The Seton Hall pirates return home Thursday night to the prudential center to host former NJIT head coach Jim Engles and the Columbia Lions. While the Pirates might have had fun Saturday hanging out Saturday at Disney World, Sunday’s loss to Stanford was a big wake up call.
How to watch, listen and stream
Game Time: 7 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: 89.5 WSOU, 970 AM
Streaming: Fox Sports Go (where available)
Seton Hall is ranked 49th while Columbia is ranked 210th currently.
The KenPom prediction is Seton Hall coming away with a victory 82-67.
What to Watch For
The 3-point ball has been inconsistent throughout early action as the Pirates shot lights out going 8-17 against Iowa from the perimeter, but in their loss to Stanford Sunday, the Pirates shot an embarrassing 2-17 from the perimeter.
Freshman Myles Powell has been given a few days off according to Kevin Williard as he has tweaked his ankle, along with Powell the Pirates will need guard Khadeen Carrington and small forward Desi Rodriguez to get back on track hitting the three ball.
Columbia has some sharp shooters on the perimeter in Nate Hickman, Luke Petrassak and Mike Smith who are all shooting just around 50 percent from the perimeter. If the Lions pull off the upset Thursday night this is how they will pull it off. The Pirates have been lacking perimeter defense in their last few showings and must guard the three tightly.
Play Down Low
Seton Hall has a few question marks regarding their big men right now. The first is will Ish Sanogo be able to play? According to Kevin Williard he will be able to go, but Ish has had this lingering shoulder injury which has lead him to sit out the past two games and it is quite concerning considering it is the same shoulder he dislocated last season.
While Sanogo may not look that impressive on paper his presence has been clearly missing the last two games. Sanogo’s length standing at 6-foot-9 and defensive ability to guard guys from the basket all the way out to the perimeter gives teams fits on offense.
Angel Delgado will have to learn to adjust his game as over the past few games teams have been doubling him whenever he has gotten the ball. Michael Nzei has been impressive playing in place of Sanogo over the last two games and will have to keep crashing the boards and scoring.
Seton Hall’s Intensity
One of two scenarios will either play out at the Prudential Center Thursday night, and which scenario plays out will be in the hands of the Pirates.
Scenario one is that the Pirates will be fired up and come out firing on all cylinders after their disappointing thanksgiving weekend in Florida if this is the case I will feel very sorry for Columbia as it will be a long night for them.
Scenario two is a scary situation on the other hand for the Pirates to be in. This would be the classic Seton Hall team that sleep walks through the first half of a money game and allows a much lower caliber team stay in the game, and the Pirates just hold Columbia off or Columbia even pulls off the upset.
Lets not rule the possibility of an upset out, as St. John’s fell to one of the nation’s worst in Delaware State on Tuesday night! Jim Engles is a great basketball mind and will have his team ready for Thursday night, Columbia will come ready to play.
It is up to coach Kevin Williard to have his Pirates focused from the tip off which was evident they were not in the last loss to Stanford, in order to quickly fend off any ideas of an upset happening Thursday night.