Seton Hall starts Big East title defense against Marquette

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Safely in the NCAA field, Seton Hall (20-10, 10-8) meets Marquette (19-11, 10-8) in the Big East quarterfinals on Thursday with tournament seeding and the defense of their 2016 crown on the line.

Potentially without Ish Sanogo, who is still recovering from a sprained ankle that limited him against Georgetown and sidelined the junior glue guy for Butler, Seton Hall may be down to a six-man rotation yet again for the rubber match between these two schools.

Marquette is in roughly the same seeding scenario as Seton Hall: securely in the field at around a 9- or 10-seed with the potential to move up past the 8-9 game if they can win on Thursday, but likely safe from the ‘first four’ in Dayton with a loss. 

The regular season series couldn’t have been much closer with both games coming down to the final possession including an overtime heart-breaker for the Hall at the Bradley Center and a mad scramble for a free-throw rebound at Prudential Center.

Kevin Willard was left burying the box score from the last time these two schools met in Madison Square Garden: a 78-56 no-contest which marked rock-bottom for the Willard era at the tail-end of the 2014-15 campaign.

Like Seton Hall, the Golden Eagles have come on strong down the stretch in the form of winning four of their last five and look to be a team that is peaking at the right time.

Steve Wojciechowski’s guys rely on three-pointers just as much as any team in the country: Marquette has a top-ranked percentage from deep (43%), 37% of their total points come from long range (19th), and freshman guard Markus Howard (13.1 ppg, 2.2 apg) shoots it at the highest rate in the nation at an astounding 55-percent (76-of-138). 

Seton Hall did a decent job on the perimeter back in January (9-for-24 and 9-for-20, respectively) but will need to do even better if Sanogo stays sidelined with dangerous snipers like Katin Reinhardt (10.9 ppg, 54-of-141) and Sam Hauser (8.7 ppg, 59-of-132) roaming the wings; Reinhardt drilled 5 of his 8 attempts in Newark.

Similarly, senior guard Madison Jones, who is playing in his first Big East tournament game, will need to do his best to help contain Howard & Co.

“Madison Square Garden, there’s isn’t much motivation, anything you need [to motivate you],” said Jones.

“You’re playing on the biggest scene in the biggest tournament there is, I can’t wait to be honest. Playing in the ACC tournament was big too, it was exciting playing there too, but Madison Square Garden is a whole new story, that’s what kids dream of right there.”

On the Hall’s side of the court, they must become more efficient on the offensive end despite their big three all reaching double figures in both previous games: the Pirates have turned it over 36 times against Marquette this year; Willard’s team averages 13.6 mistakes per game on the season.

With NCAA uncertainty off their minds — this Seton Hall is very aware they are in the field — it will be interesting to see how the team responds with substantially less pressure on them for the first time in about a month and half since falling in an early 3-6 conference rut.

Despite a perceived lack of onus compared to last season’s entry into the Big East Tournament, Kevin Willard has assured that is not the case.

“This team doesn’t need any inspiration, you’re playing in the Big East Tournament. There’s no rah-rah — you respect the tournament, you respect MSG, you understand the legacy that’s there, you understand that we’re a big part of legacy,” he said.

“We’re a little bit older — we’re past that. You’ve just got to get out and play.”

KenPom says: No. 28 Marquette 79, No. 54 Seton Hall 75 (38%)

Last 10 meetings (SH 4-6; 5-16 in Big East; Willard is 5-9)

Jan. 11, 2017, Marquette 89, Seton Hall 86 (OT), Milwaukee, Wisc.
Jan. 1, 2017, Seton Hall 69, Marquette 66, Newark, N.J.
Feb. 3, 2016, Seton Hall 79, Marquette 62, Newark, N.J.
Dec. 30, 2015, Seton Hall 83, Marquette 63, Milwaukee, Wisc.

March 11, 2015, Marquette 78, Seton Hall 56, New York City, N.Y.
Feb. 7, 2015, Marquette 57, Seton Hall 54, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 28, 2015, Seton Hall 80, Marquette 70, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Feb. 11, 2014, Marquette 77, Seton Hall 66, Newark, N.J.
Jan. 11, 2014, Marquette 67, Seton Hall 66, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Feb. 19, 2013, Marquette 67, Seton Hall 46, Newark, N.J.

Projected Marquette starters
PG – Markus Howard
G – Andrew Rowsey
G/F – JaJuan Johnson
G/F – Sam Hauser
C – Luke Fischer

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

When: Thursday, 230PM ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
Radio: AM970 (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin)
Opening line: TBD

  • hallstorm

    This Marquette team is playing really well. They haven’t just been winning, they’ve been blowing some teams out. The Hall has to open things up for Delgado by hitting some outside shots early–that means Desi and Khadeen need to connect with efficiency. If we can shoot it from the outside, Angel can go into beast mode. If that happens, we have a great chance of pulling this out.

  • Andrew Herbst

    This will be a tough game. Marquette has great shooters. Need to establish Angel inside. Have to hit our 3’s. Need Khadeem, Desi and Powell to hit 3’s. GO PIRATES

  • Joe Schmoe

    both games were tightly contested in the regular season. SHU has come a long was in two months since they last faced each other.

  • SHU95

    This is the rubber match that everyone wanted to see and I recall Chris alluding to during his post after the second matchup. On paper, looks like it could be the most entertaining game of the first round and it will be interesting to see which team can most influence the style of play. I expect, what else, a nail bitter as we have become accustomed to for sure this season, hopefully things bounce SHU’s way! Go Pirates!!!

  • Ardy

    It would be great to get Duval. Who would be the starting 5 next year? I hope they don’t use the pitch that he can wear IW #15 to this 5 star player. I think it would be a turn off when he may start in the NBA before IW.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Umm….IW has already started in the NBA…numerous times.

      • Ardy

        I don’t think it is a good pitch to offer a player of Duvals caliber IW jersey. It not like IW is in the NBA Hall of fame. Duval will probably start for a NBA team consistently before IW.

        • SHUblonde

          I don’t think the staff would offer it but IW already has. He tweeted I think back in January get Duval here and he can have the number, under a photoshop of Duval in a Pirates 15 Jersey. Isaiah is doing his part too.

        • Joe Schmoe

          First, #15 is just a number… IW didnt stay long enough to give it any bit of symbolism or meaning. Just like Nzie wearing Dalembert’s jersey. Or any other player who wore the #33 after Griffen. its #NBD. Second noone “offered” or “pitched” him the #15 number. He didnt even chose a school yet. You are over reacting to a photoshopped pic of Duval in a pirates jersey….basically just friends having fun.

  • Fishjam

    Our games against them were both very close and we had to make huge plays at the end of both games to overcome deficits. But they were so long ago, nearly 2 months is an eternity in a basketball season. I feel both teams have improved quite a bit.

    Key for us take care of the ball, can’t give them the TOs for easy fast-break points. Johnson especially is very quick and long and creates TOs. Do our best defensively to stay with our man and make them shoot contested shots. We should have an advantage on the boards as usual but have to convert our offensive rebounds into points.

    I wish we had some depth because Howard and Rowsey can be pressed and trapped for TOs and to make it difficult for Marquette to set up their offense but with basically a 6-man team we can’t afford to exert that much energy and risk foul trouble.

    • LBP

      Great points Fishjam– I too wish that the Hall had depth to press Marquette–I believe it is their achilles heel– The Hall has better athletes– I do think we control inside and Angel and Crew have to score– Warriors will get their points but not enough to prevent a Hall v. Nova Friday brawl.

      • LBP

        Still can not believe HALL +2000

  • PadrePirate

    It’s nice to be playing without last-4-in type desperation, but I hope these guys are mature enough to show up with fire. We have not helped ourselves in BE play with slow starts. With MU’s shooters and pace, things can get out of hand in a hurry. I think we’re in for a nail-biter, but it sure would be nice to not have to dig ourselves out of a 1H hole. We can do this. Watch the Johnnies upset Nova, setting up a cross-town rival game in the semis!

    • LBP

      PadrePirate-
      When hasn’t this Team been in nail biters for a win? They truly are the Cardiac Kids

  • LBP

    Seton Hall opens + 3–with Sanogo maybe hobbled or out, seems about right– I do like getting the 3 for $$$$$

    • I saw it as +2 but all lines now saying +3, regardless…

  • Larry Karg

    Where did Duval grow up? Wondering if that will be a factor.

    • The Other Matt

      Delaware.

      • Larry Karg

        Got it. I thought I had read he was friends with Myles Powell, but then figure he’d also know Myles Cale given the Delaware connection.

        • The Other Matt

          You read correctly, he is friends with Myles Powell, as it has been reported. Their relationship may have initiated during Duval’s time with the Playaz AAU team in NJ, which both he and Powell played for before Duval began playing for We R1, an Under Armour affiliated AAU team. Although I’m not exactly sure and am speculating to a degree.

          • hallstorm

            Duval is from Delaware, but he played 2 seasons at St. Benedict’s in Newark.

  • PadrePirate

    Don’t be surprised if the Johnnies sneak one away from Nova today. The Garden is basically home court for most of those kids, and they’re fired up.

  • LBP

    In Uniform and off for MSG— Can’t wait to give the Warriors a Beatdown– hope my Brother and Sister Pirates give a great showing today and make the Garden rock

  • Joe Schmoe

    SURVIVE AND ADVANCE!

    • Joe Schmoe

      Hopefully ‘Nova is burning all their gas on SJU this afternoon!

  • I feel like every time I’ve been on the road during a recent SHU game and tried to tune in to 970 AM, they haven’t been carrying the game. Was it just me?
    It’s now 2 minutes to tipoff and their live web stream isn’t on the game either. When do they usually start?

    • Matty P

      I had that issue once before. I tuned into 570 AM and they were playing the game, so you could give that a try. The web stream from Fox Sports Go is working okay for me.

      • I don’t have a TV feed, so it’s more of a Fox Sports No-Go for me. Checked 570 AM’s web stream and they’re not on the game either, but 540 AM ESPN in Wisconsin has it.

  • ThePirateFan

    Whistles really against the pirates so far. Very frustrating!

    • Joe Schmoe

      Turnovers! UGH!

      • ThePirateFan

        Marquette looks like they’ve got a solid game plan thus far. It’ll be interesting to see if the pirates adjust in the second half. Considering the limited rotation the longer they go without equalizing the harder it’ll be.

      • ThePirateFan

        The whistles against the hall are insane

        • Joe Schmoe

          refs are trying to keep it close.

          • ThePirateFan

            Between the refs and Marquette playing like pretend tough guys I’m hoping this loss pushes them to the outside looking in. Making the conference look good be damned, Marquette looks like a bunch of pansies. As I type this Carrington gets shoved to the ground away from the play.

          • LBP

            Refs are treating Nova as national Champs– Team playing hard–love our Guys

  • Joe Schmoe

    Marquette will either live or die by the 3-ball today…

  • PadrePirate

    Strange game for Delgado, 5 dimes but 5 TOs. Sounds like he’s loosing his cool with that ball slap from Rousey… Need other guys to get on

  • Joe Schmoe

    This is a GAME! What a half!

  • Andrew Herbst

    Great 1/2. Rough start but we battled back. Have to keep turnovers down. Love how Angel has been passing

    • PadrePirate

      Yes, but as many TOs as A’s. Sounds like he’s not all there mentally but I can’t see his body language on radio. Hope he’s not going back to his old emotional pouty mode.

      • Joe Schmoe

        They’ll get there heads straight in the locker room…

      • Andrew Herbst

        He’s acting fine. Just trying to force some passes threading the needle

      • Joe Schmoe

        He could triple double with a strong 2nd half

    • PadrePirate

      He has really filled out his game this year–adding that mid-jumper and, during conf play, learning to dish the ball. If the boy could just jump higher than a phone book, he’d be a lottery pick…We’ll keep him for another year!

      • Andrew Herbst

        I hope so!

  • PadrePirate

    Looks like the dogfight we expected… Great game. GO HALL. We can’t get out played by these punks. Not liking Rowsey one bit. If Desi could improve his court vision a bit when he has the ball, he would be a much better player.

  • Payman Mahdi

    Chris, you mentioned on your twitter that official visits can only last 48 hours. If I’m not mistaken, Duval’s Duke visit was longer?

  • Joe Schmoe

    when was the last time a hall player had a triple double?

  • Joe Schmoe

    FREE THROWS ARE ON TODAY!

  • PadrePirate

    How about this D vs the best offense in the BE. Impressive 2H. Hall looking confident

  • Joe Schmoe

    With this W, KW and the pirates are 6-2 in the BET since the realignment.