Desi Rodriguez and Angel Delgado
In Newark, New Jersey there is a basketball program that’s once again on the rise and making noise in the sport. The Seton Hall University Pirates are once again thriving with these Latino studs at the helm. Before Rodriguez and Delgado arrived, SHU only had one postseason appearance under current head coach Kevin Williard (2012 National Invitational Tournament). They also hadn’t been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 in over 20 years. Since this tandem donned the Pirates uniform, Seton Hall has made the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons and have been ranked in the Top 25 for three years in a row.
Delgado was born in the Dominican Republic but came to the U.S. in 2012. At 6-feet-10 inches tall and 245 pounds the 23-year-old center is a throwback to the traditional centers that are known for scoring in the paint, rebounding, blocking shots and playing hard-nosed defense. Rodriguez on the other hand is a native of The Bronx, New York and played at NYC’s famed Lincoln High School which produced NBA products such as Stephon Marbury, Lance Stephenson and Sebastian Telfair. The 21-year-old small forward hopes to be Lincoln’s next NBA prospect. At 6-foot-6, Rodriguez just might achieve that goal as his solid perimeter play combined with his accurate jump shot have long caught the attention of NBA scouts. Both men are projected to be NBA draft picks.
The Big East Conference’s dynamic duo ranks in the conference’s top 20 in both scoring, rebounding, and they almost entered the 2017 NBA Draft but decided to ultimately to return for their senior years.
Expect to hear their names called, perhaps in the first round, when the 2018 draft rolls around.
In the 18 seasons that Mike Brey has been the head coach at Notre Dame, one constant of every team he’s coached has been a stable of dependable role players. Torres is one of those key role players. You see, his job is to be the primary backup to All-American Bonzie Colson. Colson is the leader of the Fighting Irish basketball team, but he needs a breather at some point during the game. That’s where Torres comes in.
The 22-year-old native of Granger, Indiana is actually a third-generation Notre Dame student. His grandfather was there first, followed by his mother, former Fighting Irish soccer player Brenda Torres who graduated from South Bend in 1994. His father is former UND tight end Oscar McBride who played there in the 90’s as well. Austin grew up attending many Notre Dame sporting events and now wears their uniform.
As a reserve he only plays roughly 8 to 10 minutes per game, but in his limited playing time he’s made a significant contribution. He has scored over 100 career points, he’s grabbed over 130 career rebounds, and he gives coach Brey a reliable option in the paint during the middle stages of the game. He’s already received his bachelor’s degree in management consulting and is currently a graduate student.
With a pedigree and stats like that, you bet he’s the one we’d call when we need back up.