Rapid Reaction: Seton Hall edged by JP Macura, Xavier 73-64

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NEWARK, N.J. — Leading by ten after an explosive start to the second half, it looked like Seton Hall had turned the corner in a physical affair.

But it wasn’t to be as Xavier and JP Macura, who scored 18 in the second half and 27 on the day.

Seton Hall got off to an electric 13-5 start that was a polar opposite of what transpired in Omaha, aside from another early burst from Desi Rodriguez (19p, 4r, 7 TOs).

Naturally, Xavier responded well and it looked like we were in for a high-scoring affair in the 80s before some strong defense from both sides intervened.

With Ish Sanogo (8p, 7r) receiving his first start since mid-December, it was no surprise that the Hall and Sanogo initiated the defensive play.

The Newark native held Trevon Bluiett to 15 points, though most of them came late and when he was on the bench, before picking up his fourth foul and a right shoulder injury mid-way through the second half. The untimely injury came after four quick offensive rebounds out of the half; Sanogo would return to the game.

Aside from Sanogo’s individual play, the Pirates allowed just one hoop for a six-minute first half spawn before Xavier reciprocated by pitching a shutout for a four-minute span late in the half.

Sanogo single-handedly propelled the Hall to a 10-point advantage just two minutes in the second half, but it was all downhill from there.

Seton Hall would score just 13 points over the final ten minutes after leading 51-47 following a Rodriguez dunk in the open court after a deflected steal.

The Pirates fall to 15-5, 4-3 and have a long bye week before taking on DePaul in Chicago next Sunday.

Rapid Thoughts:

Hate him or… hate him, but JP Macura is quite the talent. Many guys can shoot or pass the rock, but it’s not possible to coach some of the intangibles that Macura brings to the table. I’d take him over just about anyone with a loose ball on the court.

Technically, Seton Hall blew a lead today. They led by ten early in the second half, and still led as late as the 4:24 mark before a Kaiser Gates three-ball. Credit to Xavier, who were much more composed down the stretch than Creighton were a few weeks prior.

Kevin Willard should be starting Ismael Sanogo for the foreseeable future. Aside from injuries, the main reason Willard has started Nzei for the past month is better offensive production. Well, Sanogo in part earned his start after a trio of good offensive games prior to Xavier, and he didn’t disappoint today on both ends of the court.

Angel Delgado (8p, 18r) endured most physical game of the season. Xavier was able to rotate a trio of strong forwards in Tyrique Jones, Kareem Kanter, and Sean O’Mara to tire the big man out. At one point mid-way through the second half, Delgado was out-muscled off the block and just looked at the official, hands on hips, absolutely gassed. Despite that, he nearly pulled down 20 boards, which would have given him the Big East all-time record.

  • marco

    make walker the starting pg… i’ll live with his turnovers and the occasional ill-advised shot… he might make up for it with steals at the other end…

    i want the old deeno back… put him off the ball, hopefully he can rebuild his confidence… coaches will have to really work with him to make it seem like it’s not a demotion… but they have to do something… it’s just not working with deeno at the point… maybe it works against bad teams… i want him off the ball, scoring, cutting, shooting… shoot first, pass second

    maybe walker will spark the offence… i like his energy at least… i know its asking a lot from a freshman pg, but i can’t take much more of the status quo

    • PadrePirate

      At this point, I’d be willing to try a new look, but it just ain’t gonna happen. It’s very unlikely that KW gives Walker a start at the point, which would mean benching Powell. But, I totally agree, KC’s game has fallen off a cliff since the Butler game. I just feel like Willard is going to ride this group of starters until the bitter end.

      • Ardy

        Would you bench Powell a 4*star Sophomore like Powell for a senior whose game has topped/ tapped out?

        • PadrePirate

          No, I would rather not bench Powell to start JW and slide KC to the 2 and I can’t see KW doing that either. But something has to give here. I would be willing to bench KC and give JW some min at PG with the rest of the starting group to see how he fares. But KW is going to stick with his seniors. That was my point.

        • ThePirateFan

          You’d have Powell 2, KC 3, Desi 4 like their freshman year. IDK if I’d start those with Walker, but some minutes with that lineup each game to spark some offense wouldn’t hurt.

      • cali jack

        I think KW was looking at this seasons performance as a way to step up from SHU to a bigger job which I don’t blame him for.Next year is a total rebuild with NIT potential at best.The way the team is headed I don’t think he’s getting any better offers.So,the pressures on him.Lets see what changes he makes but he’s no Nick Saban.

    • Ardy

      Seems like KC is getting the shots but he is just not making them. He led the team with 19 shots today(0-7 from 3pt). SH needs to crash the boards to get some 2nd shots. X coach told them in the huddle( when the mike was on) to crash the boards and pick up the pace and they controlled the pace and we just didn’t respond. The team has made adjustments for years for KC. First with IW switching to the point and then last year Powell (a much better shooter and basketball IQ) came off the bench last year. Does not look like KC is going pro at this point. It is time for KC to make some adjustments for the team.

    • Jason

      I’m big on Walker’s prospects but I don’t think he’s ready to start. I do think something needs to be done to address Carrington’s scoring woes and perhaps more time off the ball would help. The problem is you do not want to eat into Powell’s minutes.

      All year I’ve been thinking about how not having a sure “get this guy the ball at all costs” player they center the offense around was a gift and a curse. You could say it’s Angel but since eveyone is doubling him hard, his best asset right now is his passing. It makes us hard to stop because anyone is a threat. Unfortunately, that means when the others aren’t hitting shots on kick outs, the offense stalls.

      Personally, I think the offense should be built around getting Powell off screens, when you can’t get the ball inside but it’s hard to tell thousand point scoring seniors they have to defer to a soph. Plus, you want to be a team where anyone can carry the load. Their inconsistency just frustrates occasionally.

      Every L stings and I’m sure we’ll feel better and calm on the knee jerk reactions after some time to reflect. It just hurts when the team doesn’t live up to their amazing potential.

      • Ardy

        I don’t understand how teams like Kentucky, Duke, Oklahoma,Nova, etc can do it. What is the difference with the Hall?

        • Jason

          The short answer is we don’t get players with as high of a floor or ceiling as those schools do.

          Pretty much everyone on Dukes roster came in as better players than our seniors did. Imagine what our team looks like if we had a roster of Whiteheads every year?

          Nova doesn’t have the roster of Duke but they’ve got a 5 star guard, who is a Big 5 legacy running the show and bringing it together. They’ve also had player of the year candidate on the team each of the last 3-4 years (Hilliard, Hart, Brunson).

          As good as our guys are they just aren’t on that level. They have the talent but the real talent is playing at that level night after night.

          We are not at the level where we get those players yet but we are getting closer.

    • cali jack

      KC is 0-17 on 3 pointers over last 4 games.And,he says he’s not in a slump?Its up to coaches to talk reality to these kids.

  • PadrePirate

    First half was solid–lock down D and energizing play, with few lulls. Things just went down hill in the 2nd half. Angel got worn out, Desi worked himself out of the game, Khadeen is getting worse by the hour, and there’s only so much Ish to go around. This team doesn’t have the depth to sustain a 40 min effort against a top team like Xavier.
    You gotta question KC settling for so many bad jumpers (0 for his las 17 from the arc), when he used to be cut to the hoop specialist. He’s playing out of position and forcing it.

    Time for that team meeting and some lineup/offensive adjustments. Meanwhile, Providence is quietly having a nice little season, with HALF the talent in my opinion, and will likely replace us in the top 25 come Monday.

  • Joe J

    The more talented and deeper team with the better coach won today

  • Andrew Herbst

    Tough loss today. We played well in the first half, but just wore down in the second half. I’m glad we have a week off to regroup. I hope this time off will help Khadeem. He looks tired lately. Have to stay positive. Lot of season left.