After being left at the altar by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, the show goes on for Bobby Gonzalez and Seton Hall tonight at the Prudential Center, the opening act being a first-round NIT matchup against Texas Tech that tips off in less than an hour.
One of the normal players will be missing, however, as the Pirates will be without the services of junior forward Robert "Stix" Mitchell, a starter last year who was dismissed from the team by head coach Bobby Gonzalez shortly before the fields for both postseason tournaments were revealed.
Mitchell had seen his playing time decrease due to the emergence of transfers Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson, both of whom are regulars in Gonzalez's starting five, and was so disgruntled about that to the point where he called Gonzalez out in the Bergen Record following the Pirates' elimination from the Big East tournament at the hands of Notre Dame, saying that it was "hard to stay consistent as a player when the coach isn't consistent." Gonzalez addressed this incident on a conference call Sunday, stating that one would not want any "malcontent or cancerous-type stuff. It just wasn't based on this latest thing."
Mitchell's departure opens another scholarship for Gonzalez next season, and the Pirates already have a solid recruiting class coming to New Jersey for the 2010-11 season, led by Paterson Catholic's Fuquan Edwin.