Five reasons you’ll love Seton Hall’s 2017-18 non-conference schedule

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Seton Hall’s non-conference schedule is now complete and there’s good reason to get excited about it.

You may have already known most of Seton Hall’s non-league schedule prior to the athletics department releasing a few pertinent details regarding the Preseason NIT Tip-Off last week, but the now full schedule has invoked another wave of nearly universal thumbs-up from Hall fans.

Seton Hall announced they will host Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth as part of the Preseason NIT while also revealing that Rhode Island awaits the Pirates in Brooklyn as their first opponent in the four-team bracketed main event.

With that in mind, Seton Hall’s full schedule now looks like this:
Nov. 10 – FDU (Preseason NIT)
Nov. 12 – Monmouth (Preseason NIT)
Nov. 15 – Indiana (Gavitt Games)
Nov. 18-  NJIT
Nov. 23 – Rhode Island (Preseason NIT; Brooklyn)
Nov. 24 – Virginia/Vanderbilt (Preseason NIT; Brooklyn)
Nov. 30 – Texas Tech (Under Armour Reunion; MSG)
Dec. 3 – at Louisville
Dec. 9 – VCU (Never Forget Games; Prudential Center)
Dec. 12 – Saint Peter’s (Walsh Gym)
Dec. 16 – at Rutgers
Dec. 20 – Wagner
Dec. 23 – Manhattan

Five reasons to love Seton Hall’s slate:

1- All of Seton Hall’s games are relatively easy to travel to (I say relatively because Brooklyn is a pain for most) except for their road test at Louisville. If you live in the New York/New Jersey area, you can reasonably attend games at five different venues before the Big East tips off: Prudential Center, Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Walsh Gym, and the RAC.

2- Depending on how you classify top shelf mid-majors like Rhode Island and VCU, Seton Hall has seven high-majors on their schedule: Indiana, URI, UVA/Vandy, Texas Tech, Louisville, VCU, and Rutgers. This is definitely a subjective take on it, since one can certainly argue that Monmouth, a traditional low-major, has been a stronger program than say — Texas Tech and/or Rutgers in recent years.

Seton Hall will take on four opponents from last year’s NCAA tournament (URI, UVA/Vandy, Louisville, VCU), two from the NIT (Monmouth, Indiana) and Saint Peter’s, which won the 2017 CIT after starting their season 12-12.

3- Seton Hall will be in the discussion as a pre-season top-25 team and they have scheduled as such. Aside from the aforementioned high-major count, the Hall will play six games that won’t be classified as ‘home’ when it comes to post-season consideration; this number includes the “semi-home” game against VCU at Prudential Center.

A road trip to a top-10 opponent in Louisville provides an excellent chance at a major resume-builder, while the two games at the Barclays Center are likely next-best as far as that goes. Winning away from home is the essence of the NCAA tournament and has become a focal point on Selection Sunday; the staff has set the team up to impress the committee in this respect.

4- There is plenty of local flavor in this non-league dish including the additions of Monmouth, NJIT, and long-standing rival Saint Peter’s, schools which had been absent from the slate in recent years. Add in Manhattan, Wagner (Donald Copeland promoted to asst. coach this off-season), Fairleigh Dickinson, and Rutgers and that’s pretty much every Division I in the area that one can realistically expect on a schedule at the same time. This is in stark contrast to last season, when Seton Hall racked up a ton of frequent flyer miles between Pearl Harbor and the AdvoCare Invitational.

5- A pair of coaching battles stick out on this schedule: Rick Pitino and Danny Hurley. Many Hall fans have been licking their chops since Dan Hurley took the Rhode Island job and they will finally get a chance to see Kevin Willard go up against someone many have desired to coach in South Orange. Elsewhere, the coaching bloodline connection between Pitino and Willard has been obvious since day one; Willard is 0-5 against Pitino at Seton Hall and 0-6 all-time, having lost to Louisville in 2007 while at Iona.

  • Side note, D-II LIU Post will be an exhibition game on Nov 4th (Sat) at Walsh

    There was no exhibition last year, so that’s a slight change up

  • PadrePirate

    Improved competition and geographical proximity is a plus. 7/13 teams were top 100 last year + Rutgers at 135.
    Still, there are 4 potentially RPI-draining cupcakes on there–Wagner (247), FDU (267), NJIT (286) and Manhattan (287). A loss to any of those would be damaging, and a W gets you next to nothing. If the staff could replace just two of those types with St. Bonny’s, UConn or Princeton next year, we’d really have a great OOC.
    That said, it’s probably the best OOC we’ve had since 2010. GO PIRATES!

    • VinBick

      Maybe the staff heard our protestations on this board when the OOC was announced the last couple of years. Delaware and the other weak teams were so hurtful they had to be eliminated from the schedule. A few family members of the Delaware players came up the Turnpike to the Rock last December, remember?
      The local flavor is ideal for early season games at the Rock. Wish Rutgers-Hall game was played every year at the Rock with home team designation rotated. The RAC is such a depressing venue and the Rock is perfect for the annual rivalry game. Last December, the fan bases for both schools packed the Rock shortly before Christmas.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I like our OOC schedule. We have some tough games, but our seniors are up for the challenge.

  • RonD

    Some posters always find something to complain about. Between Nov 15 and Dec 9 we play Indiana, URI, UVA/Vandy, Louisville, Tex Tech, and VCU. The only cupcake in that mix is NJIT. This schedule is difficult. Every major college team plays 4-5 “cupcakes”. Many play more than that.
    BTW, aren’t a few “cupcakes” needed to acclimate the new players who are expected to be important contributors this year?
    The staff isn’t listening to the fans on scheduling. They gear the schedule to what they believe will be the competitive level of the team that year or several years in advance. SHU has reached the level now where we should expect similar scheduling going forward, cupcakes and all.

    • VinBick

      Of course the staff is not listening to fans and our posts here when scheduling, but we are correct. Marketing the Hall and the Rock require an upgraded OOC schedule. Also, it is always better to play Manhattan, St Peter, and other locals rather than the no-name cupcakes from outside our area. The alumni from area schools will bolster attendance at the Rock and be entertained by our standouts.

      • PadrePirate

        You guys are right. When mentioning the cupcakes, I didn’t think about the fact they are all local. I guess that’s a good thing, like you say, for the sake of attendance and building local interest, regardless of the level of competition. No Delaware or Central Conn this year, which is a good thing. I’d still love to see Princeton someday…

    • PadrePirate

      Wasn’t really “complaining” about the cupcakes, if you’re referring to my post. I tried to point out both the positive side of the schedule and where it could be improved. I like Vinny’s point (below) about favoring local schools, regardless of their strength. I also agree with you that a few less competitive games can help the kids ease in to things without too much pressure early in the year. Still, usually, the tougher the competition the better. It will help our team elevate their level of play, not to mention SoS. GO HALL!

  • fouline

    It’s a challenging schedule but it matches our ambitions. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to play the big boys.

  • Matty P

    Some really nice quotes from Kevin Boyle about how he believes SHU can be a sweet 16 or elite 8 team this year and be in the top 10-20 and his view on Sandro and his potential.
    http://www.zagsblog.com/2017/08/03/kevin-boyle-says-seton-hall-sweet-16-team/

  • Matty P

    For anyone interested the Big East is starting a weekly show starting on Aug 10th which will meet with one team a week to do interviews with players/coaches, basketball insiders, etc. and take some fan questions. The show is going to be hosted by one of SHU’s finest, John Fanta, and luckily for us the first show will be with Delgado, Carrington, Rodriguez, and Sanogo.
    Big East announcement link: http://www.bigeast.com/news/2017/8/3/big-east-launches-live-mens-basketball-digital-show.aspx