Previewing George Washington: Potential road scalp awaits Seton Hall

Following a second straight strong second half performance, Seton Hall will head south to D.C. to take on a very talented George Washington team on Wednesday night.

Ranked just outside the top-25 coming into last past week after taking down top-10 Virginia 73-68 at home, the Colonials (6-1) beat Gardner-Webb and Tennessee but narrowly lost to a strong Cincinnati team 61-56 on Saturday. Now ranked 29th in the AP poll, GW will be looking to set the record straight after a 58-54 loss in Newark last November.

For Seton Hall (5-1), winning in D.C. will certainly constitute a resume win at this juncture and one in a venue that Virginia faltered at to boot. The last time Willard’s Pirates won four in a row, they were coming off a win at the Paradise Jam and preparing for GW. Now to get to four in a row, the Hall has to beat the Atlantic 10 school again.

Stats to know:

After logging just 96 minutes last season, Ismael Sanogo has already seen the court for 189 and is leading the team in percentage of total minutes played (78.8%). Improvement.

Isaiah Whitehead is used on 33% of Seton Hall’s possessions and takes 35.8% of their total shots, both nationally ranked percentages (18th & 12th, respectively). Offensive engine.

Over the last five games, a combination of Whitehead, Carrington, Rodriguez, Sanogo, Delgado and Gordon has been on the court for 46% of the total game. Core lineup.

Scouting George Washington:

Using much of the same well-balanced and defensively sound GW team that you remember from last season, head coach Mike Lonergan has mostly been utilizing a six-, maybe seven-man rotation. GW remains largely unchanged from last season save the transfer of Kethan Savage to Butler and the key addition of 6-9 Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh.

Kevin Larsen (12.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.3 apg) will battle with Angel Delgado up front while guys like 6-6 wing Patricio Garino (16.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 12-17 3pt), 6-8 stretch-four Yuta Watanabe (9.3 ppg, 8-29 3pt) and even forward Tyler Cavanaugh (15 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 5-16 3pt) will try to hurt you from beyond the arc.

While a lot of guys will attempt threes, GW has been largely inefficient from deep (31.7%) while their percentage of points from the free throw line is 53rd-most in the country; Kevin Larsen is 103rd in free throw rate.

Outside of lead guard Joe McDonald (7.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.1 apg), all of GW’s starters are 6-foot-6 or taller (I’ll touch on this below), which has definitely contributed to their 51st-best defensive efficiency rating. While former Pirate Jaren Sina is ineligible this season, high school teammate Alex Mitola, a graduate transfer from Dartmouth, comes off the bench at two-guard and is averaging 3.7 ppg (3-19 3pt). Mitola is joined by point guard and (another) Jersey native Paul Jorgensen (7.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 apg) as the two main guys off GW’s bench; the Colonials don’t have much depth at forward.

Three things to watch:

Angel Delgado vs Kevin Larsen. In one of his first very good games last season, Delgado (10 pts, 10 rebs) bested Larsen (3 pts, 8 rebs) at the Rock but hasn’t quite met expectations consistently so far this campaign. Larsen is 103rd best in the country at drawing fouls and Delgado has been a little foul prone over the first few games; this will be a big stage for Angel to step up.

The wing battle. Patricio Garino is once again leading the Colonials in scoring and has been very efficient (12-17) from three, naturally making him a focal point for Seton Hall defensively; perhaps Ish Sanogo will guard him. Regardless, Desi Rodriguez will also have to help out against a taller Tyler Cavanaugh while Derrick Gordon will be matched up with either Garino or the taller Yuta Watanabe. Any way you slice it, Seton Hall’s conventional starters have a size disadvantage and will have to play big and guard out to the perimeter or Willard will have to use Braeden Anderson/Mike Nzei more often.

More efficient offense. Seton Hall was lucky their defense clamped down against Georgia because their offense was fairly shaky. The Hall went on several scoring droughts, one of which was eight minutes long, but were bailed out by some strong individual play from Isaiah Whitehead at the end of both halves. The ball movement was good early on against Georgia but it quickly tapered off as substitutions were made; Whitehead finished without an assist. Seton Hall looked lost when Georgia went zone down the stretch but just 10 turnovers overall is a relative bright spot; GW does not force turnovers at a high rate.

KenPom says: No. 47 George Washington 74, No. 71 Seton Hall 68 (27%)

Projected GW starters:

G – Joe McDonald
G/F – Patricio Garino
F – Yuta Watanabe
F – Tyler Cavanaugh
C – Kevin Larsen

Projected Seton Hall starters:

PG – Isaiah Whitehead
G – Khadeen Carrington
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Ismael Sanogo
PF – Angel Delgado

Time: Wednesday, 7et
TV: American Sports Network
Radio: 970 AM (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin)
Opening line: Seton Hall +7

After some tweets from you guys and official information from Seton Hall, here is how you can watch the game:

To watch via the American Sports Network – which is only available on DirecTV and Dish, check here.

If  you have a different cable provider, you’re in luck. The Atlantic 10 doesn’t usually stream games for free, but George Washington MBB and WBB games are indeed free. Here is a link to where you can watch the game via online stream (check the right hand side for events).