Seton Hall took Saint Peter’s to the cleaners in a 72-46 win on Sunday afternoon in Newark. Angel Delgado notched another double-double, walk-on Mike Dowdy Jr. nailed a triple late in the game, Kevin Willard questions the intensity of his second-teamers and more in my five thoughts, five quotes.
Seton Hall just played the best game of their young season. Granted this isn’t a very good Saint Peter’s team (it was the first time the Hall beat them by 20+ since 2003-04), the Hall was thoroughly impressive in all aspects aside from SPC’s 10-0 run in the first half. John Dunne accurately said the Pirates “brought the havoc” defensively while Kevin Willard’s team was efficient in the half court and in transition.
Willard got away with one today. Yes he has consistently done this and yes the players must partially shoulder the blame but subbing out several starters at the under-16 after building a 19-4 lead backfired today and a better team could have really turned the game around. I get that this can help a team later in the game, but pulling three starters that start hot at the under-16 isn’t something I’d do. More on this in the quotes below.
The defensive intensity today needs to be replicated again and again. Again, Saint Peter’s came into the game 266th in offensive efficiency, but guys like Angel Delgado and the team collectively in transition feed off of strong defense. Wichita State is one of the most fundamentally sound defensive teams, matching their intensity behind the ball will be a huge focal point next Saturday.
Angel Delgado is in form. Now with three-straight double-doubles, Angel is playing his best basketball after a slow start this season due to having to adjust to constant double teams. Delgado scored the first basket of both halves and several of his teammates have stressed to him that he needs to be aggressive when he catches the rock on the block. More on this below.
The turnout at the Rock today was… forgettable. About 2,000 faithful showed up including a lighter student section than usual (the students have been strong over the last few seasons), but that simply won’t do next Saturday against Wichita State. Insert your typical excuses here (NFL Sunday, nice weather, etc.) but the fact is that Seton Hall fans (can we call them fans? Fan = fanatic) would rather do something else than watch this team right now. If they don’t show up next weekend…
Five* quotes (three from Mike Dowdy Jr) :
Kevin Willard on the first half funk: “I subbed a little bit quicker. Our bench has to come in and do a little better — they don’t have to score as much [as the starters] — but they have to do a better job … I think they’re coming in a little passive, that second group has to come in with a little better energy.”
Willard on the team’s focus today: “I thought we came out with good intensity, I was little worried about our guys looking forward to next Saturday … We’re going through too many long stretches where we get complacent on the offensive end, but overall with two days of preparation I thought we did a good job focusing on what we had to do.”
Isaiah Whitehead on his shot selection of late: “I just watched a lot of tape with Coach Sha’ and Coach Willard and I just saw a lot of forced shots, I’ve been shooting terribly the last four or five games … I just watched a lot of tape and I think I approved on that today.”
Khadeen Carrington on Angel Delgado’s form: “I told him he wasn’t being aggressive enough and that he needs to pick it up and since we had that talk he’s been a beast … I just told him he wasn’t being aggressive enough – I think that was [after] the GW game.”
Since he nailed a three-pointer today, walk-on Mike Dowdy Jr gets three quotes. Cheers to Jerry Carino for requesting that Mike be available to the media.
Dowdy Jr. on the feeling after sinking his shot: “All I heard was a big yell, it was like a vibration running through me. I didn’t even really know what to do after I made it, it happened so fast.”
On if he’s checked his phone: “Yeah [long pause, laughs]. It’s blowing up right now.”
When I asked him if he ever thought he’d be surrounded by media after a D-I game: “Not in a million years man. No, not really.”