The last time Seton Hall received a top-15 ranking in the AP poll, a prized recruiting class of Eddie Griffin, Andre Barrett, and Marcus Toney-El was joining forces with Samuel Dalembert and Greg Morton.
The year was 2000. The ranking was 10th. The Sweet 16 was a requirement.
Fast forward to 2019, nearly two full decades removed from that hype train which was ultimately derailed by the end of January, and Seton Hall is sitting 12th in today’s preseason AP poll with equivalent expectations.
Here is an updated, full list of Seton Hall’s preseason AP rankings, indicating just how rare a top-15 ranking is before the season starts.
In both 2018 and 2001, the Pirates found themselves unranked by season’s end.
Should Seton Hall win its first two games against Wagner and Stony Brook during the opening week of college hoops before they clash with top-ranked Michigan State, we could even see that literally little but figuratively large number slide up a few spots in time for Sparty’s visit to Newark. The showdown will be an unprecedented non-conference visit from the nation’s top team.
Elsewhere on the Hall’s non-conference slate, Maryland (7th), Gonzaga (8th), North Carolina (9th), and Oregon (15th) received rankings while Villanova (10th) and Xavier (19th) from the Big East also landed in the top-25; Marquette is unofficially 29th due to votes received.
All told, Seton Hall could face over five different ranked opponents this season.
The Pirates tip off the first of two exhibitions on Friday when they take on D-II Bloomfield before D-III Misericordia visits Walsh next Tuesday (10/29); SHUHoops.com will have on-site coverage from the second of those two tune-ups.