Big East Notes -- Loss Of An Assistant Is Tough

Our first look at the other schools in the Big East

From time to time, this site will publish a Big East notebook, catching up on the other schools in this great basketball conference. This week's notebook starts off with a look at the Syracuse Orangemen, a school that has plenty of talent returning this upcoming season.

The Orangemen first will have to find another assistant coach. Troy Weaver, who has desired to make a move to the National Basketball Association, will be taking an assistant's job with the Utah Jazz, according to several sources.

Weaver was an outstanding recruiter who, along with Mike Hopkins, helped forge several terrific recruiting classes over the past several years. Weaver is a hard worker who should make an outstanding head coach someday whether it be in the NBA or on the college basketball level.

Weaver was a big reason why Carmelo Anthony landed in Syracuse and thus came the Orangemen's National Championship season two years ago. The Orangemen are currently in a search for an assistant coach and are likely to seek out one in the Midwest, according to our sources.

This leaves the Orangemen still in good shape though with assistant Mike Hopkins, who has progressed nicely in his ability to nail down top recruits. Syracuse is waiting on hearing from Eric Devendorf, a guard who can produce plenty of points in a hurry. There is stiff competition for Devendorf -- he has mentioned Florida and Michigan State too.

Our sources indicate that Syracuse leads for his services and this would be a huge pickup for the Orange.

... St. John's continues to reach out and touch every major recruit in the New York City area. Over the past couple of days, Jessie Sapp, John Garcia, Elvis Lora, and Craig Austrie have come through the hallowed halls of Alumni Hall in Queens. The Red Storm has worked Garcia extremely hard over the past several months and has picked up the pace with Sapp, who visited yesterday with his mom and his siblings...

Seton Hall has offered center John Oates, who apparently has been improving his individual skills. Oates, who will attend Blair Academy in New Jersey this season, has kept his options open. But it's likely he will sign a letter of intent in the Fall.

Oates did have an offer on the table to play for St. John's this season. But Oates decided he needed more individual work to be an impact player on such a high level.

The Hall is also working Brandon Costner hard. Costner has many high majors on his list, including the Connecticut program. Costner is a very unique player in which he is comfortable either playing inside the paint or spreading his shooting wings along the perimeter.

Costner usually spends more time on the perimeter when playing for Jimmy Salmon's Playaz program. But when Brandon competes for his high school team, Seton Hall Prep, he bounces very effectively inside the box with the bigger bodies.

Photo - Courtesy of Syracuse University

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