The Seton Hall Pirates improve to 3-1 on the season with a 67-59 win over the Missouri Valley's Bradley Braves in a consolation round game in the 2015 Charleston Classic.
Led by Desi Rodriguez's 18-point effort, the Pirates did what they often couldn't do a season ago: bounce back with victories after a loss, shedding the wounds from their defeat at the hands of Long Beach State on Thursday.
With the win, it's the sixth time since the 2009-10 season that the Pirates are at least 3-1 after the first four games. Only once did they start off 2-2, which was in the 2010-11 season - the first of Kevin Willard's stay in South Orange.
The three things we learned from this matchup are right here.
1. Seton Hall got a good rebound victory out of the way when they needed it.
We spoke of Seton Hall's success - or lack thereof following losses last season in the game preview. Well, only four games into the year, Seton Hall is already attempting to rewrite the script that hung around with them last year. The Pirates only scored three victories off of losses a season ago and got win number one in 2015 on Friday night against the Braves. Performances like that - even if they weren't perfect - will go a long way towards shaping this team up and showing that they have the resiliency to get off the schneid and have short-term memory.
2. Desi Rodriguez continues to improve
The Brooklyn native was under the radar last season amongst Seton Hall's most prized additions. But this year, the sophomore guard has gotten off to a fast start. Coming into the night, he posted an eFG% and TS% of 70.0 and 72.6 percent, some of the most efficient numbers in the country. It was more of the same on Friday night as Rodriguez posted up an eFG% of 62.5 percent on 12 field goal attempts. He netted those aforementioned 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds with an assist to boot. Rodriguez continues to trend upward, and Seton Hall will quickly become extremely potent on offense with these kinds of numbers.
3. The lack of Isaiah Whitehead did not hurt the Pirates
Isaiah Whitehead didn't play for the entirety of the second half after suffering a head injury. He was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons by the Seton Hall staff and finished the night with five points in 17 minutes. Typically when your best player goes down, you will see either the team step up and make good on his absence, or everything will fall apart. In Seton Hall's favor, the former and not the latter occurred on Friday night against Bradley as the bench and the other starters in the game stepped up in Whitehead's absence. For Seton Hall's sake, Whitehead is not severely hurt and will be back in uniform the next tie the Pirates take the floor.