Cooley Month is not off to a great start. The Friars fell to Seton Hall, 60-43 at Alumni Hall on Wednesday night, in a game that was critical both both teams. PC (9-9, 5-7) now find themselves losers of 2 straight, 6 of 8 , and with a .500 record. Let’s take a look at what went down.
Friars 2nd Half Performance
If the title didn’t tell you enough, the second half of this basketball was horrific for PC. Going into the second frame the Friars held 25-22 lead. It didn’t take long for Seton Hall to regain the lead and never looked back. PC did the Pirates plenty of favors. Turnovers, rebounding, and bad offense led to a 38-18 beat down in the second stanza. Seton Hall definitely played with desperation, and the Friars did not. This is concerning as both teams are in similar positions relative to the NCAA tournament.
The Friars were simply lifeless against The Hall.
Nichols, Bynum DNP
We knew there was a good chance they’d be without Bynum, but Nichols being scratched was a pregame surprise. It’s clear the Friars missed both these guys in this one. Bynum hasn’t suited up since January 2nd with the groin injury, and its become clear he is a vital piece to this team. Friars have gone 2-6 without their table setting guard and they committed 16 turnovers in this one. Nichols being out was especially critical in this one has his length would’ve been ideal in the zone defense PC played and trying to slow down Mamu (20 pts)
Duke/Watson Continue Slump
Duke (6 pts, 6 asts 6 rebs) and Watson (10 pts, 8 rebs) weren’t horrible in this one but when you put up the numbers they are capable of it’s fair to say they’ve been slumping. Duke (2/8 FG) continues to struggle with his shot and was sloppy with the basketball, while Watson (4/9 FG) wasn’t his efficient self in this one. If the Friars want to salvage any chances at an NCAA Tournament birth their stars need to snap out of it.
Selfishly, they may be playing themselves out of the First Team on the Big East as well.
Willard Wins 200th at Seton Hall
With the Pirates getting the win it was the 200th with Kevin Willard at the helm. Willard joins Honey Russell (sweet name) and PJ Carlesimo in Hall’s 200 club. Willard is a tough coach on the court but seems like a good guy off it and what he’s done with their program is impressive.
Friars next game is Saturday against St. John’s at 2PM, who are coming off a massive win against Villanova.