Myles Powell takes home Big East Player of the Year amid coronavirus escalation

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Terry Dehere (1993) and Dan Callandrillo (1982) have official company in the three-man Mount Rushmore of Seton Hall hoops. His name is Myles Powell.

What Trenton makes, the Big East and the world take. Myles Powell is your 2020 Big East Player of the Year.

“No. 13, from Trenton. For one more time… Heee is, Myles Powell!”

That was PA announcer Tim McLoone’s last starting lineup call for Powell, who is 21 points away from passing Callandrillo into second place in all-time scoring for the Pirates.

The three are in a class all by themselves in modern Hall history.

The current star in South Orange received his league hardware not long after being tapped by Sporting News as a first team All-American, beating out Marquette’s Markus Howard and Saddiq Bey of Villanova, both also unanimous Big East first teamers.

With Seton Hall set to clash with Marquette for the sixth time in the past two seasons on Thursday night, an uncharted thing is about to happen.

The game may will be played without any fans.

Following the proactive yet grim announcement from the N.C.A.A. this afternoon that March Madness will be played without fans in attendance and the subsequent Big Ten declaration that starting Thursday their tournament will have barren stands, it seems inevitable that the Big East will follow suit at some point during tonight’s first round games.

Edit 8AM 3/12: And after the NBA suspending play last night after a Utah Jazz player tested positive, resulting in several prior opponents requiring quarantines, it seems even more likely that the escalation will continue beyond the Big East announcing that Thursday’s games and beyond will have no fans.

This all comes after a Wednesday morning statement from associate director Stu Jackson that the tournament was to go ahead as planned: with fans at every game.

It’s truly a fluid situation that puts many travel plans, purchased tickets, and other logistics in jeopardy across the nation.

And I hate to say, but if a player from any of the remaining teams in N.C.A.A. contention tests positive?

The precedent internationally has been to quarantine the entire team and any opponents they played met within a certain span of days.

That could put the entire tournament in jeopardy.

It flat out sucks that this sort of thing is happening at all, but specifically during this Seton Hall season.

The season where they have Final Four potential late in the year for the first time in nearly 30 years.

The first time in their current streak of tournament appearances where they have a very real shot at a preferable first weekend site that’s driveable for fans — Albany.

And the season where there was a realistic shot of seeing the team in a Sweet Sixteen game in the Garden.

A generational opportunity is off the table, and it came in the same hour that Myles Powell was given a historic piece of hardware.

What a shame.

But while some of you say that’s a negative take, and you’re not wrong, it’s also very real.

Of course at the end of the day the moments that this team and player have created aren’t erased and will remain historic, but concurrently, it’s O.K. to say the timing kind of sucks.

You may be wondering: Why couldn’t this have all gone down while Bobby Gonzalez was shoplifting in both a literal and figurative sense?

If only.

That said, I’ve figured out what the silver lining is.

What if Seton Hall, one of the nation’s best road teams, makes a deep run beyond New York? (Assuming the games go on in some capacity of course.)

What if Myles Powell, who averaged 25.8 ppg in league road games, turned into Kemba Walker and powered Seton Hall to cutting down the nets in Atlanta, or the Palestra, or Rucker Park for all we know? (The N.C.A.A. is considering moving late round sites to small venues.)

The year that March Madness was cancelled for fans. The year that no one could ever forget for that very reason. The tournament that in some (or all) ways will be watched even closer just due to the spectacle that is a potentially Halley’s comet like event.

For now, it kind of seems like another flavor of John Clougherty.

But what if this is Seton Hall’s year?

It would be an infamous engraving into college hoops history.

At present, it seems like that’s the best we can hope for.