Well, it's the end of the Jeremy Hazell/Herb Pope era (interesting fact-last night was the first time since '06 that Seton Hall played with no Bobby Gonzaels-coached players) and one might be decieved into thinking that the Pirates (predicted to get 14th out of 15 in the Big East in the preseason coaches' poll) will not do anything this season...or one might not tink about Seton Hall at all. But after a dominant 75-36 performace over UMKC last night, I think they can make something of themselves this year. And here's why:
The Returning Players:
Junior Fuquan Edwin, a lanky swingman who averaged 12 and 6 last year with 3 STEALS PER GAME, should be the main guy on this team. He's a smooth finisher with a solid outside shot and he's still got a lot of potential. They also have sophomore Aaron Cosby, a strong, if undersized combo guard with a good outside shot. He came on strong last year and should be a leading scorer. Edwin and Cosby could probably start on several Big East teams. They also have a couple talented bigs who can shoot the ball, Patrik Auda and Brandon Mobley.
The New Guys:
The Pirates' transfers are where the production of Pope and graduated PG Jordan Theodore can be replaced. Brian Oliver, a swingman from Georgia Tech, averaged 10 and 4 in his last year at Georgia Tech. Kyle Smyth, a guard who played for coach Kevin Willard at Iona, is a great shooter and averaged 10 ppg in his second year at Iona (his scoring dropped to 5 ppg his last year). And Gene Teague, a 290 lb Center from SOuthern Illinois, averaged 7 and 5 at SIU and, from last night's perfomrance, looks like a guy who can be a strong, legitimate Big East center. And the lone freshman, a relative unknown from Israel, Tom Maayan, started at PG last night and played a solid game. He looks like a guy who can certainly be a Big East backup PG.
Granted, this was against a 10-21 Summit League team. But they showed that they are a cohesive unit that can play the exciting brand of ball that SHU is known for, even without Cosby and PG Freddie Wilson. 4 guys scored in double figures last night. And the Pirates also showed discipline on defense, allowing 14 second-half points.
I think the Pirates have a solid chance at the NIT, a moderate chance at the NCAAs, and a very good chance of being higher than 14th in the conference, with Rutgers losing last night to St. Peter's. So, you heard it here first. Who needs Aquille Carr? These Pirates might potentially be somewhat FOR REAL