Seton Hall blown out 76-46 at No. 1 Villanova

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Seton Hall fell behind early again and was thoroughly outmatched as they dropped their third-straight in a 76-46 blowout at No. 1 Villanova

Five Villanova players reached double figures and the Wildcats scored 27 points off 16 Seton Hall turnovers as the Pirates never really were competitive in a 30-point loss just days after Kevin Willard called out his team after a loss to Providence.

Willard owned up to what he said after the game when speaking with Gary Cohen.

“[They responded] Just the way I thought they would. We just went in there and talked about it. We got our butt kicked tonight. That was my fault, I kind of knew going into it — I acted like an idiot on Sunday. [then] I think I lost my mind at one point in the film session. There was no reason for it to be honest with you … sometimes when you lose a couple games you could have won, you lose your mind.”


Seton Hall started the game locked-in defensively but they were disrupted offensively by a three-quarter court press that Villanova rolled out to great effect.

The visitors fell behind 12-5 by the second media timeout with Angel Delgado (8 pts, 6 rebs) failing to see touches of any kind as his double-double streak ended at 11. Teetering on the edge, the Hall succumbed to an 18-5 Villanova run during a seven-minute Pirates scoring drought that put the Cats up 27-10 at the under-eight.

Thrown against the ropes, Seton Hall did show some signs of life in the closing minutes of the half and were kept relatively in the game from five made three-pointers including a pair from Desi Rodriguez (15 pts, 3 ast).

But the thing about playing at Fortress Pavilion is that “some signs of life” is not good enough.

Trailing 36-23 at the half, Seton Hall turned it over four times and scored just one point to start, allowing a 12-1 Villanova run that quickly ballooned into an ugly 51-26 deficit by the first media break.

Five Wildcat players scored at least eight at that point, highlighting a balanced attack that outmatched a decent but not great Seton Hall defense.

“They’re a little more difficult to defend, just because they’re a little more balanced,” said Willard of Villanova. “Hart has improved his game so much, Jenkins is just deadly, they space you out so much better. They’re playing smaller and when they go to those small lineups, they don’t lose any toughness.”

The Pirates fell behind by 28 entering the second media break and then 34 shortly after as things snowballed and got really ugly as the focus turned to defending pride, ultimately unsuccessfully. 

When Willard was asked about this team’s leadership compared to last season?

“We all just talked in there. It was a great convo, its a great group of kids who are working hard. We’re two charge calls away on the road to being 4-1 [going into Villanova] and being in a different situation. It’s a good five or six days off that we need, get in the weight room and get some individual instruction and not grind as much.”

Three quick notes

Villanova scored 27 points off 16 Seton Hall turnovers. The Pirates didn’t necessarily turn it over more than usual, but Nova certainly made them pay at a higher rate including hitting 12 of 26 threes, a lot of which were good looks.

Angel Delgado never really got into the game, and credit Villanova for that. He saw maybe two touches before Seton Hall fell behind by 10-15 points — it was only natural his double-double streak ended tonight.

Seton Hall has some soul-searching to do. To get called out publicly and respond by basically not showing up against Villanova will have many fans worried.

  • Season on the brink with little reason for confidence, is there locker room conflict? Haven’t played like a team on this road trip. Feels a lot like 2015.

  • PadrePirate

    Still a lot of bball left this season but I feel like our guys have checked out. 180 degree turn from last game vs Nova at the garden. Disappointed

  • LBP

    Total Embarrassment–no excuses–have not seen a Hall Team lay down like this in so long– please do not play Madison Jones ever again

  • Matt

    Team isn’t that great and they have low confidence. This is what you get. Only positive is that there is basketball left to play.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Very rough game tonight. We are in a bad funk. Offense is out of sync. We are a critical stretch in the season. Have to bounce back against St. John’s on Sunday. Can’t let this year slip away.

  • Ardy

    I was at the game tonight. The Pirates were totally out hustled tonight. Nova smelled blood in the water and they launched an all out attack. Seton Hall looked constipated out there! Even the Nova fans I was sitting next to was disappointed at the lack of effort from Seton Hall. They wanted to see a competitive game. I left the game in the 2nd half when we were down by 30. To rub the blow out it in Seton Halls face Nova’s band started playing Onward Setonia. I hope that got their attention.

  • Thehall

    Out hustled and lack of toughness. Offense is terrible. I guess IW covered up how bad our offense was last year.

    • Fishjam

      IW was the offense last year. His constant penetration and passing got open looks for every player on the court. We don’t have anyone capable of doing that this year. The idea was to run the offense through Delgado this year which works at times but teams are doing everything possible to take Angel out and Nova completely nullified him by denying him the ball and harrassing our guards who were too scared to even attempt to get Angel the ball.
      We had some decent looks from 3 but other than Desi, we’ve been ice cold. Our shooters don’t seem to catch and shoot in rhythm like other teams do but our guys aren’t wide open like our opponents are either. Our offense consists of passes around the perimeter 30 feet from the hoop with no purpose. No one can break down a defender off the dribble, and the ball doesn’t move with purpose. We play most of the time with only 2 shooting threats on the court, while most teams in the BE have 4 guys who are legitimate threats from 3 on the court at all times.

  • VinBick

    So wished that my prediction was going to be wrong, but the reality is that we do not have a team that is capable of competing with the big boys in the Big East. Forget about the rest of the season being any different. Looking ahead, one win against Georgetown and Providence and one of two against the Johnnies. The top teams in the league will repeat what Nova did last night. One and done in the BE Tournament. No post season games for this band of Pirates. Five total wins in conference will not attract top recruits to the Hall.

    The Willard Era has officially ended at Seton Hall. Next up? Maybe one of the Hurleys will come back to NJ to try and pick up the program from Willard’s Ashes….

    • Biff Roughneck

      Your prediction may be the only thing you got correct (and, at -14 at tipoff, who didn’t?). We will win more than five (maybe not many), Willard will certainly be back, and even if he wasn’t — no Hurley is coming here. You know that the bottom of the league plays each other on the first day of the BET, I hope — no guarantee of “one and done.”

      • VinBick

        Who does this team beat down the stretch, Biff? Butler, Creighton, Xavier, Nova? DePaul will be gunning for the Hall when the game is played in Chicago. So. even if you are correct and they win six or seven games should Willard be retained? Seemingly a good Big East team fails miserably. Loyal fans are being let down once again. There is no valid defense of the product produced by Willard.

  • SHU95

    Winning the two previous games would have made this a lot less painful… The reality of an 0-3 road trip punctuated by a blow out does not bode well. Unfortunately, we are at a mismatch at PG every time we take the floor in a Big East game, and credit Nova for taking away the aspect of the game where we may have had the edge on paper going in (Angel). I think the biggest immediate need, even more than another Big, is a true PG…. (Btw- Coleman picked Texas over Duke yesterday so U know Duke will now be all in on TD.).

    • Matty P

      The team absolutely needs to make PG a priority for the last spot. Going into next season the only PG on the roster would be Thomas who at this point looks like he might be best served as a defensive sub. With the news about Coleman it makes it that much more difficult to get Duval. Hopefully if he watched the game last night he saw that this team is desperately missing a PG instead of thinking there is no way he would go to a team that got run out of the gym by Nova.

  • OldPirate

    A team that thinks it is better they are. They had an NBA point guard last year, and that made all the difference; and even with Whitehead, they bowed out of the Big Dance with a whimper.
    Willard is a horrible coach and recruiter. He had the monster class three years ago, but since that class, who has he brought in besides Powell? He continues to build with throwaway transfers. Madison Jones is horrible, by the way, when has Wake Forest ever been a basketball powerhouse?
    Two scenarios moving forward, turn the team over to Shaheen Holloway; put a few veteran assistants with him, or clean house (once again) and hope for the best.
    For you young guys, trust me, it never gets better, never. We love this team, but if you don’t have a strong constitution, choose another team to root for.

  • Matty P

    Jay Wright adding insult to injury with his tweet.

    • Joe Schmoe

      number one no-no of professionalism and sportsmanship. You NEVER stomp on someone when they are down. I thought Jay Wright was classier than this…

      • Matty P

        Agreed, I was surprised to see this tweet was actually from Jay Wright. Doesn’t seem like the sort of thing I would’ve expected him to do.

    • PadrePirate

      What a jerk. Maybe that will help him fire our guys up for the rematch at the Rock

    • I tweeted about it, but really can’t tell if this is sincere or not. Seems forced at best. Disrespectful potential, obviously.

  • Ardy

    If Seton Hall learned some things from this last game.
    How to kick somebody’s but.
    How to protect your home court
    How to encourage each other.

    • Ardy

      And how pass and run a fast break. Looks like the Pirates let teams set up their defense before they attack. Maybe a no huddle hurry up offense may help. Omaha, Omaha, Seemed like everyone on Nova knew their role and carried it out!

  • fouline

    On the Cohen/Popkin post game show, Willie apologized for attacking the players, he said he lost his mind. He also lost the game. Maybe if he lost his job the team would play better. Sounds like a better plan than he has for the team. He really doesn’t know what to do without Whitehead. He’s lucky our next game is against SJU. They’re decent but beatable. The breathing room might have a therapeutic effect… for the fans anway.

    • PadrePirate

      The Johnnie are young and play with a fight that this team lost somewhere this year. If we don’t start playing in 1H they will beat us at home.

  • z06

    After watching the game last nite we only have 3 scorers and the opponents know it,jones and Thomas can’t score and sanogo but we need him there. We miss iw pts production and leadership.I don’ t see to many more wins not going to be easy

    • It really is simple as that.

      You have to get those guys more involved in some way, even to keep the opposition honest.

      I see it almost every time I “scout” a high-major opponent: they have 4+ outside threats and SH has 3 at best, one of whom is a slumping freshman off the bench.

      • Matty P

        Unfortunately Singh didn’t pan out because he could have been that 4th outside threat. Guys like Sanogo, Jones, and Thomas also need to be able to provide some help on the offensive end. For Sanogo it would be easiest if he could take on a role similar to Nzei where he looks for the backdoor cuts or putbacks off misses. For Jones and Thomas it could be movement without the ball by making some cuts to the basket. This isn’t a team that has the shooting ability to just throw the ball down low to Delgado and keep 4 guys on the perimeter.

        • PadrePirate

          Amen about movement to the basket. I just don’t get why we throw the ball around the perimeter until the shot clock gets under 8 sec so often. Perimerter movement has to be couples with drive and dish movement to the hole. KC and Dez can do that. MJ and JT seem to be too slow or lack the confidence, but I’d rather see them die trying.

      • Ardy

        I agree with your post.I think they should go back to starting Powell to get him going again. What would it hurt?.I think the only reason the freshman kid is not a starter is because he looks like the only points off the bench, which is really unfair to him. This is the same kid that was giving much needed offence earlier this year( Iowa, Columbia) when he was getting the opportunity. It is really is that simple.

  • Matty P

    Just saw the news that Maurice Watson is out for the season. Terrible news for not only Creighton, but the Big East since it will be a big hit for a legitimate top 15 team that could have made a deep run in the NCAA tournament. It’s disappointing to hear such news for someone who’s a senior and playing at such a high level.

    • SHU95

      That is really bad news, Creighton was a very legit contender at full strength… as for Jay Wright, he always comes across as very self aware in interviews etc., even if he was attempting sincerity, he has to know given the lopsided game and final score how that reads… maybe he meant to say- Last years SHU team?!? Head Scratcher…

    • As many have written, this is bad for the Big East and obviously Creighton. Hoping their don’t take on water in the wake of this…

      • Matty P

        It should be interesting to see how Creighton deals with the loss of Watson since he played the majority of mins at PG. They were able to hold off Xavier on the road which was impressive. Luckily for them they get till the weekend for a home game against Marquette followed by two weaker teams in Georgetown and DePaul to figure things out.

  • Joe J

    The season looks bleak but we can’t jump off the ship just yet. We’ve hammered the coach and the PG’s but let’s look at some positives
    1 We have not lost a home game yet
    2. Providence is not a bad team they crushed Georgetown on the road. Not a horrible road loss at providence. Same for Marquette, Nova and Creighton
    3. The Creighton home game is now winnable. Unfortunate for Watson but injuries happen
    4. 8 more wins is not impossible Georgetown and DePaul are bad this year, St. John’s is beatable as is providence at home. Xavier at home is also winnable. They have been struggling. Creighton without Watson at home is winnable. Butler at home is also winnable.
    That’s 9 winnable games. The Pirates will be favored in most if not all these games. Only at Xavier, at Butler and Nova at home look like sure losses. Will they go 11-7 or 10-8 and get a bid? Who knows. But don’t count them out just yet……even without a legit PG.

    • Matty P

      The team has done a good job protecting home court, but they still need to find a way to steal a couple of games on the road. Since it’s unlikely they win every game at home they need to find a way to make it up against a top tier team on the road to at least get to 9-9 in conference.

    • VinBick

      Love your positive spin JJ. Want so badly for this team to some how get its act together, but historically, Coach Willard does not have the ability to produce. He has the horses for the most part. He has time and again not produced and capable players in his charge fail to live up to expectations. Past players have been blamed for not having good chemistry in the locker room and too many have exited stage left before completing their careers at the Hall. Why are we even having this discussion when the ship was on a rising tide? The constant with these teams under-producing is the poor coaching at the top.

      • Joseph Attanasi

        Can we just stop blaming Willard every time this team struggles or plays poorly. Is he the one turning the ball over with careless ball handling and grade school passes? Is he the one missing countless free throws throughout the game? Or maybe he’s to blame for not being within 6 to 8 feet of his man and giving up wide open 3’s?

        I don’t disagree that Willard should share in the blame, but when does a player become responsible for his poor performance and decision making on the court and share in the blame? Time for all of these players to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are giving their best effort every time they walk out onto that court. The free throw shooting alone should tell you that they are not.

        There’s plenty of blame to go around, but it needs to at least be shared equally by players and coaches alike.

        • VinBick

          Hey, JJ, who is responsible for recruiting the players who are performing poorly? Why do they shoot poorly from the foul line with no improvement? Same with the turnovers, why don’t the experienced team members display improved techniques? Who is running the practice sessions? The buck always stops with the head coach, just as that person gets the credit when things go well. Who was the co-coach of the year in the Big East last year?

          Coach Willard gets the big bucks to run a successful program. Seton Hall is an attractive destination for quality recruits as an outstanding academic university in a beautiful setting.

          Most recruits want to be with a successful program. Playing at the Rock which is one of the best college basketball venues in the entire country, and attending a college in the New York metro area with great media exposure should not be a hard sell to high school kids and their parents.

          The formula for success at the Hall seems to be undermined by the one key element, and that is a capable head coach. Just look at his record.

          Sunday’s game with the Johnnies is a key indicator of where the two programs are headed. In only his second year, Coach Mullen has his troops competing well. On paper, the Hall should be a strong favorite. I will be there cheering for Willard and our Pirates to blast them out of the Rock! Go Pirates!

          • Joe A

            Hey Vin, as for the questions your raise about poor FT shooting and TO’s, I can tell you that those things are the fault of the players not the coach. Coaches teach and instruct. Players need to go out and execute.

            As a coach myself, I can tell and show my players how to do things. I can teach them technique, I can tell them what to look for and what to be aware of out on the court/field, but I can not do it for them. The player needs to put into practice the things that I teach them. And it is up to them to practice the things that they don’t do well so that they can do them better.

            If they are shooting FT’s at 50-60%, they need to spend the extra time practicing until they get better. They should have enough pride in themselves to not want to go out and miss FT’s and cost their team a game or two. There is no reason for someone like Carrington to be shooting 62% from the line. He shot 75% in each of his first two seasons. Do you really think it’s the coaches fault that he’s shooting his FT’s so poorly?

            I also don’t get the recruiting comment. So you recruit capable Big East caliber players (Carrington, Delgado, Rodriguez, Powell, Sonogo, Nzei) and they perform poorly and somehow it’s the coaches fault. As long as the coach is teaching them and giving them the necessary things that they need to succeed, they need to put those things into practice when they get out on the court. The only way that it’s the coaches fault, is if he is not teaching them. If that’s the case, then I’m with you. But I don’t think that anyone is saying that this is what is going on.

            Happy to see that you will be behind Willard and the team on Sunday. I will be there too. Maybe we can get together for a beer one day and discuss this a little further. Go Pirates!

  • Deaglan McNamara

    I’ve heard too many excuses for too many years! He’s even made excuses when they’ve won games (when they all had the flu)! He got time; he got his recruits, and what we got was a quick trip to the NCAAs and the quickest of blips in the Top 25 all surrounded by disappointment and futility. Great coaches make their teams rise to the occassion and never play down to their opponents. I’m ready to call the Willard Era over. Sha knows how to recruit, how to coach up the players, and will never leave the Hall – next man up!

    • Oh hey Deagle, didn’t know you read this site too! KT and I just bought tickets the other day for the return date 2/18 at The Rock — the first time in who knows how long that they’ve opened up the mezzanine and even the upper deck sections (the lower bowl was basically sold out two months in advance). Let’s see if they can produce something as good as last year’s Nova game there.

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  • 11yearplan

    I don’t like what I see any more than the rest of the fans but this is January 18th. Too soon to call for Coach’s head or bail on the team. Let’s not get too low just as we should not have gotten too hight in the pre-season. Coach needs to address his temperament and appears to have started the process. He landed Kale who was a McDonald’s All American Finalist and a big who will have year to work with Delgado, Sonogo and Nezi.

    The point guards need to come around. JT has not played competitive hoops at this level in 1.5 years. There is a lot of rust. No reason to think it won’t start coming off as the season progresses. Lets not forget MJ has made some great plays on defense.

    The shooting guards need to come out of their slump. Every reason to believe they can.

    The only concern I have is whether Coach can send a message to Pretty Boy Wright and his band of pampered players. ‘Nova should not have run up the score or allowed the band to play our song and should have taken its foot off the gas and sat the starters with 5 minutes left. We have a team of big, strong athletic men who can cure this. Coach needs to have one of them send a message to the dainty boys and their perfumed coach when they come to the Rock. Hopefully at the opening tip. … and he needs to appoint the spokesman now.

    • SHU95

      To me, Villanova’s demeanor (tweets, band, keeping the players in until the end etc.) suggests that they actually are taking SHU seriously given SOME recent success that SHU has had including last years BE tourney. Wright sounded distraught on WFAN last year after the loss to SHU. He’s a highly competitive guy and clearly we have gotten under his skin a bit,…the game the other night was a revenge game of sorts for them…and they certainly got it. I do agree that his tweet went a little over the line (intentional or not) and hopefully we can play better when we see them up in Newark next month… A 1 point win for SHU would be all the revenge we need.