Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Seton Hall/Advocare Invitational: Thoughts & Quotes

Following Advocare Invitational experience that yielded only one win, Kevin Willard goes back to work with Seton Hall as non-conference season heats up. (Photo by the Asbury Park Press)

Special To Daly Dose Of Hoops

1) Seton Hall's showing at the Advocare Invitational was one part poor draw and one part bad luck.
A team like Florida, who can match the Pirates' athleticism position by position, is not a terrible loss by any means. A win against a low major like Quinnipiac is a given. There is really no excuse to losing to Stanford, though. The Cardinal should be in the lower tier of the Pac-12 this season and still seem to be fitting into their new system under first-year head coach Jerod Haase. What's disconcerting about the loss was the way Seton Hall beat themselves. There was hardly any movement on offense and 20 turnovers by the starting five. This is a veteran team, and a lack of an experienced point guard hurts them. 

As brilliant as Khadeen Carrington has played this season, he is not a true point guard, and Madison Jones is a scoring liability at the point guard position. Myles Powell is the long-term solution, but that's asking a lot of the freshman to take the reins of the offense. There's no easy remedy to this problem and Seton Hall will be susceptible to turnovers as long as the point guard solution is a work in progress.

2) From Orlando to Hawaii in a week is a little much to ask for a team. 
The Pirates were gassed Sunday night, and to ask them to come home and play Columbia in a few days, then jet out to Hawaii for a tournament might have lingering consequences for the 2016-17 season. For recruiting purposes, it's great to get the school name out there. Practically, it's not going to do the Pirates as much good in the short term. Even if they have a successful trip, traveling thousands of miles to play in the middle of the season runs the risk of burnout.

3) Thursday's game against Columbia is the classic "trap game."
Lions coach Jim Engles is one of the best game coaches in the nation, and the two teams beat a common opponent in Quinnipiac by the same point spread. They are not a team to take lightly and with injuries starting to take their toll on the Pirates, their bench has to step up. Veer Singh has been a disappointment as an off the bench three point specialist and Rashard Anthony seems like he gets two fouls every time he checks into the game. A loss to Columbia would make a really long plane ride to Hawaii even longer.  The onus is on the coaching staff to have the team prepared for Thursday's game.

"The third game in four days, going up against a really good defensive team, I thought they did a good job of stopping our dribble penetration. Their guards did a good job of cutting our angles down, getting into some passing lanes. They got 13 steals, which really hurt us." - On Stanford's defense and its responsibility for the Pirates' cold shooting

"Ish could have played, that was my decision. With their size and their physicality inside, without him having a couple of days of practice, I didn't want...the shoulder's fine. That's 100 percent, it was more or less me wanting to see him with two days of practice and him get his rhythm back." - On Ismael Sanogo and his absence against Stanford

"We knew this was going to be a tough stretch with this tournament and Hawaii, but we've got to rebound. We've just got to get back to doing a couple of little things. It's not major things." - On traveling to Orlando and Hawaii, with a home game against Columbia sandwiched in between

"I looked at our schedule, and I'm not worried about that at all. I also know what the league is all about. We're going to have plenty of opportunities for RPI wins in the league." - On Stanford possibly being beneficial to Seton Hall's RPI

"He's handled it well. The other four guys haven't. That's something we've got to go back and work on, because it's something that's going to continue to happen." - On Angel Delgado being double-teamed and how the rest of the team has adjusted

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