Five thoughts, five quotes: Seton Hall dismantles Saint Peter’s, 72-46

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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.

Five thoughts:

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.”

  • Andrew Herbst

    Nice win today. Good tuneup for Wichica St. Can’t wait for next week’s game. Will be a great test for us. GO PIRATES.

  • iratepirate

    Not going to accept fans not showing up as an excuse next week. In fact, I’m not accepting any of the following excuses:

    Players not being motivated
    The other team being good
    White kids that can’t shoot
    Players playing out of their position

    The team did what they need to do today. If you schedule too many cupcakes in your schedule, and you have a history of terrible performances in the past few years, you aren’t going to pack the Rock.

    Some people like this idea of a “tuneup” for players before a big game. I think it works the opposite. We saw last year what feasting on cupcakes does. It makes you look like a top 25 team before you get blown out by Georgia and WSU. This year we kept it together and beat a down Georgia team (who may fight on the bubble this year). WSU is over their bumps. We’ll see if this coach is ready to coach up a group of kids and implement a strategy to stop a good team. I think any tournament bid rests on a win next Saturday, and getting ten wins in conference.

  • Jersey Jerry

    WSU just beat number 25 Utah last night so next Saturday is a must win … can’t look at their record you gotta look at the guys on the court. There was no Giant game today so where were the fans??? Has everyone in Jersey turned out to be Jet fans?? Come on, let’s get out there and support these kids.

  • LBP

    Happy the Team did what they did-Good job all around

  • SHULaw05

    Much more efficient game for Whitehead. He got his teammates involved early and often. Terrific team effort resulting in another romp! Now it is time to play lock-down defense on Van Fleet this Saturday. Go Pirates!

  • fouline

    As I said the game was non competitive. What else can you say about a game where St. Peter’s couldn’t even make uncontested shots? Maybe our defense scared them into missing? Next week will be a good test. They may not win. But they are going to have to bring their best to the court or else…

  • VinBick

    So far, no positive impact coming from the freshmen on the team. With last year’s dive, guess the good prospects saw a team to avoid when making their final selection for college. Once Big East play begins, how deep will the rotation be-7 or 8 guys getting playing time and none of the freshmen?

    • HallBall10

      Most freshman already signed by mid-January of 2015 and we weren’t really in play with other top 150 recruits at that point. But yes, not a great followup recruiting class. Yet we still have a really strong young nucleus of players and myles powell’s shooting touch will be welcomed next year.

      I like that we can go into big east play with 8 rotational guys who aren’t true freshman. As Veer improves it will help this team.

      • fouline

        After years of following the recruiting wars, I’ve come to realize that there are really only about 10 to 20 elite players every year. The rest are decent to bad. All have potential but they are underdeveloped. What really matters to school like SHU is the coach. We may never get the elite players but we can get a great athlete and train them. That’s why we fail constantly at moving off the dime. We don’t have a coach who can improve the players he recruits.

    • Matty P

      I think a 7 to 8 man rotation come Big East play should be fine. If you look at most of the top teams in the country they don’t seem to go past an 8 man rotation on most occasions. I think our top 7 should be good enough to keep us in any game, but for SHU to be successful they are going to need Singh to be that 8th man (possibly 9th if Anderson shows he can be a quality backup to Delgado in the post) that can play average defense and show defenses that he can knock down the outside shot. As for the other freshman I have no problem with them taking this year to be more developmental and work on their all around games.

  • SHULaw05

    Our players need to return the favor of last year’s loss in Wichita just like they did for Georgia this year. In addition, this school also sent us home in the 1st round of our last appearance in the tournament. I truly hope we can win this Saturday. It would go a long way for us come March. Go Hall!

  • Matty P

    Looking like SHU missed a golden opportunity to schedule a quality in state team in Monmouth. Not sure if they will stay to the top of the MAAC, but hopefully SHU will try to get them on the schedule in the future since it’s an easy team to travel to.

  • fouline

    Chris, am I miss-remembering but didn’t Monmouth beat us a few years ago? Or was it FDU?

    • VinBick

      St Peter’s and FDU have beaten the Hall, but not Monmouth. During the dizzy Gonzo era, the Pirates were up by 35 against Monmouth with 10 minutes to go in the game. Gonzo had his players continue pressing full court…… When Monmouth opened their new facility around 2010, Seton Hall was there.

      • fouline

        Thanks, Vin.