Note: This grading factors in the entire season, which is why some grades may be higher than you might anticipate. Seton Hall was very good and ranked at one point this season.
Coaching: Kevin Willard
In his fifth season, Kevin Willard thought he had his best group yet. Willard told everyone at Seton Hall media day he had a great group of players that would compete against every team they played and loved being around each other. His team had a great start to the season, winning 12 of 14 and Willard managed the team quite nicely without Isaiah Whitehead. Now many are calling for him to be fired because of the possible locker room turmoil and the fact that the team had only won three games since Jan. 3.
However, according to the Asbury Park Press’ Jerry Carino, "By all accounts of those in the know, Willard is expected to be retained for a sixth season." Whether he deserves one more season is certainly up for debate, but the fact that many of these locker room issues are more rumors than facts makes it difficult to say with any conviction that Willard deserves to go, yet. Also with Willard reportedly signing an extension, according to a 2013 report by Adam Zagoria, it will interesting to see how long he stays in South Orange.
For now it looks like another average season for the Seton Hall so for Willard a grade of C seems to fit nicely.
Starters (Forwards): Angel Delgado and Brandon Mobley
If Angel Delgado does not win Big East Rookie of the Year something is very wrong. The freshman is already the best rebounder in the conference and averages 9.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Delgado has ripped down double digit rebounds 13 times this season with eight of those being double-doubles. At times, he is the only Pirate fighting on the glass and has been the most consistent player on the team this season. For Delgado an A not just for his effort, but also for his ability just feels right.
This is a rough way for Brandon Mobley to finish his Seton Hall career amidst all of this controversy. He is the leader in this locker room and on the court has helped to keep Delgado’s emotions in check. Mobley averages 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, which is pretty solid and those numbers are among the highest he has had in his Pirates career. He does not always stuff the stat sheet, but deserves credit for a solid season. B is for Brandon and that is certainly good enough for me.
Starters (Guards): Sterling Gibbs, Jaren Sina and Isaiah Whitehead
Let’s start with Gibbs who, at one point, was chatting it up with Bruce Beck about how great the Pirates were this season. He certainly did not see the season coming to this. Gibbs was a conference player of the year candidate for much of the season. He is the team’s leading scorer at 16.7 points per game and is still shooting 43 percent from the field and 44 percent from behind the arc. Gibbs has been the best player for The Hall all season, but when he hit Ryan Arcidiacono and was suspended for two games that certainly hurt the team and it showed against St. John’s on Saturday. Despite his wild season, Gibbs is expected to return for his redshirt senior season. For now, he gets a B- from me.
Jaren Sina had his moments with Seton Hall, but underachieved at times. If Sina was hitting three pointers then he was valuable. If not, fans would not know if he even played. However, Coach Willard loved having Sina on the team and let him call plays on offense. Obviously, this is all overshadowed by him leaving in the middle of the season. Due to the fact that he gave up on the team, for whatever reason, it is rare that something like that happens. We do not know all of the pieces to that story, but Sina left his teammates, which is unforgivable in sports. Sina gets a D- because of that fact.
It is really hard to evaluate the season of Isaiah Whitehead. He was the MVP on the first-ever Garden State Hardwood Classic with 25 points against Rutgers. Before conference play, he obtained that stress fracture in his foot and was out for eight games. In his first game back, Whitehead had 19 points and made that incredible pass as he was falling out of bounds to Gibbs who laid the ball in. An INCREDIBLE play. However, since then Whitehead has gone back to being selfish with the ball at times and doing too much on the offensive end. That is leading to turnovers, bad shot selections and poor efficiency from the field as a whole. Yes, there are reports that the locker room issues involved him and his "posse," but those are not confirmed. Whitehead gets a C- from me as the phenom still has a lot to prove if he wants to be remembered fondly in South Orange.
Bench: Desi Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington, Haralds Karlis, Stephane Manga, Rashed Anthony, Chier Ajou and Ismael Sanogo
For Rodriguez, there is some good potential in him. We have seen him at times be great on the glass, but also hesitant. Others times he is very aggressive on the offensive end and scores, but then there are games where he makes no impact at all. The future is bright for Desi and next year we should see take another step in the right direction. For this season so far, Desi gets a C+.
Khadeen Carrington has been solid for the most part all season long, especially off the bench. He has provided the Pirates with scoring and been able to slash as well as drive inside to score or pass to other teammates. Carrington continues to develop a jump shot and looks to be improving overall even though he had been hindered with an ankle issue this season. Overall, a B fits Carrington nicely as he looks to become an even bigger threat in the Seton Hall offense.
The rest of the bench has been able to contribute at times, but there is just not enough talent to really make an impact on the game. Manga and Karlis have started at times, but have only had an impact during a handful of games this season. Anthony was a factor earlier in the year, but we have not seen much of him in a while. Ajou and Sanogo still need to develop and this season have been afterthoughts. Overall bench grade: C-.
Team as a whole: Seton Hall 15-12 (5-10)
It was all rainbows and lollipops for Seton Hall at the beginning of January, but since then it has been a nightmare. The early thoughts were that this team was going to be dancing, but now they will be lucky to host an NIT game. In the end, this has been a season with some good memories, but one ultimately that fans want to forget. Season grade for the Pirates: C-.