Preview: No. 23 Seton Hall hosts No. 25 Creighton in Big East-opener

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There’s no rest for the weary in the Big East and No. 23 Seton Hall will take on high-flying No. 25 Creighton on Thursday night to jump-start their conference campaign.

Ish Sanogo‘s suspension status is still up in the air, although the senior forward did pen this sincere apology a few hours after Kevin Willard said there was no change in his status on a Big East teleconference.

While it looks like the door can be open to an earlier return than possible, I’d be somewhat surprised if Sanogo is in action for Creighton given the suspected infraction that he committed. 

Winners of their last five, the Jays have scored over 90 points in eight of their 12 games, making Sanogo’s presence all the more important.

The match-up is by far the most exciting of the night on paper according to KenPom; here are three plot lines to keep an eye on as Seton Hall looks to start conference play on a positive note.

Three things to watch

Seton Hall has not done well when Khadeen Carrington doesn’t perform at point guard. Carrington, Myles Powell & Co. will be tested early and often by guard Marcus Foster (19.5 ppg, 2.4 apg) and it’ll be interesting to track how that battle goes, especially Carrington’s offensive efficiency given what he will have to do defensively. Willard on his lead guard’s form:  “I think the biggest think over the last couple weeks, what I’ve tried to really harp on Khadeen is the team’s playing good because our point guard is playing good, and he’s our point guard.”

Creighton’s offense is similar (but better) to the Hall’s when it has been clicking. The Jays rack up assists and have a top-50 assist:field goal made ratio, but only one guy (Kaleb Joseph) averages over 3 apg, indicating that it’s a team effort. Coincidentally, they sport the nation’s best two-pointer percentage, but 36-percent of their points come from three (compared to 25% for the Hall), good for 66th in the country. Willard better have his team prepared to defend in transition — something they’ve not been great at — as Creighton has the sixth-shortest average possession length; they also have the ninth-best turnover percentage. Those are some scary stats.

Khryi Thomas has become Creighton’s equivalent of Sanogo, he may be tasked with defending Desi Rodriguez. As you know, Rodriguez tapped into another level of his game earlier in the season and while that has tapered off a little bit of late, he is still the Pirates’ most explosive scorer. Keep an eye on if Thomas (15.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.4 spg) gets the nod to defend him.

KenPom says: No. 21 Seton Hall 85, No. 29 Creighton 80

Series history: (6-4 SH since 1990-91)

Projected Creighton starters
G – Davion Mintz
G – Marcus Foster
F – Khyri Thomas
F – Martin Krampelj
F – Toby Hegner

Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Khadeen Carrington
G – Myles Powell
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Mike Nzei
F – Angel Delgado

TV: 6:30ET, FS1
Radio: AM970 / SIRIUS 137 / XM 201
Opening line: Seton Hall -4

  • Quotes from Kevin Willard during the Big East teleconference earlier this week:
    http://dalydoseofhoops.blogspot.com/2017/12/kevin-willard-quote-book-big-east.html

  • Andrew Herbst

    This will be a great test tonight. It will come down to turnovers and free throws. GO PIRATES!

  • PadrePirate

    If we can hold Creighton to 80 pts (KenPom prediction), I can’t see us losing. I’m not sure we’re up for this defensively. Need an explosive start to set the tone and get the Rock rockin. Ball movement ke

  • Larry Karg

    Looking for a great crowd tonight – getting closer to sellout of the lower bowl!

  • z06

    After watching the big East games last nite the league is a fight every game,
    Need to make foul shots and cut back on turnovers.the Hall will have a rough time with a lot of teams and need to win Home against the Best and Win on the Road.

    • VinBick

      Z, two of the three BE games last night displayed how difficult the conference games will be for the PIrates, Actually, all three games showed how tough our competition will be going forward. Nova deserves its number one ranking.

      X, Marquette, and Butler are going to be dancing come March. Seven of our teams made the big dance last year, but that number may drop to five or six this year. We are up against the big boys from here on out. Even the bottom four programs in the league–Providence, St John’s, Georgetown, and DePaul will steal a few wins along the way. Our losses to R.I. and RU prove we are by no means invincible.
      Willard continues to go out of his way to praise the play of Carrington. That sounds like a confidence issue is impacting our point guard. Passing the rock to Desi, Myles, and Angel nine out of ten times down the court will produce lots of wins.

  • The Other Matt

    Any hint as to what the suspected infraction may be?

    • shu_92

      Im going to “guess” it has to do with marijuana. I’ll also add its ridiculous he’s being suspended for a plant if that’s the case.

      • The Other Matt

        That honestly was, and is, my thinking as well.

  • shufaninva

    “Jays rack up assists and have a top-50 assist:field goal made ratio, but only one guy (Kaleb Joseph) averages over 3 apg, indicating that it’s a team effort. Coincidentally, they sport the nation’s best two-pointer percentage, but 36-percent of their points come from three (compared to 25% for the Hall), good for 66th in the country. Willard better have his team prepared to defend in transition — something they’ve not been great at — as Creighton has the sixth-shortest average possession length; they also have the ninth-best turnover percentage. Those are some scary stats.”

    I am floored by that paragraph. Sounds like Creighton is severely underrated. Take the name Creighton out of that paragraph, and I would guess that is a top ten team in the country.

  • LBP

    The Fun starts tonight– Ish will now dress and have to believe he plays ( the opening line jumped from -2.5 to -5 and I believe it is related to Ish). Believe the Hall wins by 8 and key to Game will be Deeno shooting. Also think speed of Frosh will help slow down the Bluejays shooting % and Angel will do what he does.

    • The Other Powell

      Good call, LBP! Angel certainly showed up tonight. Bring on the rest of these BE teams! Great win!

      • LBP

        Great Fun at the rack but this Team will drive us nutz– Team played D as poorly as you can believe in first half and then decides it can become best D Team in Big East

  • The Other Powell

    I know I’m posting pre-win here…but how bout the second half defensive adjustment?! Gotta give it to Willard here. Go Hall!