Five Thoughts, Five Quotes: Seton Hall falls flat as Marquette snaps losing streak, 88-85

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Marquette sank 12 threes en route to an 88-85 regular season sweep of Seton Hall as the Pirates dropped an important home game that puts more pressure on them down the stretch.

Five Thoughts

Although they were getting out-shot from the field for large stretches of the game, Seton Hall was getting it done in other areas to stay in the game for as long as they could. In addition to another low turnover count of four (SH is averaging 9.8 over their last four games), the Hall was +8 in points off turnovers, +7 on the fast break, +4 in the paint, and 9-0 in bench points.

Much like the first meeting, this one went as the guard battle did. Marquette set the tone early and Markus Howard (32 pts, 7 rebs, 3 asts) took control, but Myles Powell (18 pts) and Jordan Walker (6 pts) were able to get their team into the locker room largely intact. The second half wasn’t much better as it always felt like Howard and Andrew Rowsey (15 pts, 7 asts) were making their counterparts defend, and it showed as Powell and Khadeen Carrington (15 pts, 5 asts) fell into foul trouble mid-way through the half. The Howard/Rowsey combo out-did Carrington/Powell/Walker 47 pts / 10 asts  to 39 pts / 7 asts.

Angel Delgado could have been utilized more. The big man went for a shocking 13:50 stretch of the second half (15:59 – 1:59) without any points or rebounds; Matt Heldt and Harry Froling did do a good job defensively, but that is unacceptable. 

The nearly four-minute FG drought in the second half was a killer. It allowed Marquette to build a 66-56 lead with 9:34 to play and really put Seton Hall up against the ropes while knocking their offensive flow off the rails — they staged a comeback, but this was a bad setback. 

Missed free throws killed Seton Hall tonight. Six different guys missed at the line and the team missed 13 (60%) free throws as a unit — that is a black eye on the box score. The Golden Eagles 12-of-19 from deep while Seton Hall was 20-of-33 from the line, that about sums it up.

Five Quotes

Quotes from Kevin Willard on AM 970

On missed free throws:Free throws were obviously — we’ve been shooting them much better … you have to take advantage and we just didn’t do it.”

On three-point defense:We were doing some things, I just don’t understand. I don’t know what we were doing. You can’t let Markus Howard get going the way we let him get going. We just had some rotations I hadn’t seen us do. That’s something– we’ll go back and watch the film. … Two of the things in the second half when we came out, we just left Hauser. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t do against really good teams.”

On the offense struggling in general at times: “When you’re just taking the ball out of the net all the time, you’re giving chances for the defense to set up and your tempo gets a little low, we never really got a chance to get out and get our tempo going and get some easy stuff, and that’s something that really hurt us.”

On Matt Heldt’s strong game against Angel Delgado again: “They rotate two really big guys at him [Delgado]. Because of how much pick and roll defense you have to play against them, Angel is a little bit more away from the basket more than other teams.”

Looking ahead:We have four of our next five on the road. We have to roll our sleeves up and go back to work and battle. And we’re going to have to do it on the road … This reminds me of the Butler loss [61-54 at home] this time last year. For as good as we played for most of the game the other night, we just didn’t have it emotionally [tonight], and that’s on me. I think I have to get the guys worked up a little bit more emotionally.”

  • Jason

    Can anything be done to improve the FT shooting? Even the good shooters are missing at the line. It’s a plague. It has to be mental but I don’t understand the source.

    • Hallbuster

      Yes. Make them shoot underhand. Not kidding. They would make more

      • ThePirateFan

        Wilt says you can’t get chicks that way, so it’s a balancing act 🙂

        • shufaninva


          • ThePirateFan

            That’s no joke either. When he went off for 100 he was shooting underhand (that whole season I believe) because Rick Barry (one of the best ever) showed him how. Wilt didn’t like it even though he shot better that way because he thought it was feminine if I recall correctly.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Frustrating game. Interesting how Angel didn’t get that many touches in the second half. This has been a tough stretch, but there’s still time for us to come back. Let’s regroup and come back Saturday at G-Town.

  • regularJoe2

    Just a killer tonight. Does Willard have any set offensive plays? It’s all hero ball at times. Missed free throws, killed on the boards and offense utterly stagnant.

  • Joe J

    It’s amazing how this group of seniors have all regressed this season. There is nothing to learn from this loss as seniors. This season had high hopes and now is moving towards bubble status. Hopefully the next recruiting class can make a free throw. It’s hard to watch these seniors and team spiral downward. Did anyone say Coaching (or lack there of)?

    • True Blue

      100% agree. But I am starting to think that we are not as good we (They) think they are. Great kids but this could get ugly. Let’s see if Willard can earn his money now.

    • marco

      it’s disappointing because i expected more consistency from such a senior-heavy team… at the start of the year i thought they could reach the sweet sixteen, but my expectations have lowered… i still expect them to make the tourney, but i wouldn’t be shocked if they got bounced in the 1st round again… just too inconsistent… sorry meant to put this comment below true blue’s

    • PadrePirate

      Agree. I think Willard earns the lion-share of the blame, if they can’t manage to turn this around. But, still, it’s not just a coaching issue. Everyone’s got to own this and step up. How did the Johnnies beat Duke and Nova in one week? Are they more talented than our kids? Nope. It’s called heart, hunger, grit, whatever you want to call it. This is the time to muster up that extra energy or pack it up.

  • LBP

    Most disappointing loss for me to have watched in over 2 years. Always proud that this Team has played hard. The Team did not play hard tonite. Letting MU ( or any other Team ) shoot 63% from 3 and at the same time get out-rebounded by 10 is easily explained — the Team gave little effort. Only Walker and Cale played hard on D and Walker only got 10 minutes and M. Cale 8–while the MU guards wasted KC and M. Powell.
    What did M. Nzei do on D tonite ??– I will answer–nothing. Desi ??? He just stood around and Deeno did his let me dribble nowhere routine. Angel??? Pretty hard to be an MIA at 6’8″ and 250 but he was not seen–at least he had 0 fouls ( think about that for a second.)

    I respect all Teams in the Big East –but Athlete for Athlete at each position favored the Hall. There is no excuse for this loss. For what ever reason, the Players did not care enough and the Coach did nothing .

  • ThePirateFan

    Lotta people overreacting here. The team is closer to the bubble than they think, but the sky isn’t falling. Last two games they caught opponents shooting really well from 3, which had previously been this team’s strength. Lots of contested 3’s dropped for Marquette tonight.

    Is it just me, or is the hall getting fewer offensive boards lately? Delgado and Sanogo are more complete players now that they can face up a bit, but those shots (a) still aren’t as quality shots as guards shooting, driving, or post play from Angel, and (b) seem to get our bigs out of position for offensive boards though I’m not sure the numbers are bearing this out. Regardless, their face-up game has improved, but I don’t think utilizing it helps this team when there are better options.

    • Matty P

      They walked away with 9 offensive boards last night which appears to be a little lower than usual. The thing that’s been more concerning to me is they seem to be giving up more offensive rebounds to opponents which is allowing more second chance opportunities. The team can’t rely on Delgado grabbing every rebound and has to give him a little more help.

      • ThePirateFan

        True. A few years ago Ish was a top 3 rebounder in the conference. It’s a bummer he’s needed to D up perimeter players.

  • PadrePirate

    So impressed with the Johnnies and so disappointed in our guys. I expected a close game but not a loss. Not sure where we go from here. We’ve got a tough road trip coming up and not much juice left in the tank. At this point, I’d put my money on MU and John’s to make a run over our guys.

    Time to fly in Derrick Gordon for an overdue team meeting.

  • shufaninva

    Willard just needs to force them to take FT’s underhanded till they get this under control. Looking like a dork sucks, but losing looks worse.

  • shufaninva

    How is it that they can come out on Sunday like they were on crack, but last night it was back to the old slow starting Pirates? Coaching?? Self motivation?? Self accountability?? All are in play here!

  • shufaninva

    Walker brought a lot of energy when he was in there. Looks like Willard and Co. can’t decide if Gordon or Walker gives them better minutes.

    • SHU95

      Agree, I think they are basing the Walker/ Gordon thing on the matchup on a given night. Walker did some good things, but his style is such that he is likely viewed as a high risk/reward player at this stage of his career… I like him though.

      • ThePirateFan

        If I had to guess I’d say they value Walker’s D, which is a mistake in my opinion. He may be quicker laterally, but he gambles and gets ticky tack fouls as a result. Those fouls really hurt, especially when you’re playing a team that shoots FTs as well as Marquette’s guards do. It’s a mistake I expect him to fix as he matures, but when THIS is the year I don’t see how they can keep sending him out there. Gordon seems to have a much better grasp of how to handle the offense. Walker is a maniac with the rock, not in a good way.

  • 2003Pirate

    Well, losing vs Marquette means they now need to win three of four on the road and Beat Depaul at home, They need to be 10-6 heading into the final two games.

  • Coach Mike

    I have a question…being a poor foul shooting team, why is it that often we only have ONE player on the lane as the foul shot is being taken? I can understand if you want Angel back, but Nzei or Ish should be there to try to get a rebound. Poor FT, not enough ball movement and too many open 3s for MU (shot over 60% from 3 pt land) and SHU still hung in. They are a good team….not a great one. Need to get hot at the right time.

    • marco

      i suppose you could put another player in there, but they’ll probably just get called for a foul for going over the back… its difficult, right? i mean, it’s not like live play where defenders might be scrambling and you can get into a good rebounding position… on a free-throw, they’re set, waiting to box you out… and there’s not going to be a really big bounce off the rim on the free throw unless they’re trying to miss on purpose

  • 2003Pirate

    So after starting out 3-0 to open big east play, we’ve put together a 3-5 effort, with 4 of 5 on the road coming up. The next two weeks will be telling, if we don’t win 4 of the next five games, it will be time to reevaluate expectations for march.

    • marco

      i need to go back and watch the highlights of the texas tech game… by all accounts texas tech is a very good team and we beat them… albeit at msg… but to beat them, and to beat lousiville on the road… i’m not sure what’s happened to the pirates since, but those two wins give me a glimmer of hope…

  • RonD

    I predicted 10-8 at the start of the year based on several factors: inexperienced bench (after Nezi just 3 freshmen and a seldom used soph), lack of a point guard. I also had bought that what we saw last year was what we would be this year because juniors as good as they are don’t improve that much as seniors.

    After we started 3-0, I increased my expectations. But 3-5 since then. There is still time but we need minimal 3 wins to get to 20 wins and 9-9 in the league. Minimum for bubble territory.

  • z06

    Don’t know about the rest of the year,maybe 2 or 3 wins

  • Matty P

    Maybe 4 of 5 on the road will help this team bond a little more and figure out what each of them can do to improve as a team.

  • Joe J

    Questions: does anyone have faith in Willard leading this program after these Seniors graduate? What does Willard do well as a coach? Do his players improve every year? Is he good with X’s and O’s? Is he a good motivator? Does he take responsibility and accountability every year when his team goes into slumps? Do you ever think after a game “Boy, Willard really outcoached his counterpart”?

    • 2003Pirate

      I think you answered your own question here…
      IW15 was not ready for the NBA when he left SHU. He gave up two years of being a pheonominal college asset to being an also ran in the league.

      4 years ago KW had one of the best college recruiting classes in the nation. Was it a fluke he got these kids to come to Seton Hall? What has that class accomplished? a BET win, which was awesome, and awesome to see live. But since then zilch. Everyone keeps talking about how great they are, but they haven’t done anything since winning the BET two years ago. This season already has too many questionable losses, unless the all of a sudden go on a tear for the next 10 games…. Playing the first weekend in the tourney shouldn’t be expected.

    • LFR

      Well said!

  • Ardy

    crazy to see Powell hit that half court shot at the end of the game. He has just hit 2- 3pt field goals and they should’ve kept going to him. Desi took the last 2- 3tps and didn’t make them. They don’t have good plays for the shooters.Looks like Desi never really checked back in after the Creighton game.

  • PadrePirate

    At this point, is it reasonable to hope for a 9-9 BE finish with one win in the BET?
    That should be enough to squeak into the NCAA as an 11 or 12 seed.

    Suddenly, beating Gtown on the road seems like a tall task. We managed to contain Derrickson and Govan last time and out rebounded the Hoyas 27-24. Gut check time.

    “We need a lot of urgency,” Rodriguez said. “We need to get it together before it gets too late.” Yup.

    • Joe J

      Look how pathetic this season is becoming. Seton hall arguably has its best team talent wise in over 20 years and we are now in February hoping they could somehow squeak their way into the Tournament. Overrated? Coaching? A Lack of effort and passion for the game? The final 7 games should be interesting to see if they show up and play hard or quit. Delgado talks about this groups legacy. It’s time for him to lead on the court. The worst stat that stood out to me vs Marquette was that Delgado had 0 fouls in 35 minutes.
      How can that happen if you are playing hard in the paint? Very telling to me.

      • PadrePirate

        I just don’t know anymore about this group. I think their backs are against the wall, and they’ll come out swinging tonight. If they lose this game, then it’s time to turn off the lights on the famous season that could have been. If they win this one and pull off an upset @ Xav, I’ll jump back on board. Pretty dumb for Angel to be talking about legacy, when they may be sinking this season and their pro careers before our eyes. Sure, they’ve accomplished quite a bit in 4 yrs, but we were ALL expecting this year to be the next step forward, and instead it’s turning into a flop.