Seton Hall Pirates
2016-2017 Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #3 Big East
Seton Hall finished last season very strong, at least until the NCAA Tournament came around. The Pirates won the Big East Tournament, controlling future national champs Villanova for much of the game and looked to be heading into the tournament with some serious momentum. However, Seton Hall drew Gonzaga in the first round and were sent home following a 68-52 defeat. That was a young team though and with four starters returning, Coach Kevin Willard should find more postseason success in 2017.
2015-16 Record: 25-9, 12-6
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kevin Willard
Coach Record: 107-89 at Seton Hall, 152-138 overall
The lone starter lost is a very significant one though. Isaiah Whitehead led the team with 18.2 points and 5.1 assists. He was even better in Big East play and replacing his shooting and scoring will be tough enough, but replacing his leadership will be pretty much impossible. The loss of reserve guard Derrick Gordon adds even more questions on the perimeter. Gordon did not shoot particularly well last season, but he did average 8.0 points per game. The only other departure is little used Braeden Anderson.
All five of Seton Hall’s newcomers are guards, including three true freshmen and two transfers. Myles Powell will be asked to help fill the scoring lost with Whitehead. The freshman is a little undersized for a shooting guard in the Big East, but he can certainly shoot the ball and is not afraid to attack the basket against bigger, stronger defenders. The other freshmen are are Eron Gordon and Manny Anderson. Gordon needs to add some strength, but he is a versatile guard who could help handle the point guard duties. If the freshmen need time to develop, Coach Willard can call on Jevon Thomas and Madison Jones. Thomas spent two seasons at Kansas State and will be eligible after the fall semester. In 2014-2015, Thomas started 25 games for the Wildcats and averaged 4.5 points and 3.3 assists. Jones is a graduate transfer from Wake Forest where he averaged 4.7 points and 3.0 assists. Thomas and Jones will not do much scoring, but both are capable handlers.
Who to Watch:
Khadeen Carrington will have to take over some of the point guard duties, especially early in the season before Thomas is eligible. Carrington averaged 14.1 points per game, but it remains to be seen how effective he can be running the show. Carrington can attack the basket effectively, yet turnovers could be an issue. In the frontcourt, Desi Rodriguez, Ismael Sanogo and Angel Delgado will step back into their starting lineups. Rodriguez is a 6-6 small forward who averaged 12.4 points per game as a sophomore. He connected on 38.6 percent of his three-point attempts and also will hit the glass effectively. Sanogo is not much of an interior scoring threat, but he averaged 7.2 rebounds per contest and will play solid interior defense. Delgado, a 6-10 juinor, will do more scoring in the paint. He averaged 9.9 points and 9.3 rebounds and could be looking at an average of a double-double this year.
With Michael Nzei and Veer Singh leading the way, the frontcourt has experienced depth. It is in the backcourt where the lack of proven playmakers could haunt Seton Hall. The Pirates need somebody who can set up all of the returning talent. Coach Willard deserves a lot of credit for finding options to replace Whitehead. If one of them pans out, this is a team that has the tools to make a serious run towards the Sweet Sixteen and beyond.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Khadeen Carrington, Junior, Guard, 14.1 points per game
Myles Powell, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Desi Rodriguez, Junior, Forward, 12.4 points per game
Ismael Sanogo, Junior, Forward, 5.0 points per game
Angel Delgado, Junior, Forward, 9.9 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.2 (145th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.8 (75, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (141, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.2 (33, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (268, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (167, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.8 (310, 9)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (61, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (165, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (277, 7)
Madness 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#87 Myles Powell
#158 Eron Gordon