Seton Hall must avoid history on trip to DePaul

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A DePaul team with just two wins in Big East play will look to repeat on Saturday what a Blue Demon team with two league wins did back in 2012: spoil Seton Hall’s NCAA bid.

Did you think I would let you forget about that fateful finish to Seton Hall’s 2011-12 season? Not a chance.

Here is the seemingly annual plug of Jamee Crockett’s rout-finalizing dunk on the Hall on that shocking, fateful day. 

Now that that is out of your system, here are my three keys to the Pirates staying afloat in Chicago prior to Senior Night against Georgetown this coming Tuesday.

Three keys to victory:

Avoid a slow start. Consistently stagnant starts to games have plagued the Pirates this year, including as recently as their tame first 10 minutes against Xavier mid-week which the Musketeers weren’t able to exploit. Seton Hall went up 16-6 in the first meeting (though DePaul answered with a 10-0 run) before putting away the Blue Demons just after the half. They know they can’t lose on Saturday, a slow start may get into their heads a little bit.

Continue to focus on what has been working. And that starts with big man Angel Delgado. The Dominican native is on another double-double streak and looked unstoppable against Xavier. DePaul has great average height, but a front line that isn’t any taller than 6-foot-8; Delgado tallied 20 points and 12 rebounds in 25 minutes when these two schools met last month. An increased focus on crisp ball movement is also a theme here: the Hall needs to replicate what they did just after the first 10 minutes on Wednesday night.

Shut down DePaul’s two big guns. Point guard Billy Garrett Jr. (14.6 ppg, 3.2 apg) and wing Eli Cain (15.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.7 apg) do the heavy lifting for Dave Leitao, which sounds like a job for Madison Jones and Ish Sanogo, respectively. As a team, the Hall’s defense was much better against Xavier — they will need to focus on that to perhaps help them get off to a quick start.

KenPom says: No. 57 Seton Hall 72, No. 183 DePaul 67 (68%)

Last 10 meetings (Seton Hall 6-4; 13-6 all-time)

Jan. 7, 2017, SETON HALL 87, DePaul 56, Newark, N.J.
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.

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 – Mike Nzei
F – Angel Delgado

When: Saturday, 2PM
TV: FSN/YES Network
Radio: AM970 (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin)
Opening line: Seton Hall -7