When: November 22
Time: 7 EST
Where: Brooklyn, NY
How to Watch: truTV
After trouncing Monmouth earlier in the week, Seton Hall will take on a young Oklahoma Sooners team in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Seton Hall’s Outlook
Junior Patrik Auda will look to carry some momentum from his electric 27-point, 10-rebound performance against the Hawks on Monday into the Barclays Center. In addition, redshirt sophomore guard Sterling Gibbs, averaging 17 points a night, should be the focal point of SHU’s offensive attack.
Gibbs has had no trouble getting to the charity stripe, as evidenced by his 12 free throw attempts per game. He’s shooting over 54 percent from the field, and has been the Pirates’ most consistent and effective player through the first four games of the season.
Senior Fuquan Edwin has been disappointing at times, but dominant at others. In his team’s only loss to Mercer, the 6’6" swingman dropped 35 points on 15-of-25 shooting. However, in wins on both opening night against Niagra and Monmouth, he failed to eclipse double digits in the scoring column.
For Seton Hall to have a legitimate shot against Oklahoma, coach Kevin Williard is going to need the type of performance from Edwin that had some NBA scouts buzzing after the end of 2012-13.
The Sooners head into Friday’s game with an unblemished 3-0 record. Led by standout sophomore Buddy Hield’s 18 points per game, Oklahoma has notched victories over Alabama, North Texas and Idaho.
OU has yet to take part in a close game, with all three wins coming by a decent margin. The nine-point win that they registered on an opening night showdown with the Crimson Tide was the closest finish thus far for Oklahoma. Wins over the Mean Green and Vandals were by larger gaps of 13 and 20, respectively.
Four Sooners are scoring in double digits, and sophomore Ryan Spangler has led the effort on the glass with over eight boards a night. As a team, Oklahoma shoots over 48 percent from the field and hits the long-ball at a clip of 39 percent.
Although they’re extremely young, the Sooners are no joke. They’ve got eight games against NCAA Top 25 opponents slated for later this season, and are certainly not to be taken lightly.
It all comes down to Edwin. If Seton Hall’s elite forward can spark the offense with an emotional effort of over 25 points, I’ll take Seton Hall in a close one. However, I’ve got Oklahoma by a large margin if Edwin struggles to get going offensively.
What's at Stake?
The victor of Seton Hall/Oklahoma will take on the winner of #1 Michigan State and Virginia Tech's contest. which will be played at 8:30 EST following the night’s opening game.
So basically, the winner of SHU/OU gets the privilege of getting smacked by the #1 ranked Spartans. Good luck with that, Pirates/Sooners.