Still feeling the after effects of Providence’s crushing defeat at DePaul on Tuesday, I thought about waiting until Friday night to write Saturday’s preview. Then I realized you all probably need something to read on a Friday at work, so felt like it was my duty to get this done tonight. I just don’t understand why Bullock and Holt were handling the ball during the press break. NO! I TOLD MYSELF I WOULDN’T GET INTO THE DEPAUL GAME IN THE PREVIEW. Anyways the Seton Hall Pirates make a visit to The Dunk Saturday afternoon in the first meeting between the two teams on the season. The defending Big East Tournament Champs come in to the contest sporting a record of 12-4 (2-2 Big East) and are coming off an overtime road loss to Marquette. The Friars (11-7, 1-4 Big East), as previously mentioned, are coming off a loss as well and really need a win to keep the ship from sinking. The Pirates probably aren’t as good as last year’s squad, since Isaiah Whitehead decided to skip town and help the Celtics get a better draft pick, but they do return a lot of talent and added some as well. Starting up front Seton Hall returns the Junior big men duo of Angel Delgado and Ismael Sonogo. Delgado is an absolute monster averaging a double-double on the year at 14.9 ppg and 12.1 rpg. He crushes both the defensive and offense glass, as he grabs 4.6 offensive boards per game. Sonogo doesn’t supply much scoring (3.4 ppg) but is a beast on the boards as well. Forward Desi Rodriguez also returns for the Pirates and he’s a truly gifted player. He can explode offensively (16.4 ppg) at any point, as he’s scored 20+ five times this season. What may be the biggest surprise out of Orange, NJ is the improvement of Khadeen Carrington. With Whitehead out of the picture he’s been able to take his game to the next level, leading the Pirates in scoring at 18.9 per game.Newcomers Myles Powell, a freshman out of Trenton, NJ, and Madison Jones, grad transfer from Wake Forest, also make contributions to the rotation.
Keys to The Game
- Friars Must Hold Their Own on The Glass- As discussed earlier the tandem of Delgado and Sonogo are beasts on the glass. The Pirates average over 40 rebounds per game so the Friars probably won’t win the battle on the glass, but they must keep it relatively close. Bullock and Holt can’t do it alone, they need help from everyone. Alpha Diallo is a very underrated rebounder and it’d be huge if he could grab at least 5. Also Friars must limit the second chance opportunities and shag any Seton Hall misses that come their way.
- Must Be Able to Break a Press– Similar to DePaul on Tuesday, Seton Hall found themselves down big late in their game vs. Marquette. They stormed all the way back to force overtime and like DePaul, deployed a full court trap to help get themselves back in the game. The Pirates have a ton of athletes and if they press, the Friars must get it into ball handlers’ hands (Cartwright, White, Jackson, Lindsey) and confidently break the press.
- Keep the Scores in Check– The Friars did a great job of this vs DePaul for about 36 minutes of the game, stifling guards Eli Cain and Billy Garrett Jr. They must do the same vs Carrington and Rodriguez. Friars must deny them the ball as much as possible and make clean rotations throughout the game.
Friar fans don’t get mad at me but since I’ve started the blog the Friars have gone 0-2 and I incorrectly picked the Friars in both games. This Seton Hall team poses a lot of problems for the Friars. This team can really rebound the ball and score it as well, something that the Friars have struggled to do at times. When the Friars played Creighton a week ago they kept up with the pace for a good portion of the game but couldn’t sustain it. The Friars will also be with injury concerns again in this one, as according to Ed Cooley both Cartwright and Lindsey will be game-time decisions. With all that, clearly I’m going with the Friars here. Just Kidding.
Seton Hall 82 Friars 74