Previewing Dartmouth: Seton Hall looking to start season on front foot

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Following an uneasy preseason that included a nail-biting exhibition against D-III Baruch College and a three-point loss to Penn State in a scrimmage, Seton Hall will be looking to come out with a bang on Friday night against Dartmouth.

Scouting Dartmouth:

Picked sixth (out of eight) in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll, Dartmouth appears to be an appropriate opening night test for the Hall.

As examined here as part of my Preview Series, the Big Green (14-15, 7-7) lose their top two scorers from last season in center Gabas Maldunas (11.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg), and shooting guard Alex Mitola (12.4 ppg, 2.7 apg). Head coach Paul Cormier will also be without four-year starter John Golden (4.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg).

Point guard Malik Gill, wing Miles Wright and forward Connor Boehm are the core three returnees for Dartmouth that will shoulder most of the load early on. At 5-foot-9, Gill was a nuisance last year and registered the 3rd-best steal percentage in the country.

Outside of these three, it looks like 6-foot-8 freshman Evan Boudreaux will get a bunch of minutes after starting in Dartmouth’s exhibition while freshman shooting guard Guilien Smith could see a significant role after scoring 14 points (3-6 3pters) in the same exhibition.

Three things to watch:

Seton Hall’s three-point defense. Giving up 12 three pointers against both D-III Baruch (lot of open looks), and Penn State (albeit in a scrimmage) is not a good look. The Hall’s perimeter defense was once top-5 in the nation last season before slipping slightly to 12th at the end of the season. I wrote a brief analysis on the legitimacy of that statistic here. After losing Alex Mitola, 6-foot-4 guard Taylor Johnson is probably Dartmouth’s best threat from deep.

Dictating the battle in the paint. Kevin Willard noted post-Baruch that their small size from point guard to their five made them hard to guard. I understand the point he’s making, but it can also be said that Seton Hall’s far superior size should have been used more effectively. Angel Delgado sat most of the first half with two fouls, but I only saw one or maybe two true post plays (one was a nice Rashed Anthony basket) and Braeden Anderson didn’t get much time at all. The Hall needs a lot better play in this area and with Ismael Sanogo and Desi Rodriguez listed as projected starters, perhaps there will be a greater focus here.

Creating open looks for teammates. There wasn’t nearly enough of this against Baruch and the ball movement, particularly in the half court, was certainly not at the level that we saw early last season and during portions of the Big East schedule. Isaiah Whitehead certainly needs to score this season, but he also needs to create for his teammates once defenses start to key in on him; there wasn’t a ton of this against Baruch.

Pre-game quotes:

Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier: “I understand why we were picked sixth or seventh in the preseason polls by various groups having lost three starters to graduation. The league is as strong as it has ever been with many teams continually raising the bar. But I have a group of very determined guys who expect to keep pushing this program forward, and we have a chance of being more than simply decent. This team has a very high ceiling, and I for one am excited to see how high we can go.”

KenPom says: No. 82 Seton Hall – 74, No. 228 Dartmouth 62 (87%)

Projected Dartmouth starters:

Stats from last season
PG – Malik Gill (6 ppg, 3.2 apg)
G – Taylor Johnson (2.4 ppg)
G – Miles Wright (7.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
F – Evan Boudreaux (freshman)
F – Connor Boehm (9.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg)

Projected Seton Hall starters:

PG – Isaiah Whitehead (12 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G – Khadeen Carrington (8.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
F – Desi Rodriguez (5.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
F – Ismael Sanogo (.5 ppg, 1 rpg)
F/C – Angel Delgado (9.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg)

Time: 7pm ET
TV: YES Network (locally)
Radio: 970 AM (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin)
Opening line: Seton Hall -12

  • PadrePirate

    Regardless of final score, this game will not be a true W in my book, unless we see 4 things tonight:

    – a double digit lead for most of the night
    – at least 6-8 assists from IW
    – some good work from the paint, a double/double from Angel and decent boards by the other PFs
    – defense holds them to under 10 threes for Pete’s sake (do it for Dill!)

    • fouline

      Agree that we have to see more than a win. It’s easy to get through a game like this. But the team and Willard & Company have to show us something – improvement and potential.

      Good luck guys

    • Most, if not all of these requirements were met. True win? 🙂

      • PadrePirate

        I thought so. Didn’t see the game live. I only rely on the box score and your break down. Seemed like a decent first outing. Some areas still need work. I’ll get my first look at them live tomorrow at Walsh. Go Pirates!

  • hallstorm

    One thing is being ranked 73rd (and fairly given their collapse last year), but another is having the wrong icon/mascot next to the school’s name:

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/insider/story/_/id/14097655/ranking-every-division-college-basketball-team-1-351

  • hallstorm

    I’m very interested in seeing how the recent rule changes will impact all teams, but most importantly us. The scary thing is that a team can not call timeouts while the ball is in play, so I’m expecting a TON of weave plays during the end of each half.

    The other rule change that will impact us is the 4′ from the basket rule. Not that we take charges (ever) because we play a lazy zone defense, but since we are outsized often there will be even more fouls called beneath the hoop as this rule really favors the scorer (other teams’ big men). Expect a ridiculous amount of substitutions for our big men.

  • LBP

    Well with 8 minutes left in first half , Dartmouth out-hussling on Oand D and looks like Willard has not had a prctice of either O or D–

  • steve8

    Cant see game on tv. Anyone have a link to a stream?

  • PadrePirate

    Not a bad win. The boys gave me most of my wish list (below):

    – Double digit lead from 14 min to the end
    – IW had 8 assists, no “ball-hog” in my book
    – Defense held them to 6-18 from three
    – Dominated the boards 45 to something like 18

    However, 20 TO’s and 51% from the stripe are SHAMEFUL. Need work.

    Angel seemed to have a rough night offensively. Luckily Ish, Dez, and Nzei stepped up.

    Wondering why Anderson or Veer didn’t get much action…