Grading Seton Hall’s 2016-17 non-conference schedule

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Get your affairs in order: Seton Hall officially released the rest of their 2016-17 non-conference schedule on Monday.

If you’ve been a reader of this site you already knew who the Hall would be taking on this coming winter, but it’s nice to see the official lineup along with all game dates.

Friday, November 11 – Fairleigh Dickinson (Walsh)
Sunday, November 13 – Central Connecticut
Thursday, November 17 – @ Iowa {Gavitt Games}
Thursday, November 24 – Florida^
Friday, November 25 – Quinnipiac/Gonzaga^
Sunday, November 27 – ??^
Thurs, December 1 – Columbia
Tuesday, December 6 – Hawaii^
Wednesday, December 7 – California^
Monday, December 12 – South Carolina (MSG)
Saturday, December 17 – Delaware
Friday, December 23 – Rutgers

Schedule strength: A/A-

Seton Hall may not be facing any powerhouses during their non-conference schedule, but they have the potential to play seven high-major schools, six of which would take place away from Walsh Gym and Prudential Center.

Unlike some of Kevin Willard’s earlier seasons in South Orange, events like the Gavitt Games, a trip to Hawaii for the Pearl Harbor Invitational and the Advocare Invitational all add opportunities to pick up crucial resume-building wins in November and December.

The schedule isn’t without its potential blemishes though, as Central Connecticut, Hawaii, Delaware, Rutgers and possibly Fairleigh Dickinson will likely be duds RPI-wise, most of which bookend the entire slate.

Tough stretch. A potential four-game gauntlet at Iowa, then Florida, Gonzaga and another high-major on a neutral court in Orlando would probably be the toughest non-league stretch that I’ve seen in a while, maybe since Louis Orr? This fairly high-profile schedule was really built for an encore return from Isaiah Whitehead.

While an appetizing schedule for someone like me or a fan that will primarily watch from home, this is pretty poor for season ticket holders. The five games against Fairleigh Dickinson, Central Connecticut, Columbia, Delaware and a weak Rutgers will surely be the weakest five on the entire schedule, so there’s that. Obviously the ability to see the defending national champions and a few other really good Big East schools will balance out the value, but the weak front-end is the obvious drawback of playing in three events this season.

The Under Armour-sponsored Monday night game against South Carolina at MSG will probably be inconvenient for most (why not Fri-Sun?), but it does add another twist in the schedule, giving the opportunity for a slightly different type of game day experience.

Seton Hall hasn’t had a non-conference strength rating in the KenPom top-200 since Kevin Willard’s inaugural year at the helm, which we know was mostly a Bobby Gonzalez organized schedule. There’s a very strong chance they match that this coming campaign.

Is it November yet?

  • Jersey Jerry

    11/11 can’t come fast enough … thinking 10-2 at the end of the year w/some real close games played out of town!

    • Without looking more into it, I would imagine 10-2 is a good result from this schedule

  • Matt

    What a bunch of crap. I knew the list coming along wasn’t great but seeing it all together like this is eye opening.

  • Matt

    Is it so much to ask to see Princeton, Monmouth, Iona, or Manhattan? Maybe even Temple or Uconn. Plenty of local teams which would be fun to play.

  • 11yearplan

    Chris: Thanks for posting the schedule and for the way you always keep us informed.

    Strategically I like the idea of having two teams up front and two teams at the end of the non-conference schedule which are considered weaker. Great tune ups for tougher parts of the schedule that follow. Hawaii came into Walsh in the late 70’s. They were a big, physical, talented team. I believe their loss had as much to do with jet lag as it did playing a Pirate team who was in the middle an almost 4 year home wining streak.

    I could not agree more with Matt and Jerry. Load up the local teams as they did in the 70’s. Princeton and Monmouth would be great annual additions. I hope they bring back St. Peters and keep the pink pony rider. 10-2 is realistic. Now that Cashman has sold the Yanks in small market hell with no chance of a pennant until 2019, 11/11 takes on a special meaning.

    • Would certainly like to see Monmouth/Iona/Princeton/Saint Peter’s instead of Central Conn, Delaware (in a very down year), and Columbia.

  • As always, I’ll be releasing more in-depth looks at all of the non-conf. opponents as the season draws closer. Returning players, key departures, series history, etc.

    Some off the cuff things: Iowa loses a lot from their NCAA team, Hawaii even more so, Delaware will be one of the worst D1s, Donyell Marshall’s first year at CCSU — they will likely be very weak, Cal still has NBA talent in Ivan Rabb (NIT bound?). Don’t know much about S. Carolina (Chris Silva) or Florida yet

    • HallBall10

      fwiw, bracketology has Cal as a 7 seed.other sites have them in their way to early top 25. Gonzaga was also thought of as being a borderline top 25 team. That was before jordan matthews transferred from Cal to the Zags moving the needle slightly in opposite directions for those teams.

  • fouline

    The schedule is a step in the right direction. – it’s tougher and more national than any recent schedule. Only problem it’s not really geared for the local fans who go to school or have a job. Next year guys keep some of the big games closer to home. Actually keep them at home.

    • VinBick

      The home games against the cupcakes are going to hurt. Lots of seats would be filled if we were playing the New Jersey-New York-Philly schools who are more competitive and old rivalries instead of Delaware, Central Ct., and whoever. The only good game at the Rock before Big East play is the Rutgers game. And that should be a blowout. With the tougher teams away from home with little fan support, the team may be 6-6 going into conference play.

      • fouline

        Vin, I agree. But it is progressive for the program. They have been a bit too provincial for their own good. They needed to sell the program more nationally. And they did… at the expense of the local fan base. Maybe next year they’ll remember and pick up a big holiday home game as Fish mentioned once.

        • HallBall10

          I’m thinking the scheduling process went something like this..
          Locked into Rutgers,3 game tournament in orlando, @Iowa (Lyons probably hoped this was a home game), was approached for Hawaii games and MSG game (felt like he couldn’t turn them down). With those games being a tough slate and then IW leaving for the draft, he felt that we needed some cupcakes.

    • VinBick

      The away games out of conference are fine. Ideal home games should include Princeton, Monmouth, St Peters, Temple, St. Joseph, Fordham, Manhattan, Iona, Rider, and FDU on a rotating basis. Lots of Alum within an hour of the Rock from all of these schools. A dozen people from Delaware and Central CT combined will be at the Rock against those two schools.

      • fouline

        Vin, we’re going to have to live with it. But next year is a different story.

  • Martin s

    Why no St Peter’s? One Hudson County sportswriter said it is because we lost to them in ’14. That is no reason to avoid one of our oldest opponents.

    • HallBall10

      it was reported that the AD’s couldn’t agree on logistics of scheduling… I’m assuming it started and ended with St. Peter’s wanting a home game within the next couple of years and we said no.

    • That is not the reason why

  • hallstorm

    Glad to see the staff working hard on King. He would really be a much needed power forward:

  • VinBick

    OK, it is August. Let’s play the game of who starts when the first game tips-off in November?

    • Fishjam

      We know the same 4 starters from last year but who is the 5th? If Thomas wasn’t suspended I’d say he starts at PG. Without him, there’s an unknown. Madison Jones and Myles Powell are both going to play a lot so which one starts may just be a formality. Powell has gotten in excellent shape!!

      • VinBick

        Thanks, Water-Dweller. Hope you or Chris or another enlightened one will elaborate on the skills, bio, etc. of both guys. Stay cool, even though the temperature of the ocean water is 80 degrees off of the Jersey Shore!

      • Matty P

        Wow that’s quite a transformation. I think I remember hearing some questions about the type of shape he would be in, but it looks he’s taken it pretty seriously and gotten into great shape.

  • LBP

    Seems J Thomas and Myles Carter both doing great for USA East Coast Team ( Carter a fan favorite)

    • Fishjam

      Glad they got some game experience and seemed to do well. They both have great opportunities for important roles this year. We badly need a PG who can play great D and set-up our offense. And we have a huge need for a defensive presence to back up Angel. Carter has the size and skills for the job.

  • hallstorm