1) Pirates are dominant in home openers
Seton Hall is entering its 104th season of basketball and when the Pirates begin a new year of basketball, they tend to do it in style. The Pirates are 88-14-1 all-time in season openers and 76-7 in season debuts as the home team. Seton Hall has won their last four home openers and will look to make it five on Friday. In home nonconference games, the Pirates are 33-4 under Coach Kevin Willard. If history is any indication, Seton Hall should have no problem defeating Dartmouth.
The Pirates, like many teams in the conference, are starting off the nonconference slate with lesser competition as they build to the tougher matchups later on in the season. However, the Big Green have played the Ivy League tough in years past so expect them to put up a fight. But, in front a good crowd at The Rock, Seton Hall should take care of business.
2) Hall’s athleticism should provide mismatch
Dartmouth has plenty of experience on a roster that only has three freshmen, but the Big Green should be no match for the size, strength and athleticism of Seton Hall. Players like Isaiah Whitehead, Angel Delgado, and Khadeen Carrington should have their way offensively. Whitehead had 40 points against Baruch in the exhibition game and looks great shooting the ball so expect him to be the main cog in the offense.
The Pirates will look to get a more efficient shooting performance from Carrington who shot 4-10 from the field and missed his two, three point attempts. Delgado will also look to bounce back after dealing with foul trouble in the Baruch game. Expect that trio to carry the Pirates as other players get acclimated. Their solid play should be enough to win this game.
3) Dartmouth needs to drain threes
Seton Hall has played Baruch and a closed door scrimmage against Penn State. In both of those games, the Pirates allowed 12 three point baskets. For any inferior team trying to pull the upset, solid three point shooting is essential. If Dartmouth can limit their turnovers and knock down perimeter shots, they could have a chance to spoil the home opener for The Hall.
The Pirates will need to defend the perimeter well to make things easier on themselves in this game. Seton Hall can also shoot the three ball well, so they might cancel out the sharp shooting by the Big Green. Dartmouth struggled with three point shooting last season, shooting at a 34.6 percent clip from deep as a team.
INJURY UPDATE: According to CBS’s Jon Rothstein, Seton Hall’s Veer Singh will likely not play in the opener due to the same wrist injury that kept him out of the exhibition against Baruch.