When Angel Delgado tweeted his decision to return to Seton Hall for his senior season it felt like the school’s fight song was about to start playing loud enough for all of social media to hear it.
Onward Setonia had to have been on the minds of many within the Seton Hall fanbase as they scrolled through their twitter feeds and came across the news their team’s six-foot-ten rebounding machine was returning to campus for one last ride with his teammates.
That ride almost didn’t happen, according to reports. Delgado, following a successful junior season where he averaged 15.2 points per game along with leading the nation in rebounding at 13.2 per game, gave serious consideration to turning pro.
Delgado did indeed test the waters of the NBA Draft process, without hiring an agent it was more closer to dipping his feet in the pool for awhile. It was enough time in that pool where buzz began to grow Seton Hall would have to face the reality they’d have to move on without the anchor of their frontcourt.
The NBA may not have opened doors for Delgado this year, he was projected to go undrafted, but the possibility of playing ball overseas was apparently still very much in play.
Something happened, however, between then and now which led to Delgado holding off on a professional career. The 22-year old Delgado said the decision to return to school was difficult and took time and patience. He deserves a great deal of credit and respect for taking the time to get himself in the best position to make such a difficult choice.
Delgado returning to the fold only makes the Pirates stronger for the upcoming season. He’s a walking double-double, finishing second in the nation last season with 27.
Seton Hall will also return seniors Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, and Ish Sanogo along with sophomore Myles Powell. That’s a strong core, along with an intriguing recruiting class on the way for additional help. Delgado, however, makes them a team worthy of Top 25 consideration.
As good and talented as the Pirates are, without him, there’s no denying what they are with him. His personality, always engaging, has revealed a growing leadership quality which has been a treat to watch during his time as Seton Hall’s man in the middle.
It can’t be ignored that the Big East isn’t getting any easier. Villanova is still the cream of the crop with Xavier, Creighton, Butler, and Providence all very much in the mix. It’s reasonable to throw St. John’s into the conversation, especially with the buzz Chris Mullin is beginning to create in Queens with his recruiting. A Seton Hall team, loaded with senior leadership featuring Delgado, puts them in the opening lines of a conversation about the upper tier of the conference.
Delgado’s high energy game is contagious and it’s not only the players that feed off it, it’s also the fans. That’s an intangible which should never be ignored.
Time will tell which professional doors will open again for Delgado, we’ll wait until next spring for that answer. In the meanwhile, this is an ideal opportunity for Delgado to strengthen his all-around game to a point where it will be impossible for NBA teams to not look his way in 2018.
What we know now is that Seton Hall has their impact player back for one more ride with his teammates. That’s good for Delgado, good for the Pirates, and good for the Big East.
It’s also good for all those fans with Onward Setonia playing in their heads while counting down to opening night.