Manchester, NJ Native Shavar Reynolds Returns to the Shore with Transfer to Monmouth
Shavar Reynolds discovered a charmed life playing close to home in the Big East and when he announced he would be entering his name into the NCAA transfer portal and leaving Seton Hall, it appeared he was ready to write the final chapter of his college days elsewhere.
On Wednesday, Reynolds announced he would be finishing his college career even closer to home.
The former Manchester High School star and walk-on-turned-starting-point-guard at Seton Hall will finish out his collegiate career playing for Monmouth University, according to a post on Reynolds' Twitter account.
The announcement closes the book on Reynolds's Seton Hall career, which did not seem likely when Reynolds graduated from Manchester in the spring of 2016. He spent one year with Covenant College Prep, connected with several of the players on the Seton Hall men's team and earned himself an opportunity to walk on with the Pirates in 2017-18.
Reynolds impressed head coach Kevin Willard so much as a walk on that Willard made him a scholarship player the next year after Reynolds told him he could not afford to pay tuition at Seton Hall for another year.
In his three seasons on scholarship, Reynolds gave Seton Hall a number of memorable moments while serving as one of the team's best on-ball defenders. He hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat St. John's as a sophomore in 2019 and was a key bench player on a 2019-20 team that was poised to make noise in March before the COVID-19 pandemic shut the season down.
This past season, Reynolds started every game for Seton Hall and averaged 7.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 38 percent from three-point range and 82.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Reynolds is likely to provide an immediate impact for Monmouth, which relied heavily on three players who may not be back in the program in 2021-22 despite the NCAA granting all players an additional year of eligibility due to the pandemic. Top scorer Deion Hammond is still weighing his options as he considers a professional career and both Melik Martin - who is Reynolds's cousin - and George Papas are entered into the transfer portal as well.
Reynolds is not a natural fit to replace any one of those players given they all have more size than the 6-foot-2 Jersey Shore native, but that does not mean Reynolds and Monmouth won't be a good match. Reynolds is a tenacious defender and could form a disruptive backcourt defensive combination with Myles Ruth - a Don Bosco Prep graduate who just completed his freshman season with the Hawks.
Monmouth has not had a regular starter on its team from the Shore Conference in quite some time, with Louie Pillari and Dan Pillari the most recent Shore Conference basketball alumni to suit up for the Hawks as part of the memorable Monmouth Bench Mob craze.
Former Neptune star Marques Alston was a 1,000-point scorer at Monmouth after leading the Scarlet Fliers to the Tournament of Champions final as a high-school player. While Reynolds won't have the full Monmouth career that Alston had, his impact could be the closest any Shore native has come to what Alston did for the Hawks from 2003 to 2007.
Monmouth is also set to welcome in current Neptune senior Sam Fagan as a freshman in the fall, giving the Hawks a pair of local players on scholarship.
This past season, Monmouth finished the regular season as the No. 2 team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference by win total (12-8 overall) but bowed out in its first MAAC Tournament game with a lopsided loss to Fairfield.