Seton Hall’s win over Georgetown coincidentally inspired by ’92-93 title team

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NEWARK, N.J. — Both by chance and by design, the recent presence of Seton Hall’s Big East title-winning 1992-93 team helped inspire this Seton Hall team in a win against Georgetown.

Trailing the Hoyas 26-21 at the first half’s under-eight TV timeout, the Pirates had awoken from their early-game slumber, but weren’t quite on their front foot yet.

Then the ’92-93 team took the court for recognition with a glassy-eyed P.J. Carlesimo at the front of the pack.

As soon as they exited the stage, Myles Powell did his best Terry Dehere impression and was helped by Desi Rodriguez to spark a 9-0 run which would turn into a 23-5 onslaught that effectively won the game.

It’s typical in sports for current teams to get an extra boost when former players get honored at a game. But oddly enough, Kevin Willard and the entire team missed the honoring of history just feet from their huddle.

“Where were we at? I missed it,” asked Willard post-Georgetown, who was then told it happened at the under-eight.

“It was awesome [smiles]. I missed it, at the under-eight in the first or the second half? No one gives me a heads up around here. No, I think we had cameras in the huddle.”

The players also missed out.

“No, personally I didn’t recognize it. I was just too focused on what coach was saying,” said Powell, who coincidentally appeared the most inspired post-ceremony and was able to recall verbatim what Willard said in that particular huddle.

While the team was fueled by chance at Prudential Center, P.J. Carlesimo’s presence at Seton Hall’s practice just days prior was by design.

“It’s awesome. Anytime P.J. comes back, he brings such a great energy, a great passion — he loves this school so much, and to have him around for both practices yesterday was great,” said Kevin Willard.

“Just to pick his brain, and listen to stories he’s telling — I’m still waiting for us to put a statue of him up somewhere because no one is going to do what he did, ever. What he did here was monumental.”

As seen on Twitter, the legendary Seton Hall coach also gave a short speech to the team after practice.

“P.J.’s message was if you want to be good in March, you have to be good now. You can’t wait until late-February and say now we’re going to start fine-tuning for March,” explained Willard.

“His ’89 team and his ’91 team were really good in January and February. That was his message, it was a really good message for my guys.”

“Of course, seeing P.J. in practice yesterday, it was great,” said Angel Delgado.

“It was great to see those guys, they’re legends, that’s what we’re trying to be too. Seeing these guys coming here and support [us], it’s great, I’m happy.”

I then asked Angel what the team took away from the encounter with Carlesimo, and what it means mindset-wise.

“I talked to them [my teammates]. We’re an old team, we’ve been through a lot. The guys know what time it is, they take what Coach P.J. said and they really got it.”

LISTEN: P.J. Carlesimo interview, courtesy of Jaden Daly/DalyDoseOfHoops.com

  • VinBick

    P. J. is a class act, period. He gave the interviewer a real history lesson of Seton Hall Basketball success. The Hall did not first become “good” under P. J. He talked about Walter Dukes and Richie Regan and their successful times in the early 50’s, and he mentioned Nick Werkman from the mid-60’s. Raf’s teams had some good times in the 70’s, too.

    This team has the potential to be historic with continued success in February and March. Go Pirates!

  • Jersey Jerry

    The Hall’s BEST team by far was the ’89 NCAA Runner-Up group that should have taken home the National Championship if not for a BS call w/3 seconds to go in OT … who knows, maybe this is the year we can top that season’s final game. It would be nice 4 sure!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c66de2edecd6c5ad7c54b1040365faf26629f4a689625e4a35da577db6663c0c.jpg

    • Bob Murphy

      I agree. The 1989 team was tremendous. While the 92/93 squad may have been deeper (Adrian Griffin as a Freshman), the 1989 squad got on a roll in the tournament where it took an insane call by a ref to beat them because no one else could.

    • Biff Roughneck

      By far? No. By results, yes, but I think the 92-93 team would have beaten the 88-89 team 3 out of 4 times.

      • Bob Murphy

        We’ll never know, so all we can go on is results.

        In 1985, who was the better team, Nova or Georgetown? Most believe Georgetown would have won 99 of 100 times, but, in the one that counted, the result was the result.

        Same here, that 1989 team was playing incredible basketball at the end of that year. In the tournament, they wiped out Indiana, Duke and UNLV. My assessment was not based on over a year or years, but when it really mattered.

  • cali jack

    PJ’s best teams always improved over the course of the season.February-March they were much improved.A testament to his coaching.I agree the 88-89 team was his best.They had a toughness and maturity the 92-93 team didn’t always have.That said,the 92-93 team had great talent both fulfilled Dehere,Walker and Karnishovas and unfulfilled Luther and Caver. How Hurley took over at point guard for Caver in 92-93,I’ll never know suspect Bob Sr had something to do with it.I think PJ could have done a better job managing and developing Caver.Was at the BE championship game when we beat Syracuse by 30 points.The Western Kentucky game still bothers me as I thought we’d go to the Final 4/Elite 8 that year.We had the talent to do so but played terribly against Western Kentucky.Never woke up,Luther was really in a trance.

    • LBP

      Willard totally out-coached PJ in the Western Kentucky Game

      • cali jack

        Willard was a good coach and we underestimated WK.Only guys who showed up were Dehere and Walker.Very disappointing.

        • Bob Murphy

          I agree with this. As I remember the game, I thought we played the first 3/4ths of the game thinking we could not lose. Then, it was desperation and things did not work out at the end. Then, the finality. It was over. And I think this is PJs message. In college, for seniors, there is no “wait till next year.” It is your last time around with the rest of the guys. Next year, everyone will be in different places. Great to see the guys from the early 90’s there on Saturday. I thought there would have been something at halftime, but surprised there was nothing.

    • RonD

      That Western Kentucky game, we finally went up by 5 late in the game and then that small WK guard (not Willard) bombs in a ridiculous deep 3 off a high pick and roll and we just couldn’t put all together to close it out. Other than Hurley I don’t think anyone else hit a 3. Dehere had 30 points but no 3s as I recall so Western just packed it in inside.

      Willard has done a good job getting our guys to peak in late January & February the last few years. Let’s see if he can do it again.

    • Bob Murphy

      I went to the Sweet 16 /Final 8 round of the NCAAs the year prior in Philadelphia. SHU was beaten by Duke in the semifinal, as PJ – for whatever reason – played Danny Hurley over Caver. Obviously television had a nice storyline, brother versus brother, both sons of coaches, matched up against one another. However, from our perspective, we gave up a huge advantage as Caver was much bigger and quicker than Bobby Hurley was. In fact, I believe on our first possession, Caver beat him to the baseline and got a layup. Once Caver sat down, we allowed Bobby Hurley to orchestrate Duke’s offense. In the crowd, no one could figure it out. Anyway, had we won that game, history would have been very different, as Duke beat KTY and Mashburn that weekend on Laettner’s famous shot off the inbounds. PJ was a great coach – and built the program from almost nothing, but he was stubborn – he had Dehere and Walker, both from St Anthony’s, so maybe he felt he needed to play Hurley so Hurley Sr would keep sending us players? I don’t know. One thing I do miss about PJ. In the Meadowlands, you could hear every word he said/yelled during a game. I don’t know if you could coach like that today, a generation later.

      • Biff Roughneck

        Bobby Hurley had an all time worst game against SHU in that game, thanks in part to the emotion of facing his brother. I had no problem with it — he would have likely fed Caver his lunch.

        • Bob Murphy

          We’ll disagree on that assessment. I think Caver was way too athletic and big for Hurley. Duke would have adjusted, but that might have opened something for other players. Bottom line – Danny just wasn’t the player then (was he a sophomore) as Bryan Caver was.

          • Biff Roughneck

            Right. So in comparing the 89 to 93 teams, you cite results as the delineating factor, but the fact that Hurley won 2 NCAA championships and was a 1st round NBA pick has no bearing in comparing him with a guy that no one who doesnt follow Seton Hall has ever heard of. Booze is the Irish curse, Murphy. Lay off it.

          • Bob Murphy

            Games are between teams, not individuals. I believe a couple of other guys like Laettner, Grant Hill and Thomas Hill may have contributed to those NCAA championships “Hurley won.” As far as personal comments, I prefer to exclude those. Take care.

      • cali jack

        I was at that game also.Duke clearly had the better team with Laettner,Hurley,Hill,etc.I think Luther said he was better than Laetnner before the game.Danny Hurley was really a combo guard as he could handle and shoot but he was a touch slow.Caver was great defensively and could drive to the basket.His shooting and ball handling skills needed to be developed by PJ which never happened.Hurley should have spotted Dehere and Caver that year and then replaced Dehere at SG the next two years.I’m sure the influence of Bob Sr played into this.Hurley didn’t have a good time at SHU as he was treated poorly by the fans and he was a whiner.I think we only got Copeland from St Anthonys after that as I’m sure Bob Sr was pissed.At the end,the careers of Hurley and Caver were less than they could have been because of all of this.Makes me wonder what kind of fit Hurley would be as coach of SHU with this baggage.Doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who lets go of this stuff.

  • PadrePirate

    Thanks, Chris. If those classic, PJ teams can inspire this team to take it to the next level, all the better. We’ve seen some shaky play over the last two games. This team has the talent but not yet the laser focus and sustained energy level of great teams. They’ve put themselves in position to grab a 4 or 5 seed, and make a deep run, but they have to keep improving. Time to dig deep and come out strong vs Creighton and Xavier. No more 1H warm ups.

  • Andrew Herbst

    Awesome article. Hopefully we can have the same success as PJ’s teams come tourney time. Need to come out with a strong start against Creighton.

    • VinBick

      A.H. it is big test time. The Pirates have to steal some quality wins on the road, and tomorrow night is the perfect opportunity to do so. The Marquette loss last week hurt the Pirates in the polls. Although # 19 is not too bad; a couple of wins against two big boys this week will move the Hall back up to # 12 or so.

      Running well and strong defense should be the keys to success. An experienced, healthy team has to produce every night on the road and at home. Go Pirates!

      • Andrew Herbst

        This will be a big week for us. But we are up for the challenge. GO PIRATES!