Friday, February 7, 2014
When: 7:00 pm Eastern
RPI: Seton Hall: 123 | Villanova: 3
KenPom: Seton Hall: 79 | Villanova: 8
The Pavilion (Capacity: 6,500)
Where: Villanova, PA
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: 1210 WPHT
A crazy snow-filled week on Villanova's campus will conclude with a meeting against the 6th-place Seton Hall Pirates, the second of the year. The first one, a road win for the Wildcats on January 8th, was highlighted by career point number 1000 for JayVaughn Pinkston.
Villanova leads the all-time series with Seton hall 57-37. The Wildcats lost the only meeting between these teams last year on February 25th on a Fuquan Edwin 3-pointer in the waning seconds. And no, I was not happy about that.
Not much was expected of this Seton Hall team coming into the year, and they've done exactly that. The beginning of the season could not started off more terrible for the Pirates. Injuries to Gene Teague, Fuquan Edwin and Aaron Geramipoor, alongside the departure of Tom Mayaan to serve in the Israeli army, resulted in a string of bad home losses to the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights and St. Peter's Peacocks. With their top 2 rebounders down, SHU ranked last in the Big East in rebounds per game. Now, with all these players back, the team looks as strong as they ever have.
Fuquan Edwin's scoring has taken a step back this season, standing at 14.3 PPG in under 30 minutes played, however his defense has improved tremendously. He averages over 3 steals a game, ranking third in the nation. Sterling Gibbs has taken on the role of point guard and is currently dishing out 4.4 assists per game. Gene Teague has been the big piece for this team, shooting 61% from the floor (good for 26th in the nation) and grabbing close to 9 boards a game. He and Daniel Ochefu/Pinkston will be a good matchup.
Another key defender for the Pirates is Brandon Mobley. In the conference home opener vs. the Creighton Bluejays, Coach Kevin Willard played the guess-and-check method to defend Doug McDermott. Mobley was the winner, holding McDermott to less than 10 second half points, and we know that holding him to under 10 a half is an accomplishment. Mobley forced two air balls on McDermott also. He would most likely be matched up against Pinkston because of their equal statures.
It's not too late to Play & Participate
It's not too late to Play & Participate
Patrik Auda is a wild card of sorts. He is known to take 3's, however I've never seen someone successfully shot fake as much as him, leading to the hoop for high percentage shots. He also is a great free throw shooter at 77.5%, however he is known to miss them in big spots of the game.
The real wild card for this Pirates team is Brian Oliver. He is like their version of Dylan Ennis in the way that he can hit a long string of 3's, and really put a game to rest. However, he may continue to be absent from the team. Following the home loss to the Butler Bulldogs, there was an outburst in the locker room. Oliver was cited for being selfish and was suspended from the team for a while, not making the roadtrip to Cincinnati for the game against the Xavier Musketeers. It is still uncertain whether he will be allowed to travel.
Worth noting about Fuquan: his injuries are not fully healed. Against the St. John's Red Storm, an opposing player landed on his knee and he was seen hobbling for a few minutes. A Fuquan-less SHU team lost at home to FDU and St. Peter's and with him they defeat Providence and Georgetown on the road. While we are far from preseason play, these issues still linger.
Kevin Willard is entering his 4th year at Seton Hall. His coaching career started off as an assistant to none other than Rick Pitino, with the Boston Celtics and Louisville Cardinals. He took the head coaching job at Iona in 2007 before him and his staff moved to SHU in 2010. While recruiting has been his strong suit as of late, his only post-season record is an NIT Second Round exit in the 2011-2012 season.
We all know of the media names that came out of SHU, however actor Ron Carey graduated from the University as well. Bishop Arthur Serratelli also passed through Seton Hall's tiny campus. "Mighty Max" Weinberg, drummer of the E Street Band, finished his degree here too.
Boston: 7:00 PM, Warehouse, 40 Broad Street, Boston, MA
Manhattan: 7:00 PM Mason Jar NYC, 43 East 30th Street, New York, NY