Three Stats, Three Thoughts, Three Quotes: Seton Hall lays second egg on road

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In familiar fashion, No. 19 Seton Hall laid their second consecutive egg on the road in an 80-63 loss to Creighton in a game in which they never led. 

Seton Hall trailed by as many as 16 in the first half after finding themselves in a 20-4 hole just five minutes into the game.

Oddly enough, the scorer of their first four points was then relegated to the bench for the rest of the game as Kevin Willard looked to be punishing Desi Rodriguez for lack of defensive effort and two early turnovers.

Angel Delgado (4p, 4r) would soon join him on the pine via two early fouls as things turned bad to worse before a supporting cast of underclassmen would follow the lead of Ish Sanogo (9p, 10r), who gave his team a mid-half boost.

After cutting their deficit to just 37-32 late in the first half after a Jordan Walker (3p, 2a) triple, Seton Hall couldn’t get into gear out of the locker room with Rodriguez still benched and four turnovers undermining the effort over the opening minutes.

Seton Hall’s condition turned from ugly to terminal when Delgado picked up his fourth foul — a flagrant — for a harmless but purposeful elbow shove with his team trailing 65-47 just prior to the final under-eight.

The Pirates drop to 15-4 (4-2) and have an important three games against Xavier, DePaul, and Providence before meeting Villanova for the first time.

Three Stats

Seton Hall is now +47 over the first 5 minutes of games this season and -22 in Big East play over the same stretch. Fans are beginning to worry about a pattern which has surfaced in league action, as the Hall trailed after the first five in just their first two non-conference games. The Hall has now trailed after five minutes in four of their six Big East games.

It was not a good shooting night for Seton Hall, early and often. The Pirates scored in other ways in the first half (+6 2nd chance, +5 pts off TOs, +3 fast break), but 38-percent from the floor and 28-percent from three isn’t good enough to keep up with a high-octane Creighton team. 

Angel Delgado’s streak of 17 consecutive Big East regular season games with a double-double has ended. Delgado was closer to registering a double-double with turnovers (5) and points rather than rebounds.

Three Thoughts

Kevin Willard made a bold move by benching Rodriguez. After two quick turnovers and some questionable defense, Desi Rodriguez was benched at the 14:16 mark of the first half, immediately after going down 20-4. Rodriguez was seated at the very end of the bench and didn’t look overly thrilled by Willard’s punishment. Myles Cale started the second half in his place, which was a bit surprising as his prior doghouse trips didn’t last much longer than a half. More on this from Willard below.

Is Khadeen Carrington in a slump? He didn’t score until the 4:10 mark of the first half, and has now scored 6, 9, and 4 over his last three after starting the Big East on fire; perhaps scouting reports are clamping down on him. Myles Powell has helped mask Khadeen’s offensive deficiencies of late and the TV team made a good reference about the two less free throws Carrington is attempting per game as a result of his transition to point guard. 

The supporting cast gave the seniors a chance. Ish Sanogo made the best use of his time off the bench, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Myles Cale, and Eron Gordon all had to pitch in, and the collective effort was capped off by Jordan Walker. His refreshing defense and quasi-ill-advised transition three to bring the Hall within 37-32 late in the first half kept the Hall close with the seniors struggling — usually these guys are the ones getting carried.

Three Quotes from Kevin Willard

On Desi Rodriguez getting benched: “Des, he’s been playing so well, so many minutes, he had that look on his face where he just didn’t want to be out there. When he gets that way, you just kind of let him regroup and refocus, and it just never happened, but he’s done an unbelievable job. When you’re playing the minutes he’s playing, sometimes mentally, you just don’t have it. It’s not the end of the world, he’ll get it back.

“He’ll respond, he always does. He’ll bounce back. All our guys will. None of our older guys besides Ish [Sanogo] had a good game. Just because they’re older guys doesn’t mean they’re always going to play well, everyone expects them to play great every night. Sometimes you don’t have a great night and we didn’t have a great night tonight.”

Rodriguez had the following to say on Twitter after the loss:

On the bench keeping team close, then playing a lot late: “I thought Myles Cale did a good job, a real good job defensively. I thought Jordan did a good job in the first half sparking us on the defensive end. He hasn’t palyed a ton, so he doesn’t understand what a good and bad shot on the road is, but he brought great energy. Sometimes when you’re playing Saturday at 2:30 [then tonight], when you don’t have it, you might as well rest your big guys as many minutes as they’ve logged, you have to forget this one and get ready for the next one.

On the road struggles: “If you don’t have your A-game, it’s more mental than anything else, at home teams can find their footing and you can get away with some stuff and then all of a sudden the crowd will get you going. On the road, you have to come out and be sharp, and unfortunately at Marquette and here, we haven’t been overly sharp.”

  • Andrew Herbst

    Ugly game tonight all around. It’s upsetting how poorly our seniors played. I’m concerned about Desi. Alarming that he was benched for the whole 2nd half and played only a few minutes in the first half. Hopefully he learns from this and we bounce back. We have a tough stretch coming up. Can’t let this game get us down.

  • shu_92

    The only thing that pisses me off more than losing this game badly are the idiot callers on WSOU calling for Willard’s head after a tough road loss. These are the same people that wanted to fire Willard before they won the Big East tournament.

    We’re going to be fine. Its not Willard’s fault. This is the strongest the program has been in 25 years.

    Rant over.

    • Mike Walsh

      Agree 100% with your disgust with WSOU Hall Line callers. Had to turn off the station after the game against Georgetown.

      • shu_92

        We’re 4-2 in the second best conference in the country. Tough road losses are going to happen.

        When Desi scores 25 and we beat Xavier on Saturday Willard will get no credit.

        • Mike Walsh

          3-0 at home and 1-2 on the road, not bad. I think we’ll be fine. I predict 5-1 in remaining home games and 3-3 on the road. Finish at 12-6 in conference play.

          • PadrePirate

            It’s hard to win on the road in college hoops. Kids are more emotional and less consistent than pro’s. Your trajectory sounds ambitious, but may be enough for a 5-6 seed. I think we’re more likely to go 10-8 or 11-7 overall and land at 7 to 10 seed.

            A few road losses are to be expected, but blow-out losses, at home or on the road, don’t look good on the resume. Makes you feel like this team could easily lay an egg in the first round again.

    • Didn’t Hall Line callers get angry over his comment that PJ should have a statue and that no one can replicate what he did? ‘Nuff said.

  • Matty P

    Was really hoping they could have kept this game within 10 points. Desi going to the bench early for what appears to be another one of his attitude issues didn’t help and then that was only compounded by Delgado running into early foul trouble. Once you took those two out of the game it restricted what the offense could do. I was pleasantly surprised by the bench guys and how they helped the team get back into the game at the end of the first half. This team is going to need to continue to have them come off the bench to provide energy and a little bit of scoring.

  • Mike Walsh

    Didn’t see the game, but, not worried about the team. Losing by 13 without Desi and Angel for much of the game doesn’t alarm me. Willard was smart to bench Desi in a game that they might have lost with him, this will be a wake up call for the seniors. Thus far, the seniors have been reluctant to share the ball with freshman and these guys will be needed to help the team win come tournament time. The freshmen got decent playing time in a hostile environment and didn’t wilt under the pressure, this is a good sign going forward.

    • Matt

      So true. It seems like every year there are one or two games where it just seems like they let their emotions get the best of them.

  • Matt

    Only positive that came out of this game was the bench. They gave some solid minutes. Mamu just looks lost out there. Zero confidence.

    I said it before this game: I think a win against Xavier at home is more realistc than a win against Creighton on the road. That was a real tough place to play for them. SHU has had Xavier’s number over the past few seasons so let’s hope that they can get the W on Saturday.

    • z06

      I agree with you Mamu looks lost against the better big East teams

  • Joe J

    What kind of answer was that from Willard regarding Desi? Benched by the look on his face? From walker to ish to Desi this team has too much drama to be taken as serious contenders. The collapses on the road show that there is no leadership from the coach and his seniors. Was it the flu? Or maybe the travel? Or maybe they were tired? The excuses need to stop.

  • LBP

    Deeno has to play better-he has confidence issues–Team only going as far as Deeno takes it.

  • Matty P

    Interesting to see how quickly Desi sent out a tweet after the game regarding Willard’s comment. I think this is just the annual game where there’s something between Desi and Willard and Willard takes him out for the remainder of the game. Unfortunately for this game he took Desi out very early into the game.

  • cali jack

    When we needed our A game we delivered our D game instead.Big 3 came up small.At least KC hustled.AD and DR showed a real lack of leadership.I’m tired of AD smiling after a TO or foul.You don’t see anyone else in the league do this.Glad to see bench respond and get more minutes primarily IS and MC and JW in spurts.Don’t know where the Mamu hype comes from.Reminds me of Veer Singh.Saturday is now a must win.

  • Louie Dee

    Something’s wrong with the team. Their last 3 games have been horrendous. Even the g-town game was a bad proformance.

    Something’s also wrong with KC’s shot. I can tell he’s going to miss as soon as the ball leaves his hands. He’s forcing the shots. Also what happened to his beautiful drive to the basket? I’m just so confused…

  • Louie Dee

    Can one of the players call a team meeting already! Lol

    Seriously, if it worked once, why not do it again.

  • Thehall

    Desi is a senior. He can play through anything. Must be more to the story. Or Willard is lost. Ish needs to start our D is terrible. No one stops penetration besides ish. That was a defensive loss. Are we the only team who can’t inbound a ball off a timeout. We start every game from behind Ugh. Fix the lineup. Now we need to regroup because Xavier doesn’t get any easier

    • 2003Pirate

      The 2nd half of the schedule is worse than the 1st half.

    • cali jack

      I agree that Ish deserves starter minutes. Nzei has flat lined the last month after the pre season hype about his supposed off season improvement.He’s back to last years player.Good sub but not a BE starter.However,I don’t know if Ish should start as we need his energy off the bench.The Big 3 have proven to be lethargic starters of games and we need Ish to wake them up with energy.I’d also be tempted to bring in Mamu,Cale or Walker at the first sign that one of the Big 3 is not checked in for the game.These guys need a competitive threat to their job/minutes to get them to rise to the occasion.

  • PadrePirate

    Not impressed w/ Desi’s attitude. I thought we had moved beyond this type of thing. There is no next year for this group. If they can’t show up for each game Jan/Feb, March won’t matter. Doesn’t seem like PJ’s pep talk really hit home.
    I’ll wait to see if they can bounce back vs. Xavier before I cry that the sky is falling, but the last 3 games have been ugly. This team will go so far as their mind/heart can take them.

    • Ardy

      This is crazy. The seniors are the ones who are acting immature. The coach had to do something. Desi rarely passes and when he does it is to KC and KC passes it back to him. That’s why they ALWAYS have a slow start. Others who play as a team will always get the jump on the Hall. It is NOT ABOUT THE SENIORS IT IS ABOUT THE TEAM!!
      When they think it is all about them this is what we get!!! Desi sent out a HA HA tweet about the loss and situation rather than an apology or anger about being benched?! I say start building with the next group. They held their own. Hopefully this attitude is not courageous. AGE DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUATE TO MATURITY!!! I like how Powell tried to step up but the whole thing had to be confusing for the younger players as well as team continuity. Seems like a Gibbs situation again and Gibbs is gone!

      • cali jack

        I think one of the primary reasons for the slow starts is KC is not a PG.He can’t get others involved in a good position to make a play.Angel gets cold/zoned out because he’s not getting the ball. Desi is the only one who can create his own offense.KC can do it as a SG but not as a PG.He gets worn down by the PG responsibilities.Credit him for trying.I like the idea of giving more minutes to the bench ie IS,Mamu,Cale and Walker and living with the results.We’re going to make the tournament and who cares about seeding.We’re not going to win the BE as Villanova is way better than us.The bench can help us in the NCAA tournament with additional minutes during the BE season.If we get to the Sweet 16 and BE tournament semi finals that would be a good year for us and feels about the talent level of this team.Its not 88-89 or 92-93.

        • Rich Ricci

          You’ve all pretty much hit on the major weaknesses of this team and, the sad part is, they’re becoming even more glaring as the season wears on, rather than making expected improvements along the way. The only point I’d like to add is that, aside of Myles Powell, the basketball IQ of this team is very low so, rather than make the “smart” play at critical times, they tend to force things or try to use shear athleticism to beat their opponent, which gets them into even more trouble.

          The lack of a true point guard magnifies the problem because no one is capable of really orchestrating the offense so that guys are given the ball where they’re most comfortable and can be more efficient. Ideally, the starting backcourt should be Jordan Walker running the point and Myles Powell at the shooting guard, with Khadeen Carrington coming off the bench as a combo guard but, due to the current structure and sensitive nature of of the team, I realize that’s totally out of the question, even if the minutes were kept pretty much as they’re now divided up.

          • Ardy

            Thank you RR for saying what many are thinking. KC and Angel made themselves available for the draft and did not get any invitations. This may be the beginning of KW making some hard decisions to win/ keep his job. If SH does not stay TRUE TO THE GAME OF BASKETBALL THEY WILL LOOSE!!! BUDDY BALL NEVER WINS AND IT BREAKS TEAM RHYTHM N UNITY!!!
            I hope that the team and players realize that they owe respect to each other and cut out the foolishness. This is why the better players battle coming to SH. I think some people are receiving bad counsel and believing the hype. On other teams they work together whatever class they are. Powell was teammates with Duval, Waters(LSU) and they were not going to come and sit or go thru this. They are respected players on their teams. Does Nova have these issues?
            This is the time we need to be coming together and not falling apart!!!

          • Louie Dee

            You fellows just provided the best analysis I have ever read on this thread. What a mess.

            I would also like to add that it’s been almost two years without any leadership on this team. Ie. Derrick Gordon

          • cali jack

            You do have to wonder.As freshman IW/KC/DR had issues with the upper class men Gibbs and Sina. Now as Seniors they have issues with the freshmen?If thats true theres a real problem here.Seniors are supposed to be mentoring under class men for the good of the team.Don’t think the issue is AD/iS/MN they seem to like everyone.

          • cali jack

            Nova doesn’t have these issues as they carefully vet all recruits before signing.You don’t see desire for 5 star one and done there.Plus,Wright will only play team players and not put up with anyone who comprises team unity.Certainly,a winning tradition enables all of this also which we certainly don’t have to the degree they do.

          • cali jack

            Better competition makes weaknesses more apparent.Wait until Villanova and Xavier play us.KC as a sub is likely a non starter unless he volunteers to do so which I don’t see happening.Bringing Walker in earlier in games and playing 20 minutes despite the poor choices we know he’s going to make could be an option.KC could then rotate between PG and SG and get his 30 minutes a game. Certainly worth a try particularly against the lower level BE teams.

  • 2003Pirate

    So let me get this straight. With 15 min to go in the 1st half, after 5 min of play, Coach decided to mail it in and keep the bigs fresh for Saturday? R U kidding me? what if they lose Saturday? no you’ve dropped two games coach!

    7/8 seed at best. Could be worse.

    • shufaninva

      I don’t think it was a rest issue. I think he is saying, hey, I have known this kid for 4 years, and I know when he just isn’t all in mentally. Not that I agree with sitting him. I just think that is coach’s take.

      • 2003Pirate

        I was talking about this Quote…

        “Sometimes when you’re playing Saturday at 2:30, when you don’t have it, you might as well rest your big guys as many minutes as they’ve logged, you have to forget this one and get ready for the next one.”

        He saying that because it was a late game on Wednesday, and there is a 2:30 tip vs Xavier on Saturday afternoon, he decided to mail it in and rest the bigs for Saturday. Craziness.

        • shufaninva

          You’re right, that is crazy. Willard pulled that against Creighton two years ago at home. At the time it seemed like season suicide because we needed every win we could get. I guess since the tourney bid is not a debate this year with our ranking, he figures you can throw this one away. Risky little game.

        • Joe J

          Yep you are right. Willard should be coaching in the NFL where his team could get a week off between games in most cases. Absurd mentality.

  • shufaninva

    I know the Hall Line callers can be a bit crazy, but one point that was made is one I agree with and have said for years about Willard. He is able to get about what the expected potential is out of his players. However, rarely do they over achieve. Coaches like McDermott seem to have a higher gift, and can get their players to play above the expected potential. He has several players playing at NCAA tournament level that don’t have the physical gifts our guys have. He’s coaching these guys to believe they are better than they are, and the results show. I’ve never felt Willard was that type of coach.

  • z06

    Every good basketball will lose a game during the year,but this team gets beat they look Horrible wouldn’t mind if they play half way decent during a lost

  • fouline

    Too much emo and hero play. This is a team sport guys. What happened to the poise?! There’s too much talent on the court to lose a game so badly.

  • SHU95

    There were plenty of negatives last night on the court, not to mention the drama which seems to reemerge with our guys from time to time. I did manage to take away one positive however,…I’m glad our bench got on the court, even if it was in extended garbage time. We will not advance with a team that is only 6 deep. Cale, Walker, & Mamu need minutes between now & March. It is imperative that they become reliable options between now & March. FWIW I thought Walker’s performance was very encouraging…

  • Matty P

    I agree that Carrington isn’t a PG despite him trying to make the jump, but I don’t think that means that Walker should be considered for the starting roll. I thought he played fairly well last night, but took a number of really bad shots early in the shot clock and didn’t do enough facilitating on the offense end to consider taking a starting role from Carrington.

    I think the focus of this team needs to be running the offense through Delgado and making sure he gets the ball at least once on each possession and trust him to make the right decision with the ball. Then if the clock gets to under 8 secs you clear out space and allow a player like Desi, Carrington, or Powell make a one on one play.

    • Rich Ricci

      The vast majority of the things you don’t like about Jordan Walker’s game would go away with more playing time, Matty. First off, his decision making would get better, as would his ability to facilitate the offense, with more game experience and secondly, I have to believe his questionable shot selection early in the shot clock could very well be the result of knowing his minutes are limited, so he feels he has to do as much as possible in the little time he expects to have on the court.
      In some ways Walker reminds me of Gerald Greene, who came to The Hall as a high scoring point guard without a jump shot, but scored most of his points in high school on breakaway lay-ups off of steals. Despite being undersized for NCAA basketball, he became a GREAT on the ball defender, so he was able to make the other team start their offense just over half court rather than closer to the top of the key, with the shot clock running down, forcing them to take a rushed shot from deeper than they were used to getting.

      • Matty P

        I agree his decision making and getting more comfortable with the offense should get better with more playing time, experience, and coaching. Unfortunately with him missing a good portion of time with the hand injury it makes this season mostly catch-up since he missed playing against lesser competition and practice time. Because of this I just don’t think it’s realistic to imagine him getting a starting role this season. I do think for this season he can be a valuable contributor to the team off the bench with his energy on the defensive end.

        • cali jack

          I agree it is what it is because of these points.I would hope Sha would really focus on teaching him the PG game and KW finds a way to get him 15-20 minutes a game.All he needs to do is pass and get others involved as a true PG should.We don’t need his scoring.Would improve 2 players JW and KC by getting him more time at SG.

  • VinBick

    Sad to say this, but we are probably cheering for a team that is crashing and burning before our eyes. When the bright lights are shinning, we are witnessing a terrible meltdown by a team that could be damn good. Three of the four losses exposed a team that cannot handle big stage performances. As the losses mount, this is a team that may end up on the bubble or playing in the N.I.T. in March.

    A loss tomorrow will seal the deal. Oh, what could have been……

    • shufaninva

      Wow,

      I think we are quite a ways away from the bubble.

      • Joe J

        The Hall is a virtual lock for the Tournament because they play so well at home and will get to at least 21 wins. They will probably beat Xavier tomorrow because they will play with passion and desire at home. That said, I have zero confidence in them even winning 1 game no matter what seed they get in the Tournament. They normally lack that same passion and desire away from the Rock which drives us fans crazy.

  • 11yearplan

    Guys: Until I see to the contrary, this is an acorn not the sky. 3 years ago when they were 18 they ran into drama and out of gas. To a man each said they would come back stronger and did. They are now seniors who are significantly stronger and capable of addressing the drama, as they have shown us. Just look at the last line of Desi’s tweet and Ish’s tweet. Also this team loves it fans and with a packed house and with almost no X fans in the building the place will rock. I believe they will give us a much better result.

    • VinBick

      Eleven, the potential is certainly there, but this team folds like a cheap suit. The program is a mid to lower level Big East team year in and year out. Once in awhile, a run is made, but we are dealt weak hands in the recruiting games. We get out-coached most of the time. On Monday, the Top-25 will not include our Pirates.

      The seniors have peaked and they are on a downward, tailspin. The only real stud on the team is Myles Powell, and it has been discussed here time and again, the bigs boys shut him out for unknown reasons.

      Oh, how I wish that such dire predictions were dead wrong. Go Pirates!

      • PadrePirate

        I feel much the same way, Vin, but I’m still hoping these guys can turn it around. I actually think it would be better for them to fall out of the top 25. They have lost their edge/drive over the last 3-4 games.

        • cali jack

          I wouldn’t over react until we see tomorrows game.Losing 2 games on the road is not the end of the world.Playing poorly tomorrow is getting closer to that.Lets see how they react and whether KW can get a better effort out of the seniors.

  • PadrePirate

    Didn’t see it, but apparently Krampelj’s injury vs the Hall was a season ender. Shame. That kid has potential. I don’t know how many years of eligibility he has left, since this year has gotta count.

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