#60 Seton Hall Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Seton Hall Pirates

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #60
Conference Rank: #6 Big East

Seton Hall Team Page#60 Seton Hall Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Seton Hall Basketball Tickets

Seton Hall was ranked in the top 25 in the middle of January. But they ended the season winning just three of their final 15 games. Before that stretch, the only games the Pirates lost were against Wichita State, Georgia and Xavier. It was looking like a good season. But then everything fell apart. An injury and a transfer, along with some reported friction among the team’s best players, all led to the downfall. For Coach Kevin Willard, this is a big season. It may be NCAA Tournament or bust, but with so much talent gone, it is tough to see this group making the NCAA Tournament.

2014-15 Record: 16-15, 6-12
2014-15 Postseason: none
Coach: Kevin Willard
Coach Record: 82-80 at Seton Hall, 127-129 overall

Who’s Out:
It was Jaren Sina who left the team in the middle of February. He was averaging 7.0 points and 2.3 assists per game and started the first 23 games of the season before coming off of the bench against Georgetown on February 10th and transferring the next day. Also gone is Sterling Gibbs, who transferred to Connecticut. Gibbs was the team’s top scorer with 16.3 points per game and assist-man with 3.8. Forward Brandon Mobley was a regular starter during his senior season and averaged 9.8 points and 5.0 rebounds. Harlads Karlis averaged 3.3 points as a senior and Stephane Manga added 2.6 points. Little used Chier Ajou is the other loss. It easy to say losing Gibbs, Mobley and Sina is going to make this team worse, but Coach Willard hopes that it will be a case of addition by subtraction. Maybe this group can play like a team now.

Who’s In:
Coach Willard added a couple of very important transfers. First is guard Derrick Gordon from Massachusetts. Last year he averaged 9.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals with Umass. The 6-5 senior is eligible immediately as a graduate transfer and should be competing for a starting spot. At the least, Gordon is an experienced player who can do a little bit of everything for the Pirates. The other graduate transfer is Braeden Anderson from Fresno State. The 6-9 forward never really made his mark at Fresno State, but will at least add a much needed experienced big man to the roster. The expectations are higher for incoming freshman forward Myles Carter. Carter may need some time to develop his offensive game, yet he has the skills to make a big impact on the defensive end of the floor. Sophomore Michael Nzei, who was academically ineligible last year, will also see his first action during the 2015-2016 campaign. Incoming freshmen Veer Singh and Dalton Soffer round out the class. Soffer is mostly a shooter and he could see some minutes filling that role off of the bench.

Who to Watch:
All of the important returning players are just sophomores. That can be a good thing since this group has played pretty well together so far and now they will be the leaders at Seton Hall. Isaiah Whitehead should thrive in that role. In 22 games last season, he averaged 12.0 points, 3.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds. It was while Whitehead was hurt that Seton Hall started losing games. And it was when he came back that the team started falling apart. Whitehead will get help in the backcourt from Khadeen Carrington. As a freshman, Carrington ended up playing a much bigger role than most expected. He is a capable shooter and was effective attacking the basket as well. The expectations on Angel Delgado were quite high, yet he exceeded them anyway. On a team full of freshmen, it was Delgado who was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year after averaging 9.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Delgado is extremely efficient in the scoring department, but it his ability on the glass and the defensive end that makes him so special. Athletic forward Desi Rodriguez will help out on the glass and finish in transition. In 16.6 minutes per game in 2014-2015, he averaged 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds. Rashed Anthony and Ishmael Sanogo were down the bench a bit last year and averaged fewer than ten minutes per game, but both will be looking for more playing time during their sophomore seasons.

Final Projection:
The large group of sophomores will take over for Seton Hall and it is up to them to end the NCAA Tournament drought. Whether or not that happens this year or not remains to be seen. But if the unit stays together, it seems like a good bet that in a year or two, the Pirates will make the NCAA Tournament. But for now, it is asking a lot for Whitehead, Delgado and company to have Seton Hall competing for a Big East title and an NCAA berth. The potential is certainly there, but expect some inconsistency along the way to keep the Pirates in the NIT.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Isaiah Whitehead, Sophomore, Guard, 12.0 points per game
Khadeen Carrington, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 points per game
Derrick Gordon, Senior, Guard, 9.8 points per game (at Umass)
Desi Rodriguez, Sophomore, Forward, 5.6 points per game
Angel Delgado, Sophomore, Forward, 9.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.4 (144th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.0 (212, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.1 (244, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (175, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (113, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.0 (146, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.7 (290, 9)
Rebound Margin: 0.7 (161, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.4 (183, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (165, 7)


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