PG: Derrick Gordon
The senior is a transfer from Massachusetts and the first openly gay athlete in the history of college basketball. After all of the controversy from a season ago, it will be interesting to see if the Seton Hall players accept him. No problems are expected with the transition.
So far, many who have spoken to Gordon in interviews view him as a class act and ready for the challenge of bringing the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament as he did with the Minutemen.
Gordon’s passing ability is good, but his turnover numbers are not even close to where they need to be. The guard averaged 2.7 assists and 2.5 turnovers per game in his last season with UMass. That is roughly one turnover for every assist that Gordon dished out.
The defense that Gordon can provide will be crucial for the Pirates. This team needs to mature quickly and the senior is a big reason why that is possible.
On the floor, the relationship between point guard Sterling Gibbs and Isaiah Whitehead was reportedly dicey at best last season, which is why the Gordon-Whitehead combo has to be prolific on the court. The pair have to share the ball when they are struggling and find offensive balance when they are on the floor.
Gordon’s defense is his strength, but if he improves his passing and shooting he could be a huge part of the team.
SG: Khadeen Carrington
At times last season, Carrington looked like the best option on offense. His ability to drive to the basket and score was crucial in wins over Villanova, Creighton and Marquette.
This season, he will need to pick up the scoring load a bit and raise his points per game average from his freshman total of 8.8 for The Hall to be successful.
Carrington’s field goal percentage and 3-point shooting were 38.3 and 28.3 percent respectively. Those numbers are poor and will need to be better.
When Carrington signed, Coach Kevin Willard compared his recruit to Dwyane Wade and we saw flashes, no pun intended, of that on occasion last year.
To be a consistent contributor, the guard needs to be more efficient but also continue to be aggressive on the offensive end.
SF: Isaiah Whitehead
Despite underachieving and dealing with injury problems, Whitehead was still named to the 2014-15 Big East All-Rookie team after his average freshman season. The blue and white will need much more out of him as a sophomore.
Over the offseason, Whitehead was a counselor at the Stephen Curry high school basketball camp and hopefully while he was there he learned to be a less of a ball hog on the court.
Seton Hall needs Whitehead to get his teammates involved and in good positions on offense more often.
The 2014-15 preseason conference Rookie of the Year is probably the most important player on the Pirates and his success could affect the outcome of the entire conference.
It is safe to say that if Whitehead is not scoring and passing at a high level that the Pirates will be in for a long season once again.
PF: Angel Delgado
Delgado was the Big East Rookie of the Year last season and looks to have an even more successful 2015-16 season.
The power forward was the best freshman rebounder in the country and the second best in the Big East to Butler’s Kameron Woods. His tenacity and effort on the boards were essential to keeping the Pirates in games. That will need to continue.
Delgado was a member of the Dominican Republic basketball team that competed at the Pan-American Games this summer and he will look to use that experience to mature as a player.
Seton Hall’s "Mr. Consistency" had a dream freshman season and the Pirates need him to be just as good as a sophomore.
C: Braeden Anderson
Seton Hall has a few options with their frontcourt. They could play small with either Michael Nzei or Myles Carter at the four and Delgado at the five or The Hall can play Anderson. The Fresno State transfer did not have a great season in 2014-15 as he averaged just a point per game in 17 appearances after averaging 4.1 points a night in 10 games in 2012-13.
As a sophomore, Anderson averaged just 1.8 boards a game and that needs to be better. In the forward’s defense he only played about 10 minutes a game last season.
That is going to change.
The Pirates need a large body to play the five so Delgado does not wear down or get into foul trouble. In this scenario, even if Anderson or Delgado get two fouls Willard can bring in the young, athletic legs of Carter, Nzei or Desi Rodriguez to pick up the slack.
Seton Hall’s frontcourt could transition nicely if Anderson plays well and it could turn into a strength of the team.