, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told SNY.tv.

The?6-foot-9 Cincinnati transfer chose Manhattan over Iona and Hofstra after visiting Manhattan on Wednesday.

Assistant coach Rasheen Davis hosted the visit while head coach Steve Masiello is on leave.

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By JOSH NEWMAN Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK - As Steve Masiello had, then lost the South Florida job and was placed on leave by Manhattan when it was discovered he did not have his college degree, everyone wanted answers.

With the searching and waiting for answers carrying on in Riverdale through late March and early April, 2014 recruit Samson Usilo waited patiently.

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Manhattan College announced Monday it will reinstate Steve Masiello as its men?s head basketball coach, once he has completed his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky.

The head coach at Manhattan since 2011,?Masiello was placed on unpaid leave March 26 and will remain there until he receives his degree. During his absence, associate head coach Matt Grady will lead the program as interim head coach.

The fact that he had not received his degree from Kentucky came to light in a credentials check by the University of South Florida, with whom Masiello had agreed to accept employment as head basketball coach.

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By JOSH NEWMAN Special to ZAGSBLOG

In the wake of a background check discrepancy nixing a deal between Steve Masiello and the University of South Florida, the Manhattan head coach has been placed on leave by the Riverdale school while he is in the process of reviewing his degree status with the University of Kentucky.

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By JOSH NEWMAN & ADAM ZAGORIA

After winning the MAAC Tournament and taking reigning national champion Louisville to the limit in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday evening, Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello has emerged as a serious candidate for the head-coaching vacancy at South Florida, Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com is reporting.

According to Parrish, among the influential people supporting Masiello's candidacy is Tampa resident and Outback Steakhouse co-founder?Chris Sullivan, a close friend of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.

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Stevie Mas is back in the Big Dance.

Masiello played on two Final Four teams at Kentucky, winning the 1998 NCAA championship.

He went as an assistant to Bobby Gonzalez at Manhattan in 2003 and '04.

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A week from tonight it is entirely possible that two New York-area teams involved in a bitter rivalry will play an exciting game with an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

And if that Iona-Manhattan game happens in the MAAC Conference championship, it will take place in Springfield, Mass., some 140 miles from the Big Apple.

That same night, another New York-based team will play a fellow bottom-feeder under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Articles, Iona, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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By JADEN DALY

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK -- Who says the MAAC is a one-bid league?

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By JADEN DALY

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.?--?Playing archrival Manhattan for the first time since defeating them for the MAAC championship last March, Iona fed off a sellout home crowd to take the first meeting of the season between the two teams considered conference favorites, with five Gaels in double figures en route to an 85-73 win at the Hynes Center.

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Manhattan's George Beamon has a "mild shoulder sprain" and is listed as day-to-day, head coach Steve Masiello told SNY.tv Friday night.

Beamon, averaging a team-best 20.1 points, will not play Sunday against Marist.

"We're going to be cautious with him because of what he went through last year when we brought him back too soon from the ankle sprain and it turned into a fracture," Masiello said.

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Rickey McGill Jr., a 6-foot-1, 165-pound 2015 point guard from Spring Valley (N.Y.) High, has verbally committed to Manhattan.

McGill is head coach Steve Masiello's first pledge in the Class of 2015.

"I like the coaching staff, I like the style that they play," McGill Jr. told SNY.tv. "They play an uptempo game. I felt like it was the best fit for me out of all the schools.

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Manhattan coach Steve Masiello continued to build on his strong 2014 recruiting class with the addition Sunday of shooter Zane Waterman, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound Steve Novak-type shooter from Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy.

"I just felt like I had a good relationship with the staff and players and I felt they were in a good situation with a great coach," Waterman told SNY.tv Sunday.

He also considered Charlotte, St. Joe's, Georgia Southern and Duqesne.

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One of two things will happen tonight at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

Either coach Steve Masiello and No. 6 Manhattan (14-17) will beat Iona in the MAAC championship and qualify for the NCAA Tournament with a 15-17 record....

Or, coach Tim Cluess and No. 4 Iona (19-13) will win, sending the Gaels to the Big Dance for the second straight season -- and with a chance to redeem themselves after their second-half collapse against BYU last season.

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Manhattan has signed three players in the early signing period.

Former five-star recruit and elite junior college prospect?Chris Thomas (Denver, Colo./Chipola College), along with incoming freshmen, 6-10 center?Carlton Allen (Ewing, N.J./Life Center Academy)?and 6-foot guard?Tyler Wilson (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes)?signed their National Letters of Intent to play for the Jaspers in 2013-14.

?This class fills all our needs,? said head coach STeve Masiello ?We have a big time scoring wing to replace George [Beamon], a cerebral point guard to ?stir the drink? as they say, and a big body inside to add great depth to our front line,? said Masiello. ?Overall, we are really excited about the class. Rasheen Davis did a terrific job recruiting these guys and making them a part of the Jasper family.?

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Chris Smith will be courtside on Sunday for the Manhattan-Louisville game at the KFC Yum! Center.

But which school will he be rooting for?

"I'm going to actually support both teams," said Smith.

Tags: Articles, Louisville, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- Louisville is ranked No. 2 in the preseason Coaches' Poll and No. 1 in the Sheridan Hoops Preseason Top 25.

Yet the way Cardinals coach Rick Pitino figures it, Manhattan will have a "major advantage" when the two teams square off in the season opener Nov. 11 in Louisville.

"I think it's going to be a very tough game," Pitino, whose team was picked unanimously to win the Big East, told SNY.tv Wednesday at Big East Media Day.

Tags: Articles, Louisville, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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Maryland transfer?Ashton Pankey?is headed to Manhattan after visiting the campus Thursday.

He chose the MAAC school over Iona and Fordham.

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Iona and Manhattan may both be capable of winning a few games in the NCAA Tournament this year, but it's likely that only one of them will get to Dance.

The MAAC has historically been a one-bid league, and first-year Manhattan coach Steve Masiello doesn't see that changing this March.

"Don't get me wrong, the regular season matters and the seeding matters and you want to win the conference," Masiello, whose team hosts Iona Saturday night, told SNY.tv Friday by phone. "But it all comes down to what you do on March 2-5."

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Paul Bayt, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound 2012 shooting guard from Park Tudor (Ind.), is headed to Manhattan.

"The coaches believe in me and believe in my ability and I believe in their vision and the way the school and program is headed," Bayt told SNY.tv.

?Bayt is a deep, deep 3-point threat," Park Tudor coach Ed Schilling told SNY.tv . "At?a long 6-4 he can shoot his picture perfect 3-pointer with guys in his face. He helped his Park Tudor team to the Indiana high school championship."

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C.J. Jones, a 6-foot-1, 186-pound combo guard from Chicago Orr High School, has verbally committed to Steve Masiello and the Manhattan Jaspers.

"I chose Manhattan because it was the best fit for me and my family and I know the coaching staff at Manhattan is going to take good care of me," Jones said by text. "But I will just try to be the best player I can be for Manhattan. I plan on making a big impact from day one."

A onetime Ball State commit, Jones figures to be a strong defender at Manhattan.

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Manhattan signed point guard Decarlos Anderson and wing Emmanuel Andujar of Rice High to National Letters of Intent.

Anderson is a 6-foot-2 product of I.C. Norcom High School in Suffolk, Va. who helped the Greyhounds win back-to-back Group AAA State Championships. Andujar is a 6-5 versatile wing who played under head coach Dwayne Mitchell at Rice High School in New York City.

?We are excited about Decarlos joining the Jasper family,? head coach Steve Masiello said. ?Decarlos is a winner who has experienced success throughout his high school career. He can play multiple positions in the backcourt and we will look for him to be an integral part of our basketball team.?

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Louisville assistant Steve Masiello has agreed to a five-year deal to become the next head coach at Manhattan College, a source with direct knowledge told SNY.tv Sunday.

"It's done," said another candidate who was in the mix.

Masiello was a former Manhattan assistant under Bobby Gonzalez from 2001-5 before joining Rick Pitino's staff at Louisville, where he has successfully recruited the New York area and helped Louisville become a perennial Big East and national contender.

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As the Coaching Carousel spins on, Manhattan, Miami and UNLV are still seeking coaches. Here's a brief rundown on where each school is at:

MANHATTAN: The school offered the job to LIU coach Jim Ferry, but the two sides could not agree on the financials. Sources said Ferry was seeking in the neighborhood of seven years at $350,000 per, and the school is willing to pay more like $175,000, plus about $200,000 for the staff.

The administration is now split between Rhode Island College coach Bob Walsh and Louisville assistant Steve Masiello, sources said.

Tags: Articles, Coaching moves, Manhattan, Miami, UNLV, Adam Zagoria
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LIU coach Jim Ferry has been offered the job as the next coach at Manhattan, a source with knowledge told SNY.tv.

Ferry would replace Barry Rohrssen, who was fired last month after five seasons.

Ferry beat out Louisville assistant Steve Masiello, Rutgers assistant Van Macon, Rhode Island College coach Bob Walsh and Manhattan assistant Scott Padgett.

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Barry Rohrssen is officially out at Manhattan College.

Rohrssen, the former assistant to Ben Howland and Jamie Dixon at Pittsburgh, was fired Wednesday, less than a week after the team capped a 6-25 season with an overtime loss to Siena in the opening round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

Rohrssen went 58-95 in five seasons at the school.Louisville assistant Steve Masiello, a former Manhattan assistant under Bobby Gonzalez, figures to be in the mix to replace Rohrssen.

Tags: Coaching moves, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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Barry Rohrssen will coach Manhattan this weekend in the MAAC conference tournament in Bridgeport, but it appears his tenure at the school will come to an end after that.

"Barry's our coach going into the MAAC tournament," a university spokesman said.

Rohrssen did not return a voicemail seeking comment.

Tags: Articles, Coaching moves, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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Jabari Brown's list of seven schools has now expanded to nine schools.

Sort of.

His father, David, said Maryland and Miami are now being considered along with the original seven of Cal, Washington, Oregon, St. John?s, Georgia Tech, UConn and DePaul.

Tags: Articles, California, DePaul, Manhattan, Maryland, Miami, Oregon, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's, UConn, Washington, Adam Zagoria
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LeBron James gave the Oakland Soldiers a shout out and then watched the loaded AAU team win the Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas.

"It felt awesome. He gave us a salute," Soldiers forward Kyle Wiltjer of Portland, Ore., who scored 16 points in the win, said by text.

James is apparently spending the weekend in Vegas partying with Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.

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Seton Hall signed Aaron Geramipoor, a frontcourt player originally from Manchester, England.

The 6-foot-11, 225-pound Geramipoor was a teammate of Patrik Auda at the Canarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands, Spain.? Auda signed to play basketball at Seton Hall in May.

?Adding another talent from the Canarias Basketball Academy, one the premier schools in Europe, will bolster our frontcourt lineup for next year and beyond,? Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said.? ?Aaron is incredibly long and has great tools for a man his size.? We look forward to his growth in our system and believe he can be a real asset moving forward.?

Tags: Iona, Kentucky, Louisville, Manhattan, North Carolina, Seton Hall, St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, Adam Zagoria
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Joel 'Air Jamaica' Wright has verbally committed to play for Manhattan College.

The 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward had initially committed to Fordham while at Brooklyn Thomas Jefferson, but he and Fordham ultimately parted ways.

Wright is now at Central Jersey Each One Teach One (CJEOTO) after spending the first half of the year at Central Carolina Sports Academy, which he said has since shut down.

Tags: Manhattan, Prep Schools, Adam Zagoria
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***Read the feature on Ashton and Sterling Gibbs here.***

I'm working on a feature story on brothers Ashton and Sterling Gibbs of Scotch Plains, N.J., both of whom are playing for USA Basketball teams this summer.

Check back later for the full story, but I'm posting this college update first.

Tags: Hofstra, Indiana, Kentucky, Manhattan, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Siena, St. John's, USA Basketball, Villanova, Western Kentucky, Adam Zagoria
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Tevin Baskin, a 6-foot-7 forward out of Stamford (Conn.) Trinity Catholic, committed to Quinnipiac on Wednesday, choosing that school over Manhattan and New Orleans.

Baskin said he chose Tom Moore's program because of its proximity to home and because of the size of the school.

"It's big, but it's not huge," Baskin told his hometown Stamford Times. "It's small, but it's not tiny."

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Great story out of Manhattan College where coach Barry Rohrssen has signed Kevin Laue, a 6-foot-10 center born without a left hand.

?For all the right reasons, Kevin deserves this chance,? Rohrssen told The New York Times. ?He?s someone who won?t take this for granted.?

Laue is part of a three-man recruiting class that also includes 6-4 guards Rico Pickett and George Beamon.

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John Wall, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2009, has been charged with breaking and entering by Raleigh police, according to WRAL in Raleigh.

Authorities said Wall, 18, was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering in connection with an April 27 break-in at an unoccupied home in Raleigh.

An officer saw Wall leaving from the rear of the house and detained him, police said. There was no forced entry and nothing was taken from the house, police said.

Tags: Baylor, Duke, Florida, John Wall, Kansas, Kentucky, Manhattan, Memphis, Miami, N.C. State, Providence, Adam Zagoria
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John Calipari continues to bring former Memphis players to Kentucky

Kentucky on Thursday signed Miami-Dade College wing Darnell Dodson, who was recently let? out of his letter of intent at Memphis.

The 6-foot-7 Dodson, originally from Greenbelt, Md., initially signed with Pittsburgh and was taking classes there in the fall of 2007 before he ran into NCAA Clearinghouse issues.

Tags: John Wall, Kentucky, Louisville, Manhattan, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Adam Zagoria
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Seton Hall has high hopes that either Ferrakohn Hall or Cliff Dixon will announce soon and add to is frontcourt depth.

Hall, 6-8, 210-pound forward from Memphis White Station High School , will announce his decision on Friday at his school. Jerry Meyer of Rivals says Hall will select either Baylor, Seton Hall or UAB.

Dixon, a 6-9, 210-pound forward out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College pictured above, visited Seton Hall last weekend with Hall.

Tags: Florida, Manhattan, Seton Hall, UConn, Adam Zagoria
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