1. Get Isaiah Whitehead healthy
According to multiple reports, freshman Isaiah Whitehead will be out anywhere from two-to-four weeks with a stress fracture in his foot. However, head coach Kevin Willard is known for extremely cautious when dealing with injuries so it is harder to gauge when Whitehead will return. We know that the Brooklyn native will miss games against St. John’s and Villanova, so The Hall will have to play without him for a little while as he recovers.
The biggest attribute that the Pirates will miss from Whitehead is his ability to penetrate and pass to open shooters. Whitehead’s vision is incredible and since he gets a touch on the majority of Seton Hall’s possessions when he is on the floor, it might take some time for this team to adjust.
For now, patience is the key, but even without Whitehead, Seton Hall should be able to compete against the best that the Big East has to offer. When Whitehead comes back he has to be fully healthy and that is vital to the long term success of this team.
2. Improve free throw shooting
The Seton Hall Pirates are shooting just 62.3 percent from the field as a team, but when dissecting individual players the numbers are cringe worthy. Willard’s team does not have a player that is shooting over 78 percent from free throw line and three freshmen have been the biggest culprits.
Angel Delgado has been the biggest concern as he has shot only 37 percent from the free throw line this season. Desi Rodriguez and Khadeen Carrington are both shooting just over 57.5 percent from the line. These three freshmen, especially Delgado, are able to draw fouls and get plenty of opportunities at the line. But if they cannot cash in, the Pirates could find themselves in some trouble.
Delgado’s stellar rebounding has made up for lackluster free throw shooting, but we have seen "Hack-An-Angel" in some games this season. When they are in a close game late, the Pirates do not want to have to take him off the floor to avoid sending him to the line.
3. How the other half lives
In the first half of games, Seton Hall has played well and has built big leads in the opening half that have led to wins. However, in the second half, they do not play as well whether they win or lose. The Pirates outscore opponents by 95 points in the first half while only scoring 42 more points than all opponents after halftime.
For The Hall to find success in conference play, they will have to win games when not grabbing an early lead or even a halftime lead. At times, they will have to come back in games and have shown at times that they can do it. They were able to do it against Wichita State, but it was too little too late after trailing by 15 at halftime.
In general, many people are not able to keep their New Year’s Resolutions and luckily none of the Pirates need to lose any weight, but these will not be easy to pull through on either. However, the fact that this team has showed great chemistry, passion and talent could lead one to believe that they The Hall will have a Happy New Year.