Well that was interesting. This evening the Friars hosted the Seton Hall Pirates in a game that would give the victor sole possession of 3rd place in the Big East. With less than a week and a half until the Big East regular season’s conclusion it was a big game for both teams. PC got out to a 5 point lead with around 8 minutes left in the first half but Seton Hall responded with a 10-0 run. The Pirates and Friars exchanged points to end the half and then the second half saw Seton Hall get their biggest lead of 12 points. Moments later the game came to a crashing halt, in a similar occasion to last year’s game vs Marquette an unseasonably warm day caused condensation on the court and suspended play. They ended up playing on in last year’s game but an injury to the Pirates’ Desi Rodriguez led to the game being suspended until tomorrow. PC will try and mount a comeback tomorrow at noon at Alumni Hall with 13:03 to play and facing a 9 point deficit. With that said here are a few things to consider for tomorrow’s conclusion.
Things to Consider
Do It For The Kids Friars
The game tomorrow will only be open to PC students and staff only and will be aired on FSN and Fox Sports Go App. Back in my day you didn’t have to twist my arm to skip the occasional class but if I’m a student I am not missing out on this unique opportunity. I expect students to show out in full force and to quote the immortal Thomas Edward Brady Jr should be “lubed up”for the game. A strong student showing could be a catalyst for a PC comeback.
Does Desi Return?
After the game Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said Desi Rodriguez would miss about a week due to an ankle injury suffered on the slippery court. My guess is that Desi will wake up tomorrow and try and give it a go but ultimately not play. If Desi is in fact unable to finish the game tomorrow PC must take advantage. Without Rodriguez the Friars can now focus more on slowing down big man Angel Delgado, who was having his way with the Friars from the end of the first half until the game was suspended. Desi’s absence can be another reason the Friars will be able to come back in this contest.
Play Some Zone?
With around 16 minutes left in the second half the Friars faced a 9-point defect but started to gain traction on both ends of the court. The Friars found themselves down 6 and went to zone in order to slow down Delgado. Seton Hall’s Myles Powell hit an NBA range and-1 three-pointer and stretched the lead to 10. If I’m Eddie, I’d go back to zone because regardless of that miraculous 4-point play it seemed that Seton Hall wasn’t ready for it. Add in if they are without Rodriguez, the zone could reduce the Pirates options on offense, and limit Delgado from eating PC’s big men alive down low. Why not open up with zone and see if this can change the Friars fortunes?
For the Friars the events that transpired at the Dunk was disappointing. The fact that this same court issue happened last year and a proper resolution wasn’t found is kind of embarassing. I really appreciated Kevin Willard being understanding of the matter because a lot of coaches* could’ve made a big stink about it. While disappointing the game couldn’t be finished because our court was unplayable, this does create a great opportunity for the Friars. This could really end up being a blessing in disguise as they now have a chance to reset their approach and treat this as a new game. The fact the students could create a rauckus crowd and Seton Hall being without Rodriguez can be very advantageous for the Friars. I think the Friars will rally but ultimately playing a 13 minute game with a 9-point handicap is a tall order and I see the Friars falling (no pun intended) short.
*Read, Marquette’s Steve Woj
Friars 70 Seton Hall 72