Five Thoughts, Five Quotes: Seton Hall snaps skid; Delgado sets rebound record

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Seton Hall played a strong game from start to finish and Angel Delgado snapped the Big East all-time rebounding record as the Pirates dispatched DePaul 86-70 in Chicago.

Five Thoughts:

Seton Hall received big contributions from their bench. There have been quite a few games where the Hall has only managed a bucket or two from their reserves, but nine guys scored and Mike Nzei (8p, 3r), Eron Gordon (5p, 3r), and even Sandro Mamukelashvili (3p, 1r) made noticeable differences today.

As pinpointed by Kevin Willard over the bye week, Seton Hall played at a pace and style that suited them. They officially scored just 10 points on the fast break, but some of the little things like pressing off missed foul shots and inbound passes before the entire DePaul team was set stuck out as little things we haven’t seen over their recent slump.

The Hall did their job defensively, particularly on Max Strus. The DePaul wing was defended physically by several Pirates and was held to just 8 points, tied for his lowest total in Big East play and just the second time he didn’t reach double figures since early December.

Angel Delgado dominated, and reached his milestone. It’s fitting the jovial Dominican native broke the all-time Big East rebounding record with a 19-rebound day to go along with 10 points, good for his 65th career double-double. Delgado also recorded four assists, and his passing was crisp, particularly early on.

Last week’s team may have crumbled during DePaul’s 16-6 second half surge. But this refreshed group — and particularly Myles Powell’s (21p) back-to-back threes — crushed the uprising swiftly.

Five Quotes:

Willard on Angel Delgado breaking the rebounding record:It’s amazing, I just named out some names that I grew up [watching] in this league. Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, all the great big guys who have played in this league, Derrick Coleman obviously the guy who led it.

“For him to break that record, it just shows the unbelievable hard work, the unbelievable effort he has given for this program every game. For him to do it and to get 19, not to have a 4, 5 rebound night. To have a dominating rebounding night, it’s only fitting. The greatest rebounder in Big East basketball history is a Seton Hall Pirate and that’s pretty darn cool.”

Willard on contributions from underclassmen, bench:I really got to see the young guys get sharp again [during bye week]. Getting my confidence in the young guys again was really important … I thought the bench played really, really well, obviously in the first half they came in and gave great energy offensively and defensively.”

Willard on Myles Powell’s game:I talked with Myles this week, the problem with Twitter and the press and everything, everyone was saying how great he is at putting it on the floor and how great he is at slashing, the problem with that over the last couple of games, is we don’t need him to do that all the time, what we need him to be right now is a sniper.

“We need him taking 14, 10, 12 threes a game, and people need to be aware that if we don’t find him, he’s going to shoot it. I talked to him yesterday after practice, I said ‘My man, I love the fact that you’re ball-faking and you’re driving, but that’s all you’re doing now. You have to take some bad threes, you have to take some deep threes, you have to take some ones in transition. You have to be the sniper that opens up the floor for Khadeen, for Desi, for Angel. If you’re out there just dribbling and trying to drive, you’re not the threat that you have been all year.’”

Willard on shutting down Max Strus, specifically Desi Rodriguez’s effort:I thought he [Desi] came out very focused defensively, worked very hard and used a lot of energy, I think that’s why he missed some shots he usually makes. And I think we did a really good job in our zone a little bit, making sure we’re going to give up a jumper to McCallum or Cain, but we’re not going to lose Strus, we’re going to make it very hard for him to make open-rhythm shots.”

Willard on the Ish Sanogo block which set up Powell’s three during DePaul’s run:That’s pretty much what he’s been doing, his energy level has been great defensively. He covers for everybody really, really well.”