Seton Hall must build momentum against Providence

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In the aftermath of Seton Hall’s required win over Georgetown this past weekend, Providence (14-10, 4-7) comes to town with the Pirates seeking redemption.

Seton Hall (14-8, 4-6) escaped the Verizon Center in narrow overtime fashion with their fair share of bruises in what was a hard-fought game.

Ish Sanogo picked up a nasty sprained ankle that casts doubt on his status going forward (no official word yet), but it’s probably safe to say that Mike Nzei (4.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg) will see his second straight start; Nzei scored 7 and grabbed two boards off the bench at Providence in January. 

Far from out of the woods, the Hall will be keen on finding 10+ points from at least two of Desi Rodriguez, Myles Powell and Nzei on Wednesday night — assuming Angel Delgado and Khadeen Carrington bring their respective ‘A’ games.

Seton Hall had their big three produce at the Dunk last month but received just 16 points from the rest of their team in that disappointing loss, especially from an offensive perspective.

On the other side of the equation, Providence is out of the NCAA picture barring a massive run but they are playing fairly well despite losing three of their last four.

Two of those three losses were to Villanova by a collective 19 points (not terrible) while the Friars won at Marquette and lost to St. John’s at home.

Point guard Kyron Cartwright (10.7 ppg, 6.8 apg) and forward Rodney Bullock (16.9 ppg, 6 rpg) are still Ed Cooley’s two main guns, but wing Jalen Lindsey (10.5 ppg, 4 rpg) is just as dangerous having reached double figures in four of five games since these two schools last met.

From the looks of it, Seton Hall is sitting squarely on the bubble right now (don’t worry, I will cover bracketology in another week or so if applicable) and definitely should be winning this game if they want to put on their dancing shoes for a second straight time.

Three keys to the game:

Kevin Willard needs to come up with an answer for Kyron Cartwright. The junior maestro picked the Hall apart to the tune of 20 points and 8 assists last month and truly looked a lot like Kris Dunn; he does sport the 3rd-best assist rate in the country after Dunn finished 5th last season. Cartwright is fairly efficient 21-of-56 (38%) from three, so it’s not as simple as collapsing on him, but Madison Jones and Jevon Thomas will need to do better on both sides of the ball than a collective five points, two assists, and three steals in 29 minutes of action 

Seton Hall must handle droughts better than they did in the first meeting. This has also been a glaring theme all season long, but Providence scored 15 unanswered to go from leading 19-18 to 34-18 in the first half and it increased the grade at which the Hall had to climb the rest of the game. This time around, it will be interesting to see if Willard can set the tone by suffocating a largely unimpressive Friar offense, though that hinges upon point number one.

If Ish Sanogo doesn’t lace ’em up, how does the battle on the wing play out? Desi Rodriguez looks to have somewhat turned a defensive corner and will have his work cut out for him against a Providence team that is one of the lengthiest in the land (56th in avg. height). Outside of Cartwright, the rest of Ed Cooley’s starting five all stands at 6-7 or above, which provides match-up problems on both ends of the court. Rodriguez specifically punches above his size via strength, but keep an eye on this, especially when Seton Hall is attacking.

KenPom says: No. 53 Seton Hall 70, No. 63 Providence 64 (68%)

Last 10 meetings (SH 3-7; all-time 39-47)

Jan. 14th, 2017, Providence 65, SETON HALL 61, Providence, R.I.
Feb. 25th, 2016, SETON HALL 70, Providence 52, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 16th, 2016, SETON HALL 81, Providence 72, Providence, R.I.
March 4th, 2015, Providence 79, SETON HALL 66, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 14, 2015, Providence 69, SETON HALL 62, Providence, R.I.
March 14, 2014, Providence 80, SETON HALL 74, New York, N.Y.
Feb. 28, 2014, Providence 74, SETON HALL 69, Newark, N.J.
Dec. 31, 2013, SETON HALL 81, Providence 80 (2ot), Providence, R.I.
March 5, 2013, Providence, 76, Seton Hall 66, Providence, R.I.
Jan. 13, 2013, Providence 67, Seton Hall 55, Newark, N.J.

Projected Providence starters:
PG – Kyron Cartwright
G/F – Jalen Lindsey
G/F – Alpha Diallo
F – Emmitt Holt
F – Rodney Bullock

Projected Seton Hall starters:
PG – Madison Jones
G – Khadeen Carrington
F – Desi Rodriguez
F – Mike Nzei
F – Angel Delgado

When: Wednesday, 830ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: AM 970 (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin) / SIRIUS 134 / XM 201
Opening line: Seton Hall -6