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

  • Andrew Herbst

    This should be a winnable game for us. Need Khadeem and Desi to get hot again. Hopefully Delgado can continue his dominance. GO PIRATES

  • PadrePirate

    I would not say that we are “on the bubble” until the next two games (vs Prov and StJ) are won. For now, we are more of a stray drop on the side of the soapdish, while MU grabs the 5th and final tourney spot (if the BE gets five in).

    A major factor, not mentioned above, will be PFs for Angel and Nzei. With Ish out, neither can afford to pick up two cheapies early in the 1H. That would mean extended minutes for Rasheed and put a lot of pressure on the guards/wings to score, which they haven’t done consistently of late. RA is going to get minutes over the next few games regardless. I hope he can defend without picking up a PF/minute

    • SHU95

      Well said, assuming Ish is out our lack of font line depth will be exposed. RA hasn’t shown much development over the past few years, so I would expect to see a small lineup at times which could mean more minutes for certainly Powell, and probably JT & perhaps even Gordon. Desi may even play a little PF. Regardless, this game is anything but a ‘gimmie’. Providence is much better than I thought they would be considering the players they lost from last years team, they have size as well. Need this one… Go Pirates!!!

      • Valentino

        We saw some of the small line-up against the Hoyas and I for one like it. It spreads the floor offensively with the added shooter and opens up the inside for some drives. Defensively we need to be disciplined in boxing out …something we have not had to much in the past.

    • Which is why I wont start my weekly or bi-weekly Bracketology posts until after those two games 🙂

      Were getting close!

      • PadrePirate

        Sorry, Chris. All my respect for your work and your site. I just thought that squarely on phrase was overstated. I am surprised, however, that our RPI is so high. Can you explain that stat? How is our RPI the same as last year?

        • No offense taken. I still stand by it, even though I don’t put much weight in these hypotheticals.

          Here is RPI formula: RPI = (WP * 0.25) + (OWP * 0.50) + (OOWP * 0.25)
          where WP is Winning Percentage, OWP is Opponents’ Winning Percentage and OOWP is Opponents’ Opponents’ Winning Percentage

          Last year’s team was 17-6 (7-4) at this point, but perhaps against teams with lesser records who beat teams that didn’t have great records? This year’s schedule is stronger too, per KenPom

  • Joe Schmoe

    I also would disagree with the statement that SHU is “squarely on the bubble”. Succinctly put, SHU is out if the regular season ended today.

    In order to be on the bubble, we need to have a 10-8 conference record. In addition to that, we need to finish at least 5th or 6th in the conference and upset the 4 or 3 in the BET. Finishing 7th or worse in conference and having to do a play-in consolation game in the conference tournament IS the post season for those that fall into it.

    • I used, which largely has SH in the field. For me, think thats evidence enough to say theyre squarely on the bubble.

      • Joe Schmoe

        With all due respect, bracketmatrix is a great site with a good analytical/statistical breakdown of all the analysts producing brackets (all 98 of them). That said, the analysts are not the selection committee on selection Sunday. There is still a lot of work to do, and need to pull off quality wins vs the top half of the conference to make a bid as a bubble team. This includes winning the remaining games vs DePaul, Georgetown, Providence and St Johns, and 2 of the 4 games vs Xavier Creighton Nova and Butler. Six wins away from talking march madness…thats why those other 4 losses were so tough.

        • iratepirate

          On bubble watch we are in the “things left to do” category. I agree we are on the bubble (not off). The problem is that basically one more loss and we are off the board. Teetering on the brink.

        • So can we not declare SH on the bubble unless the committee says so? These are analysts who spend a lot of time projecting what the committee will do, so an average rating is valid in my eyes. Hell, Lunardi has SH in the field and hes considered an expert. You claimed in your first post SH is out of the field today. Evidence does not support that claim?

          • Joe Schmoe

            I said “If the season ended today, SHU is out” Exactly what “evidence” is contrary to that claim? Bracketology Opinion? Bracketology is not “if the season ended today”, which is why it is misleading. Its a group of guys looking at the season as a whole, glaring into their crystal ball and anticipating what will occur on selection Sunday 1+ month from now. They are looking into schedules, who teams have left to play, who they have played, and anticipating the outcomes of the remaining games. As of today, SHU doesn’t have a true resume marquee win, and only 2 wins in the RPI top-fifty. Granted, SHU’s 2nd half BE schedule can be perceived as “easier” than the 1st half. On paper, SHU should be a favorite to win every game left on the schedule sans the Butler and Nova games. With those anticipated outcomes, I fully understand where some expert bracketologists are coming up with the opinion that will be “in”. however, unfortunately, they still have to play the games. Remember when they beat ranked G-town some years ago? Everyone said they were “in”, then they lost to bottom ranked Rutgers and depaul… THEN everyone screamed “unfair”! Bracketology is neither “fact” nor is it “evidence” it’s only opinion. That said, my opinion is no better than anyone else, nor is it any more correct. Same goes for yours. I would assume we’re allowed to disagree. It makes for good convo on your content. So from the looks of it, 60% of bracketologists have SHU “in”, 40% have them “out” (59/98). From what I’ve seen so far this season, getting “in” is going to be a tall order. That’s just my opinion.

          • hallstorm

            This is all useless chatter at this point. Seton Hall is 100% on the bubble. Lunardi has them in his “last 4 in” category and he has shown in year’s past that he is in the 98th percentile with his projections. Regarding your reference to 2011-12 season–they were in at the time they beat Georgetown and then they were bumped out by losing to DePaul and Rutgers. We can only talk about where they are at this exact point in time. Do they have work to do? Yes. Are they currently in if the season ended as I type this? Yes. Do you think Clemson belongs in (with only a win against South Carolina)? How about Wake Forest (with no big wins)? Miami? I do not think they are, but Lunardi thinks so and he has been pretty much on the money each of the last 10 or so years.

          • Joe Schmoe

            “Are they currently in if the season ended as I type this? Yes.”

            Not with the current sub-500 conference record. Need to win tonight and win @ St Johns to make those claims and get back into that conversation. If the season closed today the BE gets 4 or 5 bids with Marquette “on the bubble”…SHU would be out…

          • PadrePirate

            Schmoe is right. Without next two wins all the rest is empty talk.

          • hallstorm

            You’re technically incorrect, but if we lose either of the next two games we will certainly be on the outside looking in. As I stated a while ago, sub-.500 conference records do not correlate to being left out of the tournament.

            Hypothetically, if we beat Xavier, Villanova, Creighton and Butler and lose all the games we’re “supposed” to win, it would create a very, very interesting case (we would be 8-10 in conference). I’m not saying this is a preferred scenario, but it would actually strengthen our chances in the eyes of the committee vs. beating the other “weaker” teams and losing to the aforementioned top 25 teams.

            All of that being said, the next two games should be looked at as must-wins because the odds of the above actually happening are pretty much at a million-to-one (I am saying we have a chance!!!).

          • “Its a group of guys looking at the season as a whole, glaring into their crystal ball and anticipating what will occur on selection Sunday 1+ month from now.”

            Either this is 100% incorrect, or I’ve been 100% incorrect about bracketology for years. It’s not a projection into the future. Bracketology is if the season ended present day.

          • Joe Schmoe

            Think about it intuitively. On Sunday March the 12th, Your going to get your official bracket.Your going to select winners/losers of each round, project future rounds, pick future round winners/losers, and repeat all the way to the national championship. You going to use some degree of seeding, statistical analysis, gut instinct, your personal crystal ball, got to factor in some upsets, whatever methodology you use to predict the future bracket. That’s “braketology”. using some kind of methodology to hopefully better predict future outcomes of events.

            Its no different with in-season weekly brackets. Computer simulations run through possible outcomes of remaining games. You actually post these predictions from KenPom on your pregame reports. As each week passes, Simulated results are replaced with actual results, and brackets are updated re-released as simulations are re-run with updated data. A simulated bracket “if the season ended today” would be entirely moot, because the season doesn’t end today, it ends on March 12. The facts don’t change though. Seton Hall needs to win both games this week to keep hope of an NCAA bid alive (which Vegas is computing as 40% likely at this juncture)

      • Ryan Kelly

        Have to go with Chris on this one. all the bracketology predictions are done as if the season ended right now. They take into account current record, current RPI, SOS, record vs top 50. These are stats that are changing on a daily basis as teams win and lose. What might see like a good win in the beginning of the year could turn out to be not as impressive if the team your beat has a bad year. They don’t project future wins and losses but rather take into account only the information that is available. It’s the reason that the bubble is constantly changing. By your definition. There would only be one preseason bracket prediction that would never change during the year because hey a team could start out 8-8 but they’re projected to win out. So I completely disagree with you ‘if the season ended today’ statement

  • The Hobokenite

    What’s the stats on free throw shooting lately? It appears they shot much better in GT win which really helped make a difference, especially Angel. Could they be turning the corner on free throws?

    • Joe Schmoe

      its improving .612 at a team

      • Jersey Jerry

        Sad to see the stat on TV Sat that ‘da HALL is the 3rd worst foul shooting team in D1 … it’s all mental and the kids need to understand that.

        • The Hobokenite

          We have to make free throws to stop the “Hack a Hall” strategy. Angel is looking more and more comfortable on the line. He can serve as an example in helping everyone else feel more comfortable. It should be everyone’s mentality to want to get to the line. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s game. We need to get out early

  • Jersey Jerry

    Saw Providence play a couple games in the Emerald Coast Classic over Thanksgiving where they beat Memphis 60-51. In the next game, then #7 Virginia demolished Iowa 74-41, which was Iowa’s second game after ‘da Hall went into Iowa and beat them 91-83. UVA beat Providence 63-52 which was a closer game than the score shows. The Friars went almost 10-minutes late in the 2nd half with only two buckets scored. Providence is a solid team and their record just does not reflect that and I think this is going to be a very close contest. Let’s hope the kids understand that it’s time to shine and bring a ‘Can-Do’ attitude to the rest of the season! GO HALL!!! I’ll be watching from the Western Gate to the Sunshine State where thousands live the way millions wish they could!

  • PadrePirate

    To change the subject away from the bubble debate, that Kareem Finalist list is garbage without Angel. Whether you call him a PF or C, Angel has outplayed Justin Patton all year. Watch Pattons dunk total drop in half now that Watson isn’t feeding him bunnies all game.
    Someone’s gotta show those Kareem judges Angels stat line in case they missed it

    • Matty P

      I guess the question that we would need to answer would be if Delgado is considered a PF or C since, at least in my mind, the quality of players in the two award fields vary greatly. If you consider him as a C, which you can argue is where he’s played throughout his college career, then I think he should be included. If you consider him as a PF, which is possibly where he would play if there were a true C on the team, then it’s more difficult to say he should be included. I say this mostly bc while Delgado is great at what he does, he doesn’t have the same overall skillset as many of the other PFs listed.

      • SHUblonde

        So bc he doesn’t have “true” category he was left off of both lists? Or just because he’s not a true Center he wasn’t included on the Kareem list. But then what about his snub on the PF list if you flip it? Just trying to provoke discussion. I think he got snubbed.

        • Matty P

          I think his category should be as a C since that’s where he plays all of his minutes. Similar to how Kris Jenkins based could be considered a SF, but was previously included on the Malone list for PF since that’s the position he plays for Nova. I agree that he got snubbed as a C since you can certainly argue that he’s done more against greater competition than a number of those other players. I feel it’s a more difficult argument as a PF just since you can look at each of those players and argue that most of them have a greater overall skillset than Delgado.

      • PadrePirate

        I get that he’s not a natural 5 but has played 35 min/gm at the 5 spot all season, so I just think of him as a C. If 7ft, dunks, and blocks are main criteria, then sure guys like Patton, Fall, and Karnowski excel over Angel. If he’s not on the Kareem list, he should be on the Karl Malone list, although PF is a more competitive field.

        Other than Teague, I can’t think of a true C at SHU since 2010, besides the back up dudes like KJ and Ajou (who must still have a year of elig left somewhere in cyberspace)

        • Matty P

          I agree he should be considered as a C since that’s the position that he truly plays, not the forward position that’s listed in the programs or based on his size. Based on an article that Jerry Carino wrote the voters should have been able to tell this based on the eye test ( So if you look at him as a C then I think there’s no reason he shouldn’t be included. I think it’s a more difficult case to say he should be included on the Malone list just bc of the depth and skills of competition at the PF position.

  • Seeing reports of 3-10 inches of snow for central Jersey starting around midnight tonight.

    Will be heading home on the train at that time, so should catch some of it though the roads will be barren!

  • VinBick

    Angel and Desi should dominate with significant play by Carrington and Powell. Mike can be the secret weapon, too. Tight “D” will be the key to victory tonight. The Pirates have more talent and experience to protect the home court.

  • Matty P

    Any word on Sanogo’s ankle for tonight? Would certainly help with the depth at the PF and C position if he was able to go tonight. Otherwise I would expect we’re going to see a smaller lineup with Desi at the PF spot for portions of the game.

    • PadrePirate

      Not available tonight and questionable for St John’s. Bench gets thinner.

    • Out. Maybe out Saturday

  • The Hobokenite

    Anything more to Jevon Thomas’ departure that’s not in the news?

    • Will snoop around tonight. Like i noted at the time, dont think him not playing against X was a coincidence.

  • If you havent already heard, Ish is out tonight and Jevon Thomas has left the team.

    Down to 9 ships for tonight.

    • hallstorm

      Oh wow. I did not hear about Thomas. That’s rough. I don’t get that, considering there isn’t much more to the season and he has played more than could be expected for a guy who just joined the team a couple months ago. Could Williard have told him he would be playing Powell more? Or Gordon more?

      • Will ask tonight. But apparently he left the team due to P.T.

        Interesting considering he should have been off the team and was given a second chance.

        • hallstorm

          Let’s hope we can all stay out of foul trouble. Would love to see Gordon produce some tonight, but he seems a little lost out there at times. Have to find a way to get him into the mix as we get into the middle of February

    • PadrePirate

      Surprising and not especially team-minded to do this in Feb during the last push of the reg season. Not like he’s going to get more PT at home. Likely that expectations were higher on both ends. There was quite a bit of hype about him being the best defender in the country, etc. Above avg defender, yes, but he was somewhat of a liability on the offensive end. Powell has definitely earned more PT. We’ll see if Gordon or Soffer can give 5-8 min/gm.

    • SHU95

      I would be happy about this development if my name was Eron Gordon… JT was the 8th guy in our rotation, I guess Powell could see a slight up tick, but in terms of the position & depth chart, My best guess at who picks up his spot is Gordon. Hope he looks at it as an opportunity and goes after it… Chris, Out of curiosity, who do U think was the biggest loss of the three (JT, Carter, & Singh) who are no longer on the team?…Granted they are all reserves but depth is a factor as the season winds down, BE tourney play, etc.

      • Biggest loss for this season’s impact or overall? I’ll go with Veer. Probably Carter long term though. Hall could use another shooter but Singh was inconsistent and not great in other aspects. I wont say JT since he appeared way too one dimensional. Really needed to not get into trouble last winter, that was huge setback for development, etc.

        • SHU95

          Was thinking this season, but appreciate the thoughts on both this season & beyond. I would tend to agree with you, if for no other reason, I simply didn’t see enough of JT. JT’s open ‘ship could be of more value in the long run…

    • Joe J

      Addition by subtraction IMO. He has no offensive game, he’s a horrible free throw shooter and an overrated defender with a lousy attitude and obviously is not a team player. Good riddance

  • LBP

    Actually feel fairly good about Game tonite–just a concern that Bullock does not “go off ” without Ish.
    Too bad J.Thomas did not work out– Guess his career is over.
    Still have no faith in Madison Jones .

  • LBP

    It is early but this Team drives me crazy– a 19-2 run by a Friars Team which is not as Athletic? Really??

    • Matty P

      Providence just kept running right past everyone to the basket. Nobody out there would just step in front of their man and stop the ball.

      • LBP

        Can blame it – a bit- on missing Ish but they look like they are running in mud

  • Matty P

    Delgado amazes me. He’s so good at rebounding but can’t seem to dunk the ball.

    • LBP

      Actually if we were not Fans , that miss was pretty funny

      • Matty P

        Agreed. It’s just surprising that this is the second time that he missed a dunk in a situation where he wasn’t being challenged. Powell’s joke mentioned about his lack of vertical is unfortunately very true.

  • Matty P

    Is it just me or does Sanogo have one less tooth. I don’t remember him missing one of them in the front like I’ve seen tonight.

  • Matty P

    Powell got a good shot to end the half, but why with 3 secs did Willard decide that he needed to get to half court and call a timeout to set something else up.

  • Matty P

    Another hard fought win for this team. Took care of the first of two games before going against the top of the league. Let’s hope these 3 games can build some confidence.

    I was a little surprised to see that Soffer was the first guard to come off the bench instead of Gordon. Not sure if this was Willard trying to matchup based on personnel or the idea that if Providence was playing a zone that Soffer was the better option to stretch it.

    • LBP

      Matty– I am too old to watch this Team–
      Gordon had flu ( altho I think he is too slow) –was pleased with Nez tonite–again it is a shame that Angel gets so little credit

      • Matty P

        I hope you’re not like me where you also follow the Jets, Mets, and Nets. Between those teams and SHU it’s like a year round punishment where you want to pull your hair out.

        Didn’t realize Gordon had the flu. Nezi seems to be a nice compliment to Delgado with his rebounding, running the baseline for easy buckets, and always willing to dive on the ground for any loose balls.

        • LBP

          Matty P– Sadly, and I do mean sadly, I share our pain across the Board