Five Thoughts, Five Quotes: No. 23 Seton Hall takes down Wagner with Jordan Walker in tow

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NEWARK — It wasn’t always pretty, but No. 23 Seton Hall had an explosive first half on the offensive end and scrapped past Wagner in the second en route to an 89-68 bounce-back win.

Five Thoughts

Jordan Walker didn’t play tonight, but he made strides toward mending fences. The freshman point guard was active as always on the bench — he was in full uniform — and took the time to shake hands with fans and take pictures with younger Pirates well after his teammates were back in the locker room. That’s a really good start.

Myles Powell has been playing with a heavy heart. If you haven’t heard or made the connection, his brother has been arrested and charged with a murder at an Applebees down near Trenton a few weeks ago. With tears forming in his eyes, Myles was gracious enough to make a brief statement on the situation, see below.

Khadeen Carrington showed leadership tonight. After one of his worst offensive games in 2.5 years at Rutgers, he was nearly flawless in all aspects tonight and set a Seton Hall record for most three-pointers made in a game without missing with six on the night. His three in the first half (plus an and-one) were key to widening the gap.

We’re fortunate that Desi Rodriguez wasn’t more seriously hurt. Kevin Willard brushed it off post-game, saying he knows when Desi is hurt compared to when he is upset he missed a dunk, and he made a long joke about how it was the latter. Willard said Desi usually runs down a flight of stairs and yells in the locker room when on campus, and said he was just happy he didn’t have to run down stairs tonight. But on a more serious note, Rodriguez was tip-toeing a fine line late in the second half and nearly got himself more seriously injured for nothing more than a chest-thumping contest when the score had already been decided. 

Angel Delgado (15p, 10r, 5a) bullied Wagner when he had to. He was up against a smaller front line for the first time in quite a few games and made it look easy in all facets without ever really breaking a sweat. 

Five Quotes:

Willard on the team refocusing: “We took a couple days off after Saturday … We controlled the game and then the way we lost it was disappointing, so I thought it was important the guys cleared their head a little bit. I thought we came back yesterday especially and really practiced with a purpose again. The guys came out with that purpose and did what they had to do to get a ‘W'”

On Khadeen Carrington’s bounce-back night:  “The tough thing about Saturday night was he took good shots … The big thing for him was I wanted him to be a leader the last few days. I thought he came to practice very aggressive and very focused, and that rubbed off on everybody. I thought his mindset led him to this game.”

On the Jordan Walker situation: “Jordan is a freshman who is going through it, who has a had a tough, though time because he has been hurt. It seemed like it was a lot longer, but it was only really a four hour span that we went through it. Him and his parents and me had a great conversation Tuesday night and it was good for him to hear my thoughts and I thought it was very good for me to hear his thoughts. We’re glad to have him back, I think he’s going to have a bright future. I think everyone has to understand he has had a really tough go of it with his injury and he hasn’t been able to play and it’s very frustrating for a freshman.”

[When followed up about what Walker can bring to the table]: “It’s what I talked to him about. ‘You can’t get frustrated, I’m not frustrated—‘ I’m not sure what he can do. I think I know what he can do. I think he’s frustrated with the fact that he wants to show it but he hasn’t had a shot yet and that’s understandable. I kind of understand those things. I think the big thing was me and him getting on the same page and we are.”

Khadeen Carrington on bouncing back: “I know how long the season is. That’s what I try to tell these guys. We took a bad loss on Saturday, but you can’t dwell on that. You just have to bounce back in the next one and I thought we did a great job of that. It was real hard [to get over the loss], it was a little harder for me because [Rutgers guard] Mike Williams kept texting me [laughs].”

Carrington on Jordan Walker: “Just staying focused. Right now he’s not getting a lot of minutes, he’s coming off of injury, and he has a bunch of guys ahead of him — it’s a veteran team. He just has to stay focused and trust in coach, trust in us, and listen to what we say.”

Bonus quote (it’s a somber one):

Myles Powell on his brother’s arrest in relation to a murder charge: “It’s been kind of hard. I mean, when you go through stuff like that, the only thing you can do is pray to God that the best things come out [of it]. When I talk to him, I just tell him I’m going hard for him. That’s who I want to dedicate this season to. I’m just going to leave it at that.”

  • LBP

    Myles Powell has carried his burden with grace and dignity. I am proud to be a fellow “Hallian ” with this great Kid

    • Ardy

      Wow. That even gives me greater respect for this kids toughness and focus. He had a good game. It is a shame how people put others family business in the open. I wonder if they would put their own family problems out in the open also. Every family has them. Seems unfair to do to a fellow pirate.Had nothing to do with the game tonight. I respect how mature he responded. More mature than most.

      • It was the first time Myles was available to the media since the incident, and a fellow reporter asked him a general question about how his last few weeks have been, and he answered with this quote.

        It’s certainly something to be mentioned and it was far from something I featured, I thought it treated it delicately by slipping it into a game note/quotebook. Fans don’t “deserve” to know it, but I think one can think of his on-court play in a different light now knowing what he’s going through.

        As far as family problems in the open, Myles made a long social media post about it a week or two ago and his account is far from private, with thousands of followers including many Seton Hall fans who already knew. It wasn’t like anyone was prying.

        • Coach Mike

          Chris- I think you handled it properly as low key and it is public knowledge.

      • VinBick has no respect for our program. How long do you think they will continue to include Rutgers game videos in stories unrelated to that game? Everyone knows that Seton Hall is the best college basketball team in New Jersey and ranked in the Top-25.

        Myles Powell is a star player and prayers go out to him and his family.

      • Joseph Attanasi

        Ardy, who do you actually have a problem with, Chris?

        • Ardy

          I have a problem on how this was done. It was the 1st time he was available and they didn’t talk about the good game he has but they started picking at his fresh scab. Chris said it was already public knowledge. Then why bring it up again with an added link?
          I just feel for the kid. He is not giving the team trouble and is the 2nd leading scorer on the team in spite of all that is going on. Nobody asked for us to offer our support and neither did they offer any support for the fellow pirate. It is ok to have your favorite players, but you don’t have to put down another player to do it. Prayers to him and the families involved!

          • It was one of the last questions asked and there were plenty of smiles and good ones before it. I just didn’t include them in my coverage. It’s tough to include all quotes in a timely fashion and I dedicate my effort to doing that in more important games.

            Anyway for a hoops-related quote: Myles was semi-serious and said that NJ is still a blue state despite the media coverage and quotes from RU saying it was red. Little bit of a fun banter between him, RU, and media.

          • Ardy

            Just surprised that you picked that quote that brought tears to the players eyes than the ones that brought smiles before it. To use that with the added link was alarming and distasteful admit it or not. Just goes to show that even good people can make a bad decision
            Noted. Moving on.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I hope Walker learns from this and grows from it. I don’t want Desi trying those kind of dunks anymore. Too dangerous.

  • PadrePirate

    Good to see KC regain some confidence. Wise of KW not to give any minutes just yet to JW. Time to eat a little humble pie after making such a fuss.

    As for the team, I’d like to see these guys rise above the trash talk and emotional play. That can get you revved up but it can also work against you, as we saw vs RU. It’s smarter to stick to your game and not get into the pushing, name calling, etc. That almost cost us Desi for the season, trying to show up the other dude on the dunk.

    • Joe Schmoe

      let the scoreboard do the talking.

  • Sorry, accidentally left a couple words out of Myles’ quote on his brother. He said “That’s who I want to dedicate this season to — my big brother.” Regardless…