Marquette up first on Seton Hall’s early road trip

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Fresh off of their most dominant win of the season, Seton Hall first heads to the midwest to embark on a three-game road trip filled with tests.

The Hall will first face Marquette for the second time this season in their third conference game before taking on Providence and then top-five Villanova in the span of six days, a stretch that should be labelled a success if Kevin Willard’s team can pick up two wins along the way.

A team that Seton Hall saw just over a week ago in Newark, the Golden Eagles may come out desperate on Wednesday night after Steve Wojciechowski labelled his guys as “noncompetitive” in a loss to Villanova on Sunday in which they fell behind by 30 in the second half.

It probably would have been better for the Pirates if Marquette came on the tail-end of the road trip since preparing for a team you beat just a week ago is unique.

“It’s probably easier because we’re going to know personnel,” explained Kevin Willard when asked if seeing the Golden Eagles again so soon is hard or easy.

“You probably have about two days [prepping] where you worry about yourself and two days where you worry about them. Where for Providence it will be a little tougher and obviously for ‘Nova, it’s a little different.”

After playing on Wednesday night and presumably flying overnight to Providence, Seton Hall will have just Thursday and Friday to get ready for a Saturday noon tip with the Friars. 

“Actually, I’ve gotten screwed a whole lot,” said Willard half-jokingly post-DePaul about if he has experienced this scheduling before.

“Last year I think was the first year I hadn’t had three in a row. We’ve gotten the short end of the stick quite a bit … we have seven games coming up against teams with more preparation time. It starts with Providence, then Villanova, and then it’s one after another after another, so we have to get mentally ready for that.”

A 48-hour turnaround that includes a trip south to Philly to take on a top-five team in a venue the Hall hasn’t won at since 1993 is the most daunting part of the journey.

“I complain and it’s just like being at home: no one listens.”

While Villanova certainly won’t be listening, it doesn’t sound like lead front-man Angel Delgado is either.

“That’s why we were on the road in the pre-season,” he said. “We went on the road to Hawaii, Orlando so we can be prepared for that. We have three games on the road and I feel like it’s regular for me now because we’ve did that before.”

Along with moving to 3-1 in conference, Seton Hall will have a chance to improve their winning streak against Marquette to four games since their brutal 78-56 first round exit at the Big East Tournament two seasons ago.

That’s a far cry from the Pirates’ 1-13 mark in Big East play from 2005 — when Marquette joined the league — until 2014.

Three things to watch against Marquette:

Marquette may be down to eight scholarship players again. Point guard Duane Wilson has missed all but six minutes of conference play since picking up a groin injury against Georgetown and it looks like he could be out yet again after not playing against Villanova. Even if he goes, he probably won’t be 100-percent and this provides a noticeable boost for the Hall. Seton Hall will be keen on forcing another five turnovers from freshman point guard Markus Howard while keying in on Katin Reinhardt around the perimeter will be another major focal point for Ish Sanogo.

Turnovers and rebounds will be major factors. Forget free-throws for now, the rebounding and ball security battles will prove vital on Wednesday. Seton Hall was just +3 on the glass in the first meeting and turned it over 17 times to Marquette’s 16, which will partially explain the close margin as free-throws were a non-factor. Unlike DePaul, Wojo can throw two 6-10 guys at Angel Delgado to try and own the paint more.

Angel Delgado is a double-double away from tying history. As noted post-DePaul, Delgado will tie the late Eddie Griffin’s mark of 10-straight double-doubles that he set back in 2001 if he can post his 12th of the season. Angel is on the brink of setting a modern school record; he will also pass Adrian Griffin (803) into eighth place if he can snare seven or more boards.

KenPom says: No. 38 Marquette 82, No. 49 Seton Hall 77 (31%)

Last 10 meetings (SH 4-6; 5-15 in Big East; Willard is 5-8)

Jan. 1, 2017, Seton Hall 69, Marquette 66, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 3, 2016, Seton Hall 79, Marquette 62, Newark, N.J.
Dec. 30, 2015, Seton Hall 83, Marquette 63, Milwaukee, Wisc.
March 11, 2015, Marquette 78, Seton Hall 56, New York City, N.Y.
Feb. 7, 2015, Marquette 57, Seton Hall 54, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 28, 2015, Seton Hall 80, Marquette 70, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Feb. 11, 2014, Marquette 77, Seton Hall 66, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 11, 2014, Marquette 67, Seton Hall 66, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Feb. 19, 2013, Marquette 67, Seton Hall 46, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 16, 2013, Marquette 69, Seton Hall 62, Milwaukee, Wisc.

Projected Marquette starters
PG – Markus Howard
G – Haanif Cheatham
G/F – JaJuan Johnson
G/F – Sam Hauser
C – Luke Fischer

Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Madison Jones
G – Khadeen Carrington
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Ish Sanogo
F – Angel Delgado

When: Wednesday, 7PM ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: AM970 (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin) / SIRIUS 134 / XM 201
Opening line: Seton Hall +5