On the road again
Two games ago, Seton Hall got their first taste of the road, and just as coach Kevin Willard predicted after their win over Rutgers, the Pirates got "punched in the mouth." The Hall held their own in the second half, but could not complete the comeback against Wichita State. The Blue and White look to get their first win in a true road game this season. This time around they are playing a team that upperclassmen have some familiarity with and in an environment that is nowhere near as rowdy as the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita. The Sun Dome does hold over 10,000 fans, but in recent years they have not been showing up. If they do not fill up the arena again, it will be a nonfactor for Seton Hall.
The key for the Pirates is not only to have freshmen Isaiah Whitehead and Angel Delgado settle in, but also for the veterans like Sterling Gibbs, Brandon Mobley and Jaren Sina to be comfortable. Seton Hall’s veterans really struggled against the Shockers and for the Pirates to have get back on track on the road they will need to show up.
History in the Big East
It has been almost two years since the Pirates and Bulls locked horns in a first round game of the 2013 Big East Tournament that saw the Hall prevail with a 46-42 win in overtime. This time around, the two foes are in different conferences and both are looking for a non-conference resume building win. Bulls’ senior and leading scorer Corey Allen Jr. did not play in last two meetings between these two programs, but he will look to have a big night for USF. Allen leads the team with 16.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. If he struggles from the field, the Bulls could be in trouble.
For the Pirates, senior Brandon Mobley played in the first of the two meetings during the 2012-13 season and had 14 points in the regular season win over the Bulls. If he shoots well and is able to be solid on defense the Pirates will be in business.
Bulls coming off first home loss under new coach
Under first year Head Coach Orlando Antigua, the Bulls are 1-3 on the road and were 4-0 at home until dropping their first of the season in Tampa against Georgia Southern on Monday. The Bulls rank 217th in average points allowed, which makes them one of the worst overall defenses in college hoops. They will have to contain Whitehead and Gibbs if they want to have a chance.
For the Pirates, it is vital for them to get out to an early start and lead at the half. In all eight of their wins this season, the Hall have held a halftime lead. When they lost to the Shockers, Seton Hall trailed by 15 at recess. It may seem elementary, but if that trend is in the Pirates’ favor, they will likely finish this one off.