Preseason Preview: Seton Hall


(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

The first official practices of the 18-19 college basketball season are in the books and Paint Touches is celebrating by counting down every Marquette opponent from worst to first. Each preview will contain a look at how the opponent did last season, who they lose, who they gain, reasonable expectations for their season, and our own prediction of how their matchup(s) with Marquette will go. This series will start with the most under of underdogs and progress all the way up to most unbeatable of opponents. We will be releasing one a day ending the day before Marquette’s exhibition with Carroll. That’s right, when this series ends, Marquette basketball will finally be here.

Team: Seton Hall Pirates
17-18 Record: 22-12 (10-8 Big East)
Postseason?: 8 seed in the NCAA tournament, beat the 9 seed before losing to 1 seed Kansas
17-18 KenPom: 26
Date: January 12, 2018 & March 06, 2018
Location: Fiserv Forum & Prudential Center (Newark, NJ)
Coach: Kevin Willard (9th season)
Projected KenPom Range: 50-100
Projected Conference Finish: 9/10 in the Big East

Departures from 17-18
Khadeen Carrington: Starting PG: 32.9 mpg, 15.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 2.3 tpg, .418 FG%, .368 3P% (Graduated)
Desi Rodriguez: Starting SF: 30.3 mpg, 17.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.5 bpg, 2.0 tpg, .498 FG%, .373 3P% (Graduated)
Ismael Sanogo: Starting PF: 23.1 mpg, 5.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.9 bpg, 0.9 tpg, .536 FG%, .458 3P% (Graduated)
Angel Delgado: Starting C: 30.9 mpg, 13.6 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.5 tpg, .505 FG%, .000 3P% (Graduated)
Eron Gordon: 4th Man off the Bench: 8.2 mpg, 1.5 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.4 tpg, .447 FG%, .353 3P% (Transferred to Valparaiso)
Jordan Walker: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 17 games (Transferred to Tulane)
Phillip Flory: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 23 games (Transferred to Albany)
67% of scoring, 67% of rebounding, 72% of assists, 66% of steals, 68% of blocks, 54% of 3PM

Taurean Thompson: Transfer PF from Syracuse
Quincy McKnight: Transfer PG from Sacred Heart
Jared Rhoden: 3-star SG, ranked #199 by 247Composite
Anthony Nelson: 3-star PG, ranked #204 by 247Composite
Romaro Gill: 2017 JUCO Transfer C (returns from redshirt)
Darnell Brodie: 2017 3-star C, ranked #373 by 247Composite (returns from postgraduate year)
Asiah Avent: Walk-on SG

Probable Starters:
PG: Quincy McKnight: 6’4” 185 lb RSJR: 35.2 mpg 18.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.2 bpg, 4.6 tpg, .429 FG%, .321 3P% (16-17 stats for Sacred Heart)
SG: Myles Powell: 6’2” 195 lb JR: 31.7 mpg, 15.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.2 bpg, 2.0 tpg, .433 FG%, .379 3P%
SF: Myles Cale: 6’6” 210 lb SO: 17.2 mpg, 4.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.1 bpg, 0.9 tpg, .467 FG%, .283 3P%
PF: Michael Nzei: 6’8” 205 lb RSSR: 16.6 mpg, 3.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 0.7 tpg, .576 FG%, .000 3P%
C: Taurean Thompson: 6’11” 215 lb RSSO: 17.9 mpg, 9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.0 bpg, 1.3 tpg, .546 FG%, .188 3P% (16-17 stats for Syracuse)

Probable Bench:
Sandro Mamukelashvili: 6’10” 230 lb SO PF
Jared Rhoden: 6’6” 205 lb FR SG
Anthony Nelson: 6’4” 175 lb FR PG
Romaro Gill: 7’2” 255 lb RSJR C
Darnell Brodie: 6’9” 265 lb FR C

Probable Benchwarmers:
Shavar Reynolds: 6’2” 195 lb RSSO PG
Asiah Avent: 6’3” 180 lb JR SG
Ikechukwu “Ikey” Obiagu: 7’1” 255 lb SO C (Redshirting due to NCAA transfer rule)


• All good things come to an end. Coach Willard rode the wave of his monster 2014 recruiting class as long as he could but they have mostly all graduated (Michael Nzei is still around after taking a redshirt season). The Pirates lose more production from their roster than any other Big East team besides Villanova. Seton Hall counters these losses with a pair of talented transfers and a low ranked but deep recruiting class. With so many departures, the success of these newcomers is going to be vital to keep Seton Hall from tumbling into the basement of the Big East.
• With the 2014ers gone, the new big man on campus is Myles Powell. The rising junior was a prolific scorer last season with an eFG% around 55% and over 90 three pointers made. Even at 15.5 ppg, Powell was only the 3rd leading scorer for the Pirates. His transition to become the main man will be one of the most crucial for the Pirates this season. He is a prolific scorer but last year relied on his teammates finding him for a spot up jumper or freeing him up off a screen. The few plays he attempted in isolation were usually not successful. Still, Powell has enough scoring ability and talent that he should be an All Big East caliber player next season and may even find himself on the first team when all is said and done.
• It is not an exaggeration to say that Seton Hall’s hopes for the 18-19 season rest mostly on the shoulders of Quincy McKnight. Anyone who resembled a PG on last season’s roster has either graduated or transferred. Unless low ranked true freshman Anthony Nelson is ready from day one or Myles Powell shows some PG skills that he’s never shown previously, it will be up to McKnight to fill in at the most important position in basketball. McKnight put up monster numbers at Sacred Heart and was an All-Conference player in the NEC. But…he played in the NEC, the 3rd worst RPI conference that year, and for a team that didn’t even do that well in that lowly conference. His eFG% was criminally low and his turnovers were almost 5 per game. Some of that is a product of being the only player of quality on the roster and some of that is being a volume scorer against bad competition. Value Add doesn’t give him much hope, giving him a score of 1.13 (which indicates he would be the sixth or seventh best player on an average team). But if McKnight can prove the eggheads wrong then Seton Hall won’t be in for as steep of drop off as many are anticipating.
• The biggest reason for hope in Newark is Seton Hall’s other transfer, Mr. Taurean Thompson out of Syracuse. The former top 100 player has solid argument for best transfer coming into the Big East this season, right up there with Villanova’s Joe Cremo, Butler’s Jordan Tucker, and Marquette’s Ed Morrow Jr. In his one season with the Orange, Thompson proved himself to be an efficient scorer and intimidating rim protector. He does most of his work down low but was advertised as a big who could step out and shoot from distance. He never found that range at Syracuse but if he found his shot during his redshirt season, he could be one of the most dominant big men in the Big East next season.
• Besides the PG position, depth will be the biggest concern for Coach Willard. The top three of Powell, Thompson, and McKnight should be solid, but likely starters Cale and Nzei left a lot to be desired. Backup C Sandro Mamukelashvili showed promise in limited minutes but is likely still a year away. They bring in three freshmen but none are ranked higher than #204. Unless they have a couple of players make big jumps or diamonds in the rough emerge, Pirate fans will be in for a long season. If they are not careful, they may not even finish ahead of DePaul.

• Last season Seton Hall was a top 30 team and Marquette couldn’t even make the tournament. Marquette still swept the season series, including a 20-point coast to coast beatdown in the Bradley Center. Marquette is trending up and Seton Hall is trending down. A second straight year of sweeps looks to be in the cards for the Golden Eagles.

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Categories: Analysis, Home, Offseason, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic


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