Seton Hall’s impressive non-conference schedule tips off on Friday night — how do you think the Pirates will fare prior to the Big East?
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about this year’s non-league slate — here are just five — as it provides opportunities for the Pirates to boost their NCAA tournament resumé as well as exert dominance over a whopping seven local programs.
Cutting right to the chase, below are my predictions for how the Hall will do prior to grinding through their Big East schedule.
What do you think? Answer the poll below and leave a comment with reasoning.
WIN – Nov. 10 – Fairleigh Dickinson – FDU returns many pieces from an 11-19 team that disappointed last season following an NCAA bid, but that won’t be nearly enough for an upset on Seton Hall’s opening night.
WIN – Nov. 12 – Monmouth – Last year’s Monmouth team would have a real shot here, but King Rice loses four senior starters including star guard Justin Robinson. Hall takes care of business against a young group.
WIN – Nov. 15 – Indiana – New head coach Archie Miller surprisingly retained a solid core of Hoosiers from last year’s 18-16 NIT team. Regardless, Hall adds a win for the Big East by 5-10 points.
WIN– Nov. 18- NJIT – Like Monmouth, NJIT lost key seniors in Damon Lynn and Tim Coleman. One of only a few cupcakes on the schedule.
WIN– Nov. 23 – vs. Rhode Island – Ranked 28th in the preseason AP poll, Rhodie and Dan Hurley project to be better than Indiana and the first major test on the slate, especially with the game taking place in Brooklyn. Pirates prevail.
LOSS – Nov. 24 – vs. Virginia/Vanderbilt – I see Seton Hall going 1-1 in the preseason NIT. If they lose to URI, they win the second game. The more likely scenario is losing to UVA — ranked No. 27 — in the final.
WIN– Nov. 30 – vs. Texas Tech – The Red Raiders project to be similar to Indiana: a high-major that was above .500 but missed the NCAAs and returns a decent amount of rotation players. I think this one will be closer and it takes place at the Garden, but Pirates still win.
LOSS – Dec. 3 – at Louisville – Subtracting all the FBI-related news, the Cardinals are ranked 16th and this will mark Seton Hall’s first road test. Assuming no game-changing NCAA hammers drop on Louisville at the last second, they hand the Hall their second loss here.
WIN – Dec. 9 – vs VCU – The Rams will be talented, but won’t match their 26-win NCAA tournament team from last year after losing five key seniors. Pirates win at a neutral court Prudential Center.
WIN – Dec. 12 – Saint Peter’s (Walsh Gym) – Glad to see this game back on the slate. John Dunne turned around a slow start to win 23 games and the CIT, but he also loses several seniors who were on the team that beat the Hall back in 2013. Seton Hall wins comfortably.
WIN – Dec. 16 – at Rutgers – Last year’s win was a little too close for comfort after a series of blowouts that preceded it. Angel Delgado cements a rare four-year sweep of the in-state rival with a fourth double-double against an improved Rutgers team.
WIN – Dec. 20 – Wagner – The Seahawks lose their only three guys who averaged in double figures during a 16-14 campaign a year ago. This projects as another rare cupcake.
WIN – Dec. 23 – Manhattan – The Hall should wrap up their non-conference schedule on a five-game winning streak, this is not the Manhattan of years prior. They don’t lose much, but just suffered their second consecutive losing season (10-22).