Long-time rival Saint Peter’s stands in way of an 8-2 Seton Hall start

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Following a scrappy mid-week win against Troy, Seton Hall (7-2) will play host to long-time in-state foe Saint Peter’s (3-4) in a Sunday afternoon matinee at Prudential Center.

The most-played non-conference opponent in Seton Hall history, Saint Peter’s will look to win for the second time in three tries at the Rock and put a dent in the 62-24 all-time series record.

Scouting Saint Peter’s:

Ranked 224th in KenPom, John Dunne’s Peacocks are playing this season after losing key seniors and top three scorers Marvin Dominique (13.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Desi Washington (13.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Tyler Gaskins (9.2 ppg). Sitting at 292nd in team experience, Saint Peter’s dropped four straight games earlier this season, three of which were on the road, and have oddly started their MAAC season abnormally early in the form of wins over Rider and Siena.

As called by Jaden Daly early last month, freshman guard Antwon Portley (16.7 ppg) is leading the team in scoring including pouring in 30 points in his debut against Brown. Returning forwards Quadir Welton (12.8 ppg, 84 rpg) and Swedish senior Elias Desport (3.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg) will go up against a suddenly in-form Angel Delgado (8.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg) who has put up back-to-back double-doubles against Rutgers and Troy; Angel has rebounded in the double digits five games in a row now.

Neptune, New Jersey native Trevis Wyche (10.1, 4.6 apg) returns as a junior and plays point guard for the Peacocks while Trenton Catholic product Chazz Patterson (11.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg) plays on the wing. Saint Peter’s has a heavy local flavor in their rotation including sophomore guard Elisha Boone (3 ppg, 3.4 rpg), who played with Isaiah Whitehead and Desi Rodriguez at Lincoln, as well as freshman guard Cameron Jones (6.9 ppg, 2 rpg; Pennsbury, Pa).

Saint Peter’s is fairly average to below average in most statistical categories but protect their defensive glass at the 10th-best rate in the country, which is a stat Mike Nzei (6.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Ish Sanogo (5.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Delgado (3.2 ORebpg) will put to the test.

Three things to watch:

With Ish Sanogo coming off the bench against Troy in his first action after injuring his shoulder, how will Kevin Willard manage him and an emerging Mike Nzei? Kevin Willard has been openly pleased with their production so far this season; I think he should ride the hot hand of Nzei and bring a recovering Sanogo off the bench on Sunday.

Some consistency assist-turnover wise from Isaiah Whitehead. I thought Isaiah played well against Troy despite taking some questionable shots but he needs to string two strong games in a row with a ratio over 2:1 in the assist:turnover department. He scored in a ton of ways and two of his turnovers weren’t very impactful but did take 20 shots.

Khadeen Carrington. Silently emerging as a more-efficient scorer than Whitehead, Seton Hall’s two-guard scored 11 and dished 4 against Troy and has reached double figures in seven-straight games now. Portley and Wyche vs Carrington and Whitehead will be fun.

Last 10 meetings (SHU 9-1; 62-24 all-time):

Dec 14, 2014 - SETON HALL 67, Saint Peter’s 52
Dec 14, 2013 - Seton Hall 80, SAINT PETER’S 83 (OT)
Nov 25, 2012 - SETON HALL 76, Saint Peter’s 61
Nov 26, 2011 - SETON HALL 63, Saint Peter’s 54
Nov 29, 2010 - SETON HALL 69, Saint Peter’s 49
Nov 13, 2009 - SETON HALL 53, Saint Peter’s 51
Dec 13, 2008 - SETON HALL 60, Saint Peter’s 46
Dec 4, 2007 - SETON HALL 85, Saint Peter’s 75
Nov 27, 2006 - SETON HALL 80, Saint Peter’s 60
Nov 28, 2005 - SETON HALL 66, Saint Peter’s 57

KenPom says: No. 55 Seton Hall 75, No. 224 Saint Peter’s 62 (89%)

Projected Saint Peter’s starters:

G - Elisha Boone
G - Antwon Portley
G/F - Chazz Patterson
F - Elias Desport
F - Quadir Welton

Projected Seton Hall starters:

PG - Isaiah Whitehead
G - Khadeen Carrington
F - Desi Rodriguez
F - Mike Nzei
F - Angel Delgado

Time: 2:30 et
TV: FOX Sports 1 (Dave Sims & Jim Spanarkel
Radio: 570 AM (Gary Cohen & Dave Popkin)
Opening line: Seton Hall -13.5

  • LBP

    If this is not a “walk-over” than things are very wrong. St. Peters can not stop any of the Hall’s Bigs- Just get them the ball.

  • fouline

    Another non-competetive game. The wins are nice… but meaningless.

  • PadrePirate

    Pretty amazed that KenPom has us at n.55-how do they come up with those numbers?

    Most of the other BE teams are looking pretty strong so far. The way we’re playing now, I’d say 9-3 non-conf plus 6-12 in conf.

    My pre-game wish list for Santa:

    The two starting guards combine for 12+ assists and <6 TO's. IW shows a little discipline and limits himself to <20 shots while raising his FG%. All 3 PF's get double-doubles or close. Wings come alive with some nice 3's from the corners.

    Also hoping that the next 3 teams throw some nasty zones at our boys, to force them to figure this out before BE play.

    Wichita St had a nice win tonight BTW

    • Fishjam

      Padre those are pretty good things to wish for. Once the Big East games start, the Pirates are going to see a lot of Zone and/or teams double-team trapping Whitehead. The Pirate offense has had no answers for that this year and the good BE teams will know this.

      As much as a lot of us complain about IW’s decision making, he is by far our best play-maker. Dino can be a dynamic scorer but he’s not a great passer or shooter. Most of his points are from driving to the hoop or in transition. I’d like to see IW play more off the ball and receive the rock in other areas besides 10 feet behind the arc all the time. Set him up in the corner and let Gordon or Dino drive and dish to time for a corner 3…..or let him come around some Delgado or Ish screens to catch and shoot.

      I’m hoping Willard will get more creative offensively and start running some more sets soon now that the team has had some time to gel and players understand their roles. Willard has often talked about the period after the St. Peter’s game as a chance to have a lot of practice time with the team to add some new things. After today’s game, they play only 2 games over a 17-day stretch leading up to the BE opener @Marquette.

      • PadrePirate

        Amen to all that, esp getting IW out on the wings more. Unf, I can count on one hand the number of corner 3’s I’ve seen this year. I don’t get to watch all the games, but, from what I’ve seen, most action happens around the key with drives into the lanes.

    • Do you think the ranking is too high? (They are 60th now after last night’s games)

      • PadrePirate

        Yes, offensively at least, this is not a top 50 or 60 team. I’m not talking stats, but real, in game play. We still see far too many impotent offensive possessions with poor movement and bad shot selection. We have a lot of talented guys, they do not strike me as intelligent, disciplined players.

        The defects they do have could be coached out of them by a stronger staff, but for some reason we let the same mistakes happen over and over with no apparent reaction from the bench.

        The BE coaches know by now how to beat a Willard-era team. Of course, there’s still time to work and improve. But, if they don’t, I’m afraid we’ll see a repeat of last year, around 6 BE wins.

        • ThePirateFan

          KenPom rankings, historically, are very accurate compared to any other method. They typically aren’t accurate early in the season (not enough games played means not enough statistical data can be gathered), and perhaps this KenPom line is representing that now.

          Come tournament time they are a good way to predict Cinderella teams, including Davidson’s run with Steph Curry. With hardly any time to scout their next opponent, come up with a game plan, and I assume get a practice in, many top coaches use it to get a sense of the style other teams play in. Do they play a fast-paced, up and down game? Do they try to set up 3’s? Do they run through their offense methodically and are disciplined in their shot selection? These are all things that can be gathered with reasonable accuracy from KenPom. If you find this stuff interesting, this is worth a read: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/sports/ncaabasketball/24ncaa.html?_r=0

          It’s is also a major, major reason of why Brad Stevens was such a successful college coach. He trusted the analytic metrics used by KenPom and others. When he took the Celtics head coaching job, he actually said something to the tune of, “I’m in, but my stats guy has to come with me.”

  • Andrew Herbst

    We have to win this game pretty convincingly. No excuses. Whitehead and Carrington have to take control.

  • iratepirate

    Another waste of a game schedule wise. Our schedule was “middle of the way” preseason, and now after one unfortunate loss and some under-performance by our foes, our OOC SOS is now among the lower tier in the nation. I still don’t understand why we don’t schedule harder. I assume it is to pad Willard’s resume for the next contract extension talks.

    The kids learn nothing in these games. What does Troy or St. Peter’s prepare you for? It allows for us to hide sloppy play behind a “W”. Yes, every year requires a few cupcake games, but 2 or 3 is fine. We started with Dartmouth and Wagner. We didn’t need any more SOS killers.

    Teams that could easily replace St. Peter’s or Troy:

    Iona
    URI
    Davidson
    Richmond
    ODU

    These are all top 100 teams right now, are drive-able, and at least pack an ounce of juice for fans. There are also better Ivy teams close by we could play on a regular basis, like Princeton. Or you grow a set of balls and play a decent team in the American like Temple, Uconn, Memphis, Cinci.

    Give the schedule some juice and win or lose your kids actually learn what it is like playing a good team.

  • Fishjam

    Wow, you can’t ask for a better start. If you can bottle up the way they played over these first 3-4 minutes you wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Fishjam

    Beautiful start…great passing…all 5 starters have already scored in the first 5 minutes….nailed 4 high-percentage 3’s….defensive pressure and effort is great. Playing an over-matched team but nice to see the cohesiveness.

  • Fishjam

    Don’t understand Willard’s substitutions early. Team was playing incredibly and he pulls IW, Desi & Angel just 4 minutes in and they’ve been horrible ever since. 4 turnovers because Dino and Gordon arent PGs and they have Singh trying to defend a quick guard. 10-0 run since

  • PadrePirate

    Scary 5 min stretch without a basket

  • John Fahey

    It kills me to watch Singh stand in the corner and wait for a chance to MISS another 3 pointer. 4 man offense with him in, and his defense is no thrill.
    Young guy to hit 3 pointers? SOFFER DOES THIS! KW personnel moves baffle me.

    • Fishjam

      Yeah Singh has been a disapointment early this season. Whether his wrist is still not 100% or he is just too inexperienced, he’s a detriment. We knew he would struggle defensively but the thought was he would supply a badly needed outside threat. However, except for the Bradley game, his outside shooting has looked very out of rhythm and his defense continues to be a liability. I understand giving him minutes in these types of games to try to get him going but he cannot play meaningful minutes against quality teams right now. 5 fouls and 0 for 3 on 3-pointers in 13 minutes vs a poor St Peters team is just terrible. Guards are too quick for him and forwards too strong for him to defend at this point.

      The emergence of Desi as a wing who can hit the 3 if left open and Nzei as a sure-handed catch and finish player down low are huge positives that lessen the importance of getting Singh in the game. Against Wichita St, Singh’s 12-14 minutes need to be reduced and divided between Desi, Ish, Nzei & Gordon.