1. Isaiah Whitehead was key in opening win
The sophomore star had a career-high eight assists to go along with a team leading 18 points in the 84-67 win over Dartmouth on Friday. Whitehead showed everyone how good he is when balancing his ability to score and dish the basketball. The guard was able to get other teammates involved and it led to 61.7 percent shooting from the field.
Seton Hall was able to get easy looks in the paint and wore down the front line for the Big Green by feeding players like Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado and others. Whitehead is the most important player for The Hall and when he plays well everyone on the team will benefit.
2. The Pirates are a little banged up
Despite dealing with a wrist injury, freshman guard Veer Singh did play in the opener for Seton Hall and even had a shot attempt. Coach Kevin Willard said after the game that Singh will be fighting through that injury for at least a few more weeks.
When he is healthy, the team expects Singh to be an excellent 3-point shooter.
Fellow freshman Dalton Soffer did not play in the opener because he is battling an ankle issue and the team will continue to monitor it. The San Diego native is known for his shooting as well.
Despite playing well, Derrick Gordon came into the opener as a game-time decision because he was also dealing with an ankle injury. Gordon had 14 points, made 5-7 shots from the field and was great defensively. On the floor, Gordon looked great, but the team will obviously keep an eye on him moving forward.
With those Pirate guards dealing with injuries, junior walk-on Michael Dowdy Jr. saw some playing time in the Dartmouth game. Willard said after the game that Dowdy could see more time going forward. He played two minutes against the Big Green on Friday.
3. Wagner needs to shoot better overall
The Seahawks made head coach Chris Mullin and St. John's work for their first win of the season in Queens on Friday. Wagner outrebounded the Red Storm 42-38 and kept it close until St. John's put it out of reach in the 66-57 victory. The Seahawks were led by the 16 points from Cory Henson who went 4-for-8 on 3-point field goal attempts.
As a team, Wagner shot 31.7 percent from the field. If they had improved on that against St. John's they could have pulled off the upset.
Wagner also made eight 3-pointers and the Pirates are still trying to sure up their perimeter defense. Seton Hall will have the frontcourt advantage in this game so it will be important for the Seahawks to shoot the ball well from deep. Sophomore forward Japhet Kadji was solid off the bench for Wagner with 14 points on a 5-for-10 mark from the field. The Seahawks will need more of that if they want to win this game.