Seton Hall hosts DePaul ahead of three-game road trip

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Prior to playing three road games in six days, Seton Hall (11-3, 1-1) will try to build upon a win over Marquette when they play host to bottom-feeding DePaul in a Saturday afternoon matinee.

Rejuvenated after six days of rest following a tough win against the Golden Eagles last weekend with half of Seton Hall’s team battling the flu, Kevin Willard’s team gets their easiest game on paper prior to one of their toughest stretches.

The Blue Demons (7-8, 0-2) are in the midst of a four-game losing skid that started with non-conference losses to Wyoming and Missouri State and has been perpetuated with a surprising three-point loss to Villanova at the Pavilion and a six-point defeat to St. John’s at home.

Dave Leitao’s team will probably surpass their nine-win count from last year, but the team remarkably has only moved up one spot in KenPom (181st) from where they finished at the end of 2015-16.

DePaul is still powered by lengthy senior point guard Billy Garrett Jr. (14.7 ppg, 3.3 apg) with impressive local wing Eli Cain (17.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg) helping out, but quite a few new supporting cast members have emerged in the place of three departed starters.

The Blue Demons have solid average height across the board but really lack a towering center down low aside from 6-10 freshman Levi Cook (2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg), who partially replaces since-transferred Tommy Hamilton; no other player above 6-7 saw more than five minutes against Villanova or St. John’s.

6-7 junior college transfer Tre’Darius McCallum (10 ppg, 7.4 rpg) has soaked up a lot of minutes up front alongside junior Joe Hanel (3.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg), who saw little action over his first two years on the team.

DePaul’s lack of a towering center will probably leave Angel Delgado licking his chops at the chance of his ninth double-double in a row.

Outside of the paint, Garrett Jr. and Cain will be aided by freshman wing Brandon Cyrus (5.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and Western Kentucky transfer Chris Harrison-Docks (5.1 ppg), who will primarily launch from deep. The pair of newcomers have recently usurped senior mainstays Darrick Wood and RJ Curington due to man management from Dave Leitao.

If Kevin Willard can get his guys to continually feed Delgado and also key heavily on Garrett Jr. and Cain (30-79 3pt) defensively, there’s no reason why Seton Hall can’t win this game. Delgado eats up teams when he doesn’t have a size disadvantage while the Hall’s main challenge will be matching DePaul’s slightly superior backcourt length.

KenPom says: No. 54 Seton Hall 79, No. 181 DePaul 65 (89%)

Last 10 meetings (Seton Hall 6-4; 12-6 all-time)

March 5, 2016, SETON HALL 80, DePaul 66, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 2, 2016, SETON HALL 78, DePaul 74, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 3, 2015, DePaul 75, SETON HALL 62, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 22, 2015, DePaul 64, SETON HALL 60, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 25, 2014, DePaul 65, SETON HALL 60, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 25, 2014, SETON HALL 86, DePaul 69, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 2, 2013, SETON HALL 73, DePaul 72, Rosemont, Ill.
Mar. 3., 2012, DePaul 86, SETON HALL 58, Rosemont, Ill.
Jan. 10, 2012, SETON HALL 94, DePaul 73, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 12, 2011, SETON HALL 78, DePaul 67, Rosemont, Ill.

Projected DePaul starters
PG – Billy Garrett Jr
G – Eli Cain
G/F – Brandon Cyrus
F – Joe Hanel
F – Tre’Darius McCallum

Projected Seton Hall starters
PG – Madison Jones
G – Khadeen Carrington
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Ish Sanogo
F – Angel Delgado

When: Saturday, noon
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: AM570 (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin) / Sirius 108 / XM 201
Opening line: Seton Hall -14

  • Andrew Herbst

    We should win tomorrow. Have to come out early and set the tone. I think Delgado will play well.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Tomorrow is a must-win with the pending 3 game road trip…
      The road trip is going to be tough..

      • Andrew Herbst

        It sure is. I think we can beat at Marquette and Providence but won’t be easy.

        • Joe Schmoe

          Every road game in the BE is gonna be rough… At least its known that Nova has off nights…. We seem to have been in a funk for awhile. I hope they can pull-it together…get some really clean games and clean wins….. rattle off a 12-4 run over the next 16..we can do it.

          • Andrew Herbst

            We sure can. Let’s hope tomorrow is the start of a nice run.

  • Matt

    Let’s hope we are healthy

  • Matty P

    So with all the discussions regarding missed free throws I wanted to do a little digging and these are some of the interesting things I’ve found.

    – SHU shoots almost the same percentage in the 1st half and 2nd half – 61.7% vs 61.5%
    – SHU has missed the front end of 1-1’s a total of 16 times this year with most coming in the 2nd half (10) – The biggest culprits are Delgado (4) and Sanogo (3)
    – Delgado and Carrington’s FT % goes up in the 2nd half, while Desi’s goes down – Delgado – 43.3% vs 54%; Carrington – 53.1% vs 73.2%; Desi – 82.4% vs 58.7%
    – Within the last 2 mins of each half we shoot below our season average – 46.7% 1st half; 58.2% 2nd half
    – Within the last 1 min of the 2nd half we shoot almost right at our average – 61.1%
    – Within the last 1 min of the 2nd half the players who have taken most of the FTs are Carrington (14 FTs at 64.3%), Delgado (6 FTs at 66.7%), Nzei (6 FTs at 66.7%), Powell (5 FTs at 60%), and Jones (4 FTs at 100%). This surprised me since Desi has not taken a FT within the last min of the game.

    • Wow. great research (admittedly have not fact-checked). Will share on Twitter

      • Matty P

        Thank you. I got interested after all the discussions going on this past week. If you’d like to see the information I’ve got it all in an excel file. Wouldn’t mind sending it over to you in an email.

  • PadrePirate

    Billy Garrett Jr is usually fun to watch. DePaul is quick and decent around the arc. Above average offensive rebs. They gave Nova a run for their money. Their W-L record, like St John’s, may be a bit deceiving. I think we’ll be ok, if our guys play hard, but I’m guessing it’ll be closer than the 14 point spread.

  • Seton Hall open as 14-point favorites… that seems like a lot of points

    • Rich Ricci

      It sure is, especially for a team that’s known for playing up or down to the level of their competition! Maybe they’ll surprise us later today and just play solid basketball for both halves so Kevin Willard can empty the bench for a few minutes to end the game!!

    • fouline

      Chris, DePaul is a disciplined team. That could be trouble for our free form style of play. I don’t see 14… Alotcloserthan14.

      • Matty P

        Who would’ve seen this one coming. Nice to have a relaxing win and give the starters some more rest.