In-form Seton Hall to host pesky DePaul on Saturday morning

Fresh off of a resounding 83-63 win over Marquette in their Big East opener, Seton Hall (11-2) returns home Saturday morning to face a DePaul (6-7) team that has taken three straight games from the Pirates.

The Blue Demons have lost three of their last four under first year head coach Dave Leitao, but all the losses have come against top-100 KenPom teams while their win was a 21-point stunner over ranked George Washington. DePaul most recently lost by 12 at home to Georgetown on Wednesday night.

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Desi Rodriguez battles against Aaron Simpson last season.

This DePaul team is very similar to last season with familiar names like Billy Garrett Jr. (point guard), Myke Henry (forward) and Rashaun Stimage (forward) occupying starting roles.

Leitao goes about eight players deep including a significant role from St. Benedict’s Prep product Eli Cain and spot minutes from freshman guard Erten Gazi, a native of Cyprus. Center Tommy Hamilton (9.5, 6.8 rpg) has split time as the starting five with Stimage, but is the more potent scorer for Angel Delgado to keep an eye on.

Garrett Jr. (14.6 ppg, 3.8 apg) and Henry (13 ppg, 5.5 rpg) do the heavy lifting for DePaul; the former scored 20 and dished seven assists against George Washington while Henry has scored in double figures in every game but three. Garret Jr.’s battle with Isaiah Whitehead will be fun to watch while Henry will probably be dogged by Ismael Sanogo.

Like Seton Hall, DePaul isn’t overly potent from beyond the arc, but Garrett Jr. (12-43, 28%) and Aaron Simpson (24-48, 50%) take by far the most attempts. Rasaun Stimage has the 20th-best block percentage in the country while Myke Henry’s 56-of-84 (67%) mark from inside the arc is ranked 40th nationally.

The storylines are obvious here: Seton Hall has been bothered by DePaul for the better part of four seasons now including their last three meetings. Going even further back, the gut-punch 86-58 loss at DePaul in 2012 really crippled that Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope-led team.

The Hall also has a date with Villanova on Wednesday that could distract a team with quite a few underclassmen on it. If the Pirates can focus and play as hard as they did in Milwaukee, there’s no reason why they can’t win by 10-15 points.

Angel Delgado has posted six double-doubles in a row, Isaiah Whitehead is at the top of his game, Ismael Sanogo and Derrick Gordon are doing all the little things (plus playing tough as nails) while Desi Rodriguez is coming off a career-high 19 points in just 20 minutes of action.

Series history (Seton Hall 10-6 all-time)

Feb. 3, 2015, DePaul 75, SETON HALL 62, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 22, 2015, DePaul 64, SETON HALL 60, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 25, 2014, DePaul 65, SETON HALL 60, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 25, 2014, SETON HALL 86, DePaul 69, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 2, 2013, SETON HALL 73, DePaul 72, Rosemont, Ill.
Mar. 3., 2012, DePaul 86, SETON HALL 58, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 10, 2012, SETON HALL 94, DePaul 73, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 12, 2011, SETON HALL 78, DePaul 67, Rosemont, Ill.
Feb. 14, 2010, SETON HALL 79, DePaul 71, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 10, 2009, SETON HALL 72, DePaul 49, Rosemont, Ill.
Feb. 23, 2008, SETON HALL 73, DePaul 71, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 25, 2006, DePaul 67, SETON HALL 64, Rosemont, Ill.
Dec. 27, 2003, SETON HALL 76, DePaul 62, East Rutherford, N.J.
Dec. 28, 2002, DePaul 52, SETON HALL 41, Rosemont, Ill.
Dec. 29, 1988, SETON HALL 83, DePaul 60, New Orleans, La.
Feb. 25, 1942, SETON HALL 36, DePaul 33, South Orange, N.J.

KenPom says: No. 39 Seton Hall 77, No. 159 DePaul 64 (88%)

Projected DePaul starters:

PG – Billy Garrett Jr. (14.6 ppg, 3.8 apg)
SG – Aaron Simpson (9.3 ppg)
G – Eli Cain (8.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
F – Myke Henry (13 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
F – Rashaun Stimage (5 ppg, 3.8 rpg)

Projected Seton Hall starters:

PG – Isaiah Whitehead (14.9 ppg, 4.3 apg)
G – Khadeen Carrington (13.8 ppg)
G/F – Desi Rodriguez (12.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg)
F – Ismael Sanogo (5.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
F – Angel Delgado (9.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg)

When: 11am, Saturday
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: AM 970 (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin)
Opening line: TBD