Monday, November 15, 2010

Postgame Shootaround: Seton Hall

After about a week away, it's time to continue our "Postgame Shootaround" with the now 1-1 Seton Hall Pirates. Despite opening with a loss to Temple this past Friday, the Pirates righted the ship with a thoroughly convincing drubbing of reigning Ivy League champ Cornell. Below are some of the things you can take from each game, starting with the first one against the Owls; and what Seton Hall can do to improve as the season moves on:

  • Shot selection is more important than who takes the shots.
Midway through the first half against Temple, the Pirates couldn't buy a basket; and most of their scoring drought was fueled by players rushing their attempts as opposed to thinking shots through. The Cornell win could not be more different, as everything clicked for Seton Hall en route to a 92-68 demolition of the Big Red.
  • As the Pirates' Big Three go, so too goes the team.
With the exception of Jeremy Hazell, Jeff Robinson and Herb Pope had games they would like to forget against Temple, Pope in particular going 2-for-10 in a night filled with missed chip shots. Yesterday afternoon against Cornell, Robinson added ten rebounds while Pope drained his second 3-pointer in as many games. If nothing else, at least Pope has added an outside element to his game similar to Justin Burrell during his sophomore season two years ago at St. John's.
  • Jordan Theodore looks like he's living up to the hype.
Only those close to the game know how good Theodore really is, and my colleague and college basketball insider Jon Rothstein of 1050 ESPN Radio in New York believes the Paterson Catholic product is the "most underrated guard in the Big East" as he enters his junior season. Theodore validated Rothstein's faith yesterday with a well-rounded 10 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, and has admittedly spoken about "being ready for the challenge" of leading this team under new head coach Kevin Willard.
  • The Pirates still need contributions from a number of others.
Ferrakohn Hall has only managed just nine points in the first two contests, while transfer Eniel Polynice has opened his debut campaign in the Garden State 1-for-12 from the field. Moreover, Fuquan Edwin, Theodore's high school teammate who surprisingly got the start in each game this past weekend, is only averaging three points a night; while Keon Lawrence has still yet to return to the form he once showed consistently at the University of Missouri.
  • The Paradise Jam could be deceptively helpful to this team.
Matchups against Alabama and either Iowa or Xavier aren't exactly the most favorable for a team this time of year, but they will provide experience against NCAA Tournament-caliber teams, as Anthony Grant is now starting to prepare the Tide as he did VCU a few years back; and Xavier is always a force to be reckoned with. Should Seton Hall face Iowa, it would be an interesting battle as the Pirates face new Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery, who was long rumored to be the man who would replace Bobby Gonzalez in New Jersey before leaving Siena for the Midwest.

Just remember: If you can't get to the Pirates on TV or WABC, (770 AM) you can also listen to every Pirate basketball contest (men's and women's) on WSOU-FM, (89.5 FM or with Jason Guerette one of the many announcers on the on-campus student radio station of Seton Hall University.

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