NEW YORK — There was plenty to digest — too much, in fact — after Seton Hall’s controversial 81-79 Big East Tournament semifinal win over Marquette.
I tried to package up as much action as I could in my game story, but it was an impossible task.
In the spirit of leaving no stone left unturned, here are five major takeaways in the aftermath of Seton Hall’s gutsy win.
If it were up to me, Quincy McKnight (18p, 4r, 3a, 1 TO) gets the game ball. McKnight held Markus Howard to 1-of-15 from the floor, who scored most of his points down the stretch at the free throw line, and had a stellar game offensively aside from some missed free throws. Stat not recorded in the box score: two blows to the head, one from a Marquette player during a box-out, and a vicious elbow from Sandro during a fumbled hand-off.
There were times when I truly thought this game was fixed, but the officials were just making it up as the went. There were replays floating around online of Wojo clearly dropping f-bombs all over the place, so it was bewildering that Kevin Willard received a technical for his “traveling” gesture, unless I missed something he may have said. And that was just the start. The two technicals down the stretch on Jared Rhoden and McKnight? Even neutrals were losing their minds on Twitter. Head-scratching stuff. That said, it appeared they got pretty much everything right on replays, although Marquette fans thought Myles Powell should have been ejected for his elbow to the chest of Sacar Anim in retaliation to a few shoves.
Latching onto that point about Powell, it appeared that the physicality at least partially got to him. But it’s part of a larger picture. For at least a month now, Powell has been pleading with officials about perceived calls that they have missed as he is met with a variety of disrupting defenses that are typically quite physical. Powell recently tweeted at pundit Seth Davis, saying that Davis should see some of Seton Hall’s games in regards to how physical opponents get when trying to restrict his movement. It’s in part a product of being the go-to guy for a long 30+ game season, but Powell definitely has to be a little bit more poised in big-game scenarios. He’s too valuable to lose.
Unsung hero roundup: Romaro Gill, Shavar Reynolds Jr., Jared Rhoden. Gill scored six, pulled down five boards, and registered a block, most of which came down the stretch. Reynolds didn’t see the court until the closing minutes and pulled down a crucial rebound to draw a foul. Rhoden, conjuring memories from the Bobby Gonzalez era, saw a few minutes at center after all of Gill, Mike Nzei, and Sandro were disqualified in one way or another. The little things.
Has Seton Hall suddenly solved their ball security issue? It plagued them all season. We thought it was part of this team’s DNA. Since coughing the rock up 19 times at Georgetown, here is how they’ve done: 10, 9, 10, 8. What a remarkable turnaround.
For fun, here is a transcript from the officiating team on some of the decisions they made tonight:
— Daly Dose Of Hoops (@DalyDoseOfHoops) March 16, 2019